Sprinker ice arena was bustling with excitement as skaters and fans gathered in Tacoma for the Northwest Pacific Regionals, which concluded yesterday. Many gathered to cheer on their friends and family who were competing for spots at the upcoming Pacific Coast Sectionals.
In the senior ladies division, Alison Jeffers from the Seattle Skating Club was in first after the short program with Cassandra Smith following closely behind. Sadly Cassandra struggled in her free skate and finished in sixth place.
Coming in fifth place after the short was Hawaiian native, Samantha Stevens, who decided that this will be her final season competing, as she recently moved to Seattle to attend Seattle Pacific University. It was an emotional finish for Samantha and she could not help but shed a few tears at the end of her program, as she said goodbye to a career and a sport that she was practically raised in.
Samantha had one of the best skates she could have imagined, winning gold at her final regionals. “I have never worked so hard,” she explained. Knowing it would be her final season, she gave it all she had. “This is the first time I can actually say that I am proud of myself,” she said beaming. Samantha will now go on to Pacific Coast Sectionals in November, where she hardly cares about her placement, she just wants to savor her final moments as a competitive skater.
Though Samantha does not plan on competing after this season, she will not be leaving the sport altogether. She still hopes to coach in the Seattle area and is majoring in journalism with a possible minor in sports psychology.
Capturing the silver, with two solid programs was Alison Jeffers. Though a bit disappointed by her performance, she is ready to get to work in preparation for sectionals. “I’m going to work more on my endurance, more on my jumps. I’m going to push my double axel really hard and I’m going to push some triples really hard. I hope to be pretty much a different skater, by sectionals. That’s my goal. I always want to set a high goal, because if you come in a little low, it’s still really high.”
The top four skaters from regionals: Samantha Stevens from the Skating Club of Oregon, Alison Jeffers from the Seattle Skating Club, Amy Nunn also from the Seattle Skating Club and Jordan Lee from Lakewood Winter Club will all be moving on to sectionals, November 19-23 where there is sure to be more unexpected and enjoyable moments from these incredible ladies.