Radomile Picks Up Coveted Championship Masters Men Titleby Laura Fawcett
(4/17/05) — For Joseph Radomile (Skatium FSC), winning the championship masters men title Saturday night at the U.S. Adult Championships in Overland Park, Kan., wasn't quite like making it to “big nationals,” but it was pretty darn special nonetheless.
Radomile, who finished third in this event last year, hit seven clean double jumps en route to his first title in the showcase event for the men.
“I wanted to get it (the title) pretty badly,” Radomile said.
The absence of three-time champion Larry Holliday, the first man to land a triple at the U.S. Adult Championships, didn't damper the title for Radomile. Holliday was there to see Radomile win, but the most famous of all adult skaters was in the stands with a brace on his right (landing) leg. One week before the Overland Park event, a heel broke off of one of Holliday's skates. He had the boot fixed, but two days later his leg gave out during practice, resulting in the injury.
Holliday's absence opened the door for a showdown between Radomile and Davin Grindstaff (Georgia FSC), and they were both up to the task.
Radomile opened with a double Lutz and later tried a double Salchow-double toe-double loop combination, with just a step-out on the final jump. He also had a nice wally into a double toe-double flip combination. He was most disappointed with a turnout on his double Axel attempt.
“I just didn't quite check it enough,” he said of the Axel.
Radomile's confidence in his racecar themed program belied the fact that he had a case of the jitters.
“I am very nervous on the day of a competition,” said Radomile, whose best sectional finish years ago on the “standard” track was fourth at the Eastern Sectional in novice (before the fourth-place finisher went to the U.S. Championships). “Before I go out I'm thinking, ‘Why do I do this to myself?' Then I get out there, and it's just a great feeling to share my joy of skating with the audience. There's a warmth that's very unique to this event.”<
Whether Radomile returns to defend his title remains to be seen, as he has tickets to the first week of events at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games — the same week as the adult sectional championships.
But he is sure about one thing — Radomile was also the 2005 winner of U.S. Figure Skating Online's Fantasy Skating Series — and he knows he'll be doing that again!
While Radomile didn't have a triple planned in his free skate, Grindstaff did — and he almost pulled it off. He got about two and a half rotations on a triple Salchow attempt, and he doubled a planned triple toe. His elegant program did include a double flip, double toe and a double loop-double loop combination along with excellent connecting steps. He ended his program with a clean double Lutz, bring the audience to a roar.
Third place went to Edward VanCampen (American Academy FSC), who teaches moves-in-the-field classes at the Ice House in Hackensack, N.J. That focus on moves was evident in his smooth edges and footwork.
“Skating is in my blood,” said VanCampen, who has been struggling with Achilles tendonitis and a back injury.
VanCampen, like fellow masters men competitors Ted Gradman (SC of San Francisco) and Carl DeAngelis (Garden State SC), may not have the jumping prowess of Grindstaff and Radomile, but what he does have is a way of connecting with both the ice and the audience that creates passion for the sport. VanCampen himself wasn't thrilled with his performance, but he knows a lot of it has to do with his recent injuries. He also isn't worried about not having a triple jump at this level
“I'll do what I can do,” he said.
Fourth place went to Gradman, who landed a nice double Salchow and had a beautiful Ina Bauer into a loop jump. He also nailed a big Axel and a good spread eagle series. Overall, he was smooth and elegant, and the crowd sighed with him when he showed his frustration at missing one of his jumps — that's the camaraderie of adult skating.
DeAngelis was debonair and classy as he got the ball rolling as the first skater in the event — he finished fifth.
Alexis Foy contributed to this article.