For anyone who missed last year's national figure skating championships in Salt Lake City, or who just didn't get enough of it, here's a reprieve: The 259-skater 1991 Pacific Coast Sectional Championships this week in Bountiful will feature such internationally known names as Christopher Bowman, Rudi Galindo, Tonya Harding and Jeri Campbell.
All of them plus a number of others who competed in last year's nationals in Salt Lake will be on hand for the sectionals Tuesday through Saturday at the Bountiful Recreation Center rink.Skaters at novice, junior and senior levels must place in the top four in their events to qualify for the 1991 Nationals at Minneapolis next month. There will also be competition in adult senior and intermediate levels in Bountiful this week, and intermediates will have their first-ever nationals this spring.
For the first time, school figures and freestyle are separate entities and each have their own nationals. Until this season, figures counted as the first event toward an overall title. It is an international change.
Bountiful's Holly Cook does not have to qualify because of her third-place finish at nationals last year - she also won bronze in the '90 World Championships - so she's not entered in the sectional event.
However, Bowman, who placed third in the 1990 World Championships after petitioning his way in because of injury and illness, does have to requalify to make the next U.S. championships.
That's because of what happened to him in Salt Lake City last year when Bowman, the favorite to repeat as national champion, had to withdraw after completing two-thirds of the events. A nagging viral infection settled into his muscles and gave him upper-back spasms that caused falls in his original program. Upon advice of a doctor, he withdrew two hours before the freestyle. He was in fourth place at the time.
By special permission, Bowman competed in the 1990 Worlds at Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he placed third.
Bowman was 1989 national champion and 1989 world silver medalist and seventh in the 1988 Olympics.
The 23-year-old from Los Angeles, who often publicly argued with his longtime coach, Frank Carroll, has since changed coaches to Toller Cranston and won the 1990 Lalique Trophy and finished second in Skate America International.
Galindo, 22, of San Jose, Calif., was '90 and '89 national pairs champion with partner Kristi Yamaguchi. They also won the '88 World Junior Championships. But following the '90 Worlds, they split. She was also a singles skater and, when her coach married and moved to Canada, Yamaguchi moved there to train.
The long-distance practices made it difficult for Galindo, and he has since become a singles skater. That's why he must qualify in the sectional. He has no record at nationals as a single. Galindo did win the 1991 Central Pacific Regional to qualify for this meet.
Harding, 20, of Portland, Ore., was expected to be in the top three or four at the Salt Palace nationals because of her planned seven triple jumps in the freestyle, but she was ill the whole week and ran out of stamina in the final event, falling and having to water back just to get through. She was second through the first two events but 10th in the freestyle and placed seventh overall.
Campbell, who turned 20 today, was fifth in the '90 Nationals. She has skated in several international meets.
Others who return to Utah from last year's nationals having to qualify for the '91 finals at the senior level include the pairs teams of Sharon Carz and Doug Williams, third last year and 13th in the World Championships; and Troy and Dawn Goldstein, who will also skate individually, she in figures and he in freestyle. Also back are dancers Jeanne Miley and Michael Verlich, fourth at nationals last year. And Erik A. Larsen returns after a fourth-place finish in senior men's last February.
Among local names to watch is Clay Sniteman, 16. The Farmington resident was second in novice men's figures at the '90 Nationals and won the novice figures in the '89 Nationals, but he's since switched to novice pairs. He was third at the Central Pacific Regional.
And, there's another familiar name - sort of. It's Tiffany Chan. No, it's not the Tiffany Chin, who went from Salt Lake City to the Olympics in 1984, when Utah also hosted the National Championships. This Tiffany is in the intermediate ladies division.
Tickets are available at the door. They are $25 for an all-event pass. Evening sessions are $5, and morning sessions (until about 2 p.m.) are $2 each.