Tuesday, January 4, 2011
U.S. Nats 2011 Sneak Peek: Skaters That Make You Go Hmmm...
As we settle into this new year, it’s bound to become apparent that all skating roads in January lead to either Canadian Nationals (mid-month), U.S. Nationals (end of month), or Europeans (also end of month).
For instance—you can check this link out for a look at who’s currently scheduled to compete at U.S. Nationals (senior level)… and when you do, you might see some names you weren’t expecting to see, and/or in places you weren't expecting to see them. Not exactly “blasts from the past”… not yet, anyway… but I’ll just call them People to Make You Go “Hmmm”…
RYAN BRADLEY. Did you think he’d moved on? I sure did. Maybe it was that little wave goodbye he gave to the backstage camera last year after he knew for sure he hadn’t made the Olympic team. Maybe it was the fact that he’s now 27 years old. Maybe it was the fact that he’s done plenty of “show skating” since the spring, including Brian Boitano’s Skating Spectacular, rather than Grand Prix assignments. Nonetheless, he’s back to compete in Senior Nats for the 10th time. Universal Sports ran this article about it… Bradley’s best finish at this event was silver, in 2007.
PARKER PENNINGTON: He’s the only U.S. man to have won National titles on ALL the lower levels (Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice and Junior)… but ironically, that senior title continues to elude him in a big way. Pennington, now 26, will put in his ninth appearance at Senior Men’s this year; clearly he hopes to improve on the best finish he has to date (7th place, in 2007).
DANIELLE KAHLE: For someone who has yet to really prove herself at the senior level, Kahle has amassed her fair share of high-profile appearances—including the film Ice Princess and the TLC mini-series Ice Diaries. She seemed to be one of the many U.S. skaters who peaked in her mid-teens, with her best Nats finish by far coming at age 17 (6th place in 2007). The past two years didn’t even see Kahle getting past Sectionals… and yet this time she successfully cleared that hurdle with a 2nd place finish. At age 21, is Kahle one to watch once again?
LINDSAY DAVIS & THEMISTOCLES LEFTHERIS: You most likely remember Leftheris from his bronze-medal partnership with Naomi Nari Nam, but he’s had several different pairs skaters by his side through the years (he’s now 28). Though I can’t find anything on them as a team, he’s listed as now skating with Davis, who’s the 2010 Junior Bronze Medalist.
MARY BETH MARLEY & ROCKNE BRUBAKER: After a heartbreaking Nats last year, and dissolving of his partnership with Keauna McLaughlin shortly thereafter, Brubaker is back at Nats with new partner Marley, who’s the 2009 Novice Silver Medalist.
BECKY BERESWILL & TREVOR YOUNG: In this case you’re more likely to know her name than his… she’s competed in singles until this year with her best Nats finish coming in 2008 (10th). Young has been in pairs longer, with his previous partner being Andrea Best.
Will any of these Hmmm… athletes make a big splash in Greensboro later this month? WIth any luck, I'll remember to revisit this post in February
Here’s an exhibition skate from Bereswill/Young as the Clip of the Day. Considering this was back in June—and they already looked pretty good together—it would be fun to see pairs skating do for Bereswill’s career what it ultimately did for John Baldwin (who, mercifully, is NOT on the competitors’ list this year… just in case you were wondering.)