On the 2013-2014 Intercollegiate Skating Season
October 23, 2013 § Leave a comment
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are going for one of the best engagement and wedding parties of all time, all time. Kanye, Brian Wilson will be pissed if you don’t let him be the ringbearer though. Kim, hope that 15-carat diamond ring doesn’t break your arm. According to reliable sources…
hey… your sources aren’t all that reliable…
Hey! That’s a convenient amount. It’s like it’s just enough for a contract savvy Brian Sabean handed out not too long ago.
All Tim Lincecum contract jokes and elaborate proposals aside, a new figure skating season is here and you want to cheer for a team that wins, a team that doesn’t know how to lose, and a team that does triple axels. I’m going to do my best to let you know the week before the first competition what’s going on with the California Golden Burrrrrrrrs. Here’s what’s on tap:
According to USFSA, these are the dates when you can catch UC Berkeley’s competition performances if they’re in an area near you.
|Where Is It, Brah?||Host School|
|Tiger Challenge||Colorado Springs, CO||Colorado College|
|Golden Bear Skate||Oakland, CA||UC Berkeley|
|Pioneer Open||Denver, CO||University of Denver|
|US Intercollegiate Championships||Adrian, MI||Adrian College|
Sandwiched between two trips to Colorado, the Bears host their own competition again in Oakland with many returning and new skaters in tow. Last year’s championship reps UC Berkeley, UCLA, and DU look to book their return flights to the Championships, but look for New Mexico and Colorado College to bring out the tables, ladders, and steel chairs and make things interesting.
University of Denver loses novice skater Rylee Pepich as she transfers schools but returns most, if not all of their team. UCLA loses senior skater Coral Chou but might return to full strength with the return of senior ladies’ Mericien Venzon and junior ladies’ Emily Chan. They will assist Maddison Bullock, 4th year Amanda Sunyoto and junior men’s Joey Millet on their quest to make sure you see LA and the powder blue.
New Mexico, beaten out last year by UCLA for that final spot in the Championships will field a small but formidable team in the Southwest. Colorado College expects back Midwestern Regionals competitor Janet Miao and … yeah, I’m not really sure who else they’re bringing out to compete. More on the Pacific teams, as well as the teams in the Midwest and Eastern regions after every team finishes their first regional competition.
The Golden Bear Roster
The Golden Bears return a large core of their skaters despite losing junior ladies’ Marissa Minovitz to graduation. Coming back are
- Sectionals-bound/Senior ladies’ Laney Diggs
- Senior ladies’ Sravani Kondapavulur
- Senior ladies’ Katrina Phan
- Senior ladies’ Michelle Hong
- Junior ladies’ Gina DeNatale
- Intermediate ladies’ Janelle Unger
- Junior men’s Sean Sunyoto
- Junior men’s Matej Silecky
- Junior men’s Jay Yostanto (maybe?)
- Juvenile ladies’ Amy Nguyen
- Senior ice dancer Kelsey Chan
- Senior ice dancer Teressa Vellrath
- Senior ice dancer Samira Damavandi
New faces you may see now or later are:
- Senior ladies’ Sara Billman
- Junior ladies’ Kathleen Albert
- Novice men’s Aditya Nandy
Reprising her role as the conductor of the UC Berkeley team is the baus Dani Schraner. The roster is top-heavy in both freeskating and ice dancing, but I’m pretty sure the team is open to adding a graduating senior with one semester left to make something happen in college. High team maneuvers, kind of like HORSE but with triple axels and flying change of foot spins instead of corner 3s and windmill dunks, will be covered by any combination of the returning ladies for the spins and sequences + Sara + one of the guys to do the triples.
Last year, the Golden Bears had a good shot at earning a top 3 finish at the championship in Dartmouth. This year in Michigan, with additional skaters, additional experience and grit? Ridiculously, even better.
Why Win Now
Win now for Laney Diggs. The 4th year is the engine that runs the team. Of the 59 points the team acquired during their 4th place finish in Championships last year, she earned 13 points with her 4 top-5 finishes. Now in her final year of her undergraduate career, Diggs is an important reason why the team can break the top 3 in the final standings.
The championship window and/or a spot on the podium is closing quickly. This weekend, Diggs and the rest of the team take their first step to keep that window open. Skate on, you Bears.