By Maura Sullivan Hill, staff writer
In 2007, Jason Brown won the U.S. Junior National title on the juvenile level with a score of 71.26 and no one has beaten that number on the juvenile level since.
It’s probably not surprising from a skater known for maxing out all the levels and points possible within the International Judging System (IJS) — and for routinely finishing among the top men’s skaters in the world, even with fewer quads in his arsenal.
But 2007 was the first year that the IJS was used at the juvenile level — so how did Brown and coach Kori Ade master the new system so quickly?
Ade happened to be in the right place at the right time in 2004, when the IJS was first introduced.
“I was lucky in that, the first year they were implementing the system, I was teaching at Lake Arrowhead and Michelle Kwan was training at Lake Arrowhead. Several members of the ISU and U.S. Figure Skating came to work with her on the IJS and I was allowed to stand in on these sessions,” Ade says.
With this firsthand knowledge at her disposal, Ade started creating Brown’s programs using IJS requirements — even though he was at the juvenile level at the time and still skating under the 6.0 system. A few years later, when the IJS made its way down to the juvenile level, Brown was ready.
“Because of that first summer, Jason has a standing record ,” Ade says. “I was lucky enough to stand in on these sessions with Michelle and understood the IJS from the very beginning. I just crafted a program that was going to be IJS appropriate, and he put up a huge score.”
Ten years after that first huge score, Brown and Ade are still masters of the IJS, along with their choreographer, Rohene Ward. Catch Brown, with Ade and Ward at the boards, this weekend at the NHK Trophy in Japan!
Read our featured interview with Ade, click here.