Skating Fridays

Recap from Sectionals, Part 2 of 3: Highs and Lows from the Championship Event

I think I mentioned before that I skated in the Gold Ladies Championship Event at Sectionals. My goal was to place in the top 4 so I could qualify for the championship event at Adult Nationals.

Long story short: that did not happen. Not even close. In fact, I came in 2nd to last. I felt bad for the skater who came in last because it was her birthday.

Because there were 16 of us, they broke us up into 3 groups: groups of 5, 5 and 6.  I skated in the first group and was the 2nd skater to take the ice.

I felt really winded after my quick warmup. Even though there was 1 skater ahead of me, I still felt like I didn’t have enough air. I was slightly nervous — not for the performance, but because of my lack of air.

It was time to take the ice.

I put on a huge smile and tried to maintain my happy face throughout my program. The first spin went marvelously, and my first jump was perfect. My axel attempt was horrible. I two footed it, and then my following spin was not very good. The second axel attempt went as badly as the first, and then the impossible happened: I fell out of my strongest (and easiest) spin. I can do this spin in my sleep with my hands tied behind my back and in handcuffs. Somehow, I hit a rut on the ice and stopped. It was the horror of horrors, and I honestly don’t know what happened.

Here is a screenshot of my protocols. I will break it down into highs and lows so you can understand what happened and how I was scored.

High: I received a Level 3 sit spin (element #1) and positive Grade of Execution (GOE). I earned 2.48 points on this spin, which is the highest element I’ve ever earned credit for!

Low: This spin was intended as a Level 2, and I intentionally did not want a Level 3 spin. I actually wanted a Level 2 spin because I believe I got credit for something that I did not want to earn credit for.

High: The Level 3 spin was a blessing in disguise because I was “saving” one of the difficult variations for my final spin, which I fell out of. Had I only received credit for a Level 2 spin, I probably would have wound up in last place.

Low: My axel attempt was underrotated and I only got 0.35 points. I can do this jump in my sleep.

High: My lutz attempt received full credit and 0 GOE. That means I got credit for a fully correct lutz! No edge calls!

Low: My camel-sit spin did not count because I didn’t hit 2 full revolutions on my camel. This is the 2nd time it’s happened in competition. Clearly I need to swap out the spin for another one.

High: I received positive GOE on my footwork sequence! This is a first for me, and I am super excited. My choreographer and I recently tweaked my footwork from January, and it looks like the newest version is a keeper.

Low: I received 0 points for my axel-half loop-salchow attempt. I two-footed the axel, so it got downgraded to a waltz jump. Not sure why the rest of the combo did not receive any value.

High: My PCS scores are up. This is a huge improvement for me!

Low: My final spin. Ugh.  Just ugh. I think I’ll move this spin up to an earlier place in the program so I’m not dead tired at the end. I need the points.

High: I smiled the entire 2 minutes and 40 seconds of the program, and my teammates were pleased with that. They said that despite my errors, I skated really well. This is only the 4th competition I’ve ever entered, so I have a lot to be proud of.

Although this wasn’t my best skate (not even close), I had fun and learned a lot. I am sorely disappointed with my performance, but still proud of how far I have come and the progress I have made since last year.

One thing that really made an impact to me was a comment that I received from a fellow Gold lady. She said (and I am paraphrasing here), “No matter how down you are on yourself, just remember this. There are lots of skaters who wish that they could skate like you. They are watching you and wanting to do what you can do.”

I am humbled to think that there are others who might be inspired by me. This really encourages me to want to improve and become a better skater.

Despite my 2nd to last place showing, I am still proud of the big improvements I have made, and I hope to continue to progress.

Next week: recap from the Gold Ladies Dramatic event


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