Pre-Nebelhorn Trophy article-Detroit Free Press

September 20, 2009

Ahead of the curve

BY JO-ANN BARNAS
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

The International Skating Union's Grand Prix circuit doesn't start until mid-October, but there are several area figure skaters getting a head start on the competition.

Two of the four reigning U.S. champions -- ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who train at the Arctic Figure Skating Club in Canton, and ladies singles skater Alissa Czisny of the Detroit SC -- are heading to Oberstdorf, Germany, on Monday to compete in the Nebelhorn Trophy, which begins this week.

The group is going with one thought in mind: To get its programs out there and receive essential feedback from the judges before the Olympic season starts to heat up.

"We just decided that it would be a good idea to get in an early competition," White said. "And Nebelhorn fit into our schedule."

Czisny is a Nebelhorn veteran; she won the women's competition last year.

The three won't be alone, as several other area figure skaters will be in Oberstdorf. For ice dancers Caitlin Mallory and Kristian Rand of the Arctic FSC, who skate for Estonia, Nebelhorn will be an Olympic qualifying competition.

Former U.S. pair champions Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski, also of the Arctic FSC, will be there. Although the pair placed fifth at nationals last season, Castile and Okolski won Nebelhorn in the fall of 2006, and it was a good omen: They capped that season by winning the U.S. title.

The fourth Canton team slated to perform in Germany are ice dancers Katherine Copely and Deivdas Stagniunas, who represent Lithuania.

Men's singles skater Fedor Andreev, who moved to Florida this season to train with former Rochester coach Richard Callaghan, also will compete in Germany representing a new country: Azerbaijan. Andreev, the son of Arctic FSC coach and choreographer Marina Zoueva, was born in Russia, but grew up and competed for Canada until January.

1 Comentário:

franzlfan said...

Good Luck Meryl and Charlie!!!

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