The Perfect Union: Fun and First Place Finishes

At the ISI World Team Championships this year, Claudia Cannatella, 15, couldn’t help letting her excitement spill over.

The 11-member Tampa Bay Skating Academy Countryside team would bring home a first place trophy, the Board of Directors award, for the highest score among teams with 15 or fewer skaters – a “great accomplishment,” says Coach Bill Coyle.

But it was when Claudia spotted 2011 US National Figure Skating

The team from Tampa Bay Skating Academy in
Countryside Mall brings home a first place victory.

Champion Ryan Bradley that the excitement bubbled over.

“I was a little star struck,” Claudia explains. “I just started screaming, ‘I love you! I love you!’ I asked him if he would marry me. He didn’t answer so I still have to find out.”

Claudia Cannatella

She may get a chance to find out at next year’s ISI championships in Boston, where Coach Bill has high hopes for another great finish. 

This year, the Ice Skating Institute (ISI) world championships were held in Anaheim, California, July 22 – 29. The TBSA Countryside team came in 13th overall out of 89 rinks. The event drew more than 2,000 competitors worldwide. Each team member competes individually. If they place in the top five, they receive a team point depending on what place they get. The points are then added up and a team score is given. 

Winning the Board of Directors award for the highest score out of about 30 teams with fewer skaters felt great, says Coach Bill.

“It’s nice to be recognized,” he says. “We’re one of the smallest

Coach Bill

rinks in the country and we continue to excel and bring home trophies. This was a huge competition. For these kids, it’s like going to nationals.”

ISI competitions differ from US Figure Skating (USFSA) events in a variety of ways. Both are great opportunities for skaters to enhance their skills. But ISI is a recreational figure skating program, whereas USFSA is the route to regionals, sectionals, nationals and the Olympic Games.

“Next year, I think we’re going to have a bigger team,” Coach Bill says. “We’ll definitely try to shoot for higher placement overall.”

Although the TBSA Countryside skaters had lots of fun on and off the ice at this year’s championships, there was a lot of hustling from rink to rink to compete. Several rinks in California hosted the world event. 

Morgan Gamble

“We did pretty good as a whole and I did pretty good myself,” says Morgan Gamble, 15, who competed in seven events. Morgan earned four first place finishes, one second, one third, and one fourth.

“I really enjoy showing people how much I’ve achieved and proving to myself I can perform in front of people and not just Coach Bill,” says Morgan, who has made the trip to the world championships five times. 

Morgan has filled up five hats with pins from all over
the world. She trades pins with friends she meets
at the ISI world events.

Allyssa Savaglio, 15, who competed in 11 events and also has been to the championships five times, says she likes the diversity in the types of events. For example, participants can skate an artistic program, a couples program, or do an interpretive program, to name just a few. 

Out of the 11 events she participated in, Allyssa earned three first place finishes, two seconds, one third, three fourths, and two fifth places.

Allyssa Savaglio

“It’s a lot of fun because each event is so different,” she says. “You can be strong in one event and weak in another, so you can work on that one for next time.”

Next time brings lots of promise for TBSA Countryside skaters, who are working hard with the Boston competition in mind. And who knows, maybe then Claudia will receive Bradley’s answer to her marriage proposal. “He heard her, too,” Allyssa says, as a witness. “He was laughing.”


Below are the TBSA Countryside skaters’ placements at the ISI world event:

Brianna Bella: 1 first, 2 seconds, 1 third.

Allie Burch: 1 first, 2 fourths, 6 thirds, 1 sixth.

Claudia Cannatella: 1 second, 2 thirds, 1 fifth.

Ashley Cinotti: 1 first, 2 thirds, 1 fifth, 3 sixths.

Alexis Cinotti: 1 first, 1 second, 2 thirds, 1 fifth.

Guilanna Lombardo: 1 first, 2 seconds, 1 fourth, 1 fifth.

Tyler Ouzts: 3 firsts, 2 seconds, 3 thirds, 1 fourth, 1 sixth.

Julia Savaglio: 2 firsts, 1 third, 1 fourth, 1 fifth, 3 sixths.

Erin Tibbits: 2 firsts, 1 third, 1 fourth.