U.S. Figure Skating Notebook
U.S. Figure Skating Notebook
The Associated Press
Feb. 12, 1999
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Naomi Nari Nam's first trip to the national championships as a senior turned into one big headache.
The 13-year-old was in the midst of a near-perfect short program Thursday night when she fell on a triple flip and smacked her head. She appeared ready to stop skating, hesitating and rubbing her head, but then she got right back into her program.
``I'm feeling OK. I'm feeling better already,'' Nam said. ``I will be OK for the long program.''
Nam finished strongly, nailing a triple toe and all the rest of her elements to finish fourth. She rubbed her head again as she skated off the ice, and coach John Nicks checked the bump before putting his arm around her shoulder and hugging her.
She was treated for a bump on the head and a strained neck.
Nam, who won the novice title in 1997, said she fell because she rushed into the jump.
``I know what I did wrong,'' she said. ``I'll do better in the long.''
Nam spins better than everyone but Michelle Kwan, and she's got the potential to be on the medals podium someday very soon. But even if she finishes in the top three at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships _ the ladies free skate is Saturday night _ she's too young to make the world championship team.
JUNIOR RESULTS: After hitting seven triple jumps, Ryan Bradley had one thought on his mind.
``I was just thrilled to be done and not have to worry about breathing anymore,'' said Bradley, who won the junior men's crown Thursday.
Bradley, 15, of Colorado Springs, Colo., also won the short program and clearly was the best in a field of 17. He edged Don Baldwin of San Diego and Parker Pennington of Windsor, Conn.
Bradley, who was 10th at the 1999 World Junior Championships, said his performance at nationals was the best he's ever skated. He joined such future senior men's champions as Dick Button (1945), Scott Hamilton (1976), Brian Boitano (1978) and Todd Eldredge (1987) as a junior winner.
``It feels great to be up there with the big guys. I have never really had a title like this,'' said Bradley, whose previous best national finish was second in novice a year ago.
Sima and Amir Ganaba, who were only fifth in novice nationals last year, won the junior pairs event. Their throw double salchow and throw double loop were enormous, putting them comfortably ahead of Jaisa MacAdam and Garrett Lucash. Another brother-sister team, Megan and Dustin Sierk, finished third.
CAN I GET A RIDE? As if six hours of training a day isn't enough, pairs skater Craig Joeright puts in a few hours on the Zamboni.
Joeright, who skates with Larisa Spielberg, is working three jobs to keep his career going. He teaches at the Detroit Skating Club, drives a Zamboni and is also a waiter at a local restaurant. Oh, yeah, he takes two classes at Oakland University, too.
But Joeright isn't all work and no play.
``I really want a new car,'' he said of his hard work. He's got a 1992 Oldsmobile Achieva now and wants to trade up for a Ford Mustang.
Joeright and partner Larisa Spielberg are eighth heading into tonight's free skate.
REWARDING PERFECTION: Michelle Kwan is doing her part to help out the U.S. Figure Skating Association's memorial fund.
Chevrolet Cavalier is donating $1,000 each time a skater is awarded a 6.0 _ the perfect mark _ in the short program at nationals and Kwan was the only skater to get one. She received a 6.0 for presentation in the short program Thursday night.
Twelve high school students will receive $1,000 scholarship stipends from the USFSA and Chevrolet. The winners will be announced later this week.