Tonya Harding sat down briefly while completing her triple axel Saturday night. She's one of the few women in the world who can do that most difficult of all skating jumps, but she hadn't tried it for 10 months or more, for various reasons.
Even though she didn't complete the triple axel and didn't get credit for it, the Portland skater won both the senior ladies' division and the freestyle portion of the Pacific Coast Sectional Championships to go with her first place in Friday's optional program, which gave her the gumption to go ahead and put the triple axel back into her program."Now I've done it in competition again. I didn't land it, but I gave myself a security deposit on it," said Harding.
Harding ranks with the top three or four women in the country. She had to compete in the sectional to qualify for next month's national championships in Minneapolis because she failed to place in the 1990 Nationals in Salt Lake City.
That event concluded the sectional competition.
The first four places in novice, junior and senior events qualify for the national championships. The first four in intermediate qualify for that division's first-ever nationals scheduled later in the spring.
In the other senior event Saturday, the dance, Jeanne Miley and Michael Verlich were winners. Mimi Wacholder of Massachusetts, who represents the Utah Figure Skating Club, qualified fourth with her partner, Collin Sullivan, of Colorado.
In the adult senior division, which has no nationals, Dorothy Bowers and Quintin Foster of Utah FSC finished fourth.
The other Utah-based skater who qualified for the March nationals during the five-day sectionals was novice Eddie Gornik of Salt Lake City and Utah FSC in both figures and freestyle. In the intermediate division, Amber Starr Martin of Utah FSC in freestyle and Lucas Turner of Cottonwood Heights FSC in both figures and freestyle qualified.