Abbott Lands the Triple Axel and Takes Junior Men's Lead

by Amy Partain
Jeremy Abbott,
photo by Michelle Harvath

Junior Men's Short Program Results
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(1/12/05) — The junior men's competition at the 2005 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships began Wednesday at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore. The top three men treated the audience to a variety of musical styles and solid programs.

Jeremy Abbott (Broadmoor SC) is in first place after skating a short program to “Aranjuez Con tu Amore” by Monty Alexander. The program went well with Abbott completing a triple Axel-triple toe combination and a triple loop. “I was confident going into it,” Abbott said of the triple Axel. “I was surprised, but I wasn't. It was so exciting to land — just a great feeling.”

His spins were well positioned and fast, but he lost focus at the end of the program and fell on his double Axel. The program earned him the highest presentation marks of the event.

Last season Abbott was plagued by a stress fracture and was off the ice for 15 weeks in the summer and only started training in full force two weeks before regionals. Being healthy this year has made all of the difference.

“I'm fully trained this year and have been training properly,” Abbott said.

For Douglas Razzano (Coyotes SC of Arizona) it is hard to pick which part of his second-place short program he liked best. He skated a clean program executing all of his elements. His program to “Kalinka” was an immediate crowd favorite and included a perfectly timed triple loop out of footwork landed in time to the music.

“I'm happy about everything,” he said. “I loved it all.”

The energy of Razzano's short program built throughout and also included a triple Lutz-double toe combination and nicely positioned spins.

Coach Doug Ladret said skating a clean program was one of Razzano's goals. “One of the goals was for the program to stand out from everyone else,” he said. “It's an overall top quality junior men's program. I think that's why he's in second right now with three first-place ordinals.”

Skating at his first U.S. Championships, Craig Ratterree (Washington FSC) wasn't nervous. That, he said, is the difference between his previous years of competition and this year, in which he is sitting in third place after the short program.

“I haven't been nervous at all, I'm not sure why,” he said. “Maybe it's that I've finally started to enjoy it. Now I just go out and do what I know I needs to be done. Of course, the Axel helped.”

Skating to music from the “Mask of Zorro,” the only error in the program was a step out of the landing of his triple Axel, which was planned as a combination. Despite the mistake he completed the double toe.

He also completed a triple loop, energetic fast spins and a circular footwork sequence that built momentum in conjunction with the music.