On January 23, 2012, several Maine skaters, coaches, and other ‘interested parties’ were watching www.icenetwork.com for the final of the Novice Ladies’ Free skate. Local eyes were on 14 year old Morgan Sewall of Scarborough, as she warmed up with 5 other ladies that comprised the Group 1 skaters who, as of the end of the short program, were in places 7-12.
Both excited and nervous for the local girl, local viewers watched Morgan land a clean double axel and perform some great warm-up spinning; luckily, for those of us who couldn’t be there with her, the camera was on her for quite a bit during the warm-up. If she was nervous, it didn’t show.
The first 2 or 3 skaters of the group skated; Morgan was to skate 5th. Then, unfortunately, the live feed went down, leaving viewers to have to wait for the live results, then later the judges’ detail scores, to see how Morgan did.
When the results were finally available, the local girl had finished in 11th, making the local crowd, Coach Carol Pichette, Morgan’s parents, and Morgan herself, very happy.
The only glitch in her long program, skated to composer/new age musician Yanni’s ‘Keys to Imagination’, was a slight misstep in between jumps on her intended double lutz/double loop/double toe combination; she was only able to pull off 2 of those doubles, so in a later intended double flip/double loop combo, she quickly changed that combo to a double flip/double loop/double toe combo – very impressive quick thinking.
“Nationals was a very different experience than sectionals or even Junior Nationals was,” says Morgan. “I didn’t realize how different it was until I stepped on the ice for my warm up. Being in the kiss and cry was also a very different – but fun – experience. The entire trip was an enormous learning period for me, and I can’t wait to hopefully make it there again next year!”
It had been about fifteen years since a Maine skater had placed at the Novice level in a US Nationals skating event, yet Morgan still accomplished this without any triple jumps in her programs. Morgan had been working on some triples before leaving for nationals, which was held in San Jose, CA, and those in the skating community here wondered if she would put any in her programs.
By the time next year’s competitive season starts, deciding on whether or not to do triples will probably not even be in Morgan and Coach Pichette’s thoughts.
Morgan will be performing in several upcoming skating exhibitions: the South Portland Winter Festival at Millcreek Park February 17th (dependent on pond conditions), NAFSC’s 14th Annual Spring Show March 31st and April 1st, and the Portland Ice Arena’s 27th Annual Show April 28th and 29th.
Congratulations to Morgan Sewall, 2012 US Figure Skating Championships Novice Ladies’ 11th Place Finisher!