Cain, Reagan take novice pairs title

Aliso Viejo and Colorado Springs teams also medal

Ashley Cain and Joshua Reagan topped the novice pairs leaderboard in Spokane.
Ashley Cain and Joshua Reagan topped the novice pairs leaderboard in Spokane. (Paul Harvath)


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By Lynn Rutherford, special to
(01/18/2010) - Doing double duty today didn't bother Ashley Cain a bit.

First, the 14-year-old Texan won the novice ladies short program. A few hours later, she and partner Joshua Reagan were U.S. novice pair's champions.

"I'm kind of tired, but not that bad," she said.

"Sometimes she makes me feel like a slacker," Reagan, 20, said. "I can never keep up."

Skating to Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" the champions hit side-by-side double Axels and double Lutz, double toe combinations, as well as two throw doubles at the end of their program. The won the free skate, climbing from second in the short to finish first with 121.78 points overall.

"That was our best skate of the season," Reagan said.

"Our coaches, Peter [Cain] and David [Kirby] put the throws at the end because they're really consistent, and obviously we wanted the bonus points."

Kirby is doing double duty in Spokane: not only is he coaching, he's one of the voices on Skate Bug, the listening device U.S. Figure Skating and AT&T are offering fans here at Spokane Arena. A technical specialist, Kirby is commentating on the senior events.

"It's great that he's a specialist; he gets all the new rules first," Cain said. "He knows all the levels."

"He really picks our programs apart," Reagan said. "I've already heard his critique on our spirals tonight."

The team is also coached by Ashley's parents, Peter and Darlene Cain.

"Sometimes it's tough, because they always want and expect only the best for us," Reagan said. "But I wouldn't want it any other way. They're like family to me, too."

Short program leaders Tori Vollmer and Zack Sidhu, who train in Aliso Viejo under three-time U.S. pair champions Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, were third in the free and second overall with 113.23 points.

"We skated the best we could here, and this year, we definitely improved our speed and presentation," Sidhu, 18, said.

"I'm proud of them," Sand said. "They skated well all week. I think they were the only team to do a throw double Axel. Today they just had that one big mistake, her fall on a [double] Lutz."

The team, who competed on the fall Junior Grand Prix, plans to move up to juniors at the U.S. Championships next season.

Mandy Garza, 13, and Brandon Frazier, 17, rose from fourth after the short to claim the bronze medal with a second-place free skate that included an impressive spiral sequence and side-by-side double Lutzes. They finished with 112.69 points.

"We're a new team [skated together for eight months], and this is our first time at nationals, so we're happy with the outcome," Frazier said.

"We had a couple of flaws, but we pulled through it as a team and finished strong."

Garza and Frazier, who train in Dalilah Sappenfield's group in Colorado Springs, plan to move up to juniors next season. They also hope to compete on the Junior Grand Prix circuit.

Boston-based Eastern Sectional champions Kylie Duarte and Colin Grafton were fourth with 106.01.