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Junior Men's Medalists Camden Pulkinen, Aleksei Krasnozhon, Ryan Dunk, Eric Sjoberg

(19 Jan 2017) Camden Pulkinen takes lead in Junior Men's short program with clean triple Axel and clean triple Lutz - triple toe loop.  Aleksei Kraznozhon (2nd) also landed triple Axel but fell on his triple Lutz -triple toe loop combination, giving up 7 points and the potential lead.

(18 Jan 2017) Novice Men's Champion Maxim Naumov crushes it, with seven triples in the free skate.

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Photos © Shirley McLaughlin

The Big Picture

27 Oct 2016

News from the Southwest Pacific Region

Clubs of the SWP region are invited to send us news items for inclusion here.

2015 Glacier Falls Summer Classic Protocol

2015 Glacier Falls Summer Classic 6.0 Events


Sat, Nov 5 - 6 Autumn Antics Phoenix AZ
Nov 13 -14 OPEN  
Nov 16 - 20 2017 Pacific Coast Championships Salt Lake City UT

2017 Regional Figure Skating Championships

North Atlantic

Williamsville, New York

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Eastern Great Lakes

Lansing, Michigan

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Southwest Pacific

Scottsdale, Arizona

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Central Pacific

Ogden, Utah

Oct. 5-9, 2016

South Atlantic

Ashburn, Virginia

Oct. 5-9, 2016


Plano, Texas

Oct. 5-9, 2016

New England

Burlington, Vermont

Oct. 19-23, 2016

Northwest Pacific

Wenatchee, Washington

Oct. 19-23, 2016

Upper Great Lakes

Rochester, Minnesota

Oct. 19-23, 2016

2017 Sectional Figure Skating Championships


Indian Trail, North Carolina

Nov. 16-20, 2016


Colorado Springs, Colorado

Nov. 16-20, 2016

Pacific Coast

Salt Lake City

Nov. 16-20, 2016

2017 Adult Sectional Figure Skating Championships


Wayne, New Jersey

March 10-12, 2017


Cincinnati, Ohio


Pacific Coast

Burbank, California

March 10-12, 2017

U.S. Adult Championships

Wake Forest, North Carolina

April 18-22, 2017

  In the News:

World Team Selections


2017 World Championships

Jason Brown
Nathan Chen

Alternate 1 – Vincent Zhou
Alternate 2 – Grant Hochstein
Alternate 3 – Max Aaron

2017 Four Continents Championships

Jason Brown
Nathan Chen
Grant Hochstein

Alternate 1 – Ross Miner
Alternate 2 – Max Aaron
Alternate 3 – Alexander Johnson

2017 World Junior Championships

Alex Krasnozhon
Andrew Torgashev
Vincent Zhou

Alternate 1 – Camden Pulkinen
Alternate 2 – Kevin Shum
Alternate 3 – Tomoki Hiwatashi


2017 World Championships

Mariah Bell
Karen Chen
Ashley Wagner

Alternate 1 – Mirai Nagasu
Alternate 2 – Gracie Gold
Alternate 3 – Caroline Zhang

2017 Four Continents Championships

Mariah Bell
Karen Chen
Mirai Nagasu

Alternate 1 – Gracie Gold
Alternate 2 – Courtney Hicks
Alternate 3 – Angela Wang

2017 World Junior Championships

Amber Glenn
Bradie Tennell

Alternate 1 – Starr Andrews
Alternate 2 – Ashley Lin
Alternate 3 – Megan Wessenberg


2017 World Championships

Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 – Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc
Alternate 2 – Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran
Alternate 3 – Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay

2017 Four Continents Championships

Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc
Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 – Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran
Alternate 2 – Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay
Alternate 3 – Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan

2017 World Junior Championships

Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson
Nica Digerness and Danny Neudecker

Alternate 1 – Alexandria Yao and Austin Hale
Alternate 2 – Gabriella Marvaldi and Daniel Villeneuve
Alternate 3 – Laiken Lockley and Keenan Prochnow


2017 World Championships

Madison Chock and Evan Bates
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani

Alternate 1 – Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker
Alternate 2 – Elliana Pogrebinsky and Alex Benoit
Alternate 3 – Julia Biechler and Damian Dodge

2017 Four Continents Championships

Madison Chock and Evan Bates
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani

Alternate 1 – Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker
Alternate 2 – Elliana Pogrebinsky and Alex Benoit
Alternate 3 – Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus

2017 World Junior Championships

Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko
Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter
Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons

Alternate 1 – Chloe Lewis and Logan Bye
Alternate 2 – Eliana Gropman and Ian Somerville
Alternate 3 – Emma Gunter and Caleb Wein

U.S. Nationals: Senior Men's Free Skate

by Geri Walbert

The requirements for Senior Men to perform a Well Balanced Program include a maximum of 8 jump elements. One of which must be an Axel -type jump. a maximum of 3 spins, one of which must be a spin combination, one a flying spin or a spin with a flying entrance and one a spin with only one position, plus a maximum of 1 step sequence and a maximum of 1 choreographic sequence.

Every national championship holds surprises in the outcome of its varied events. There is always a favorite going into an event that may or may not become the winner or a relative unknown who makes a big splash and wins a medal and/or someone who actually makes history. We had all of these scenarios in the Championship Men Final Free Skate.

Seventeen year-old Nathan Chen has been winning competitions since he first appeared on the national scene with three consecutive Novice titles, two Junior titles, and a bronze medal at the 2016 Nationals, but a freak hip re-injury during his exhibition performance that year kept him off the subsequent World Team and off the ice for six months.

“I know how hard it is to push through an injury…it took me about six months before I was back to relative normal training, back to normal jumps, back to getting programs together. After that, things started picking up really, really fast and I’m really lucky that I had the resources at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) to get the rehab that I needed to get even at the UCSD (University of California San Diego) to have the surgery.”

His comeback gave notice that he would be a top contender for the national title was evident with his silver medal win at the ISU Grand Prix Final in Marseille, France last December. He landed four quadruple jumps, winning the highest score of a U.S. male skater in history.

Chen did not disappoint in Kansas City, winning the Short Program by performing an astonishing Free Skate to “ The Polovtsian Dances” by Borodin. He completed a total of 5 quadruple jumps,(quad Lutz/3 toe loop combination, quad flip, quad toe loop/double toe loop/double loop, quad toe loop and quad Salchow instantly making history. His program generated a score of 212.08, totaling a record-breaking 318.47 points.

“That was an amazing performance,” he said after leaving the ice with a standing ovation. “I’m really happy with what I did. Technically I faltered a little bit, but it’s definitely something I look forward to work and improve for Worlds.”

It is hard to imagine how much he could improve when landing a historic 5 quads, but his Grades of Execution (GOE) scores did show some room for improvement with mostly 1s and 2s for his Executed Elements.

His Program Components score of 91.00 points was strong with most marks in the high 9s. Chen explained that he took ballet as a child. “It was something I kind of figured would help my skating,” admitting that because he had made good friends there, it wasn’t necessarily a chore for him. “I definitely did enjoy it more for a social aspect than an actual artistic aspect.”

Looking ahead, Chen was asked if he thought he could win an Olympic medal. “I believe it’s possible,” he responded. “It’ still in the distance for me and there’s so much room that I have to improve to make myself at that level,” he commented, and added that he believes the US is back on the map on the world stage.

“I landed all the jumps I set out to do and increased the technical values of my program by adding the (5th quad), the Salchow, and being able to accomplish that, is huge to me.”

Vincent Zhou, 16, was the 2013 Junior national champion, but missed the entire 2014-15 season due to injury and came into Kansas City as a relatively unknown competitor at the senior level, but a 3rd placement in the Short Program alerted everyone that he had the potential to make the medal stand.

Skating to “Casablanca” by Max Steiner, he landed 2 quadruple jumps, a Salchow/triple toe loop combination and another Salchow as well as two triple Axels, one in combination, and three other triple jumps to win the silver medal.

“I’m still kind of in shock that I got second,” he said. “Coming here I didn’t expect to be on the podium, honestly. I was just trying to be modest with myself. I’ve been practicing really well – that program was worse than my practices – (so) I’m kind of surprised at the score I received. I was having fun. I was confident in my jumps. Some little mishaps occurred but I’m pleased how I did overall.”

Perennial favorite Jason Brown, 22, the 2015 national champion, was also coming back from a more recent injury, saying “I really tried to take it one day at a time and not overthink it too much. “ He delivered a beautiful artistic performance to “The Scent of Love” by Michael Nyman from the movie “The Piano,” receiving a standing ovation from a very welcoming audience. Coming in from 4th place in the Short Program, Brown omitted the opening quad toe loop he had originally planned, substituting triple Axel/triple toe loop combination followed by another triple Axel, four other triple jumps and delivered three gorgeous spins as well as fast, intricate footwork to win the bronze medal.

“I’m really pleased with what I put out today. It’s been a tough week. I’ve been pushing through and I’m really proud of that. Injuries are really kind of big eye-opening experiences to go through. I think you learn so much from every experience along the way. You learn about yourself, you learn about perseverance and mental toughness. And I think that’s something that I have been able to take into performances and into the season. You know where you started, you know how far you have come. You have a great background of people helping you out along the way. And you kind of feel that support system. Overall it’s launched me to do better things and push myself further than I thought and I hope this one will do the same.”

Coached by Peter Oppegard and his wife, Karen Kwan Oppegard, Grant Hochstein placed 4th earning the pewter medal with his program to “Pagliacci” by Ruggero Leoncavallo, saying he was very pleased with his skate. Although he stepped out of his opening quad toe loop, he did complete another quad toe in combination with a double toe loop as well as a triple Axel, triple flip, triple loop, triple Salchow and triple Lutz.  Hochstein, however, threw away third place by repeating a third triple or quad when he executed a final triple Lutz which earned no points.  Having omitted triple toe loop to that point in his program, he needed to have executed triple toe loop as the missing triple on element eleven, and had he scored well on the jump he would have taken third place.

Alexander Johnson paced 5th overall performing to Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” It was a solid, smooth skate with two triple Axels, one in combination and five other triple jumps.

Twenty-four year old Max Aaron, the 2013 US National Champion, was one of the potential medal contenders due to his powerful jumping ability but he suffered a relative performance meltdown with a disappointing 12th placement in the Short Program. He improved to finish 6th in the Free Skate but ultimately finished in 9th place overall, his lowest overall placement at the Senior level.

U.S. Nationals: Senior Dance Free Dance

U.S. Nationals: Senior Men's Short Program 

U.S. Nationals: More Senior Men's Short Program

U.S. Nationals: Senior Dance Short Dance

U.S. Nationals: Senior Ladies Short Program:

U.S. Nationals: Junior Dance Free Dance

U.S. Nationals: Junior Dance Short Dance

U.S. Nationals: Junior Ladies Short Program

Shibutanis, Chock & Bates and Hubbell & Donohue Headline U.S. Dance Showdown - Maia and Alex Shibutani, the 2016 World silver medalists and reigning U.S. Champions, seem geared up and ready to go to defend their U.S. title in Kansas City this week.

Nica Digerness & Danny Neudecker

Nica Digerness & Danny Neudecker take lead in Junior Pairs with 54.66 points in the short program, skating to music from the ballet "Spartacus."  They lead Elli Kopmar & Jonah Barrett by 0.65 points, despite a fall on double Axel by Digerness.

Kopmar & Barrett had the highest total element score (by 0.18 points), but Digerness & Neudeckers' superior skating skills and artistic components put them ahead.

Alexandra Yao & Austin Hale currently hold third place 1.11 points back from the leaders.

Novice Ladies:  Ting Cui, Angelina Huang, Pooja Kalyan, Alysa Liu

Novice Men:  Joseph Kang, Maxim Naumov, Dinh Tran, Joonsoo Kim

Novice Pairs:  Erin Ainsley Peterson & Kristofer Ogren, Coleman & Derrick Griffin, Greta Crafoord & John Crafoord, Eliana Secunda & Blake Eisenach

Novice Dance:  Katarina DelCamp & Maxwell Gart, Jocelyn Haines & James Koszuta, Sophia Elder & Christopher Elder, Elizabeth Tkachenko & Alexei Kiliakov

Rules Update: Gold Medal No Guarantee for World Team Selection - Make it to Nationals, win the gold medal,  off to Worlds.  Not anymore.  Beginning this season, winning the gold medal is no guarantee for selection to the U.S. world team.
Wagner, Gold, Nagusu Lead Ladies Contingent in Kansas City - The top contenders in the U.S. Championship ladies division this year are certainly all forces to be reckoned with and the reason why this year’s competition ought to be one heck of a memorable one.

Rippon Injury Opens Door to the Men's Title for Chen - Nathan Chen, the 2016 U.S. men’s bronze medalist who stunned the skating world this past December at the 2016/17 International Skating Union Grand Prix Final in Marseille with a remarkable free skate that featured four quads which earned him a stalwart silver, along with Jason Brown, the electric 2015 U.S. champion and 2014 U.S. silver medalist and Max Aaron, the 2013 U.S. champion, 2014 U.S. bronze medalist and 2016 second-place finisher are three of the main headliners in this year’s exciting men’s event at U.S. Nationals.

Madison Nguyen, Juvenile Girls Champion

All Eyes on Juveniles and Intermediates Opening Weekend of 2017 U.S. Nationals - The best of U.S. Juvenile and Intermediate skaters displayed their talents the opening weekend of the 2017 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships.

Kayne, O’Shea Geared up to Compete This Week in Kansas City - Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea, the reigning U.S. pair champions, seem strong and as determined as ever to defend their title this week at the U.S. Nationals in Kansas City.  The high-energy duo, who have been skating together since 2012 and are known for their huge throw jumps, beautifully extended lifts and powerful edges, seem confident and as ready as ever to deliver another championship  batch of performances at this main event.

Adam Rippon Withdraws from U.S. Nationals Due to Foot Fracture - Adam Rippon, the reigning U.S. champion and two-time U.S. silver medalist, announced his withdrawal from the 2017 U.S. Championships due to a fracture he suffered in his left foot when running through jumps during practice at Lakewood Ice in Southern California last Friday.

2016 Grand Prix Final

2016 Junior Grand Prix Final - Once again Russia dominated in the Junior Grand Prix Final. 13 out of 24 qualified skaters & couples came from Russia and seven of the twelve medals also went to this strong skating country. Japan this time was only strong in the Ladies and qualified three entries. The USA continue to be leading in Ice Dance with three couples in the Final, but had only one other entry in the Men’s category. Canada did not qualify a single entry in the juniors.

Thoughts on the 2016 Grand Prix Final


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News Nuggets

Past News Nuggets are in the Archive

Jan 21 - Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea, the reigning U.S. pairs champions, and Alexandria Shaughnessy and James Morgan have withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships due injury/illness.

Kayne sustained a concussion in a fall from a throw element in the pairs short program Thursday afternoon and is under the care of event medical provided by the University of Kansas Hospital. After examination and follow up, it was the advice of the chief medical officer that Kayne should not compete for her own health and safety due to symptoms of concussion.

Shaughnessy is being treated for a stomach virus, the symptoms of which increased overnight.

Jan 9 - Polina Edmunds, the reigning U.S. silver medalist, has withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships as she continues to recover from a right foot bone bruise.   “I’m disappointed that I will miss the 2017 U.S. Championships and wish all the athletes good luck in Kansas City,” Edmunds said. “I will continue to focus on my health and look forward to a full return to ice.”  

Jan 9 - Adam Rippon, the reigning U.S. champion, has withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships due to injury. Rippon broke his left foot and sprained the same ankle during an off‐ice warm up on Friday, Jan. 6.   "I am heartbroken that I won't be able to defend my title at the 2017 U.S. Championships,” Rippon said.

 “Despite breaking my foot in a fluke accident off the ice, I am determined to grow from this and come back ever stronger.

 “I will use this as an opportunity to improve so that I can be fully prepared for next season and be at my very best to compete for a spot at the 2018 Olympic Games."

 Rippon is expected to be off the ice for eight to 12 weeks and will resume training with his medical team’s guidance.   

January Competitions

5 - 7 Jan - FBMA Trophy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

10 - 15 - Jan Mentor Torun Cup 2017 Torun, Poland

17 - 21 - Jan 10th Europa Cup Skate Helena Belgrade, Serbia

25 - 29 - Jan ISU European Figure Skating Championships Ostrava, Czech Republic

31 Jan - 5 Feb - 28th Winter Universiade 2017 Almaty, Kazakhstan

February Competitions

2 - 5 Feb - Jégvirág Cup Miskolc, Hungary

3 - 5 Feb - Reykjavik International Games – RIG Reykjavik, Iceland

8 - 12 Feb - 2nd Sophia Trophy Sofia, Bulgaria

9 - 12 Feb - Dragon Trophy & Tivoli Cup Ljubljana, Slovenia

11 - 18 Feb - Winter European Youth Olympic Festival EYOF EErzurum, Turkey

14 - 19 Feb - Four Continents Figure Skating Championships Gangneung, Republic of Korea

14 - 19 Feb - Bavarian Open Oberstdorf, Germany

16 - 19 Feb - Olympic Hopes Brasov, Romania

21 - 25 Feb - Open Ice Mall Cup 2017 Eilat, Israel

23 - 26 Feb - 8th Asian Winter Games Sapporo, Japan

23 - 26 Feb - Challenge Cup 2017 The Hague, Netherlands

28 Feb - 5 Mar - Cup of Tyrol Innsbruck, Austria

March Competitions

2 - 5 Mar -  Nordics Open 2017 Reykjavik, Iceland

10 - 12 Mar - Coupe du Printemps 2017 Kockelscheuer, Luxembourg

15 - 19 Mar - ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships Taipei City, Chinese Taipei

23 - 26 Mar - 12th Avas Cup Miskolc, Hungary

29 Mar - 2 Apr - World Figure Skating Championships Helsinki, Finland

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