April and Austin Shanz have come so far from the tiny little pairs team that lit up the floor many seasons ago at the Valley Skating Center in Donora, Pennsylvania. Today they are still very young - probably the newest Junior pair on the World stage - but have achieved one of the high goals that coaches hope to set for talented young skaters. They won the Bronze Medal in the Junior Pairs event at the 2009 Figure World Championship.
Attitude is everything, and a close look at their young faces at the practices, as they prepared to skate and even during their actual performances revealed the eye of the tiger and a level of concentration that was far beyond their years. In a sea of elaborate content, it was clear that they were being coached to focus on showing the the judges the very best of what they could do at this moment... and that is what gave them an appearance of comfort in the smooth, controlled long program that put them on the podium. Anthony Sorenson and Kathryn Biegel, our other hard-working Junior pair, finished 6th after the long program.