2011 All-Figures Competition
So this morning was the 3rd annual All-Figures Open Competition. I got to Lloyd Center about 6:10 a.m., met up with Kelli and we got on the ice for our practice ice (6:30 - 7:15). They had us divided into patches which is always a bit constricting for me.. there's enough space, but one does have to stay inside the lines, y'know? Anyway we worked first on the FO8, trying to fix some of the issues I'd seen on Friday; then we went on to the BO8 and worked on those. Kelli had me working on not bringing the free leg so far back on the last part of the LBO, but just holding it out (landing position) as I do on the RBO, and just sitting on the edge. This did help me bring the edge around and not come in short. Then we went back and worked on the FO8; it was a bit better.
Came off the ice for the Z-break, and they had the starting orders posted -- I was skating first for the FO8 (which was the first figure in the competition)! Eeep. And 3rd for the BO8. After the Z-break I went out for my 5-minute warmup.
The warmup was TERRIBLE. I suddenly got really, really nervous and couldn't hold the LFO for the life of me. The warmup ice was all the way at the end of the rink and I kept going into the wall as I wasn't bringing in the edge in very well. It was looking really grim :-(. Still I kept working it and tried to get myself to relax.
Finally they called me forward to skate. Chose a spot, marked my axis, and I was off! Fortunately the R side has been better for me so I got off to a decent start. First time on the L side was a little rough and I cut off the circle a bit (came back somewhat diagonal) but kept on going. Kelli said I seemed to get better as I went on, and that's true. The last one on each side were actually not that bad. And then I finished and skated out, the judges thanked me and I left.
I had about an hour after that so I talked with Kelli and my friend Lisa who had come to watch (she's an old skating buddy from Tucson who's known me since I was a baby skater, and she has just moved to PDX). Watched some of the figures -- Ruth A. did a paragraph 3... her precision is AMAZING to watch. My results were posted, and I was 3rd of 3.
Then they had an ice cut, and as they were finishing up the sun came out! Eeep! Lloyd Center has a huge skylight, so all of a sudden there was a huge part in the middle of the rink that was in bright sunlight and it was kind of blinding. So the referee (the inimitable Terri L.) made that section the practice ice so that the competitors wouldn't have to do their actual figures under those conditions. Phew!
Next was the creative figure, and I got to see Sam do the figure she'd created. It was pretty neat! It was a 3-lobe pattern filled with brackets and a... rocker, I think. Nifty.
Finally it was time for my BO8 warmup. I felt so much better about this figure! I was a little nervous, but not nearly as much. Kelli worked with me to keep working on filling out the LBO lobe back to center, with some improvement. I hadn't realized (until Kelli pointed it out) how inconsistent I am about free leg position in these. Hmm. Finally my time was up and they called me out to skate.
They were being pretty relaxed about starting positions and gave me a lot of options as to placement, which was good -- esp. since I had hoped that the judges would stand in front of me (and mark my center) and instead they were off to the side :-(. Marked my center, and off I went! I felt pretty good about the R side, the L side I had to stretch a little to get back to center on a couple of them. And unfortunately I wasn't tracing all that well on the L side. Still it went reasonably well, I skated out and was done!
Got off the ice, took some pictures, talked with some folks and watched more figures. The results were posted and I GOT 3RD OF 4!!
Mind you, of the 7 competitions I have done (PCAS 2008, Cactus 2010, Sherwood 2010, AFOC 2010, PCAS 2011, Cactus 2011, and now AFOC 2011), this is only the 5th event I've had competition at (PCAS 2008, AFOC 2010, PCAS 2011, Cactus 2011, and now AFOC 2011) (two figures each at AFOC 2010 and 2011, and I had competition at all of them) and this is the FIRST TIME in all of those 5 events that I have NOT come in last. YAY ME!! I was pretty stoked.
So it was an awesome competition. I saw some great skating, had a good experience, learned some things and had fun. I'm really grateful to all the judges, Terri the referee, the organizers and volunteers and my fellow skaters for all their hard work, and especially grateful for Kelli's coaching and calming presence.