Skating Fridays

New Years Invitational (Part 1)

2024 New Years Invitational

Since I was traveling for work all last week, I didn’t get a chance to type up a recap of the New Years Invitational. Sorry!

Many, many years ago, this competition was held over Martin Luther King Day weekend. It was typically on a Saturday but at times had been expanded to two days. In recent years, however, the competition moved to a weekend in February (hence confusing many adults why it was called New Years instead of the Valentine’s Day Open). When I signed up for this competition in December, I was surprised to see that it had moved back to MLK weekend.

2024 New Years Invitational

This year, however, the competition was being held on one day – Monday. Because many adults do not get the day off, this competition wasn’t as well attended as it has been previously. I used to skate in huge groups, but this year we only had a handful of skaters for each event.

Since the competition was only held on one day (we had two rink surfaces to utilize), the events started early. My trio event was going to be at 8:50am. The latest practice ice that I was able to purchase was at 7:20am. We live far enough away from the competition rink (about 2 hours) that it would have been really difficult to drive up the day of. If we had, we would have had to leave by 5am.

2024 New Years Invitational

My trio mates (is that a term?) and I booked a hotel room for Sunday evening. We woke up to snow (!) and tried to stay warm once we arrived at the rink. I had a good practice that morning (I practiced for my freestyle event). Unfortunately, the rink was FRIGID. Now, most rinks are cold in the winter, but this was worse than brutal. Apparently, the rink purchased a new heater, but it broke. As a result, the temperature plummeted, and it was probably colder in the rink that it was in the snowy outdoors. I wish I was kidding!

Nevertheless, we did our best. My bestie and I picked out warm fuzzy costumes for our event (on the warmer surface without the broken heater), and it proved to be a good choice. The three of us had a great warmup. When it came time for the actual event, we messed up our carry element. Despite that one error, everything else went well.

2024 New Years Invitational

Surprisingly, this event was judged under the CJS system, which we weren’t expecting. We anticipated being judged under the good old 6.0 system but somehow got switched to another judging system. After all of the skaters finished, we ended up placing first (out of 3 teams).

I had a blast skating with my friends and rushed out of that rink. I had less than an hour to get changed and ready for my freestyle event. I’ll recap that next week!

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