February 24, 2009
As many people know I had to withdraw from the 2009 US Championships just moments before my short program began.
On the morning of the short program I had a practice in the practice arena. After skating for about 30 minutes I had a very awkward landing on a triple lutz and felt my back go into spasms that were very similar to spasms I have had in the past. As soon as I landed the jump I knew I was in trouble. I quickly left the ice and headed to the main arena where I saw a chiropractor and physical therapist.
I was told to lay flat on some ice for the afternoon and return to them before my 20 minute warm up period. I did as I was told and then skated the warm up. I was having so much trouble doing basic things such as footwork, spins as well as having trouble on my jumps because of the pain and stiffness. I saw the therapists one more time before I competed. They tried a brand new massage machine on my back to try and relieve the spasms. I felt a little relief from the machine and decided I was going to give the competition a try. I kept telling myself that the adrenaline and excitement of the event would pull me through.
After the skater before me marks were read I did a few jumps to see if I felt like I could skate up to my potential. The discomfort was too much. Once my name was called I decided to withdraw from the event. It was such a tough decision for me to make. After all of my worry about my groin injury it ended up being my back that gave out at the last moment!
Since I have had about a month to reflect on Nationals I have decided that I really want to compete another season. I have worked so hard on my programs and would really like to skate them well at Nationals next year. I am excited that I have plenty of time to recover and get strong and healthy for next season. I will keep you posted!
January 12, 2009
Since my last journal entry I have made a lot of changes.
After a disappointing Grand Prix season in Canada and Paris I decided it was time for a coaching and scenery change. I decided to fly out to Salt Lake City Utah to work with Stephanee Grosscup on my preparations for Nationals. We had a great time fixing up my programs and training really hard. My decision proved to be a good one. At Nationals I skated two clean programs and scored the highest point total of my career.
After Nationals I went back to Boston to reflect on what I wanted with the next chapter of my life. Because Nationals had gone so well with Stephanee I decided I would move out to Salt Lake full time. I packed up all of my stuff into my VW beetle and drove across the country with my Dad. We had a great trip and even stopped to play tennis a few times along the way!
Once I got to Salt Lake I moved into a cute little house just minutes from the rink and downtown. I was able to make friends quickly and it wasn't long before Salt Lake felt like home. I skated in the Salt Lake ice show my first weekend in town and was introduced as "Salt Lake's own....Scott Smith." If that isn't a warm welcome then I don't know what is. I spent my summer skating in a few shows such as the Sun Valley Ice show and also training my new programs.
I competed in a few small events this fall to get some feedback on my new programs and get ready for the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany. My training was going extremely well leading up to Germany and so were my practices once I got there. However, in the actual competition I skated well but not my best. I had been practicing much better than what I competed so I left Germany very motivated to come home and train hard.
Unfortunately, after Germany I aggravated groin injury that I have had in the past and was unable to train between the Nebelhorn Trophy and Sectionals. The injury got so bad that I had to get a cortisone injection just days before I left for Sectionals in Scottsdale, Ariz. The injection was helpful and got me through the event well enough to qualify for Nationals. I had to drastically change my programs around technically to avoid hurting the injury while I was competing.
Since Sectionals I have been doing a lot of physical therapy to help my groin heal. I have made great progress and my skating has started to come back around. With just a week before I leave for Nationals my skating is starting to feel like it's normal self! Given my struggles with my body this season my goal for Nationals is to come away from the event feeling proud of my skate. I will let you know my thoughts on Nationals when I get back. Root for me!
September 23, 2007
After lots of thought and planning Mark, Peter and I decided that I was going to keep my short program from last season and go to Nikolai Morozov for a new long program. Nikolai has had great success in the past creating exciting and passionate programs and I was hoping he would do the same for me. I spent a total of three weeks down in Hackensack creating my new long program to the music "Asturias." I feel like the program is a big leap forward from last year and that my skating style has improved.
After my trip to Hackensack, I took my annual trip to Sun Valley, Idaho. This year was different than other years because I had a lot of family there as well. My parents, two uncles, an aunt and a cousin all made the trip. I always love the outdoor skating and catching up with my friends in the weekly ice show. In the show I skated to my new show program "Better Than Me" by Hinder.
After Sun Valley, I came home and really started my training for the season. I broke in a new pair of boots and starting running my programs, slowly adding more jumps and spins each day.
The next show on my schedule was the show for Iveta. It was great to see so many high level skaters supporting the event. The show was very special and it is always nice to be able to skate for the good of other people. The Jimmy Fund show seems to have a similar line up of skaters and will take place in just a few weeks.
A week ago I skated in the Boston Open at my training rink. I wanted to skate through my programs in a competition type setting once before my Grand Prix events, as well as get some feed back on them. My skating got some great comments on areas that have improved but also areas I that I need to keep work on.
My focus for the next six weeks will be on training my programs and building my consistency as I lead up to Skate Canada and the Eric Bombard Trophy. I am really hoping to be very consistent through the Grand Prix series and hit my quad Salchow in both the short and long programs. Hopefully, everyone will like my new programs too!
I will let you know how everything is going in a few months!
April 17, 2007
Since my last journal entry, I competed in two Grand Prix events and the U.S. Championships.
My first Grand Prix was Skate America in Hartford. This was the easiest Grand Prix ever! I just hopped in my car for a little over an hour and was there.
My skating however wasn't my best at this competition. I fell on my quad Salchow in my short program and it was also downgraded. This element alone cost me about 13 points in this phase of the competition.
In the free skate I missed my quad Salchow too and it was downgraded in this program as well. I also missed my second triple Axel in my free skate. I made three mistakes total in the competition but they were very costly. The two quad attempts and the second triple Axel miss cost me a total of about 28 points. Ouch!!!
Mistakes aside, it was fun to be apart of the first Grand Prix event of the season and to skate in front of the home crowd.
My next event was the Cup of China in Nanjing, China. The trip was long of course but I made it worth while. At this competition we decided to go a safer route and put triple toe/triple toe combination in my short program and replace the quad Salchow with a triple in my long.
The safer plan worked! I was third in the short and fourth in the free and ended up fourth overall missing third by just one point. This was by far my most successful Grand Prix event and it gave me confidence for Nationals.
Going into Nationals was the huge debate ... go for the quad Salchow or not? I was landing some in practices but I had just done so well in China without it. Was it worth the risk? I ended up deciding to go for two clean skates without my quad.
In the short I skated well but stepped out of my triple Axel. My triple Axel is my best jump and never miss that! With the mistake I was in seventh place just a few points from the top three.
In the free skate, I started great with two cleanly landed triple Axels. A fluke double loop threw me off and before I knew it I had done a single Lutz too! I got my focus back and ended my program strong.
Unfortunately those two mistakes were enough to keep my down in fifth place. Last season I was fifth and was so excited about it and then this year it felt like such a disappointment. I had skated well but it was not what I had gone to Spokane to do.
Since Nationals, I have skated in a few shows and have been teaching about five hours a day.
I am excited to compete again this season but have not decided what I am going to skate to for my short and free programs this year. I will be making those decisions and training hard for next season shortly.
Thanks again for visiting my web site!
October 22, 2006
Over the summer I had many ups and downs with my skating. The downs were that my left knee tendonitis took a long time to go away and when it did finally go away, I pulled my right hamstring.
The ups of the summer were that because of my injuries, I had a lot of time to work on my two new programs for the season. My short program is to "Night Train" and my long program is to the modern movie of "Romeo and Juliet." Both programs are very different styles for my skating and also give me a very different look from last year.
Before my first competition of the season I skated in "An Evening With Champions," which is a show that helps support the Jimmy Fund. Since the show was at the Bright Arena on the Harvard campus I could walk to it from my house! I had a great time skating in the show and seeing some of my skating friends I hadn't seen in a long time. Both nights of the show I skated to my show program "Feelin Good" by Michael Buble which went very well.
My first competition of the season was the Campbell's Cup in Cincinnati. I was really excited to skate in a team event for the first time and to debut my new long program. I skated very well landing eight triples. The only mistake of the program was when I doubled my planned quad Salchow. I was disappointed with the mistake because I was doing them well in the practices. Overall I was very pleased with the program it's first time out.
Getting the opportunity to skate at the Campbell's Cup was great because it helped me gain a lot of confidence for my up coming Grand Prix events Skate America and Cup of China. At Skate America I will debut my short program and hopefully have a great skate in my long program as well!
Other than my training I have also been teaching skating at the Skating Club of Boston. I got on staff at the rink at the beginning of the summer and that has really helped me balance my training along with my teaching. I am teaching a few hours each day and really like helping others with their jumping and skating.
I will let you know how my Grand Prix events go in the next entry!
April 13, 2006
Now that my season is over, I can look back on my events and smile. I skated very well at each of my competitions and proved to myself that I can compete well under a lot of pressure.
Easterns was my first competition since going to Slovakia. I was looking forward to skating well again and also attempting to win my first sectionals as a senior skater. I was given a bye to Nationals the past 3 seasons so it had been awhile since I had competed at sectionals.
Going into Easterns, I wasn't skating quite as consistently as I was before Slovakia but I was still able to skate very well in both programs. Each of them had a few errors but overall I was quite happy with how everything turned out.
I was second in the short and first in the free and won the overall competition. The rink was freezing and the ice was very hard which made getting through the long program very difficult so I was happy when it went well.
Since I won Easterns, I qualified for my seventh Nationals as a senior skater and tenth time to Nationals total. The arena in St. Louis was a perfect
size. And I really liked the ice.
My practices were going very well. And I was really excited to show everyone how I was skating all season at this important event. Unfortunately, I had a disappointing short program falling out of my triple Axel and doing a two footed quad salchow double toe combination. Those two mistakes put me down in eighth place.
My long program had been very consistent the entire season so I was confident I could pull up in the standings. I drew last to skate in my warm up which meant I was going to wait about 50 minutes after the warm up before I skated.
To keep myself busy after my warm up, I brought a video of myself skating my program cleanly. I watched that a few times and then had a few handstand challenges with my coach Mark to keep me warmed up and relaxed. Neither of us are very good at them so it was funny.
By the time it was my turn to skate I knew I could do it. I did a triple toe triple toe combination as well as a triple Axel before my program even started to make sure I was warmed up after the long wait.
My quad salchow and triple lutz were a little bit two footed but those were my only mistakes in the whole long program. I placed fourth in the free skate and fifth overall.
I was the most excited about winning the element score in the long program.
Being fifth meant that I was named an alternate to the Olympics and Worlds. I also was put onto the Four Continents team, which was just two weeks after Nationals.
Four Continents was held in Colorado Springs at the World Arena. It is very familiar territory for me because the team USA camps have been held there a number of times. The rink and hotel we stayed at was very nice.
But, no matter how nice they were it didn't make up for the fact we were a mile high! The first free skate I ran through in practice was quite a challenge to get through but I made it. Even though I didn't land as many jumps as I usually did it gave me a lot of confidence to know that I could do it.
My short program competition was going pretty well at the beginning. I had a shaky landing on my triple Axel but did a good quad salchow triple toe combination and then the triple loop. Unfortunately, I had a bazaar mistake happened on my combination spin which cost me a few points and put me down in sixth place.
I had a very strong free skate landing seven triples including both of my triple Axels. I was very tired at the end but was very happy with how it went considering the high altitude and the huge splat I took on a quad salchow just seconds before my program started.
After I skated, Nobunari Oda skated. He had an amazing short program and awesome practices all week.
After he popped his first jump in the free skate, he stopped for a long time catching his breath. Then he completed a few more jumps and stopped again to take a few more breaths.
Overall, he completed a lot of jumps and spins but he had left out a large portion of his choreography. His program component scores were still just about the highest of the event and he won the competition.
This was quite upsetting for figure skating in my opinion. Why bother spending millions of dollars on a new judging system if the judges are going to pre determine scores and hold skaters up just like they did with the old system. Why is it so difficult for figure skating judges to just judge what they see?
I had some relatives and friends in the stands and they lost a lot of respect for figure skating after watching that. It really hurts the sport and I hope more rules will be included in this new system so that this won't happen again.
Four Continents was my last event of the season and now I have some shows to look forward to.
I got a brand new show program to the song "Feelin Good" by Michael Buble choreographed by Jamie Eisley. It's an awesome program and a style that I have never had before. I love it.
The first time I performed it was at my rink for a Salvation Army benefit. People really seemed to like it.
The next show was my club show called Ice Chips. Ice Chips is the longest running skating show in the country and there were three shows. I skated the program in all three and really enjoyed myself.
My next show is in Chicago on the May 15. I have another show up in Maine on May 20. I am also planning on skating in the Sun Valley ice
show sometime this summer.
My next step is to get new short and long programs for this coming season. I am really looking forward to this season because I feel like I can do very well again. I will keep you all updated on my progress!
After a successful summer at the Liberty Open
competition, I was determined to build on my performance
there and really skate well. My training was going very
well leading up to the event so I was very excited about
the trip to Bratislava.
I arrived in Bratislava on Wednesday night and ate a
delicious meal at the team dinner. On Thursday, I had
one unofficial practice and official practice and I
skated well on both of those.
Friday was the day of the short program. I was first to
skate after the warm up--my favorite spot. I did a
triple Axel, quad salchow / triple toe combination with a
slight two foot and a triple loop. I was very please to
get the triple toe at the end of my quad Salchow because
at Liberty I was only able to get a double. My spins
were given high levels and I was pleased with my program
Going into the long on Saturday, I felt very confident
and was really hoping to maintain my lead. I skated very
well landing my quad Salchow, two triple Axels, a lutz,
flip, loop, toe and Salchow. Overall, I felt the program
was better than my performance at Liberty this summer.
I was so excited to win the competition. The trip was
very short but it was successful and I had a great time.
My next event scheduled is Easterns in November. My plan
is to keep training well and I have a few things I want
to work on with my programs to get them in top shape.
I will let you know how everything goes in a couple
July 26, 2005
A few weeks ago, I competed for the first time this
season at the Liberty Open. It was nice to skate in the
huge four rink facility.
It was the first time the event was held in Aston,
I did very well in both the short and long program and
placed first in both.
In the short, I did my triple axel and triple loop very
solid. My only mistake was on my quad Salchow. I landed
in on two feet before doing the double toe.
I was pleased with how the jumps, spins and skating felt
but I didn't get the levels I thought I would on my
In my long program, I started off well with a triple
Axel, double toe but then two footed my quad Salchow. I
went on to skate the rest of the program cleanly with
another triple Axel, triple loop, triple lutz, triple
flip, triple toe-double toe-double toe, and triple
Overall, the program went very well--especially because
it was the first time I had competed with it.
Again, I didn't get the levels on my spins that I
thought I would so I have to relook at the rules on my
spins. I also want to get the quad salchows that I
landed in the warm up in the actual competition! ;-)
The few days in Philly were a success for me and
hopefully this is a foreshadow of what is to come this
April 16, 2005
It has been so long since I wrote a journal entry that I have no idea where to begin. I don't have much to say about last season except that I'm very glad to have two years of competing at the Grand Prix level under me because I feel that competing with the best skaters in the world has allowed me to gain a lot of experience.
I have a new long program choreographed for this season already. I went up to Toronto the week of Jr. Worlds to work with Lori Nichol again. As always, we had a great time putting the program together and I'm an very pleased with how it turned out.
I am planning on debuing the program this summer at the Liberty Open competition. My short program from last season worked very well for me so I'm keeping that for this season with some minor changes added.
As far as my life off the ice goes, I went to St. Thomas and St. John's for spring break. I had never been to the US Virgin Islands before and it was so nice to get away from Boston and sit on white sand beaches and snorkle in the warm clear water.
I also recently moved into an apartment in the heart of Boston. There are endless fun activities just outside my front door now!I am very excited for the new skating season to get underway. After all, figure skating always gets more attention during the Olympic season!
December 5, 2003
Since its been so long since I wrote a journal entry, this one is going to be about my whole season basically!
My first competition was the Liberty Open in Delaware. My short program was brand new at the time so I only skated the long program. I skated pretty well considering it was the first time I had performed my new long program to Concerto for Saxaphone by Michael Kamen. I placed second.
My next stop was the Cranberry Open on Cape Cod. I skated my short program for the first time in competition. The music is Time by Pink Floyd. I skated very well except my quad salchow had a slight two foot landing before the double toe. My long program went very well also completing seven triples and a quad.
My first important competition was the Neblehorn Trophy in Obersdorf Germany. I skated two very solid programs there and ended up second. This was the first competition using the new judging system so that was what most people were talking about the whole week (not the skating).
My next stop was at Madison Square Garden in New York City! I found out just a few days before the event that I was replacing Alexei Yagudin and I was very excited. Unfortunately I didn't have my best skate completing only six triples and no quad. It was a great opportunity for me to be in a competition of that level and I'm so glad i was able to gain the experience.
The next competition was in Vienna. This was a nice competition for me because my Mom was able to come along! My short program however was not good. I missed both the triple axel and the triple lutz. I did however complete the quad salchow/triple toe combination for the first time in my short this year. The combination jump really helped me out and I was placed fourth. My long however was my best skate ever. I did a clean program with eight triples and a quad! I won the long program and moved up from fourth to second. Right after my long program I found out that I was going to replace Tim Goebel at Skate America which was just one week away! I immediately left the competition and went to Boston for just two days and then left for Reading.
Skate America was an awesome event for me. For years I have been watching it on TV and now I was finally in it! My practices at the event were going very well. I was jumping very consistantly and was doing good run throughs of my programs. For the new judging system we changed my jump from footwork to a triple loop at the last minute and that proved to be a poor decision because I ended up missing it in the competition! I never miss triple loops! I was very disapointed with my short program and ended up seventh. The long program was much better. I landed six triples and stepped out of my quad. I was third in the long program and ended up fifth overall which I was pleased about considering it was my first grand prix event ever.
My final stop was in Bejing China for the Cup of China grand prix. For the third time this season I found out just days before the event that I was going to compete. I was really excited to go back to China because I had such a great time there when I competed at Four Continents. I did so much shopping! My short program at this event also didn't go that well although it was an improvement over Skate America. My only mistake was on the quad. I completely missed the take off but pulled in anyway and got around just 3.5 revolutions and fell. Under the new system this counted as me falling on a triple! I placed tenth. I came back strong in the long program landing six triples and a quad. I placed sixth in the long and moved up to eighth overall.
Now that I'm back in this country for awhile I can just focus on training for Nationals. I hope Nationals goes as well as my other competitions if not better!
March 9, 2003
I am sorry that it has been so long since my last journal entry. I have so much to catch everyone up on!
The National Championships in Dallas went very well for me. I skated a clean short, making an ESPN broadcast for the first time. I also skated very well in the long program. My long program made the broadcast of ABC, another first for me. It was so fun coming back home after the competition. People every where were saying, "I saw you on TV!"
Usually after Nationals, I get a rest but this year I was assigned to the Four Continents Championships in Beijing China. I was thrilled to be named to the team. I was also thrilled to be headed to Beijing! I continued to train for two weeks after the Nationals, and then I was off to China.
When I got to China, I was surprised that the city and the hotel were so nice. The rink was also nice. It was very big and the ice was good. I was landing most of my jumps pretty well in the practices and was ready to compete.
Unfortunately, I had a shaky landing on the triple Axel and I fell on my quad Salchow in the short program. I finished ninth in the program but I came back strong in the free skate. I landed six triples and the quad Salchow with a slight two foot. I was pleased with my long program and the fact that it moved me up to eight place.
While I was in China I was also able to sight see quite a bit. I went to the great wall, the Forbidden City and the temple of heaven. Many of the skaters, including me, spent a lot of time shopping in the markets there as well.
After I got back from China, I had a show at Middlebury College in Vermont. I got a new show program. I performed the new program in the two shows I did up there. The shows were a lot of fun. I hope to do more shows like that one in the Spring.
The next step in my training is to find music for a new short and long program. This is a very difficult task but hope I hope to be finished with it soon. I will keep everyone updated on my progress. Thanks for visiting my journal.
November 30, 2002
It has been just a month since I wrote my last entry. This must be a record.
Overall, my trip to Croatia went very well even though the trip there and back took about twelve hours. I was very surprised about how nice the country actually was. We stayed in a great hotel while the rink that we competed in was quite large.
I had practices on both Monday and Tuesday before I competed with my short program on Wednesday. All of my jumps were not quite as consistent or solid as they were back home. The ice was very different from what I am used to skating on. It took a little while for my body to get my jumps going.
In the short program, I completed several of my jumps. I did a triple Axel with a turn out, a triple loop, and a double Salchow-triple toe combination. My combination should have been a quad-triple. I was pleased with my skate though I was disappointed with the jumps.
My jumps become more solid at my practice on Thursday. By the long program, I had my feet under me for the most part. I did the triple Axel, quad Salchow, triple Lutz, triple flip, triple Axel-double toe combination with a two foot landing, triple loop-hop-triple Sal, and a triple toe at the end. I was very pleased with my performance.
Because I had skated well in the long, I moved up enough places from the short program to skate in the exhibition. In the exhibition, I had a great time skating my show program.
My focus has now moved to the United States Figure Skating Championships in January of 2003. I need to make sure to get more combinations into my long program. I also need to continue working on both my presentation and my speed. I am working hard so I can skate as well as possible. I am very excited for Dallas.
I will type up another entry after I am through with the National Championships. Until then, enjoy my newly designed official website.
October 30, 2002
My apologies for how long it has been since I last wrote a journal entry.
A lot has gone on since April. Unfortunately, my coach Michael has been struggling with health issues and hasn't been able to come to the rink on a consistent basis. I decided that it was best to look for a new coaching situation.
At the beginning of July I decided on training with Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson. The two of them put me on the ice at Liberty, my first competition since Nationals. I skated two very solid programs winning both the short and long programs by every judge.
After the Liberty Open, I went to Sun Valley for 2 weeks. I was able to perform in the Saturday night ice show again and as always, it was a blast.
When I got back from Sun Valley, I made my move up Boston to take from Mark and Peter. Right away we made some changes to my long program and worked on perfecting my short program. I really feel that both programs are much better than they were at liberty. My jumps have also been much more consistent on a day to day basis since I have moved up here.
I have done a few exhibitions of both my programs the last few weeks and they went pretty well. If I keep my head on straight I should skate very well! On Sunday I am leaving for the golden spin competition in Zagreb, Croatia.
Since Zagreb is just one week before the sectionals, I have a bye to nationals. Phew that is nice! When I get back from my trip to Europe I will let you all know how I did!
April 7, 2002
Since my last journal entry, I competed at the National Championships in Los Angeles. This was the best Nationals I have had since I won the 1998 Junior National Championships in Philly.
My practices during the first day were the only part of this competition that didn't go well. I think I was having a hard time with the ice at first. Where I train the ice is very hard and the rink is very cold. When skating in a big arena the ice is softer and the temperature is much warmer.
Once I got my skates back under I had great practices. I was landing all of my jumps consistently and was doing good run through of my programs.
My short program was the best program I skated all season! I turned out of my opening triple Axel but fought back strong. I landed my quad Salchow, double toe combination and my triple loop. With just the small mistake on the triple Axel, I was very pleased with how it went. Unfortunately my marks were all over the place! One judge gave me a 3.9 for technical merit and had me in 12 place in the short program!
My practices just got better and better as the week went on. I was really pleased with them.
My long program went very well also. I opened with a triple Axel triple toe combination and did my quad Salchow. Unfortunately I had a huge step out with hands down on my triple lutz. I recovered quickly to land a very solid second triple Axel and a triple loop. Next came the triple flip, I put one hand down but did a triple Salchow right away. The final jump of the program was a triple toe and I was very pleased when I landed it. When I stood at the center of the ice I was so happy with how the whole Nationals had gone. I skated two solid programs with only a few minor mistakes. My marks for my long program were more consistent with the exception of a few judges and I stayed in 9th place.
Overall, I was very pleased to be in the top 10 at nationals for the first time. After coming in 18 place last year I moved up 9 places to this! My hard work had really paid off.
Looking towards next year, I know there are some major aspects of my skating that I need to work on if I am going to achieve my goal for next year which is a top 5 finish. I need to mainly work on my speed, stroking and spins. I am going to work hard on those points of my skating as well as getting exciting programs for next year.
In the future, I will let you know how all of that is going!
December 30, 2001
Since my last journal entry I have participated in two shows and I competed at Easterns. The first show I did was a benefit for Stacey Pensgen and her training. The show was in Rochester, New York. We had a great turn out! Other skaters in the show were Stacey (of course!), Larisa Spielberg with Craig Joeright, Lydia Manon with her new partner at the time, and Todd Eldredge. I skated bad in my first show program but skated very well in my second one. I did manage to land two triple Axels in the spot light. I was happy with how the show went overall.
After the show I went to Detroit to train for a week because it was the week of the Regional Championships back home. My coach, Michael, wasn't going to be able to be there. In Detroit, I had a great time as usual and practiced very hard.
I trained for about 2 months before going to Easterns. Before the competition, I was skating well but my quad Salchow wasn't as consistent as it had been earlier in the season. I took in out of my short program and put in a triple lutz, triple toe instead.
At Easterns, my short was all right. I did a toe footed triple lutz and did a double toe, I turned out of my triple Axel but I also did a triple loop. In my long I didn't skate so well either. I did a triple Axel, had a big step out of my quad Salchow, fell on triple lutz, and fell on my second triple Axel. I then landed triple Salchow, triple flip, triple loop and triple toe, triple toe combination. I was very disappointed with how I skated but it was enough to put me in third place!
Since Easterns I have worked very hard on my quad Salchow and I have made major improvements on it with consistency. Now rather than landing a few a day, I only miss a few a day!
Also, after Easterns, I skated in a show called "Winter Skate" at my rink. I did my long program. I fell on the first triple Axel but I went on to land everything else in the program, even my quad Salchow!
Since the show, I have added the quad Salchow back into my short program. Now I am really looking forward to nationals in just one week! I will let you know how that goes!
September 8, 2001
Many exciting leaps in my skating have taken place since I last wrote a journal entry. The most important one being that I finally mastered the triple Axel! For years now I have been using the pattern 99 blades but I recently heard many great things about ultimas. I decided to give them a try and the third triple Axel I tried I landed and I have been landing them ever since! Now I am not saying that the blade change made me get the jump because I know that without hard work from my coach and myself I wouldn't have gotten the jump. However, I think the blade change was the final aspect of the jump that needed to be done for me to get it.
After getting my triple Axel we had to change my programs around a little bit to fit my new jump in. I am skating to a Blonde selection for my short program this year and I really like skating it. I have always done classical programs in the past and this program is a great change for me. My long program music a movie soundtrack but is very classical and sounding. I am very comfortable skating to the music. I think both programs a step above what I was using last year.
Since I have a lot of new elements placed in my program this year I have been doing a fair amount of competitions to practice doing these new jumps when they count. My first stop was in Colorado the first week of June. My practices while I was there were the best I had ever skated. Unfortunately my short program was terrible. I fell on my quad Salchow, popped my triple Axel and doubled my triple lutz. Two of the three elements in the program were relatively new so it was definitely a learning experience. My long program started out great. I landed my triple Axel for the first time in competition and my quad Salchow as well. The thin air caught up with m about half way through the program so the second half was not as exciting as the first half. Overall the competition was successful because I landed the quad and the triple Axel when it counted.
My next competition was Wissahickon. My short program there was also not very good. However, my long program was much improved from Colorado. I landed two triple Axels in my program as well as a few other triples. The whole program went very well because I had thicker air to breathe!
Just three days after Wissahickon I was off to Skate Detroit. My short program was better there because I landed my triple Axel in it. My long program had ups and downs. I missed both triple Axels but I landed the best quad I have ever done in competition.
Two days after Wissahickon I was off to Sun Valley, Idaho for a vacation/skating fun. I was there for a week and a half and had a great time skating outside in 90-degree weather! I was also given the opportunity to skate in the Sun Valley ice show where I skated very well landing my first triple Axel in spot lights there!
Three weeks after getting home from Sun Valley I was off to another competition. This time I went to Illinois for the Dupage Open. This was the most successful competition I have done so far because I did the best long I have ever done! I complete seven triple jumps, two of which were triple Axels and a quad Salchow. I was very pleased with my performance and it leaves me feeling confident for this skating season.
I am not completely sure what my next competition is. It will either be regionals or sectional depending on the size of the group at regionals. I don't think there are going to be four skaters at regionals so I think sectionals will be my next stop. I do however have a few shows before then and I am also going to be practicing hard. I will let you know how my training and shows go in a few weeks!
April 1, 2001
I came very well prepared to this years National Championships. I got a new long program since Easterns so Nationals was the first time I skated it in competition. I was very fortunate to have a very large cheering section for me for both of my programs. My parents, siblings, uncle and cousin as well as a few friends came along to see the excitement of the event.
The short program went very well for me. I had one small mistake when I put a double three turn between my quad Salchow and the double toe loop in my jump combination. I went on to complete all of the spins and footwork as well as a triple lutz and double Axel. I was very happy with how I skated and got a nice hand from the crowd. Unfortunately the judges didn't appreciate my program as much as the audience did because my technical marks were mostly in the high 3's and my presentation marks were in the low 4's. What happened? I am still puzzled to this day.
Despite the disappointment of my 18th place finish in the short program, I tried to stay focused for my long program. My practices continued to be skated well and I was really having a good time skating in the big arena. I went out for my long program on fire to prove myself. I had a great warm up which included two landed quad Salchows. Unfortunately, my fire wore off for my program as I made several mistakes and did an overall disappointing performance. I remained in 18th place after the completion of the long programs.
Even though my placement at Nationals was very disappointing for me I have learned a lot from the experience and still haven't lost my love for skating. The competition has made me determined to practice hard for next season. My hard work is starting to pay off. My quad Salchows are continuing to become more consistent and I have also started to land quad toe loops!
I will begin working on new programs for next season and I will keep you posted on how those are coming along as well as anything else that comes along!
December 15, 2000
Since my last journal entry, two things have occured. One is the Eastern Sectionals and the other is Thanksgiving. I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving.
Easterns in one word was a disaster! About 4 nights before I left for the competition I woke up in cold and hot sweats. I had a fever! The very next day, I went to the doctor and his advice was to take Tylenol to help the fever. My fever was gone by the time I arrived but my energy level was lacking and I had a cough.
My practices were not going nearly as well as they had before I was sick but they were decent. I was missing all of my quad Sal attempts and my triple flip and triple lutz were not as consistent and solid.
The short program at Easterns was one of the worst performances I have ever skated. I fell on my quad Sal and doubled my triple flip. I was placed in fifth.
My long program was not much better. I singled my triple lutz, two footed my quad Sal, triple loop and triple flip, but ended strong with a triple Sal and a triple toe/triple toe combination. I moved up one place with my free skate to just make the cut off for Nationals.
I was very disappointed in how I skated. Even though I wasn't feeling my best, there was no reason to skate that bad! Despite the difficult week the competition had a bitter sweet ending. I had skated terribly but I had done enough to make it to Nationals. I left Easterns very ready to go home and practice very hard for Nationals. I often learn more from the poor performances than the good ones.
The following week was Thanksgiving and I had a great one. Both of my sisters came to town for a relaxing few days and a lot of eating. We didn't do anything very exciting but we just enjoyed each other's company.
My next journal entry will probably be after Nationals so until then I will be training hard! I hope to bring good news back with me from Boston!
November 5, 2000
I am writing today with great news!
I skated my exhibition a few weeks ago in Mechanicburg, Pennsylvania, and I competed at the South Atlantic Regionals. I skated the best two programs I have ever done under pressure at Regionals.
In the short program I landed my quad Salchow/triple toe loop combination, triple flip (a little two footed), and double Axel. My spins and other elements went well also. I was very happy with this program because it was the first time I had hit my quad under pressure cleanly and it was in combination!
I skated my long program the next day and it went very well also. I skated a clean program with triple Lutz, quad Salchow, double Axel, triple loop, triple flip, triple Salchow and triple toe/triple toe combination. I was so excited with how I had skated. I was also surprised that I received a standing ovation from the audience and the judges!
Yesterday. I skated in a show for skaters who qualified for Easterns and Junior Nationals in the area. I decided to skate my long program for the show because any extra practice is helpful. I skated a good program but not as good as I did at South Atlantic's. I was happy with it.
With Easterns just a week and a half away, I am planning on continuing to practice the consistency of my jumps and work on my programs. I will get back to you after the competition!
October 13, 2000
This past month has been another very good month for me and my skating. I competed in the Middle Atlantic competition in New York City.
I had a very good showing of my new programs. In the short program I landed triple lutz-triple toe combination, fell on my quad Salchow, and did the double Axel. I was happy with the way the new program felt and at my first attempt at the quad in competition.
In the long program I opened with triple lutz and then fell on my first attempt at the quad Salchow again. My second quad Salchow was just 30 seconds after the first one and I stepped out of it! The rest of the program went well. I landed triple flip, loop and toe to finish out the program. I was very glad that my first competition since December 1999 went so well.
After my skate I was lucky to have the chance to speak with a few of the judges about my skating. There were a few comments about my music for the long program being too slow. Since the competition I have decided to get a whole new long program. I have picked out the new music of "The Slovonic Dances." I will get started on this program early next week with Julia Stratinski. I have never worked with her before so I am looking forward to that.
Next week I am going to be exhibiting at the South Atlantic Regionals. Because I am the only senior men that entered to skate, I am just going there to have a chance to skate under pressure one more time before Easterns. I will not have enough time to get my new long program together so I will skate my old one for practice. I hope that the exhibition will give me confidence for the Eastern Sectionals in November.
As far as off the ice goes I have been having some fun. Two weeks ago I went to Cedar Point, Ohio, to ride the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world! It was fantastic. The trip was a graduation present from my parents back in June and I just now went.
Well, I skate Friday, October the 20, and Saturday, October the 21, at Regionals. I will let you know how that goes!
September 17, 2000
The end of August and the beginning of September have been a great few weeks for my skating. My long program was finished shortly after I got back from Sun Valley. The program is fun to skate and my run throughs are going well.
To get my short program, I went up to Delaware and worked 3 hours straight with my previous coach, Pam Gregory. This program is very fast and takes high energy on my part to skate. I think this program is one of the best ones I have ever had.
Aside from my programs, I have made improvements on my jumps. My triple flip and triple Lutz continue to be more and more consistent. I have been working hard on the triple Axel but still haven't been able to quite land it. A few days ago I decided to try some quad Salchows just for fun. I had tried a few on the harness a few days before so I just decided I would give them a try. To my surprise I landed 3 of them! I am very excited to have gotten a new jump. I started working on quad toes yesterday and I think I will be able to get that jump this year too!
I am competing in New York City next weekend at Middle Atlantics. I haven't competed since Eastern Sectionals last December! I am looking forward to the chance to show my new programs and give an attempt to my new jump under pressure. I will let everyone know how the competition goes when I get back!
August 16, 2000
I had a wonderful trip to Sun Valley during this past month. While I was there I did a lot of skating and had a lot of fun. I worked with Sonya Dunfield on my jumps and they improved a lot while I was out there. My Triple flip and Triple lutz are a lot more consistent now. Also, while I was there I got to skate with many great skaters such as Brian Orser, Surya Bonaly, Alexander Abt, Lucinda Ruh, Sasha Cohen, and Dan Hollander!
If I was not skating, I was either at the movie theater or at the pool with my friends Alison Sandler and Josh Babb. They happened to be in Sun Valley skating at the same time I was!
Now that I am home, I have started taking lessons from Michael O'Roarke. We are mainly working on my Triple Axel. I am determined to get that jump this year!
My long program is almost finished and is being choreographed by Rob McBrian. That is going very well.
In about a week, I am going up to Delaware to get my short program choreographed by Pam Gregory. I can't wait. I will let you know how it all turns out in a few weeks!
July 29, 2000
My summer of 99 was highlighted by my trip out to Sun Valley Idaho. I stayed there for 3 weeks. While I was there I took lessons from Sonya Dunfield. She really helped me with the technique of my jumps. I was having a little trouble with some of my jumps when Ii first got there and by the time I left they weree feeling much better. I also got the opportunity to skate in the outdoor ice show they have every saturday night. Wow! What a great experience. Skating at night in the summer is amazing.
When I got back from my trip I continued training very hard for my junior series competitions. My first trip was to the Czech Republic. The trip went well as well as the short program. I skated a clean program and came in 4th in the short program. I was very excited to see that one of the judges placed me 1st! However my long was not as good. I missed both my triple flip and triple lutz. The rest of the program went well. I landed my triple axel on two feet but I was happy with that. I came in 8th place in the long program and ended up 6th overall.
My next trip was to Japan. That was one long flight! The competition started off not to great when I drew 1st to skate in the short program. I also missed my triple lutz. I was upset I missed that jump because I had been hitting it pretty well in practice. I was in 7th after the short program. I pulled myself together fo the long. I skated very well with only a few minor mistakes and no major ones. Even though I skated well I stayed 7th. I didn't care that much about my placement, I was happy that I skated well. Japan was the best country i have visited so far.
That is all I will write now. In a few weeks I will write again about Eeastern Sectionals, and my plans for the spring.
July 18, 2000
This summer I have focused all of my energy into skating.
I began my lessons with Don Laws down in Maryland. It actually is working out well because I can live at home because the rink is close to my house. When most kids are moving away I am moving back home!
The process of my long program has begun with Rob McBrian. We aren't finished yet but I really like what the program is looking like so far. I haven't started my short program yet but Pam Gregory is going to do that for me in a few weeks.
I leave for Sun Valley, Idaho on the 20th of July. I will be gone for about 3 weeks. While I am out there I am going to work with Sonya Dunfield, as well as have a good time in the mountains. I am really looking forward to my trip and will let everyone know how it goes when I get back!
On another note, I am planning on competing at the Mid Atlantics held in New York during September. I hope to skate well and move on to the sectionals.
April 18, 2000
I am sorry it has taken me so long to write the entry. Not much has been going on so I wanted to wait until I had something to write about
The past few months have been a little long. I am ready to finish up school and get back on the ice. I have been traveling to doctors and therapists lately with great progress. I should be able to skate in 2 weeks. I am very excited to be getting over the injury.
Next week I leave for Maine on my spring break! Boy do i need it. After spending a few days there I am going down to Boston to finish up my therapy appointments and visits to the doctors up there. After spring break I have just 5 weeks of school left until I graduate! I am really looking forward to that.
That is all that is going on in right now. Thanks for visiting the website!
February 23, 2000
I left for Nationals on Thursday morning, February 10th. I wanted to make sure I saw the Junior Ladies Free Skate because my friend, Dirke Baker, was competing.
That night was also when I recieved my scholastic honors team award. Getting the award was the reason I went because I didn't qualify for Nationals as I came in 5th place at the Eastern Sectional competition. It was a little hard watching the mens event knowing that I could have been there if I had skated better at Easterns. The awards ceremony went very well and I got a very nice jacket that said "2000 Chevy Lumina Scholastic Honors team" on it.
I had a great time watching all of the events and seeing all of my friends.
My skating right now is not going the greatest. I have been off the ice since the middle of January with a groin injury that has been on and off since last spring. It has been two months now being off the ice and there is little sign of improvement. I have a doctors appointment next Tuesday with the doctor that helped Alexei Urmonov through his injury and I am very excited and confident about the trip. There is more to healing this injury than just laying off and I believe that he will have the answers to help me get through this.
School is going very well. I am currently taking American Political Behavior, World Civilizations, and two English classes. I am looking forward to my graduation this June!!!!
May 28, 1999
Everything is going pretty well right now. We have decided to keep my short program for another year, but we will work on a new long program that is faster and has more energy. I will begin to work on that next month after the team USA camp. I leave for that on Monday as well.
I have also started taking a few lessons from Jeff Di Gregory. My coach Pam thought it would be good to have another person looking at my jumps and pushing me. I am taking from both of them right now and I am liking it. I have been working really hard on my triple axel and it is coming a long. I have landed a few of them on two feet!
I have been having trouble with my outer left ankle bone. I have a bursitis sack that keeps on filling with fluid. I have had it drained and had cortisone shots in it several times in the past few months. It won't go away! I am able to continue skating with just a little pain but with many pads in my skate. It is more annoying than anything.
I did a show in Lancaster Pennsylvania a few weeks ago and that went really well. I have just 14 days of school left until summer vacation! I will still be doing school work this summer because of my home schooling that I have fallen a little behind on.
I just got back from a trip to San Diego, California. I was there for the junior science and human symposium. It is a program that selects 5 high school students from each state that had to compete to be selected to be one of the five. The competition was science experiments that the student put together and then gave a presentation about. I did the effects of slide board on the resting heart rates of figure skaters. I was very surprised to be one of the 5 selected. Only the winner presented however and I wasn't the winner in Delaware, so I was just a spectator for the event. We went to the San Diego Zoo and Sea World while we were there.
Well that is about everything that has been going on with me.
January 5, 1999
I have been a little nervous about Easterns since this fall, because I wasn't sure who was going to be there. I was skating pretty well when I arrived in Florida. There were ten people on the list to compete! This made me nervous, because I really wanted to make nationals and I wasn't sure if I would be able to make the top four.
When the short program got under way three of the competitors were still nowhere to be seen. It looked like Shepard Clark wasn't coming due to a death in the family. Robert Schupp hadn't been to any of the practices as well as Michael Edgren. Placing in the top four out of seven was quite a bit easier than out of ten. But it was time for the short and regardless of the numbers it was time to skate.
My program was not my best this season but I was very happy with it. I did a shaky but completed triple lutz double doe, triple loop and double axels. My spins were the best I have ever done. I received three twos, one four, and five threes placing me in third place after the short program!
The long program started well with a great warm up. I did not miss a single jump. I was calm and confident that I could skate a clean program. I opened with a double axel and then skated around to the triple lutz combination. I did the biggest straightest triple lutz I have ever done and then my edge slipped out from under me and I fell on my stomach. The fall shook me because I thought I was going to nail the jump and instead it was a terrible fall. My triple flip, loop, 2nd lutz, and toe loop all went into the air really well. I was just tentative on the check out causing me to step out of them. I never fully recovered from the bizarre fall on the first triple lutz.
I was really disappointed in myself because all of my jumps went up so well and I could have done a clean program if I had just been stronger on my landings. When the marks came up it looked like I was going to be third in the long program and third over all. I had accomplished my goal which was to make nationals and I had also learned a lot from the competition.
November 7, 1998
I recently skated at Blue Swords and I came in 4th place in the short and in the long program but ended up in third place over all. In my short I did my triple lutz triple toe combination, triple loop and then made a silly mistake and turned out of my double axel. I was very happy with the way the program went. In the long program I started strong with the triple lutz triple toe combination again but then went around and popped my triple flip to a single. I pulled myself together and landed four more triples. I was the last skater and immediately after I skated the final results were posted on the screen and I saw that I had come in third and I was really happy.
When I came back from Germany I had my birthday and began to train for the Slovakia Grand Prize SNP. The weekend before I left I participated in a show in Princeton. It was a show to honor the opening of the new rink on the Princeton Country Day School campus. The show went very well and I had lots of fun doing it.
When I finally arrived in Slovakia 30 hours after I had left home, I was really tired but ready to start skating. My practices were going very well, and so did the short program. I did a triple toe, triple toe combination this time and then turned out of my triple loop a little bit but went on to land the double axel. I was in second after the short program.
Then I skated the long program. I had a shakey start by turning out of my triple lutz. I pulled it together for the rest of the program and did not make one more mistake and landed five more triples. I was very happy with the way I skated and I thought that I had a chance to move up to first or at least stay in the medals. Then the markes came up and they were in the mid to upper fours! I couldn't believe it. Why were my marks so low???
I watched the two skaters that were left to skate and then saw the results and saw that I came in 5th place in the long program and dropped to fourth place over all. I was disappointed but it still looked like I had enough points to make it to the finals. Then that night my team leader came into my room and told me that there was a tie for the last few spots into the finals and I did not make it. I was really disappointed because when I found out I didn't make the Jr World Team, my new goal was to make the Jr Series Final to make up for it. Now I have missed the series finals by one spot too. I was upset for a little while and then I remembered how well I had skated and how I still have Easterns coming up.
Even though the trip ended in disappointment I did what I could do and the marks were not under my control. I have to remember that I love skating and that I am not doing it for the competition rewards. I am skating because I love to skate and love the excitement that it brings. I now have to work towards sectionals in Decemebr and hope to make it to Salt Lake for Nationals.
August 12, 1998
Pam Gregory, my coach, had a baby girl named Victoria on July 31, 1998. The past two weeks she hasn't been in the rink so I went to Detroit to skate for 11 days.
In Detriot, I had a lot of fun taking lessons from Ritchard Callaghan. I feel like I have improved from his lessons which is what I wanted to get out of the trip.
July 19, 1998
I have returned from my vacation in Lake Placid.
On the way back home, I stopped at Wissahickon and competed in my first senior event ever. It was really exciting to be on the ice with all of the big senior men like Derrick Delmore and Damon Allen. I skated a lot better than my long program at Nationals last season, so I was happy with my performance. I placed fifth but had a lot of positive feedback from the judges. I am encouraged by there comments and am looking foward to competeing this season.