Notes From Midwestern Sectionals, Day Two (Novice Men)

(11/17/06) - Jon Felder of the Broadmoor Skating Club didn't believe it when someone told him he had jumped to fourth overall in the novice men's free skate. Felder, sixth after the short program and more than five points out of the hunt for a spot in the U.S. Championships, should have had more faith in his excellent free skate and the rewards of the international judging system. Felder landed five triples en route to a second-place finish in the free skate and a trip to Spokane, Wash., in January.

He was one of a handful of skaters who made up for lackluster short programs Thursday to turn the novice men's final into a barnburner.

Daniel O'Shea (Skokie Valley SC) held on to his short program lead to earn the Midwestern title with a program set to Olympic themes. He finished third in the free skate and finished a miniscule .04 points ahead of second-place Alexander Johnson overall. O'Shea has smooth skating skills, and that factor helped keep him at the top despite landing only three triples.

Johnson (Braemar-City of Lakes FSC) ended the competition on a high note to finish second overall but first in the free skate. His program opened with a triple flip, and he later stepped out of a triple Lutz but landed a triple Salchow and triple toe-double-toe, double loop combination.

Third went to Victor Travis (Pavilion SC of Cleveland Heights), who might have had the distinction of having the largest fan base in the Pelham Civic Center. His family nearly took up an entire row. Travis said he doesn't have the opportunity to skate in front of so many family members.

“They've been very supportive,” Travis said. “The atmosphere has been overwhelming, just awesome.”

Travis reached his goal of “just making it to the next competition,” and now his focus is on the U.S. Championships. In the next two months, he plans to work on his triple Lutz, triple Salchow, and triple-triple combinations. Those technical elements will complement his clown-type program set to Pee-wee Herman music.

“I actually picked out the music, and my mom and dad, and my coach, and everyone said I was crazy,” he said. “But I have a great choreographer, Oleg Epstein in Chicago, and he just took it from there.”

Broadmoor's Roger Corvasce finished fourth in the free skate and fifth overall.