Hanna Harrell ready to make her debut to the world at the 2019 World Junior Figure Skating Championships – Figure Skaters Online

    by gina capellazzi, fso team website manager header photo by robin ritoss; jay adeff medal photo, usa uu. figure skating

    In January, thirteen-year-old Alysa Liu made history at the U.S. Championships in Detroit, Mich., becoming the youngest to win the U.S. senior ladies’ title, breaking 1998 Olympic Champion Tara Lipinski’s previous record.

    But Liu wasn’t the only one capturing the attention of fans at home and inside Little Caesar’s Arena in the US. uu. championships.

    meet hanna harrell!

    A name unknown to many figure skating fans, Harrell skated two amazing programs to finish an astonishing fourth place and take home the U.S. pewter medal at her senior national debut. She hopes to replicate her national success in a few weeks when she represents the United States in her first World Junior Championships, March 4-10, 2019, in Zagreb, Croatia.

    but who is hanna harrell?

    The 15-year-old was born in Russellville, Arkansas, located an hour from Little Rock, the state capital. Harrell first laced up a pair of skates at the age of 3 and participated in the U.S. figure skating apprenticeship program, under the guidance of diamond edge figure skating club director of skating amanda griffin. while living in arkansas, harrell said he often visited dallas, texas, where his family had a condominium located downtown. It was while he was skating at the Galleria Dallas rink that Harrell got serious about the sport. At age seven, he moved to Dallas permanently with his mother for his education.

    Hanna with coaches Aleksey Letov and Olga Ganicheva after winning her U.S. juvenile silver medal in 2016.

    upon moving to dallas, harrell began training with 1992 olympic pairs champion natalia mishkutionok, but after a year of working with her, harrell said she switched to her current trainers olga ganicheva and aleksey letov because they were working with a high number of caliber skaters.

    “Because [being an elite skater] was my goal, I decided to move to them [Ganicheva and Letov],” said Harrell, who trains with the husband-and-wife team in Plano, Texas, 30 minutes a north dallas. .

    “because olga and aleksey are russians, they are hard on me”, he added. “But I understand because they want me to become one of the best athletes and [working with them] is the best thing for me. I just like the way they train.”

    In 2016, Harrell won the silver medal at the junior level at his first national championship, skipping the intermediate level and qualifying for nationals again the following season, finishing sixth at the novice level. That February, she made her international debut, winning his first international medal, a silver in the advanced novice category, at the Challenge Cup in The Hague. At the start of the 2017-18 season, she made her junior international debut at the Asian Open trophy in Hong Kong, finishing in fifth place, and the following month she placed fourth in the United States. challenge skating for beginners and youth in salt lake city, utah. U.S. Figure skating then gave Harrell the opportunity to compete in her first Junior Grand Prix, which took place October 11-14, 2017, in Egna, Italy.

    “My main goal (of the event) was to gain more experience for the international (circuit) because it was my first season of a junior grand prix,” he said of his seventh-place finish at the event.

    a few months later, in 2018 u.s. championships in san jose, calif., hanna claimed the junior pewter medal. he returned in april 2018 to italy for the spring egna trophy, where she earned her first junior international medal, silver, and debuted in her 2018-19 season short program with petty booka’s “bla bla bla cha cha cha” .

    After a successful end to his 2017-18 season, the start of the 2018-2019 fall season did not go as planned for Harrell. Originally selected to compete in the Junior Grand Prix event in Richmond, Canada in September, Harrell was forced to withdraw from the event due to an injury to her right foot. However, US Figure Skating selected to send Harrell to the Junior Grand Prix event in Armenia, the final event of the 2018-19 Junior Grand Prix series, in mid-October.

    “I just wanted to show that I was strong and could bounce back after an injury,” he said of his seventh-place finish in Armenia.

    harrell qualified for her first senior nationals by finishing second at the 2019 midwest sectional championships in november 2018. in the u.s. short program. uu. championships in detroit, harrell delivered a technically strong performance, complete with a triple-triple combination (triple lutz-triple toe). her adding a level of difficulty by jumping with her arms over her head for both her triple-triple combination and the triple flip earned her higher goe (degrees of execution) scores for those jump passes. Ella’s short program “bla bla bla cha cha cha” scored 68.16, putting her in fifth place heading into the free skate, just two points off third place.

    Skating first to a Tango medley in the last group of the ladies free skate, Harrell surprised herself and fans yet again by delivering another noteworthy performance. She earned a free skate score of 134.95 to finish fifth in the free skate and fourth overall. Standing on the podium having the pewter medal draped around her neck came as a bit of shock, even for Harrell.

    “I wasn’t really planning and I wasn’t thinking I was going to set myself up and do as well as I did,” harrell acknowledged. “My goal going into the competition was just to do my personal best, good jumps, good spins, and just generally do a good race in my first U.S. competition. uu. championships as a senior.”

    “[the nationals] were simply an incredible experience and an opportunity for me because it was my first time in the senior category and it was also the first time I was able to participate in the gala at the end”, he added. “When I competed, it was great because last year in the juniors, even though it was in the big arena, it felt completely different. the atmosphere [in detroit] felt very different because there was a bigger crowd and there were tv [cameras]. but for some reason, for me, I didn’t feel nervous. For some reason, I felt more support [from the public] and it helped me do well.”

    Being in the final bracket also meant the distinction of skating live on national television during nbc sports’ primetime coverage of the free skate event. Harrell said she received countless text messages from family and friends watching from home.

    “All my family, their friends and other family friends were looking at me and cheering me on,” he said. “After I competed, they sent me videos of everyone cheering and it was really cool.”

    Immediately following the U.S. Championships, Harrell was selected to attend U.S. Figure Skating’s U.S. World Junior Team Camp in Strongsville, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. This was the first-time that U.S. Figure Skating did not name the men’s and ladies’ members of World Junior Team at the U.S. Championships. Harrell was joined at the camp by fellow competitors Starr Andrews (2017 U.S. junior silver medalist who placed 12th at the 2017 World Junior Championships), Ting Cui (2018 U.S. junior bronze medalist), Gabriella Izzo (2019 U.S. junior champion) and Audrey Shin (2019 U.S. junior silver medalist), all vying for the two ladies spots. The camp was a “competition simulation”, Harrell said, noting that she had to perform both her programs in front of judges. The selections for the World Junior team were announced at the conclusion of the camp. Harrell, along with Cui, who finished in fifth place in her senior national debut, were named to Team USA’s World Junior Team.

    harrell attended the camp in 2018 as a substitute for the world youth team. Although this year’s switch from nationals to world junior team camp was brief and her training between the two events was limited, Harrell said she was confident she would be selected to receive one of two women’s spots for the world junior championships. /p>

    “when I went to junior world camp I automatically knew this was important and I needed to show them that I can do what I did at nationals again and show them that I am consistent enough to get sent to junior worlds,” harrell replied. “I was a little nervous at first, but I felt really good about myself because of my training.”

    Since camp, Harrell said his training for the junior world championships has remained consistent and he’s training the same way he did before the usa. uu. championships with russian ladies currently dominating the junior scene, harrell said for the us. uu. ladies to compete with them need to be consistent and also willing to challenge themselves technically, bearing in mind that some of the best junior Russian ladies are attempting quad jumps. Harrell confirmed that she is working on her triple and quad axel jumps, specifically the quad toe loop. she told inline figure skaters on Feb. 21 that she does not plan to add any jumps to her free program for the junior world championships, but she hopes to add one or both jumps for the next season.

    “I just want to be consistent,” harrell said of competing with the junior russian ladies. “Also, even if I don’t have the quads (right now), I want to be able to do my jumps with the highest goe (scores) and show that my jumps are really good.”

    “I just want to do what I did in the US. uu. championships and being able to give my best, ”she added about his goals for the junior worlds.

    Making part of the 2022 Olympic team is Harrell’s long-shot goal. As he works toward her dream, he said he draws inspiration from 2006 Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen.

    “She was always my favorite skater because of her skating skills and how she drew the audience with her performances,” exclaimed, who deliberately skated for Cohen’s Olympic short program, “Dark Eyes,” last season. “One day I wish I could skate like she did.”

    But until then, Harrell has her eyes on the junior world championships and is eager to show the world what kind of skater she is.

    “I’m very excited. It is a great experience. It will be my debut to the world and show everyone who I am.”

    Other fun facts about Hanna:

    -after the junior world championships, hanna will visit her mother’s family in japan.

    -hanna is in the ninth grade and is enrolled in the connections academy online school.

    -hanna will be 16 on sept. 26. She says that she will look to get her license once she turns 16 so she can drive herself from one side of the track to the other.

    -when she’s not skating, hanna says she likes to paint a little, take hip-hop classes and hang out with her friends. His favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy.

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