Busy Season for Moyle and Seitz Continues at U.S. Championshipsby Sal Zanca, Special to U.S. Figure Skating Online
|Kendra Moyle and Andy Seitz|
Photo by Michelle Harvath
(1/19/07) - It was a hectic season for Kendra Moyle & Andy Seitz, and probably a bit confusing. If it was Norway or the Czech Republic that would be a junior pairs competition. Canada or Russia? That meant senior pairs.
Then there was Bulgaria...uh ...junior pairs and the Junior Grand Prix Final. Spokane coming up? That must mean senior.
Then it will be perhaps Germany – junior – or maybe even Japan – senior – depending on how they do in Spokane. In all they had five events from Sept. 29 to Dec. 9 – four trips to Europe, a trip to Canada, and a lot of stamps in their passports.
The pair spent their second season going back and forth between the junior and senior ranks.
“We wanted it,” said the 16-year-old Moyle from Chelsea, Mich.
“We wanted the experience of senior and wanted to do well at junior,” said the 21-year-old Seitz, originally from Bettendorf, Iowa, and now attending Eastern Michigan University.
“It was a way to get our feet wet in the senior circuit, so we can also keep our points up by doing junior as well for next year,” Seitz said.
It has been busy since they teamed together in 2005. Seitz skated with his sister Lindsey from 1996 to 2004 but went to college in Michigan while she stayed home. Seitz was looking for a new partner and found Moyle's profile on a partner-search site.
Seitz called and the rest...well, it isn't history but it's a lot of success. They were junior champions at the 2006 State Farm U.S. Championships and silver medalists at the 2006 World Junior Championships.
They finished no worse than a second in four regular season Junior Grand Prix events, including victories in Norway this season and Japan last season. They've had two straight appearances at the Junior Grand Prix Finals. Just over a year after getting together, they were competing in senior events, too, finishing sixth at both Skate Canada and Cup of Russia.
“It has been rough,” Moyle said.
“It has been really hard,” Seitz added. “A lot of trips, a lot of long flights.”
After the JGP Final they were looking forward to more than a week in Michigan to train.
“It will be nice to have the time,” Moyle said while still in Bulgaria.
But there are benefits to the long year.
“It was definitely worth it,” she said. “We had a lot of fun this season.”
The highlight was at Skate Canada.
“It [was] our first senior Grand Prix and not really knowing what it was like, it was incredible,” she said. “The crowds were amazing.”
It was quite a difference from the Junior Grand Prix events in places like Liberec, Czech Republic, and Oslo, Norway, that had just a few hundred fans in the stands. But it was good to have the junior events early in the season.
“It was kind of nice because we had two junior, then two senior, then one junior,” Seitz said. “They were clustered together.”
But they both said there isn't much difference in the skating except for an extra lift and 30 seconds longer in the senior events.
“Same competition but maybe different skaters,” she said. There was more pressure in the junior competitions since they came in as the World Junior silver medalists.
“Competing in junior was more nerve-racking,” Seitz said. “In senior we didn't have anything to prove. We just go out and do what we can do.”
Now it's off to the 2007 State Farm U.S. Championships in Spokane, beginning Sunday, Jan. 21. If they are competing again Rena Inoue & John Baldwin that must be seniors...right?
Seitz thinks there is a chance for a high placing and perhaps another trip to the World Junior championships in Oberstdorf, Germany. A second-place finish in Spokane could get them to Tokyo for the senior World Championships. However Seitz admits it would be difficult.
“I really think the (top) two are going to be pretty tough to crack. Those are pretty much sealed,” Seitz said. “But I actually think anywhere from third place down to seventh or sixth is wide open. It can go any way.”
The senior pairs event begins Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the Spokane Arena.