Friday, July 27, 2012

Skaters mesmerize Sun Valley for Summer Championships

Joyce Chan takes home Most Outstanding Showcase Trophy


Emma Stuessi takes a graceful turn as she won bronze in Artistic and fourth in Free Skate. Photo by Willy Cook

By ANDREA NELSON

For the Express

Captivating the audience with her breathtaking flexibility and whimsical costume, Community School sophomore Joyce Chan received the Most Outstanding Showcase Trophy at the Juvenile through Senior level during the Sun Valley Summer Figure Skating Championships, which came to a close Sunday, July 22, at Sun Valley Resort.

This year, the Summer Championships drew around 190 skaters from across the nation and overseas. The event wrapped up three days of tough competition on the Sun Valley indoor rink with a day of popular and entertaining Showcase events on the outside rink.

Judged by a panel of United States Figure Skating judges, Chan also won the Intermediate Ladies Artistic Event. Coach Gia Guddat created Chan's award-winning program. Sonya Dunfield also coaches her.

Coach Craig Heath, a local Sun Valley summer ice show soloist, brought a growing group of associate members of the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club from Hong Kong. Louvinia Wong of Hong Kong won the Kourland Cup for Most Outstanding Artistic at the higher levels.

Two groups of Sun Valley skaters and guests, including the Hong Kong skaters, competed in the Group Showcase event against the talented Denver Figure Skating Club.

Coach Gia Gudat's Sun Valley Circus won the event with a cast of 30, with Denver's 2012 Olympics winning silver and Darlin Bakers' Sun Valley Starz Sesame Street receiving bronze. Skaters from the first- and second-place teams plan to attend the National Showcase competition in Southern California in August.

Local gold medallists in individual competition events include Shayna Moellenberg, who won both Senior Ladies Free Skate and Short Program to claim the first place Senior Ladies Highest Combined Free Skate Award, and Travis Flynt, who won the Free Skate and Short Program and received the first-place Intermediate Men's Combined Free Skate Award. Moellenberg is coached by Lisa-Marie Allen and Flynt is coached by Baker.

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SVFSC gives Combined Free Skate awards to the skaters with the four highest combined free skate and short program scores at each qualifying level.

Additional medallists in individual events include Alex Harten, who won gold in Novice Ladies Gold in Showcase, silver in Artistic, bronze in Interpretive Improvisation and fourth in Novice Ladies Short program.

At the Juvenile level, Isabella Bourret won bronze in Juvenile/Open Juvenile Interpretive and took fourth in Juvenile Artistic. In Pre-Juvenile, Lane Letourneau captured gold in Showcase and silver in Artistic. Emma Stuessi won bronze in Artistic and fourth in Free Skate.

In Preliminary, Alex Stuessi won Showcase and Artistic in Group B and placed fourth in Free Skate. Blake Letourneau won silver in Showcase and bronze in Artistic, Group A.

In Pre-Preliminary, Group B, Kenny Pratt won gold and Prescott Potter won bronze in Artistic. Tatum Fuller won silver in Artistic and placed fourth in Showcase. Claire Stickney also competed in the Artistic category.

In Pre-Preliminary, Group B, Sheldon Gentling won silver in Showcase and placed fourth in Free Skate while Aurora Wilkinson won bronze in Showcase.

Murphy Kendall took fourth in Pre-Preliminary Spins. Antonia Avery won gold in Nontest Artistic, and Christine Dufur took fourth in Nontest Free Skate, Group B. Claire Stickneyalso competed at the nonqualifying test levels.

Basic Skills Event medallists were Saba Grossman, who won silver in Free Skate 3 Basic Program; Murphy Kendall, who won silver in Free Skate 1 Basic Compulsory; Bella Cherry-Mautua, who won gold in Basic 6 Basic Program; and Avery Griffin, who won silver in Basic 4 Basic Program. Jessica Blackburn and Alex Griffin also competed in Basic Skills.

In the Pairs Showcase events, Group A champions were Blake LeTourneau and Alex Stuessi, with Lane Letourneau and Emma Stuessi winning silver.

In Group B, Katie Peters and Shayna Moellenberg tied two visiting teams for the gold, moving fourth-place team Alex Harten and Joyce Chan into second.




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