Denney and Coughlin–an auspicious beginning (Liberty Summer Competition)

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin made their pair debut at the Liberty Summer Competition in Aston, Pennsylvania on July 14, 2011. They only skated their short program at this competition (some competitors do this early in the season so they can get judges’ feedback). They had a great skate, with very good unison and technical elements. The split triple twist was quite spectacular, and their straight-line footwork received a level 4. Truthfully, they skated like a more experienced pair. Their music was “East of Eden”; I wasn’t crazy about the way this beautiful piece of music was cut for this program, but it was enjoyable to hear the piece again. They are coached by Dalilah Sappenfield.

Denney and her former partner Jeremy Barrett were U.S. National Pairs champions and Olympic competitors in 2010. Barrett has retired and hopes to coach. Coughlin and his former partner Caitlin Yankowskas are the reigning U.S. National Pairs champions. Yankowskas is seeking a new pairs partner.

It appears that John Coughlin is coaching as well; he was at the boards with Dalilah Sappenfield as she coached several of the Junior pair teams at Liberty.

Denney and Coughlin’s SP (please forgive my lack of videography skills!):

See more about Denney and Coughlin’s debut at Ice

Of the five senior pairs competing at Liberty, three were new pairings. In addition to Denney and Coughlin, Jessica Dubé & Sébastien Wolfe and Felicia Zhang & Nate Bartholomay each competed one program (D&W free skate, Z&B short program).

As a long-time skating fan, I can’t believe that a local competition that draws some elite skaters has been under my nose all this time and I didn’t know about it. See what paying attention to only Nationals and Worlds gets you? Attending Liberty was a great way to get my skating fix in the middle of summer! Other notable competitors here included Cynthia Phaneuf, Stephen Carriere, Armin Mahbanoozadeh, Keegan Messing, Castelli/Shnapir, and two-time and reigning U.S. Novice Men’s champion Nathan Chen (who won the Liberty Junior Men’s event). (Thank you to my on-the-spot fact checker; you know who you are)!!


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