• Untalan retains figure skating title

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    Philippine National Figure Skating Championship 2015 elite senior ladies podium finishers Frances Clare Untalan (1st place, middle), Samantha Cabiles (2nd, left) and Shayanne Casapao (3rd, right) pose with SM skating representative Marvin Manalo (left) and International Skating Union judges Mamiko Dotaka (middle) and Eddy Wu (right) during the awarding ceremony on December 2 at the outdoor ice skating rink of SM Mall of Asia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Philippine National Figure Skating Championship 2015 elite senior ladies podium finishers Frances Clare Untalan (1st place, middle), Samantha Cabiles (2nd, left) and Shayanne Casapao (3rd, right) pose with SM skating representative Marvin Manalo (left) and International Skating Union judges Mamiko Dotaka (middle) and Eddy Wu (right) during the awarding ceremony on December 2 at the outdoor ice skating rink of SM Mall of Asia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Manila Figure Ice Skating Club (MFISC) standout Frances Clare Untalan retained the Elite Senior Ladies crown in the Philippine National Figure Skating Championship (PNFSC) held on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia outdoor ice-skating rink in Pasay City.

    The 18-year old Untalan scored 131.50 to claim her second straight title.

    “I am very happy because I work really hard this year and it paid off” said the Filipino-American Untalan, who flew in from Texas just for the competition.

    “My best move is the triple flip double toe loop but my hardest jump was my triple lutz and I am really happy to land it today,” she added.

    Untalan executed a clean triple jumps and solid double axel with a flawless combination of triple flips and triple lutz – a toe-pick assisted jump with an entrance from a back outside edge and landing on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. It is considered as one of the hardest jump elements in figure skating.

    “I just decided to do it because I felt good about it and I really want to try a lot harder today,” Untalan narrated.

    She ran past second placer Samantha Cabiles, who scored 110.66 while Metro Ice Skating Club (MISC) bet Shayanne Casapao finished third with 90.43 points.

    Junior male lone contender Jules Vince Alpe of MFISC bags the gold medal with 113.45 points after meeting the required score.

    In the Basic Novice B, MISC’s Elia Mariel Mendoza topped the event with 58.95, defeating her MISC colleagues Elaine Hannah Solomon (40.17) and Aicel Johanna Tecson (32.09), who finished second and third, respectively.

    MISC’s Andrianne Jaye Ariones ruled the Basic Novice A category with 49.86 points followed by MFSC’s Diane Gabrielle Panlilio (45.87) and MISC’s Skye Frances Patenia (42.95).

    Aiko Maria Shibata of MFSC dominated the Juvenile category with 36.83 points, sending Alexa Dominique Gonzaga of MFSC to second with 31.76 and Nicole Vasil Dritsas of Elite Blades Skating Club to third with 30.81.

    The Pre-Juvenile Primary podium finishers were MISC’s bets Ann Cathryn Lagemann (25.04 points), Veronica Clare Eid (19.64) and Felicity Cristobelle Eco (19.17) while in the Pre-Juvenile Kinder, Amanda Sophie Hernandez finished first with 15.97 points.

    Like any other Filipino skaters, Untalan wishes to be on Sochi Winter Olympics veteran Michael Martinez’s shoe someday.

    “Michael is a really big inspiration here because he was able to bring pride to the Philippines. I too want to bring back home some medals,” she said.

    The winners of the PNFSC will be sent abroad to represent the country in International Skating Union-sanctioned tournaments next year.

    “We are positive that through the PNFSC, our proud athletes will emerge to globally represent the country in the coming year,” Philippine Skating Union President Manuel “Pocholo” Veguillas said.

    JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID

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