1972 U.S. Figure Skating Championships

The 1972 United States Figure Skating Championships was an event organized by U.S. Figure Skating to determine the U.S. national champions and the U.S. teams for the 1972 Winter Olympics and 1972 World Championships. Medals were awarded in three colors: gold (first), silver (second), and bronze (third) in four disciplines – men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating, and ice dancing – across three levels: senior, junior, and novice. The event was held from January 13–16 at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California.

The competition opened with the ladies' compulsory figures, in which Julie Lynn Holmes took the lead over Janet Lynn. But Lynn easily won the free skating with a faultless performance while Holmes skated cautiously. Second place in the free skating went to Dorothy Hamill, who probably performed the most difficult program but nonetheless could not overcome her deficit in the figures to reach the podium. Suna Murray captured the bronze medal.

The previous years' champions in the pairs and dance events, JoJo Starbuck / Kenneth Shelley and Judy Schwomeyer / Jim Sladky, respectively, easily defended their titles without serious challenge. The pairs competition this year was notable for the new and innovative lifts performed by the second-place team Melissa and Mark Militano as well as by Starbuck / Shelley. The Militanos also included a throw double axel and side-by-side double axels in their program, elements that only a few top pairs in the world were attempting in this era, but they could not match the speed and unison of the champions.

The men's competition saw something of an upset as defending champion John Misha Petkevich had a poor free skate, missing both his triple salchow and triple loop jumps. Kenneth Shelley, on the other hand, had one of the best performances of his career, allowing him to take the title with the first-place votes of 4 of the 7 judges. He became the first skater to win national titles in both senior men and pairs since 1941, and the first in postwar history to qualify for the Winter Olympics in two disciplines.

The 1972 Championships also marked the introduction of a significant innovation: the use of a computer to calculate the competition results for the first time at the U.S. Championships. The initial version of the scoring software, called "Hal", was written by volunteer Al Beard in FORTRAN, and ran via a remote terminal link on a time-sharing system donated by Honeywell in Minneapolis, where Beard was employed. Although the computer results were used for public announcements of the results, the rules of the time actually required hand computation of the official results, so this was done after the fact.[1]

1972 United States Figure Skating Championships
Type:National Championship
Date:January 13 – 16
Location:Long Beach, California
Venue:Long Beach Arena
1971 U.S. Championships
1973 U.S. Championships

Senior-level results


Rank Name
1 Kenneth Shelley
2 John Misha Petkevich
3 Gordon McKellen
4 John Baldwin, Sr.
5 Robert Bradshaw
6 James Demogines
7 Richard Ewell
8 David Santee
9 Stephen Savino
10 Dean Hiltzik
11 Perry Hutchings
12 Mahlon Bradley


Rank Name
1 Janet Lynn
2 Julie Lynn Holmes
3 Suna Murray
4 Dorothy Hamill
5 Jennie Walsh
6 Juli McKinstry
7 Patricia Shelley
8 Melissa Militano
9 Diane Goldstein
10 Kath Malmberg
11 Julia Johnson
12 Mary Marley
13 Denise Cahill


Rank Name
1 JoJo Starbuck / Kenneth Shelley
2 Melissa Militano / Mark Militano
3 Barbara Brown / Doug Berndt
4 Cozette Cady / Jack Courtney
5 Gale Fuhrman / Joel Fuhrman
6 Cathy Mishkin / Donald Bonacci
7 Cynthia Van Valkenberg / Jim Hulick
8 Laura Johnson / Johnny Johns
9 Kathy Normile / Gregory Taylor
10 / Kent Johnson

Ice dancing (Gold Dance)

Rank Name
1 Judy Schwomeyer / James Sladky
2 Anne Millier / Harvey Millier
3 Mary Karen Campbell / Johnny Johns
4 Debbie Ganson / Brad Hislop
5 Jane Pankey / Richard Horne
6 Kathleen West / Rollie Arthur
7 Colleen O'Connor / Jim Millns
8 Cathleen Casey / Francis Cassella
9 Susan Ogletree / Gerard Lane
10 Christine Linney / Bruce Bowland
11 Linda Stroh / Barry Stroh
12 Ginger Snyder / Robert Castle
WD Barbara Wayland / Michael Wayland

Junior-level results


Rank Name
1 Terry Kubicka
2 Scott Cramer
3 John Carlow
4 William Schneider
5 Terry Tunks
6 Chris Kales
7 Robert Graham
8 Scott Henderson
9 Neil Rubin
10 Nathan Alden
11 Tom Hilfman


Rank Name
1 Wendy Burge
2 Laurie Brandel
3 Barbara Salomon
4 Donna Arquilla
5 Candyce Wenborg
6 Jannat Thompson
7 Elizabeth Freeman
8 Ruth Cohen
9 Betsy Hobson
10 Diane Dennison


Rank Name
1 Michelle McCladdie / Richard Ewell
2 Suki Hoagland / Mike Sahlin
3 Georgia Truffini / Bill McPike
4 Jodie Martin / Robert Berry
5 Kristin Gilbert / David DeCaprio
6 Becky Hale / Jeff Hale
7 Deborah Robbins / Jack Colern
8 Patty Morton / Bill Fauver
9 Sheryl Franks / Michael Botticelli

Ice dancing (Silver Dance)

Rank Name
1 Michelle Ford / Glenn Parriott
2 Shareen Finley / Curt Finley
3 Andrea Peterson / Guy Sexton
4 Beatrice Sexton / James Thorn
5* Joy Cushner / Stephen Kanter
6* Laurie Martin / Fred Martin
7* Sara Hill / Roger Fortin
8* Stacey Smith / Frank Recco
9* Mitzi Robinson / Richard Kolodziej
10* Marcia Fugina / Charles Larson

* Eliminated before final round

Novice-level results


Rank Name
1 David Kirby
2 Perry Jewell
3 Charles Carapazza
4 Ronnie Green
5 Ken Newfield
6 Tom Zink
7 Kingsford Swan
8 Tom Reagan
9 Scott Sherman
10 Sven Krevald


Rank Name
1 Kim McIsaac
2 Roberta Loughland
3 Robin Wagner
4 Barbie Smith
5 Gail Hamula
6 Amanda Kohlhas
7 Leslie Glenn
8 Peggy Amelon
9 Tracey Cahill


  1. ^ "'Hal' Hits Nationals", Skating magazine, Mar 1972
  • "Nationals", Skating magazine, Mar 1972

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