Did you think the season was over when Ashley Wagner took her bows at the TD Garden in Boston, USA, thus ending the World Championships? Time to think again! Though the international season is almost spent, two more events were scheduled for after the World Championships. The first, held this past weekend, was the Gardena Spring Trophy in Italy, and the second, the Team Challenge Cup, is scheduled for the coming weekend.
This year Team Australia was represented by three skaters at Gardena.
Holly Harris (Advanced Novice Girls)
The reigning Australian National Novice Champion, Holly acquitted herself well here with a strong fifth place. A strong triple-double combination and level threes on her spins and steps had her fourth after the short program, in spite of a fall on her triple toe. Her ambitious free skate included four different triples, two in combination, and though she fell twice, she impressed with her tenacity and fight through to the end. You can watch her free skate here.
James Boyd-Thompson (Junior Men)
James finished in a strong sixth place at this competition, after placing seventh in the short program. His short was ambitious, attempting a combination with a triple loop that sadly did not come off, but his other jumps were good and a level three combination spin kept him in touch. His free skate included three different triples, all of which he rotated and stood up on. Unfortunately some spin problems kept him from rising higher, but his prospects look promising ahead of a new season. You can watch his free skate here.
Brendan Kerry (Senior Men)
Though Australia often sends Novices and Juniors to Gardena, it is unusual for a Senior skater to be in attendance, due to the timing. It is even more unusual for that skater to be backing up from Worlds, but that's exactly what Brendan did here. And he did it in style, too, finishing the season strongly by setting a new personal best score for his short program (74.45) and for total overall score (212.94). Though second to Canada's Kevin Reynolds after the short program, Brendan turned out a magnificent performance of his free skate, hardly putting a blade wrong and surging past Reynolds to take victory here. You can watch his free skate here, and the victory ceremony (including a surprise from Brendan!) here.
And so that is the end of the international season for the members of Team Australia (as none will be at the Team Challenge Cup). It has been a long and sometimes difficult one full of ups and downs, but there have been many high points, and each of them have done us proud. There is little respite for some, however; the Australian domestic season will soon begin...
(PS: My apologies for the radio silence this last month. I have been overseas, indeed, in Boston, and travelling saps the energy! Normal service will now be resumed.)