Notes From Midwestern Sectional, Day Two (Senior Men)
(11/17/06) - The Midwestern Sectional men's competition is a heartbreaker any way you look at it.
Someone is staying home.
Of course one could say that about any event in any competition, but something about the strong field of men at Midwesterns makes it all the more difficult.
Three of the competitors are currently on the U.S. National Team, including Ryan Bradley, who opened the season at Skate America, while all but two of them have spent at least one season on the U.S. National Team.
But only four can go to the U.S. Championships.
Jeremy Abbott (Broadmoor Skating Club) stayed home last year, finishing fifth and out of the top four by about three points. He has no plans to stay home again, and he showed fire as he took the early lead in the senior men's competition.
Abbott landed a triple Lutz-triple toe, triple Axel and triple loop, although the loop was considered underrotated and received negative GOEs. The highlights of his program were when he wasn't in the air, as he received level fours on his three spins and the circular step sequence.
Bradley, also from the Broadmoor SC, is in second after landing a triple Axel, triple flip-triple toe and triple Lutz. He's less than two points behind Abbott and was hurt by low levels on his footwork sequences.
Braden Overett (Denver SC) is one of those skaters who you could spend hours watching just stroke across the ice. He glides effortlessly but with great speed and executes his footwork with sureness. On his straightline step sequence, one judge awarded him a rarely seen GOE of +3. He landed a triple loop, fell on his triple Axel, and completed a triple Lutz-double toe combination with a slight touchdown on the Lutz. It all added up to third place for the veteran competitor, who has a swashbuckling free skate to “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Parker Pennington threw the gauntlet as the first skater of the night, landing a triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe (the toe was downgraded), and a triple flip with a scratchy landing.
Rohene Ward landed a quad toe-double toe combination but fell on his triple Axel and triple Lutz, which was downgraded. He received 10.30 points for the quad combination and is still in the hunt for the U.S. Championships.
Rachael Flatt (Broadmoor SC) easily won the senior ladies short program, sitting nine points ahead of second-place Angie Lien. Flatt, who looks fully recovered from a back injury she suffered earlier this season, landed a triple flip, triple Lutz-double toe and a double Axel.
Lien landed a triple Lutz-double toe, stepped out of her triple out of footwork and singled her Axel. Third place Amber Kaiser landed a triple Salchow, triple loop-double toe and badly two-footed her double Axel.
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (Broadmoor SC) pulled away from the field to win the novice dance title by more than eight points.
Portraying characters from “Memoirs of a Geisha,” the brother and sister duo had no significant errors, although Maia did say she had a “hairpin issue.” One of her barrettes got caught on her brother's shirt and nearly fell out during the program.
Megan Evans and Nathan Truesdell were second, followed by Michelle Pennington and Cooper Johnston, and Michaela Cook and Jordan Cowan.