Article-Andrew-Torgashev-2-3-13(2/3/2013) Andrew Torgashev is a true warrior on the ice, so it’s no surprise the 11-year-old would not let a fall affect his determination to succeed at the 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha, Neb.

Despite tripping during his footwork sequence in the finale of his long program routine on the last day of the competition, the sixth-grader at North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek got right back up and received a solid score from the judges. That gave him all the momentum he needed to go on and become the Intermediate Division champion after two days of grueling competition.

The Coral Springs resident, who was among 12 sectional winners at the Omaha showcase, won with a 10-point cushion over his nearest opponent. His technical and skill set was so solid, judges indicated, that the fall could not alter his final standing since he was so far ahead in points.

The title was the second in as many years for Torgashev, who turned in a top overall showing in the Juvenile Division of the 2012 U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships.

“This would only happen in my dreams,” said Torgashev, who executed three triple jumps, including a Salchow-double toe combination, in the long program to clinch his Intermediate Division title. “I just went out and did the best I could.”

The standout effort was all the more impressive considering that Torgashev had a stomach flu earlier in the month and did not feel up to par until one week before nationals.

Torgashev’s performance, set to the music of Elvis Presley, earned him 68.07 points and brought him to a remarkable 107.92 points for the event that included a short program Jan. 25 before the long program Jan. 27. It was his best point total of the figure skating season.

After lacing up his first pair of skates at age 5, the American-born Torgashev grew more and more fond of the sport and two years later convinced his Russian parents to allow him to compete in his first regional tournament. Within a year, he was a finalist at that level and now has three regional titles under his belt.

He worked hard to excel in sectional events, which feature regional winners and catapult the top skaters in various divisions into the national spotlight.

Mission accomplished, as he not only made his first appearance at nationals last year but also won his juvenile division.

by Rick Menning, Sports Coordinator
(Sun Sentinel)