Bountiful's Holly Cook will enter Saturday's freestyle portion of the ladies' division in the 1991 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in fourth place following her finish Thursday night in the original program.
However, Cook's coach, Kris Sherard, says fourth's just as good as second place "because they're all one-on-one with each other."The original program counts one-third toward the final placement, with Saturday's freestyle counting two-thirds. That means that if Cook, currently in fourth, beats the second- and third-place skaters Saturday, Cook would finish second.
"We're sitting in a good spot. It's whoever beats each other," Sherard says.
Favored Kristi Yamaguchi was first in the original program, followed by Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan and Cook. Cook finished third behind Jill Trenary and Yamaguchi in the 1990 Championships at Salt Lake City and also took the bronze medal in the 1990 World Championships.
"She was a little disappointed, but she's OK," said Margie Cook, Holly's mother. "She did what she could."
Margie said Yamaguchi and Harding each did triple lutz jumps in the original program, and those are more difficult than what Cook does. Sherard said Cook felt she could have done her triple toe loop better, "But it wouldn't have mattered," said Sherard.
Sherard says Cook and Kerrigan have similar long programs with five triple jumps each. Harding does seven and could include a triple axel, the most difficult jump, but that's risky.
Cook will skate second in the final group of competitors, right after Yamaguchi, on Saturday. Sherard says that's good because Holly will expect Yamaguchi to get high marks, and that won't bother her emotionally as she takes to the ice.
The championships will be televised, some of it probably live, by ABC-TV on its "Wide World of Sports" segment Saturday starting at 2:30 p.m. MST.
Eddie Gornik, the 14-year-old from Cottonwood Heights, finished eighth overall in the novice men's division, moving up from 10th after the original program with a strong freestyle Thursday.
Gornik fell on his triple jump, putting his hands on the ice, but it was a good finish in a difficult division. It was his first appearance at nationals. He was fifth in the figures on Tuesday.