Figure Skaters Place Second at MIT EventBy Diana Cheng
MIT’s figure skating club hosted the first Eastern Small Teams Intercollegiate Competition, sanctioned by the United States Figure Skating Club, on March 22. MIT’s skating team won 17 medals and placed second overall out of 10 colleges, behind Boston College.
Teams were allowed to send at most 15 skaters, and 11 of MIT’s skaters competed. The events had fewer entries than in the other intercollegiate competitions this season, since this was a non-qualifying competition.
The high maneuvers team of Barb Cutler G, Phillip Lichtor ’06, and Amy Wu ’06 earned a bronze medal against teams from Boston College and UMass Amherst. Lichtor completed swift, clean double jumps. Wu completed the two spin requirements. Cutler completed a serpentine step sequence. The team scrambled to reorganize quickly after a member did not show up for the event, and all of the skaters on the team were required to move up a level.
MIT’s intermediate maneuvers team of Diana Cheng ’04, John B. Gonzalez ’04, and CÉcile Le Cocq G also earned a bronze in the Team Maneuvers event, against Northeastern and Boston College teams. Their required elements included double jumps; however, none of the Intermediate team members could complete double jumps. Gonzalez came on after the event began and substituted waltz jumps for the double jumps so that the team could meet its three-member requirement. Le Cocq completed an Axel and a camel spin and Cheng completed a camel-sit-upright-change-upright spin which was the longest spin she had ever done. Cheng also made up a straight-line footwork sequence on the spot because her original step sequence was covered only half the ice surface, but when she skated up to the Intermediate team, the sequence had to cover the full ice surface.
The low maneuvers team of Delphine Dean G, Kristin Jonker ’03, and Adriana Tajonar ’06 placed second against Boston College. Tajonar completed the Axel requirement for the team. Dean did a waltz-toe loop jump combination and her circular footwork. Jonker contributed a steady upright spin.
The team had a strong showing in the morning ice dance events. Bruening and Cutler competed against each other and placed first and second in the novice dance, the European waltz. Sheila N. Tandon learned the Cha-Cha to compete in the pre-intermediate B dance and won the gold medal. Dean and Cheng, neither of whom has tested in ice dance, competed the Rhythm Blues and placed third and fourth in the pre-intermediate A dance event.
Men’s, ladies’ events
Bruening skated an exhibition for his Intermediate free skate, and had a powerful camel-change-camel spin. Gonzalez, who just started skating last year, earned a silver medal in his pre-intermediate A compulsory moves, during which he completed a waltz-toe loop.
Wu placed fifth in her intermediate short program and sixth in her free skate.
Though Wu has not trained seriously since junior high school, she skates with natural ease, with beautiful arm movements complementing her skating.
At the pre-intermediate C level, Cutler, LeCocq, and Tajonar placed first, second, and third in the compulsory moves and third, fifth, and sixth in the compulsory moves. This is the last intercollegiate competition Cutler will compete in, since she is graduating with her PhD in June.
At the pre-intermediate B level, Cheng and Dean placed fourth and fifth in the compulsory moves and sixth and first in the free skate.
Jonker earned a silver medal in her free skate and a bronze medal in her compulsory moves event.