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Rippon plans quad Lutz at Skate Canada

Chan believes jump needs to be landed at ISU competition to be considered record

Adam Rippon lands a good percentage of his quad Lutz attempts in practice.
Adam Rippon lands a good percentage of his quad Lutz attempts in practice. (Getty Images)

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By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(10/27/2011) - Suddenly, quadruple Lutzes are all the rage.

Earlier this week, the International Skating Union (ISU) officially confirmed (or, in its words, "homologated") a quad Lutz completed by Brandon Mroz on Sept. 16 in his short program at the Colorado Springs Invitational. (Watch the video here.)

Now, hot on its heels, we may have another, this time done at an Grand Prix competition. Adam Rippon's coach, Jason Dungjen, confirmed that his skater will include the four-revolution maneuver in his free skate at 2011 Skate Canada in Mississauga, Ontario, this weekend.

"He has a good percentage on it in practice," Dungjen said in a telephone interview.

"Sometimes it's all the way around, sometimes it isn't, but it's pretty reliable. I think the worst scenario at Skate Canada is we get an under-rotation call on it, which still adds up to a lot of points."

With a base value of 13.60 points, the jump is considered the most difficult being attempted in competition. Even with an under-rotation, it would have a base value of 9.52 points (70 percent of full value). Compare that to a triple Axel's base value of 8.5 points, or a quad toe loop's 10.3 points, and it's easy to see why Mroz and Rippon have worked it into their repertoires.

Rippon, the two-time world junior champion who won bronze at Skate Canada last season, is already associated with the Lutz jump. Several seasons ago, he perfected his own "Rippon" variation, rotating the difficult triple with both arms over head. He has also mastered the "'Tano" technique, a Lutz with one arm over his head made famous by 1988 Olympic champion Brian Boitano.

Of course, there's more than just jumps to Rippon's programs, which include a short to the Russian folk song "Korobushka" and a free skate to Bach's "Air" and "Toccata and Fugue."

Dungjen, who trains Rippon at the Detroit Skating Club, believes his skater is primed to deliver two strong performances despite problems with a new pair of boots that recently prompted a return to his old pair.

"He's come a long way since Champs Camp [held late August]," he said. "I really like the short [choreographed by Shae-Lynn Bourne]; it starts slow, builds, and I think it will really get the crowd going."

Rippon is joined on the U.S. team in Mississauga by U.S. bronze medalist Ross Miner, who made an impressive debut at worlds last season, when he finished 11th.

The two Americans square off against a formidable group of international competitors, headed by the two most recent world champions: 2010 titlist Daisuke Takahashi of Japan and reigning world champion Patrick Chan of Canada.

At the pre-event press conference in Mississauga on Thursday, most reporters' eyes and ears were glued to Chan, who earned an astounding 280.98 points at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships.

The 20-year-old, who shares Mroz's training home in Colorado Springs, was impressed with the American's quad Lutz. He will be even more impressed if Rippon can land the jump in Mississauga.

"I don't think it can be an official ISU record until [Mroz] has done it in an ISU event," Chan said. (Mroz will likely include the jump at his next competition, the Rostelecom Cup.)

The Canadian, who won this event last season despite a less-than-stellar short program, isn't putting any pressure on himself.

"Anything can happen," he said. "Last year I fell three times in the short ... I am the reigning world champion, so people do have some expectations. I don't necessarily put pressure on myself, but I am trying to push the bar."