Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Little of the Who/What/When/etc. of the Inaugural IFS Classic

There are not one, but two international competitive skating events taking place later this week. And if you’re like me, you got a quizzical look on your face when you first heard the name of one event: the 2012 US International Figure Skating Classic, taking place in Salt Lake City... the who? The WHAT? Since when??

This release, which has been up at Ice Network for a few weeks now, provides some details. My paraphrasing of it: the IFS Classic appears to be kind of like the Four Continents Championship (est. 1999) in that it’s an opportunity for primarily “lesser known” elite skaters to earn points competing at the international level. The main differences I see are just that a) it’s held at the opposite end of the skating season, and b) it allows for some European skaters in addition to those you might see at 4CC. I suppose calling it the “FIVE Continents Championship” would’ve been too confusing, so... here we are.

Oh, and Ice Network appears to hold the online rights to the IFS Classic. So kiss the delayed/ “on demand” video goodbye, if only for this event.

The LADIES will feature Gracie Gold (National Junior Gold Medalist) and Agnes Zawadzki (Senior Bronze Medalist) for the U.S. and Canadian champion Amelie Lacoste; other notable names include Elena Glebova of Estonia (13th at Worlds), Ireland’s Clara Peters (29th at Worlds), Mexico’s Ana Cantu Felix, and Melissa Bulanhagui (who formerly represented the U.S. but now skates for The Philippines).

The MEN will actually have four U.S. reps-- Max Aaron (8th at Nats), Timothy Dolensky (Junior Silver Medalist), Armin Mahbanoozadeh (4th at Nats), and Ross Miner (Bronze Medalist)—while Canada will send two: Jeremy Ten (Canadian Bronze Medalist) and Liam Firus (6th at Nats). Luis Hernandez of Mexico (4-time national champion), Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, and Christopher Caluza (another former U.S. rep now skating for The Philippines) are among the others scheduled to compete.

PAIRS will bring the international debut of the U.S.’s Lindsay Davis/Mark Ladwig (he formerly of the long-term Olympian team Evora/Ladwig), as well as Felicia Zhang/Nathan Bartholomay (8th at Nats). Canada will send two teams—Moore-Towers/Moscovitch (4th at Nats) and Lawrence/Swiegers (National Bronze Medalists)—while Great Britain’s Kemp/King (19th at Worlds) and Israel’s Montalbano/Krasnopolsky (17th at Worlds) round out the relatively small lineup.

ICE DANCING gives us three U.S. teams in Anastasia Cannuscio/Colin McManus (6th at Nats), Madison Chock/Evan Bates (5th at Nats), and Lynn Kriengkrairut/Logan Giulietti-Schmitt (4th at Nats, and whom I respectfully request to refer to as either Lynn K/Logan G-S or simply Lynn/Logan for the duration of the season. I enjoy their work, but my aging fingers have enough of a workout as it is.)

Canada is sending current National Bronze Medalists Piper Gilles (formerly of the U.S.)/Paul Poirier (formerly of Crone/Poirier) and Alexandra Paul/Mitchell Islam (5th at Nats)... and Australia is sending its top dance team, Danielle O’Brien/Gregory Merriman (20th at Worlds).

As for Ice Network streaming times, the seniors schedule looks like this (all times Eastern):

Thursday 9/13: Short dance at 2:15 PM; Men’s short at 4 PM

Friday 9/14: Ladies short at 2:45 PM; Pairs short at 5:45 PM

Saturday 9/15: Free dance at 3 PM; Men’s free at 4:45 PM

Sunday 9/16: Ladies free at 4:25 PM; Pairs free at 7:35 PM

So let’s see how this goes. Oh, and that OTHER international competitive skating event I mentioned is JGP Austria... the third stop on the Junior Grand Prix circuit this season. My goal is to preview that event before it actually gets going later this week... stay tuned!

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