Saturday, 18 January
Competition ended today with the junior pairs event in the morning and the senior ladies and mens events in the evening.
The men's event was a wild ride with Sheperd Clark withdrawing following the first warmup and Johnny Weir withdrawing after two nasty falls at the start of his program. Michael Weiss needed some help to win the Men's Championship and got it from Ryan Jahnke.
Matthew Savoie also had a run of bad luck during his performance. With about 50 seconds left to go Savoie broke a strap on his pants leg. The referee, Kathleen Flaherty, blew the whistle weakly after a long delay. Savoie did not hear it and completed a triple Lutz. After a second barely audible whistle he complete a triple toe loop. After a third whistle the program was stopped with just a few seconds left. Savoie had to reskate the last 50 seconds. He missed the triple Lutz the second time through but completed the toe loop. Careless officiating may well have cost him a place in the standings.
[Note added after the competition: In fairness to the referee, I was told after leaving Dallas that she attempted to have the music stopped after the first whistle, but the music coordinator ignored her.]
In the ladies event, Michelle Kwan won her sixth consecutive National title with a well skated, clean program. It is her seventh title overall. Kwan now trails Maribel Vinson, who won the National title nine times, for most USFSA National Championships by a lady.
Friday, 17 January
This was a busy day of competition with the junior men and ladies wrapping up at Reunion Arena in the morning and senior pairs and dance competition taking place at the American Airlines Center later in the day.
Following practice in the morning, Angela Nikodinov withdrew from the competition due to a shoulder injury. This was Nikodinov's first competition of the season after having missed the Grand Prix due to injury.
Thursday, 16 January
This morning the ISU continued its PR blitz to sell the new voodoo scoring system currently under development. A repeat of the presentation given last fall at Skate America was presented to media and USFSA. It appears at this point that the USFSA is rolling over and letting the ISU develop the system without opposition.
Both the men's and ladies' short programs took place in the evening. Following the men's event Derrick Delmore withdrew from the competition due to injury to his right hip that has been bothering him since Skate Canada.
Wednesday, 15 January
It would be nice if there was something to bitch and moan about, but the overall the competition is running fairly smoothly.
Senior dance continued today with the original dance which was won by Tanith Belbin & Benjamin Agosto. Last year's silver medalists now appear to have a good chance of displacing reigning champions Naomi Lang & Peter Tchernyshev. The pairs event began in the evening with the short program. The quality of the pairs event left a great deal to be desired and is the weakest event at this years championship.
Tuesday, 14 January
Following a hectic day in which five competitive events were held, Tuesday was a more leisurely affair with the Junior OD held in the afternoon and the Senior compulsory dances in the evening. In the Junior event, the judges shuffled the deck, and at this point any of the top three teams could win the event by winning the free dance. In the senior event, Naomi Lang & Peter Tchernyshev won both dances, hour lost two judges to Tanith Belbin & Benjamin Agosto in the first dance and one in the second.
Todd Eldredge, with his Corvette, has been in town the last two days for an aborted promotion for Chevrolet. Todd and the car were to be at the main arena the first two days of the week, but Ford has a advertising/sponsor arrangement with the arena, and after the pissing contest was over the promotion was called off. It reportedly will now be held at Worlds in Washington DC.
Monday, 13 January
Competition events today began with the completion of all four novice events at Reunion arena.
Later in the evening activities switched to the American Airlines Center where the junior events kicked off with the dance event in which twelve couples skated the Westminster Waltz and Silver Samba, the two compulsory dances selected for the competition this year. In a close competition, Kirsten Frisch & Brent Bommentre took the lead.
Sunday, 12 January
An enthusiastic crowd helped the 2003 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships get off to a roaring start with the novice events, held at the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. The older of the two arenas, Reunion nonetheless carries its age well; and the organizers were well prepared, offering the novice and junior skaters an attractive venue for competition -- a far cry from the dingy surrounding and chaos that were the hallmark of the Los Angeles competition last year. The novice compulsory dance and the three short programs were all held back-to-back in this first day of competition,
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