Friday, January 18, 2013

After injury, Laxson on the right track for nationals

Last season, Brianna Laxson was heading to nationals with a slew of triple jumps and was ready to contend for the novice podium (read her pre-San Jose interview here).  This season she's taken a different approach to training for nationals as an injury sidelined her during the off season and cut her preparation time for qualifying events.  She trains at the Ashburn Ice House and represents the Washington Figure Skating Club and at just 13 years of age has already competed nationally for three years.  She won the pewter medal at South Atlantic Regionals and at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She took some time away from a busy school and training schedule to talk about her first experience at nationals, the Washington Figure Skating Club and coming back from her injury.    

Last season was your first Nationals experience after competing two years at Junior Nationals.  What did you take away from that competition and how has it prepared you to make the jump to Juniors this season?
Last year at Nationals, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I got to skate in a huge arena for the first time and seeing myself on the screen when I looked up was definitely weird. This time I know what it will be like and that gives me more confidence. 

The Washington Figure Skating Club qualified four junior ladies to sectionals and three to nationals.  What do you think makes your Club so successful?
I think it helps that the Washington FSC is so large. It is a well run, organized club and they do a good job supporting their skaters. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of training with your competition?
I think that the greatest advantage of training with competitors is that it is almost like competing all the time. I think that it might be a disadvantage if skaters didn’t get along. I consider myself fortunate to have a good relationship with the other skaters that I train with.

What new elements have you added for this season and/or what have you been focusing on in your programs?
This year was very challenging for me because I missed several months because of an injury. My first competition of the year was regionals and I only had about 5 weeks to prepare. Mostly what I have been working on is having consistency in my programs.

You landed a double flip at regionals and a triple flip at sectionals.  Do you think upgrading that required jump gives you an advantage?

I was happy to be able to get the triple flip back into my program at sectionals. Since the flip is required in the short it gives me some points over some skaters who are not doing a triple flip.

The jump layout in your programs changed between regionals and sectionals. Tell me about the process of finding the right jumps at the right moments in the program.
The layout of my programs has changed many times as I continue to recover from my injury. It has been a gradual process of adding jumps back into my programs as they became more consistent. It was about trying to find the right elements for each event.

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