If it’s your senior year in high school, why not match that up with passing with the two highest level Senior USFSA singles skating tests that you can? On December 18, 2014, that’s exactly what skater Julia Gilman did.
In a USFSA test session at the Nashoba Valley Olympia in Boxborough, MA, Julia Gilman, a Senior at Falmouth High School and the daughter of Susan and Tom Gilman, passed her Senior Moves in the Field test, which earned her the Gold Medalist distinction under the United States Figure Skating test structure, then, within an hour of that, also passed her Senior freeskate test, which then promoted her to the coveted Double Gold Medalist title.
Julia performed her Moves in the Field test first, ecstatic when she learned that she had passed. Then, she had to put her emotions in check and warmed-up her freeskate elements. Her Senior freeskate program was a longer version of her Junior level freeskate program to singer Adele’s ‘Skyfall’, one of the first competitive programs that Julia had skated to with words. Being able to skate to programs with words in the competitive structure of USFSA is a fairly recent rule change that a lot of skaters prefer, since they can add more emotion to their performances. Julia is one these emotional and expressive skaters.
Julia skated nearly flawlessly, having to re-skate just one jump to seal her passing marks.
Under the USFSA testing system, there are eight levels of testing, with a Moves in the Field and Freeskate test at each level. A skater must pass the Moves in the Field test before being allowed to test the Freeskate for that same level. A skater’s freeskate test level determines what competitive level the skater can compete at. Tests are typically judged by a three judge accredited panel.
Julia’s journey would not have been complete without her long-time coach, Lynda Hathaway, at her side.
‘It has been a joy coaching her all these years, and I’m pretty sure we’ve created enough memories as a team – parents, coach and student – to pass on hours of wild, wacky and wonderful reminiscing to anyone willing to listen. I was thrilled to witness her stellar Senior Ladies Gold Medal freeskate performance. Kudos to Julia,’ comments Coach Hathaway.
Coach Hathaway is no stranger to traveling to Massachusetts and other states for her students’ test sessions. With only a few clubs in Maine that offer tests, most Maine skaters end up testing out of state. That morning, like many other mornings in Coach Hathaway’s over thirty year career, saw her rising at 4:30a.m. to make it to the Massachusetts rink in time to support her student.
The Gold Medalist and Double Gold Medalist distinctions are held in highest regards as skating credentials. Once earned, skaters may use them throughout their skating and non-skating careers.
The skaters at the US Figure Skating Championships, who are effectively competing to represent the United States at World and Olympic events, are all at this senior level. Julia now joins that highest ranking level of singles skating.
Congratulations to Julia Gilman and Coach Lynda Hathaway…