Liberty, er, Philadelphia Summer Champs 2014

Hey sk8fans, I just got my summer dose of ice by attending the nearby Philadelphia Summer Championships (PSC), held at IceWorks in Aston, PA from July 15-19.  They may have changed the name, but I will always think of this competition as “Liberty”!

The field of entrants this year was not quite as star-studded as in the past; other fans and I were speculating over the reasons. Obviously it’s a post-Olympic year, which may have led to skaters getting a bit of a late start on their new programs. There was no senior pairs’ event this year, again for obvious reasons: so many US pairs have broken up, switched countries, retired, or are injured that you need a scorecard to keep track 😦 . There was a junior pairs’ event, with one team competing in both the SP and FS and two other teams competing in one event each. However, out of those three teams, two were Canadian. Also, coaches and skaters pick their summer events by choosing those they consider well-run or close by. I can’t speak for the coaches/skaters, but I do know that last year, the extremely warm weather led to difficulties in keeping the ice frozen in some of the rinks at IceWorks, and that played havoc with the schedule….

Ashley Cain was at the PSC. She was on the roster to compete, but decided not to. I heard various reasons: she’s breaking in new boots, she has two GP events (Cup of China and Rostelcom) and Champs Camp coming up and needs a rest. It’s too bad she didn’t compete. Her SP this year is “Mission: Impossible” and FS is “Evita”. For more on Ashley Cain and this year’s PSC, read Lynn Rutherford’s Ice Network article .

There was again a large contingent of Canadian ladies at PSC, and Veronika Mallet won the FS with 94.74, followed by Maria Wang  (Washington FSC) and Roxanne Rheault (CAN). Franchesca Chiera (Panthers FSC, FL) won the SP, followed by Mallet and Rheault. Junior lady Rebecca Peng (SC of Boston) bested all female competitors with her winning Junior Ladies’ FS score of 104.78, followed by Brynne McIsaac and Elise Romola (both of Washington FSC).

The men’s field had a few more well-known names than the ladies’ event. Ross Miner, Jimmy Ma, and Alexander Aiken (who returned to competition after 18 months) all skated Senior Men. Miner kept his “The Way We Were” SP from last season; his new FS is to Andrea Boccelli’s “Romanza”, choreographed by Lori Nichol.  His Axels were not quite up to par, but he exhibited great flow, speed and musicality. He placed second in the SP and won the FS. Alexei Bychenko (ISR) won the SP and did not compete in the FS. The big men’s buzz at PSC was the Junior Men’s Champion Andrew Torgashev (Panthers FSC, FL). He won both the SP and FS by wide margins, and is only 13! His speed and flow was, as Unca Dick would say, first-rate. Keep an eye on this kid…

And, by the way, BOO-HISS to the referee at PSC 2014 for scheduling the Senior Men’s FS and Junior Men’s FS in different rinks at the same time! That hasn’t happened in the past several years, and I hope will not happen again.

Great to see some of the usual suspects: Gail, Andi, Margaret, Ann, Lisa, Delle, Carol. Missed you: Tonya, Teri and Elaine!

I will add a link to the Official Results page once IceWorks posts it.