The Canadian national junior pairs champions for 2007 were Carolyn MacCuish and Andrew Evans from Ontario. The couple finished eighth in their first ISU championships at the 2007 Junior Worlds in Germany. In addition, the skaters competed at two Junior Grand Prix events in their first year together, placing sixth in Oslo, Norway and seventh in Liberec, Czech Republic.
MacCuish, 15 in September, started skating at the age of four. “My parents signed me up to give me something to do,” she said. She had started in ballet when she was two and has continued until now, but skating is her first love. She also played recreational league soccer until last summer. In singles, MacCuish has competed up to pre-novice, making Central Ontario Sectionals last season. “I started doing pairs about five years ago because I saw it on television and wanted to try it because it looked like fun,” she added. “I prefer pairs because it’s more interesting with the lifts and throws.”
Evans, who is 19, started at five. “My sister wanted to skate and I had to be at the rink with her so I wanted to have something to do,” he recalled. He landed his first triple salchow at 17 and was doing up to the triple loop consistently but never had a triple axel. Evans won the Ontario Games in pre-novice and novice men but never made Canadian Nationals so he decided to concentrate on pairs three years ago. “It has crossed my mind to go back and compete in junior men if pairs doesn’t work out,” he said.
“I started doing pairs when I was nine,” he continued. “My coach was a pairs skater and at my club for a male the thing to do was pairs. I started with Brooke Paulin and we got to about ninth at Divisionals in 2003. But Brooke moved and I started doing tryouts. I went to Burlington where Carolyn was and that was the last tryout I did. We have the same skating styles and body types.”
The couple began skating together in March 2004, but in March of 2006, their previous coach retired and recommended that they move to the Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie, Ontario. They had previously skated at the Canadian Ice Academy in Etobicoke. Lee Barkell coaches the skaters, assisted by Shane Dennison and Jacinthe Lariviere. They also have stroking classes with David Islam. Dennison coaches Evans for singles, while he and Barkell coach MacCuish. The skaters train on the ice for two hours a day, five days a week. She does another two hours of singles, while he does another hour. Both of the skaters do yoga.
The team used side-by-side double flips in their short this season with a throw triple salchow. Their long included a throw triple salchow and triple loop and side-by-side double lutzes and a double flip-double loop sequence. They are working on adding side-by-side double axels and a triple twist and have worked on a throw triple flip.
For the 2006-07 season, the skaters used “Bolero” from the “Moulin Rouge” soundtrack for their short program and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy for their long. “We stuck to classical until this year,” Evans stated. “Now we feel we’re mature enough to try more. Next year will have something different.” “We usually change both programs every season,” MacCuish added. “When you do so many run-throughs, it gets boring. It’s exciting when we have new ones.”
Tyler Myles did the initial choreography of the programs and Kelly Johnson updated it throughout the season. “Lenny Faustino picked the music for the short and we worked with Lenoire Kay to find the music for the long,” Evans said. For exhibitions, they use David Gray’s “This Year’s Love” which Faustino and Lariviere choreographed. Off ice, Evans listens to lot of independent and punk music, while MacCuish likes all types of music. She has played the piano since she was five, while he has been playing guitar for the last three years.
She likes hanging out with friends and swimming. He enjoys watching boxing and mixed martial arts matches on television with his father, playing on his computer and collecting rock music CDs. Evans also practiced tae kwan do for a few years, earning a red belt.
Evans just finished his final year of high school and plans to coach skating as a career. MacCuish will be a sophomore this fall and plans to study to become a teacher.