|Sun Valley Figure Skating Club showcase skaters in California, from left, Emma Stuessi, Lane Letourneau, Alexandra Harten, Joyce Chan, Blake Letourneau and Alex Stuessi.
A Sun Valley Figure Skating Club theatrical skating “dream team” stormed the beach in southern California Aug. 9-11, capturing 14 medals and four national titles during the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating National Showcase championships.
Traveling to Escondido with coaches Gia Guddat and Holly Wheeler were Joyce Chan, Alexandra Harten, Blake Letourneau, Lane Letourneau, Alex Stuessi and Emma Stuessi.
All attend the Community School—Harten and Chan are 10th-graders, Emma Steussi and Lane Letourneau are eighth-graders, and Blake Letourneau and Alex Stuessi are sixth-graders.
The Sun Valley skaters faced fierce competition from 92 figure skating clubs and more than 300 individual National Showcase competitors. Individual events included both qualifying and final rounds consisting of 8-15 of the best amateur theatrical skaters in the nation.
Winning national showcase titles were Joyce Chan (Intermediate Light), Lane Letourneau (Preliminary Light) and Alex Stuessi (Dramatic). Silver medalist was Alex Harten (Novice Light).
Chan went on to skate her program in the “Parade of Champions,” and Letourneau and Stuessi skated in the “Parade of Junior Champions.”
Harten, Chan, Stuessi and Letourneau advanced to the final rounds by winning gold medals in their qualifying rounds. Chan advanced to finals in two events, Light and Dramatic Entertainment.
Remarkably, every skater on Sun Valley’s team medaled in at least one large, challenging event qualifying round.
Emma Stuessi, who won fourth-place medals in qualifying rounds for both Pre-Juvenile Light and Dramatic Entertainment, was honored by being chosen to participate in the introduction of award presenter Richard Dwyer at the close of the competition.
Emma also won a silver medal in her Pairs qualifying round with partner Lane Letourneau. Blake Letourneau won a silver medal in her Pairs qualifying round with partner Alex Stuessi.
The Sun Valley team also competed in Mini Group Production with a smaller version of its gold medal-winning Sun Valley Summer Championships Group Showcase performance called “Electric Circus.” The group just missed a medal with a strong fifth-place finish.
National gold medalists Chan, Lane Letourneau and Alex Stuessi were invited to skate pre-show in Sun Valley on Ice performances. Letourneau performed on Aug. 18, and Stuessi is scheduled to do so on Aug. 25 and Chan on Sept. 1.
Internationally renowned choreographer and professional theatrical skater Guddat designed all of the team members’ programs in California.
Wheeler is primary coach and costume designer for Harten, the Letourneaus and the Stuessis. Coaching Chan are Sonya Dunfield and Guddat.
Detailed SVFSC results from the California trip:
Alexandra Harten—2012 U.S. Figure Skating National Showcase Novice Light silver medalist; and gold medalist in her Light Entertainment qualifying round.
Joyce Chan—2012 U.S. Figure Skating National Showcase Intermediate Light Champion; gold medalist in her Light Entertainment qualifying round and silver medalist in her Dramatic Entertainment qualifying round.
Emma Stuessi—Silver medal in her Pairs qualifying round with partner Lane Letourneau; fourth-place medals in qualifying rounds for both Pre-Juvenile Light Entertainment and Dramatic Entertainment.
Lane Letourneau—2012 U.S. Figure Skating National Showcase Preliminary Light Champion.; gold medalist in her Light Entertainment qualifying round, and silver medalist in her Pairs qualifying round with partner Emma Stuessi.
Alex Stuessi—2012 U.S. Figure Skating National Showcase Preliminary Light Champion; gold medalist in her Light Entertainment qualifying round, and silver medalist in her Pairs qualifying round with partner Blake Letourneau.
Blake Letourneau—Silver medalist in her Pairs qualifying round with partner Alex Stuessi.