Intermediate Ladies and Men Flirt with Perfection in Jamestown

by Michelle Wojdyla
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U.S. Junior Championships Results and Photos

(12/03/04) — The intermediate ladies took the ice for their short programs at the 2005 U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships and collectively put on a near flawless performance. Skater after skater sailed through programs that were both athletically difficult and artistically beautiful. And, of the 72 jumps attempted, there were only four falls.

Angela Maxwell got the evening started with her clean program to “Chopsticks” and received marks that ranged from second to ninth. Alexa Scimeca followed with a collection of Christmas music and was rewarded with marks as high as third. In a stunning purple dress, Alexe Gilles skated to “Dr. Zhivago” and performed the third straight clean program with her trademark snappy jumps. Her marks were as high as fourth.

Michaelee Scarincio wrapped up the first flight with a balletic routine skated to Yanni. Scarincio landed a double Axel-double toe combination, a double flip, and single Axel. She was quite pleased with her effort.

“I was just happy I did a clean program,” Scarincio said. “Everyone was doing the same thing.”

Sherry Barnes was the highlight of the second flight of skaters and won the overall short program with seven first-place ordinals and two second-place ordinals. After a disappointing outing at last year's competition when flu zapped her strength, Barnes is back and healthy, with high, powerful jumps. Her double Axel-double toe was huge, and she followed it up with a double flip, single Axel and a serpentine footwork sequence.

Jane Ruan led off the final flight, with co-coach Silvia Fontana at the boards. Her other coach, Robin Wagner, had been in Jamestown for qualifying, but had to leave early to accompany Sasha Cohen to the Marshall's World Cup of Skating. Ruan's speed and easy jumps helped her earn two third-place ordinals and a spot in the final flight for the free skate.

The evening ended with a bang as Lauren-Marie Simm concluded a fantastic night of skating.

“It was amazing,” Simm said. “It was the best ever skating my short. The intermediate ladies are outstanding this year. It's an honor to be selected out of 1,000 competitors.”

Intermediate Men

The intermediate men also had a good night, scrambling ordinals throughout the roster. Armin Mahbanoozadeh, who placed first in his qualifying group, took the lead with seven first-place marks. Skating to music by Bond, Mahbanoozadeh reeled off his double Axel-double toe combination, double Lutz, single Axel and circular footwork all with great speed.

In second was Alexander Zahradnicek, who skated to “Danse Macabre.” He landed a nice double Axel-double loop combination and showed off edgework preceding his single Axel.

Third went to Kevin Sun. An energetic program to “The Music and the Mirror” from A chorus Line was highlighted with strong spins, including a Todd Eldredge-like bullet spin and an extremely well-centered final combination spin.

Ross Miner, who is coached by Mark Mitchell, placed fourth with his racing-inspired routine, down to his costume that emulates a professional driver's appearance. And Joey Millet, who is pulling double duty by competing in the juvenile dance event with his sister Allie, is currently holding down the fifth position.

As for how his week is going, Millet joked, “I get a snack, start warming up, (compete), then I get a snack and start warming up again.”