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Hiwatashi wins juvenile boys title

Roumila wins silver; Torgashev wins bronze

Tomoki Hiwatashi won gold in juvenile boys at Junior Championships.
Tomoki Hiwatashi won gold in juvenile boys at Junior Championships. (Renee Felton)

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By Renee Felton, special to icenetwork.com
(12/18/2010) - A pair of 10-year-olds topped the juvenile boys podium as Tomoki Hiwatashi captured first place followed by Liam Roumila. Andrew Torgashev (9) earned the bronze in his first trip to the U.S. Junior Championships.

Hiwatashi, whose pre-skate ritual includes dancing to preceding competitor's music to calm his nerves, was credited with 56.22 points, about 1.5 less than he scored in Thursday's qualifying competition. His performance included double Axel-double toe to start the "Whammer Jammer" free skate before adding a double Lutz-double loop and Level 4 flying combination spin.

"I could have done better," Hiwatashi said. "But I was happy that I hit all of my jumps."

Skating for the DuPage Figure Skating Club under coach Alexandre Fadeev, Hiwatashi has competed at the juvenile level for three seasons (he placed sixth at this event last year) and hopes to now move to intermediate.

Roumila, the most excited competitor of the morning, represents the American Academy Figure Skating Club. His smile stretched from ear-to-ear upon learning that his "Tosca" free skate received eight more points today than in his qualifying skate. His 50.26 points, including 22.25 for program components, marked a personal best.

Highlights of the program included a pair of double Axels, which coach Igor Krokavec stressed would be key to standing on the podium, and a double flip-single loop-double loop combination. However, Roumila's excitement got the better of his as he executed his straight line sequence.

"Did you see my step sequence?" he said with a laugh. "I forgot some of the steps and had to make it up at the end."

A season ago, Roumila, who has skated since age 5, failed to make it out of his juvenile qualifying round. Now that he has enjoyed success at this level, it's time to concentrate on triple jumps and move up to intermediate or novice for 2012.

Creeping back into the rink throughout the final group, Torgashev would wonder, "Has anyone passed me yet?"

His 49.85 points proved enough for the bronze. Torgashev skated a program sans double Axel, but saw big scores for his three spins. The "Malaguena" free skate featured two Level 4 spins -- a change of foot combination and a sit -- and an additional Level 3 flying sit spin.

"I'm really proud even though I didn't have a double Axel like the other skaters," Torgashev said. "I'm going to stay at juvenile for one more year so I can perfect the Axel and continue to improve."

Torgashev edged the Broadmoor Skating Club's Sam Anderson, who finished in fourth place with 49.31 points.