U. S. pairs skaters Tiffany Vise and Derek Trent made a strong showing at the beginning of the 2005-06 season when they finished third at the Karl Schaefer Memorial in Vienna in October. Vise, age 19, and Trent, 25, gave themselves a good start headed into the Olympic season.
The pair hopes to make the top four at U. S. Nationals this season. “We’re going to give it our all this season and see where it goes,” Trent said. “We’d like to continue on but we’ll have to see how the season goes.” But they do have other skating-related interests. Vise taught Learn to Skate classes all last year and hopes to return to coaching, while Trent has coached and judged. He has completed his training to judge under the new system. “It would be good to become a technical specialist,” he said.
Vise comes from a skating family. Her younger sister Brittany also competes in pairs for the United States, placing eighth in 2005 at Nationals with long-time partner Nicholas Kole. “I started skating at age four,” Vise recalled. “My parents took me skating once and then enrolled me in weekly Learn to Skate classes. Then after that I started private lessons and really enjoyed them and kept skating until this day.” Vise landed her first triple jump, a salchow, when she was 12. She reached as high as sixth at U. S. Nationals in novice ladies in 2000 before deciding to concentrate on pairs.
She began skating pairs when she was nine. “I like pairs because I love flying through the air and I want to be with someone when I’m on the ice,” Vise said. In 1996, she won a bronze medal at Junior Olympics in juvenile pairs with Robert Pratt and another the next year in intermediates with Ryan Bradley. She and Bradley finished sixth and seventh respectively in novice pairs in 1998 and 1999 before Bradley decided to concentrate on singles. Vise added another bronze medal to her collection in 2002 with Larry Ibarra, and then went on to finish sixth at Junior Worlds with him.
Trent began skating when he was eight. “I watched too much TV and my parents took me to a family skating night,” he recalled. “I liked it so I started a weekly class, but we only had ice six months a year so when I was ten I moved to Colorado Springs to train. I was a free skater until I was 21 and made Nationals in Intermediate and novice around 1995.”
“When I was twelve, I started dance,” he continued, “first with Eve Chalom, then with my sister Kelli. Eve and I finished third in intermediates at the first ever Junior Nationals in 1993. Kelli and I also made it to Junior Nationals but I don’t remember the results. I’ve passed all my dance tests and was still doing dance partnering until recently. It’s too hard to go back to being alone on the ice after working as a team.”
“I quit competing in dance when I was 17 and started in pairs,” Trent added. “I incorporated what I learned from dance in pairs, but there’s more freedom in pairs and the lifts are more fun. I skated with Katie Gadkowski and finished fourth in novice in 1998, then fourth in juniors in 1999. Then I skated with Brandilyn Sandoval and we finished third in juniors in 2001. I competed with Stacey Pensgen in 2003 in seniors, then I started with Tiffany in the summer of 2003.”
“Neither one of us had partners,” Vise explained. “I was going to do the partner tryouts but since we were skating at the same rink, we decided to try out together for a month. Then we went to the Indy Challenge and placed well so we decided to go ahead. We got assigned to Golden Spin and came third, then finished 13th at Nationals in 2004 and ninth last season.”
The couple trained with Irina Vorobieva at the World Arena in Colorado Springs until June 2005, when they moved to Scottsdale, Arizona to work with Doug and Lara Ladret. “We just needed a change,” Vise said. “Irina still put us on the ice at Sectionals in Colorado.” “We’d been at the same rink forever so we thought we’d get a new start and new motivation in a new location,” Trent added. They train for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week with another 2 hours in off ice training.
Vise and Trent are using side-by-side triple toe loops in their short program with side-by-side triple toe loops and triple salchows in the long. “We have all our new elements in the programs now, but we’re trying to make sure we get the highest level on everything including spins and footwork,” Vise said. “Starting in June, we’ve made changes after every competition to increase the levels.”
Catarina Lindgren choreographed the couple’s programs, both of which were new for the 2005-06 season. “I found the short and Catarina found the long program music,” Trent noted. “We wanted to find something outside of the norm, something fun, but challenging within the new rules. The short is to “Shall We Dance” and “Dance with Me” while the long is a mixture of three pieces of music with a Middle Eastern flair.”
Vise works in a restaurant to support her skating, while Trent sells real estate. He has earned his bachelor’s degree in business and Spanish from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and plans to get a Master’s in international business. Vise is enrolled as a freshman at Scottsdale Community College and plans to major in kinesiology at university looking towards a career in sports medicine. She also plans to coach and do choreography for pairs.
Trent is also interested in politics, eventually hoping to run for office. “I’m starting by volunteering and slowly working my way in,” he said. “I’m also involved in community activism.” Vise was also involved in politics in high school, where she was in the student government. She was also involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Future Business Leaders of America.
Off ice, Trent loves skiing, both water and snow, but especially snow skiing. Vise enjoys bowling and running. She was on the track and field team in high school, competing in both the 800 meters and the pole vault. Trent also enjoys travel, watching movies and independent films, and seeing musicals and Broadway shows. He collects shot glasses from every city he visits. Vise enjoys shopping, reading, dancing, cooking, surfing the Internet and hanging out with friends. She is working on a scrapbook for all of her competitions.