Ahead by 10, the Hubbarts Head to Nationals!

Nick Flaskay, Tampa Bay Skating Academy’s managing
partner, congratulates JoJo and William Hubbart
on their accomplishments.

If last year they got the silver by inches, then this year they got the gold by miles.

JoJo and William Hubbart captured the gold medal in juvenile pairs at the 2013 Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships in Hyannis, Massachusetts, this month, finishing 10 points ahead of their nearest competitors. Last year, they got the silver medal, missing the gold by fractions of a point.

William Hubbart, 14, also grabbed the pewter medal in intermediate men’s singles, sending him to the 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha, Nebraska, in January, in two disciplines: pairs and singles.

At left, JoJo and William Hubbart take the No. 1
spot on the podium to receive their awards.
At right, William Hubbart receives his award for
fourth place in intermediate men’s singles.

The two teenagers are coached by world known coaches Alex Vlassov and Laura Amelina.

“I was so excited to get to go to Omaha,” William said. “The first thing I did was give Alex a huge high five. It was so loud it echoed around the rink.”

The pair team, which competed against six other teams, also received special achievement awards for the most points for side-by-side spins and for the death spiral. Their total score was 42.88.

In the last three years, the Tampa Bay Skating Academy in Oldsmar has delivered the gold, the silver, and the gold in juvenile pairs at sectionals in the eastern division. 

Coaches Amelina and Vlassov
with JoJo and William Hubbart.

In 2010, at the 2011 Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships, Sara Preston Davidson and Trent Wintermeier took home the gold medal. The following year, the Hubbart siblings captured the silver, and this year they came back with a bang to take the gold.

The year in which the sectional competition takes place can be confusing because the competition season begins with regionals in October and ends with nationals in January. U.S. Figure Skating uses the year in which nationals takes place to mark that competition season.

JoJo and William Hubbart

Last year, the Hubbart pair team went on to nationals to earn the bronze medal, but this year they’ve set the bar higher.

“We’re hoping to get the gold, if we skate our best and work hard,” JoJo, 13, said.

Vlassov and Amelina, a husband-and-wife coaching team, can’t help smiling when they talk about the two skaters’ achievements at this year’s sectional competition.

“We’re so proud of them. The kids did a good job,” Amelina said. “For William to qualify in pairs and singles is phenomenal. For any skater to qualify in two disciplines is hard. It’s very rare.”

On top of that, his landing in fourth place in singles was as good as winning the gold.

“That was the best place he could get given the difficulty of his jumps and the overall program,” Vlassov said.

But William’s trip to Omaha as a single skater wasn’t certain until the last minute. Each competitor performs a short and long program. The two scores are added together to get a skater’s final score. After the short program, he was in sixth place. The top four advance to nationals.

For the long program, he was the last to skate out of 12 competitors. It was in his long program where he made up the points needed to secure fourth place – and his spot at nationals.

“I knew no matter what happened I skated my best and that was good enough for me,” William said.