2015 Pacific Coast Adult Sectionals Part I

by Mary on March 14, 2015

beginning of rose program

beginning of rose program

This year’s Pacific Coast Adult Sectionals were held at the Fiesta Rancho, a budget casino/hotel with the unlikely theme combination of Mexican with an ice rink. Checking in at the front desk Tuesday night with smoke drifting in from the casino, I worried that my room might be smokey and aggravate my lungs, but it was on the top floor and was fine. I stayed out of the casino itself except for one quick foray for food (Panda Express, not that good, didn’t even have tofu at that location).

Las Vegas is a cheap place to stay, especially off the strip. I think they price the rooms low at the casino/hotels and hope you will gamble. The 99 cent margaritas at the Fiesta Rancho seemed geared toward that outcome. At any rate the hotel was just $24.99 a night midweek plus a small cleaning fee and the group rate for the competition was even a little less. Good thing, since all the other expenses of competing really add up.

Wednesday morning I skated at Sobe, the casino’s rink, along with other adults there for the competition and the rink’s usual crowd. Members of the Las Vegas Figure Skating Club were there to help, and one older man in particular helped me figure out how to get my music played. I had a couple of decent run-throughs though I was feeling a bit dizzy and off balance like I might be getting a sinus infection. I decided to find an urgent care. I was amused to find that even the urgent care was decorated in bright, oversized Las Vegas style.

Urgent Care Extra in Las Vegas

Urgent Care Extra in Las Vegas

That was the moment when I stopped griping to myself about Vegas’ huge signage and garish architecture and starting enjoying Vegas being Vegas. The doc gave me some antibiotics and I moved on to finding a flower shop to buy a rose for my program. Then I rushed (late) to another ice rink to meet coach Gary for a lesson. We had a good lesson. My lutz had been so flakey for the last bit at home that I really wanted to take it out (coach Ty convinced me not to). At this lesson it was fine.

Thursday morning, though, at my morning practice, the lutz was just not there, though Gary spent quite a bit of time trying to help me with it. He suggested that if it were still not there on Friday’s warmup I substitute a flip. He also helped me fine-tune my rose program. Since it’s a dramatic program and technical difficulty doesn’t matter, he took out a couple of double threes that were not smooth. That turned out to be a good idea, giving me more speed and flow.

rose program spiral

rose program spiral

Thursday afternoon was the bronze dramatic competition. I didn’t feel particularly nervous (see my last post: I burned out most of my nerves on other things). Just before I skated I found a quiet place to sit for a few minutes with my rose and think about my dad. The program is in memory of him. I hadn’t told Gary that, but I told him near my skating time.

dramatic program awards

dramatic program awards

I skated hard on the warmup, running through my program, and for my skate I got on the ice as soon as possible after the skater before me. I skated around in small circles with my rose until my name was called. Both things helped me get ready, and when it was time I was able to skate with a good amount of speed (for me) throughout my program.

It’s not often that my program goes just as I would like in competition, but this time it did. Coach Gary was enthusiastic when I got off the ice. He thought the spiral was strong and told me I had flown into my loop. Two other skaters told me I had been very on time with my music.

After a while Gary came to get me to look at my scores. I was first! I can’t remember the last time that’s happened, and certainly not at Sectionals where my highest finish had been fourth. I went off to get my picture taken. One of Gary’s other students, a first-time competitor with great performance quality, was there with me, as was a reader of this blog (hi)!

Will share about the freestyle competition in my next post!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcia March 14, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Mary you rocked it! I’m so happy for you. It’s so wonderful to skate beautifully like you did when it counts. Congrats! And thanks for the dress source! xo

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mary March 16, 2015 at 2:21 am

Thanks Marcia!

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susan // The Wimpy Vegetarian March 15, 2015 at 3:51 pm

What a graceful skater you are! It was really beautiful. Many, many congrats to you!
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mary March 16, 2015 at 2:22 am

Thank you Susan!

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Michelle March 15, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Congratulations!! Very well done!
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mary March 16, 2015 at 2:22 am

Thanks, Michelle, nice to see you here!

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Eva March 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Congrats on your first place finish, Mary! You should be so proud of that performance! Way to go!
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mary March 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Aw, thanks Eva!

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Abby March 18, 2015 at 12:52 am

Beautiful program, congrats on your fabulous finish.
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mary March 18, 2015 at 3:10 am

Thank you Abby!

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Jo March 20, 2015 at 2:37 am

Congratulations! What fun it was to see you skating so well. Great spiral and loop entry. Lovely choreography–I like those alternating Ina Bauers! So exciting!

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mary March 20, 2015 at 8:13 pm

Thanks Jo! I really liked the idea of putting in alternating Ina Bauers and suggested it to my coach/choreographer. It has been a challenge that has helped me improve my opposite side Ina Bauer. She also suggested the mohawk into the loop. And I always love spirals! I don’t have one in my freestyle program this year so this is my only chance to do one.

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Sherry March 20, 2015 at 8:13 pm

Awesome job! Congratulations!
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mary March 21, 2015 at 1:13 am

Thanks Sherry!

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Mary Beth Jackson March 20, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Congrats! and beautiful job! I hope you have fun in Vegas!

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mary March 21, 2015 at 1:12 am

Thanks! We did have fun, both at the competition and after!

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