Her­nan­dez skates just like Greased Light­ning

Teen shows he’s cool on the ice with clas­sic sound­track

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT - By Tim Street tim.street@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

GREASE was cer­tainly the word when James Her­nan­dez struck gold at the Bri­tish Ice Fig­ure Skat­ing Cham­pi­onships in Sh­effield.

But what­ever moves John Tra­volta can pull on the dance floor, Her­nan­dez is equally slick and sure­footed on the ice.

The 13-year-old, from Coleshill, danced with part­ner Re­becca Clarke to a sound­track from the clas­sic 1978 movie to wow the judges and land the ba­sic novice dance ti­tle.

They did so by fin­ish­ing top of the pile in two out of three cat­e­gories – free dance and pat­tern dance – and com­ing sec­ond in the other, but do­ing enough in the other two for first place over­all.

Even more im­pres­sive is the fact that Her­nan­dez and Clarke have only been skat­ing to­gether for three months, while the pair they beat to the ti­tle have been to­gether for three years.

In fact, so suc­cess­ful have the duo been that Her­nan­dez is un­likely to be able to de­fend the solo ti­tle he won in June for a sec­ond year in a row

Rather than try­ing to make it a tre­ble next sum­mer, he is likely to be kept in pairs so na­tional se­lec­tors can as­sess his suit­abil­ity to skate for his coun­try.

It is no sur­prise con­sid­er­ing the hard work the for­mer Dave­nies Prep School pupil, who now at­tends Dr Chal­lenor’s Gram­mar in Amer­sham, puts in – train­ing five days a week and hit­ting the ice at 7am be­fore school.

Proud mum Stephanie Her­nan­dez said: “James has been skat­ing since the age of five, when we took him down to the rink while his sis­ter com­peted. While she is now fo­cused on univer­sity, James re­ally took to it from an early age and has al­ways been suc­cess­ful.

“Dr Chal­loner’s have been so very sup­port­ive of his skat­ing and un­der­stand­ing of its com­mit­ments. We would also like to men­tion his bril­liant coach Phillip Poole, who had two other cou­ples at the com­pe­ti­tion who also com­pete in­ter­na­tion­ally, which is what James and Re­becca are hop­ing to do.”

Hav­ing won the ba­sic novice dance, Her­nan­dez and Clarke also got to skate in the evening Cham­pi­ons Gala at the end of the com­pe­ti­tion.

South Bucks cer­tainly ap­pears to be a breed­ing ground for tal­ented young fig­ure skaters.

Back in July, Daniella Alessi, from Den­ham, came sixth in the se­nior ladies.at the Bri­tish Solo Dance Cham­pi­onships, hav­ing won the ju­nior and novice ti­tles in 2012 and 2013.

SUC­CESS: James Her­nan­dez with skat­ing part­ner Re­becca Clarke

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