Stephanie Cooke Captures Championship Masters Ladies Goldby Troy Schwindt
Photo by Quick Silver Shots
(4/14/07) - Stephanie Cooke (Colonial FSC) remembers the feeling of winning the 2004 championship masters ladies title in Lake Placid, N.Y. It was her first title of any kind.
So, when the 30-year-old Cooke took the ice Saturday night at the 2007 U.S. Adult Championships in Bensenville, Ill., her thoughts and goals were on recapturing that wonderful feeling in front of a boisterous crowd inside Edge Ice Arena.
She did just that, cruising to her second gold medal with a score of 52.08. Amy Entwistle (Central Carolina SC) garnered the silver medal with 48.42 points. Dianna-lynne Webster Wells (Centennial FSC Colorado) captured the bronze with a score of 47.71, while Amber Van Wyk (Los Angeles FSC) finished fourth at 47.49.
“My main goals were to regain the title and prove I could skate in the new judging system,” Cooke said.
Cooke donned a cranberry dress and executed a program that was loaded with double jumps and combinations.
Under the tutelage of coach Tom McGinnis, Cooke prepared herself to be evaluated under the international judging system.
“My biggest challenges were learning new transitions with my spins, as well as getting my footwork and spiral sequences to higher levels.”
McGinnis said Cooke did “very well, and improved upon the more difficult aspects of her program.
Entwistle, 32, arrived in Bensenville with a program on which she had already placed her signature.
The music came from a French high school group, and her choreographer had a student pick up the CD while in Europe.
“It's a fun program and people enjoyed it, and I knew I could focus on the presentation,” said Entwistle, who lives in North Carolina. “The jumps don't change once you're out there, and the thing I could do was focus on the crowd and the music and be able to give something to the crowd.”
Entwistle, wearing a white top and black pants, finished seventh in 2006, fifth in 2005 and fourth in 2004.
Wells, competing in a sparkly black dress, was pleased with her performance for a couple of reasons. First, she improved upon last year's fourth-place finish. Second, she's very happy that her husband, who is stationed in Kuwait, will be able to watch her perform on icenetwork.com.
She completed 10 double jumps during her high-energy performance.
“I feel very good about the skate,” said Wells, who recently relocated to Colorado Springs, Colo. “The audience was up with my program. My goal was to take every element step by step, and it paid off.”
Wells is coached by skating veterans Ryan Jahnke, Janet Champion and Christy Krall. Her mother was in Bensenville this week to be her coach and supporter.
“If she came off the ice alive, she did her job,” her mom said.
Van Wyk, 25, said she had a blast performing in front of the appreciative crowd.
“You couldn't wipe the smile off my face, especially after the last jump,” said Van Wyk, 25. “I was like ‘heck, yeah!'”
She opened with a huge double Axel.
“I've never skated with such an energetic crowd before,” said Van Wyk, a theater student. “The crowd here is awesome.
It was an Wyk's first U.S. Adult Championships.
“I wanted to keep skating and competing, but not with the younger kids anymore,” said Van Wky, who wore a navy blue dress during her program.