Urbanski, Marval win pairs title

January 10, 1992|By Bill Glauber | Bill Glauber,Sun Staff Correspondent

ORLANDO, FLA — ORLANDO, Fla. -- Calla Urbanski and Rocky Marval weren't supposed to win the pairs title at the U.S. Figure Skating %J Championships last night.

They were too brash, too blue-collar and too old.

But in the performance of their careers, the 31-year-old waitress and the 26-year-old truck driver who train at the University of VTC Delaware took the gold and emerged as medal hopefuls for next month's Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France.

"When we started, I said, 'We're trained, we're ready, we can do this,' " Marval said.

Urbanski and Marval, wearing teal and magenta outfits, skated with calm precision to the theme of "2001: A Space Odyssey" to score the upset of the championships.

Jenni Meno of Pompton Plains, N.J., and Scott Wendland of Spokane, Wash., finished second.

Natasha Kuchiki of Los Angeles and Todd Sand of Costa Mesa, Calif., the reigning world champion bronze medalist, had a disastrous free-skate performance and were placed third to claim the final Olympic spot.

Sand tumbled on the couple's first double axel, and later stepped out of his landing on a second double axel. Finally, Kuchiki, 15, fell out of her landing on a side-by-side double flip.

"I felt like someone pulled the carpet from underneath me," Sand said. "I don't know what happened."

The three mistakes by the defending U.S. champions gave the title to Urbanski and Marval, who formed their partnership 1 1/2 years ago.

America's new pairs titlists bring a decidedly different spin to the event. Urbanski, a native of Skokie, Ill., has survived injuries, a divorce and an ever-changing cast of skating partners to reach her first Olympic Games. To o

To make ends meet, she works as a waitress in a Wilmington, Del., bar-restaurant.

Marval owns a trucking company in his hometown of New Egypt, N.J. He is a motorcycle racer who brings speed and a strong, steady presence to the ice.

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