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Farris rides first-ever quad to Lake Placid gold

Japan's Tanaka takes silver; Sadovsky of Canada goes from eighth to third

Josh Farris was spell-binding in his free skate Saturday night in Lake Placid.
Josh Farris was spell-binding in his free skate Saturday night in Lake Placid. (Daphne Backman)

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By Mickey Brown
(08/31/2012) - Nobody was beating Joshua Farris on this night.

The 17-year-old from Colorado Springs was on his game Saturday at the Junior Grand Prix in Lake Placid, N.Y., winning the men's free skate by more than 22 points and the overall title by a 36-point margin -- all while landing his first quad in competition.

"I made history for myself," he exclaimed after his emphatic victory, in which he scored 218.69 points. That figure is just shy of his 221.97-point total at the 2012 World Junior Championships, where he won silver, while his free skate mark of 146.49 is a mere five one-hundredths of a point off his career best, set at that same event.

It was Farris' fourth straight gold medal at a JGP event, dating back to 2010 JGP Great Britain.

Skating Rachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor," Farris opened his program with an effortless triple Axel-triple toe combination (1.71 grade of execution), and then skated to the other end of the rink and landed a beautiful quad toe.

"I've had the jump for almost a year now. I'm getting it a little more consistent," said Farris, who estimated he lands 2-3 quads per training session.

He flowed through the rest of the program without any major errors, although Farris was quick to point out it was far from perfect.

"I could still improve on that one," Farris said. "My levels weren't what I was planning, and, obviously, the second Axel (which he doubled), and the cheated [triple] loop (which he under-rotated). There's still room for improvement."

When the Grand Prix assignments came out in May, much was made about the fact that Farris did not receive one.

This kind of dominating performance signals that he is, indeed, ready to take the next step.

"I felt [I was ready for senior] after junior worlds, but considering I only would have gotten one Grand Prix, I decided I was going to stay junior one more year and get a little more experience," Farris said.

Silver went to Keiji Tanaka. For Tanaka, it was his fourth career JGP medal (two silvers, two bronzes) in five tries.

Performing to the soundtrack from The Untouchables, the lanky Japanese skater landed six triples, including a triple flip-triple toe midway through, and showed great speed throughout the program.

Pulling up from eighth to earn the bronze was Roman Sadovsky, who was making his JGP debut in Lake Placid. The little Canadian, who measures just a hair under 5 feet tall, seemed as surprised as anyone that he landed on the podium, considering where he was sitting after the short and his lack of experience on the international stage.

"I wasn't worried about placing ... I mainly came here to see what other countries could do, so I could go back home and train what I need to improve on," said Sadovsky, the son of Ukrainian immigrants.

Placing fourth, just 0.37 points behind Sadovsky, was Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines.

James Schetelich, the novice silver medalist at the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, finished 12th in his international debut.

"I had a little more pressure coming in because I thought, this is for something bigger than just me, which I've never experience before," Schetelich said. "I skated because I love to skate, and that's the bottom line while I'm here."