Delano reclaims intermediate novice ladies throne
Galuszka wins silver after 19-year absence; Chase-Naperkoski takes bronze
|Beth Delano's 43.04 points were good enough to land her the gold medal once again. (Matt Parat)|
Stephanie Galuszka of the Dearborn Figure Skating Club took home the silver with 41.90 points behind a strong performance. Club mate Emily Chase-Naperkoski won the bronze medal with 38.62 points, while Avery Bandel of the Great Falls Figure Skating Club won the pewter medal with 37.65 points.
For Delano, it was about forgetting about the past. Last year at this event, in Salt Lake City, she finished fourth after having won two consecutive titles. This year, while skating to the "Nutcracker Pas De Deux," she took the pressure off of her jumps.
"I focused on the spins," Delano said. "Hitting the position of the spiral, hitting to the beat of the music. I think I did that well."
But her jumps still played a huge role in her gold-medal performance, as she set the tone of the program with a graceful Axel.
"I love it that I only missed one of my jumps -- the double Salchow," she said. "Well, maybe two. I did a single in a combination near the end that should have been a double."
Galuszka appeared to be a woman on a mission, skating with only one person in mind: herself.
A former competitive skater as a girl, she said she became burnt out after moving from Michigan to train in Colorado. After qualifying for the U.S. junior championships as an intermediate skater, she decided to take a break -- a 19-year break.
Four years ago, Galuszka returned to competition, but in the more relaxed environment of adult skating.
"This is the first year that I've really been able to sell my program; to go out there and have fun, to skate because I love every moment of it," she said.
Chase-Naperkoski, who skated to music from the Chronicles of Narnia films, will leave this nationals with a new element.
"I did the double-loop for the first time in a competition," she said. "It was exciting."