Meissner Wins Second U.S. Title by Taking Junior Goldby Sal Zanca, Special to U.S. Figure Skating Online
Photo by Michelle Harvath
This year they just went 1-2 in juniors.
Is there a 1-2 in seniors in the future for them? They wouldn't mind. Born less than three weeks apart back in October 1989, there may be a long rivalry ahead for Meissner (Bel Air, Md.) and Taylor (Houston, Texas).
Meissner included six good triples in her program. Her only mistake was at the very end of her program.
"My only mistake was the last triple Salchow." Meissner said. "I popped it, and I was a little disappointed. My overall performance was pretty good so I didn't really worry about it."
She had solid marks of 5.3 to 5.5 to a routine set to music called "Pines of Rome." She emphasized her secure landings with arms slowly coming up and had a nice double Axel coming out of a spiral sequence.
Taylor had a musical quality that started slowly with "America the Beautiful" and finished with bugles and drums and a triple Lutz five seconds before the end of the program.
"Some things were a little shaky," Taylor said. "But I think this was definitely my best performance."
Her layback spins were high quality, but she two-footed two of her jumps. Oddly enough, Taylor doesn't have a triple toe loop. She tried to teach it to herself when her coach was out of town and learned the wrong way. The bad habit has been tough to correct.
Both 14-year-old medalists are ready to challenge the senior ranks and are confident about their abilities.
"I think I want to move up to senior," said Meissner, who medaled in two Junior Grand Prix events this year. "I had a pretty good year. I am one level below the seniors, and when I do well here it helps me feel a lot better going into the seniors."
Taylor is also moving up.
"I am moving up to senior," she said. "My jumps are pretty consistent."
There's no doubt about the consistency, and she impressed everyone with the triple Lutz so late in her program. How do she do it?
"Practice. Endurance. Back-to-back programs. Stroking a lot," Taylor said.
She has even flirted with triple Axels.
"We play around with them in a harness when we have time," Taylor said.
"I don't think you have to have it but it would definitely help," Taylor said. "More artistry and jumps would help, too."
Brianna Perry (Colonial FSC) moved up from fifth to win the bronze medal. Among her moves was an interesting Russian split into a triple toe loop. However she had one mistake.
"During my slow piece I went to do a triple loop," she said. "I landed it in warmup so I was a little upset I fell on it. It was good all week. I felt pretty good about my performance. It definitely could have been better. It could always be better. something to work on."