It isn't often that a skater expresses gratitude after failing to land a jump. Max Aaron said last week that hitting the ice on a triple axel at a Grand Prix event last fall actually was good for him, reminding him to keep his ego and emotions in check as he prepares for the U.S. championships.
Aaron is hoping to rebound from a fourth-place finish at last year's nationals as the men's competition begins Friday at Xcel Energy Center. The 2013 U.S. champion and 2014 bronze medalist started this season with a big victory at Skate America, then misfired on two jumps to wind up in seventh place after the short program at Trophee Eric Bompard in November. The free skate at the event in France was canceled after the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Aaron struck gold a week later at the Tallinn Trophy in Estonia, gaining a valuable lesson along with his victory.
"I'm honestly glad it happened,'' he said of the fall in France. "I was getting a little too confident in my abilities. Just getting back out there [in Estonia] was a great opportunity; staying in the moment and not getting too excited, that's what I learned from it.''
• Emily Chan and Vivian Le, who train together at the Dallas Figure Skating Club, finished first and second in the junior women's competition Wednesday. Chan won gold with 180.83 points, and Le took silver with 166.36. Megan Wessenberg of Boston earned bronze.
• Tomoki Hiwatashi of Hoffman Estates, Ill., finished first in the free skate to win the junior men's championship. Hiwatashi, 16, earned a total of 202.40 points to top silver medalist Kevin Shum of Boston.
• Joy Weinberg and Maximiliano Fernandez, who train in Ellenton, Fla., won Wednesday's free skate to capture the junior pairs title. Weinberg and Fernandez trailed Lindsay Weinstein and Jacob Simon by less than a point after the short program, then turned the tables in the free skate to win with a total score of 139.24. Weinstein and Simon took silver with 138.90 points.
Frozen in time
While the current generation of skaters performs at Xcel this week, the Hennepin History Museum is spotlighting the sport's past. The museum is mounting an exhibit of skating memorabilia that documents the history of figure skating in Hennepin County.
Titled "Figures & Follies: Hennepin County's Figure Skating Story,'' the show includes costumes worn by Jean and Joan Pastor, who skated in the Ice Follies during the 1950s while they were still in high school; the 1952 Olympic jacket of pairs skater Janet Gerhauser Carpenter; and artifacts from the 1991 U.S. championships at Target Center, where Tonya Harding landed a triple axel.
The exhibit is on view through March 6 at the museum, located at 2303 Third Avenue S. in Minneapolis.