REDDING, Conn. -- Brooklee Han moved from Redding to Texas in September to push forward in her figure skating career. A silver medal and the highest short program score in her career at Australia’s national championships last week seem to indicate she made a good decision.
“Overall, I felt like quite positive about my performance at Nationals,’’ said Han, 21. “I was very satisfied with my short program, as well as my personal best score. Obviously there is still a lot of room for improvement and I hope to add some more difficult elements into the short program later this season, but it definitely was a big confidence booster to go out and skate a program like that.”
Han, who competed in the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, finished second in the Australian national championships for the fourth time in five years. She finished behind Kailani Crane, who won the title for the third straight year. In the long program, Crane’s winning score was 98.31, followed by Han at 91.27.
Han held the lead after the short program, when she posted a score of 59.45. It was her highest short program score by more than six points.
Han, a graduate of Joel Barlow High School , moved to Euless, near Fort Worth, in September to train with Darlene and Peter Cain. She changed her long program after the first competition of the season.
“I think I was just a bit tight into some of my elements in the long program, which resulted in some silly mistakes,’’ Han said. “This new long program is only about six weeks old. The music is 'Por una Cabeza,' which is the Tango from the movie 'Scent of a Woman' and it was choreographed by Evgueni Nemirovskii. At home prior to nationals, I had been skating the program very well, I just think I needed a little more competition experience with it so I could work out some of the kinks.”
She will get that chance this week at the Golden Spin competition in Croatia. While it was difficult to uproot her life, Han feels the move to train with the Cains has already been beneficial.
“I am really enjoying training down here in Texas. It is such a positive environment, and Darlene and Peter are fantastic coaches,’’ Han said. "It has also been great to have training mates. We all push and cheer each other on every day on the ice. Since moving to train with the Cains, I feel like my technique and my mental approach to skating have improved considerably.
"Although there is a long way to go, I am really happy with the progress we have made so far.”