Abbott Content with Performance, Thrilled with Gold

by Amy Partain
Jeremy Abbott
Photo by Michelle Harvath

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(1/14/05) - Who says you need the triple Axel to win gold at the upper levels of men's skating? In the junior men's event at the State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Portland, Ore., Jeremy Abbott's (Broadmoor SC) speed and well-executed choreography helped him overcome a popped triple Axel to win the title.

“I'm really excited, but the program wasn't the best that it has been,” Abbott said. “The highlight for me was the triple Lutz, which I haven't done in competition this season. I was disappointed about the triple Axel because it's usually consistent.”

Abbott said that though it wasn't a clean program one of his goals was to improve upon each performance, which he feels he's done.

“I feel like I've improved from regionals to sectionals to nationals,” he said. “But it hasn't hit me yet that I've won.”

Craig Ratterree (Washington FSC) moved up a spot from his placement in the short program to win the silver medal. He fought through his program, completing a triple Axel and four other triples but struggled at the end of the program popping a Lutz and putting his hand down on a double Axel.

“I've had bronchitis for three weeks,” Ratterree said. “I was just trying to breathe. This was actually my first run through of the week.”

Ratterree said skating at the U.S. Championships has been a lifetime goal and that placing second is an honor.

After a sixth-place finish in the short program, it seemed unlikely that Michael Peters (Peninsula SC) would medal. But when he completed a free skate with only one major error — a fall on the triple Lutz — and others ahead of him struggled, Peters leaped ahead in the standings to win a bronze medal.

“I pulled a groin before regionals so it is just a joy to be here,” Peters said. “This year's been such a struggle so medaling is much more than I'd hoped for this season.”