Showy Nyman brings circus to town in juvenile winHagan, Michel take juvenile dance; Zhao zooms to victory in juvenile girls
"He's always been very showy. He has good genes. His has a theatrical background. His grandparents were dancers and musicians."
To hear Katie Nyman -- mother and coach of Tommy-Jo Nyman -- tell it, her son had no choice but to dominate the juvenile boys event as the fourth day of competition commenced Wednesday at the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston.
"It's in his genes," she continued. "His grandmother was a ballerina. His background in shows goes way back."
Nyman, who also captured the 2014 juvenile pairs bronze with partner Sarah Rose, is known for his showmanship, taking home several awards for his theatrical skating, including a primary title at 2013 National Showcase last summer.
"It was amazing to be out there today," Nyman said. "I had a pretty good skate. I got a little carried away at the end, but, overall, I'm happy with my performance."
Skating to music from Cirque du Soleil, Nyman's performance opened with a huge double Axel-double loop combination and continued to dazzle with jaunty choreography that delighted the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC). Nyman earned 23.53 points for his program components en route to 49.48 points overall.
Earning the silver with 48.41 points was Paul Yeung. He demonstrated outstanding athleticism in his Hawaiian-themed program, which included a double Lutz with both arms over head in the final seconds of the performance.
"My double Lutz is one of my strongest jumps, and I like to end the program with something good," Yeung said. "We put the variation on it and it seemed to work. We got the idea from Adam Rippon's triple Lutz. It just kind of happens for me. I go in full steam and my arms just fly up."
Coming away with bronze was Max Lake with 48.40 points, followed by Jeffery Chen, who took pewter with 46.31.
Juvenile ice dance
Competition continued with the juvenile free dance, where Josephine Hagan and JT Michel topped the field with sophisticated style.
"I'm really happy," Michel said. "I want to thank all of our coaches for pushing us so hard to do our best."
In second place after the pattern dances, Hagan and Michel performed an elegant free dance to music from "My One and Only" that received positive grades of execution (GOEs) on each of its five elements, including Level 4 twizzles.
"They're the first ones on the ice and the last ones off," said Donny Adair, a member of the duo's coaching team. "They put so much work into everything."
The pair earned 40.48 points for the segment and 73.82 points for the week.
Placing second were Molly Cesanek and Maxwell Gart, whose "Good Golly, Miss Molly" free dance had the BCEC dancing along to every beat.
Winning the segment with 41.99 points, the Eastern sectional silver medalists earned a Level 4 on both of their lifts, carrying them to a total score of 73.51 points.
Finishing with the bronze were Eastern sectional champions Cherri Chen and Edward Jahoda with 71.76 points, followed by Meredith Kent and Palmer Middlekauff, who rebounded from a sixth-place finish in the pattern dance segment to earn the pewter with 69.56.
Walking away with the juvenile ladies crown was Iris Zhao, who earned an impressive 56.36 points to top the podium in front of a home crowd.
"Before I went out on the ice, I felt a little bit nervous," Zhao said. "This was my last time doing this program, and I wanted to show everyone how much I love it. It felt like I was back at my home rink practicing because all of my friends were here."
The Colonial FSC representative performed a balletic and enchanting free skate, which included back-to-back jump combinations in the latter half of her skate: a double Lutz-double loop and double flip-double loop, respectively.
Finishing second was Annabelle Morozov, who earned 56.22 points for her efforts to a jazzy medley of songs, including "Jitterbug Jamboree." Her performance was highlighted by effortless jumps, most notably her opening double Axel-double toe combination.
Rounding out the podium was Kaitlyn Nguyen, who posted 56.18 points, followed by Starr Andrews, who finished fourth with 53.88.
Intermediate pattern dance
Intermediate competition began Wednesday with the pattern dance, where 2013 juvenile dance champions Caroline Green and Gordon Green lead the way heading into Thursday's free dance event.
"The dances are a little bit harder this year," Gordon said. "But we've been training exactly how we always do."
Earning 24.27 points for their strong Tango performance and 24.67 for a charismatic Foxtrot, the siblings enter the next phase of the competition with 48.21 points.
In second place with 48.21 points are Katherine Grosul and Cameron Colucci, who won the juvenile pewter at the 2013 U.S. Championships in Omaha, followed by Emma Gunter and Caleb Wein with 46.26, and Eleanor Babaev and Scott Wenner with 38.22.