By Jamie M. Blanchard
Figure Skaters Online
Becky Bereswill and Trevor Young are one of four pairs making their national debut at the 2011 U.S. Championships, Jan. 22-30, in Greensboro, N.C. While Young is an experienced pairs skater, finishing 12th at the 2010 U.S. Championships with his previous partner Andrea Best, Bereswill is a successful ladies competitor who started pair skating in April.
Before leaving for Greensboro, Young sat down with Figure Skaters Online to discuss his partnership with Bereswill, the 2008 Junior Grand Prix Final Champion who competed at the last three U.S. Championships as a senior lady.
Becky has been pair skating for less than a year but you two just a week away from competing with her at the U.S. Championships. What’s it been like skating with her? Are you surprised at how quickly she’s progressed?
The past eight months have been a great experience with Becky. With her accomplished singles background, she brings a completely new element to pairs skating. She’s so graceful when she skates and her emotion shines through every time she steps on the ice. Her strength as a jumper has helped me improve as well — I find myself landing my jumps more consistently because I have complete confidence in her jumping ability.
As far as how quickly she’s taken to pairs skating, I can’t believe how fast she’s picked it up. She was landing throw triples less than a month into our partnership. Becky has always been a strong singles skater, but to pick up pairs so quickly is extremely impressive. We train with several highly ranked ice dance teams at the Arctic Edge and almost every day, one of them remarks at how quickly she’s learning and how impressed they are. She’s truly an amazing skater.
As an experienced pair skater, someone who has competed nationally and internationally before, were you nervous at all to team up with someone who hadn’t done pair skating before? Was it difficult for you at first?
I wasn’t nervous at all because I knew the kind of skater and the kind of person Becky was when I teamed up with her. She has great physical and mental strength, both of which are extremely important to be successful in pair skating. It was a little difficult at first, but not because of anything Becky did, but because I was out of shape. I was struggling to keep up with her in several aspects of skating, particularly in our side-by-side jumps. I think I’ve caught up now though.
What are some of the strengths of your partnership?
Definitely our lines. There’s no hiding that we’re both on the taller side for pairs skaters. Some people think it might be a weakness; I see it as a strength. We have no problem doing any pair elements. Lifts are light and fun. Twists are high and explosive. But what I think really stands out about us is our long lines. We have a unique look, and I think we’re going to use it to our advantage.
What are your thoughts on the season so far?
I couldn’t be happier. We’ve only competed a couple of times so far, but each one has been an improvement upon the last. We’ve come so far in eight months. I can honestly say that I feel like we “fit in” with the other pair teams. There’s no “newness” to our skating anymore. I can’t wait for nationals.
Can you tell us a little bit about your programs?
Our short program is to “Song of India”. It’s a classical piece, and it’s similar to pieces that I’m used to skating to, so there’s a high level of comfort there. However, our long is to “Chicago”, and it’s a completely different story. I’ve really had to work hard at the choreography to show my personality. I’m pretty jealous of Becky when it comes to choreography because it doesn’t matter what she does, she always looks good. I don’t know how she does it.
What are your goals for the U.S. Championship?
Two quality performances. I’m not really looking at a certain placement because so much of that is out of the skaters’ hands. So I like to set my goals within what I can control.
Becky has skated at nationals before but only as a singles skater. As her partner, have you given her any “pointers” on skating pairs at nationals?
Not so much “pointers” as just “being there” for her. I make sure that if she needs me, I’m there. At our previous competitions, we spent a lot of time with each other: watching events, eating lunch, watching a movie. I enjoy spending time with her off the ice and I think we both help calm each other’s nerves during competitions.
What are your long term goals for the partnership?
Our goal is definitely the 2014 Olympics. After graduating from Michigan, I wasn’t sure if wanted to continue skating or not, and then when Becky told me she was interested in skating pairs, I knew we could do something special.
Thanks for chatting with us Trevor. Anything else that you would like to share?
Yes. There’s not a lot of people that can handle being a senior-level skater, let alone completely changing disciplines in such a short amount of time. Becky’s doing that while being a full-time student at the University of Michigan. It’s really unbelievable what she’s been able to accomplish. I’m so proud of her — and us. Go Blue!
Photos courtesy of Jacque Tiegs
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