LYNWOOD | You couldn't help but feel a little sorry for the young pair.
"You could tell by the looks on their faces they weren't too happy about the turn of events," Sue Krusza said of the mishap during the Elementary B Pairs medal ceremony at the USA Roller Sports Figure Skating National Championships, held late July and early August in Lincoln, Neb.
The team was from Lynwood, California. When the announcer revealed the bronze medal winners were from "Lynwood, Illinois ... ", they didn't quite register the "Illinois" part and realized too late while making the curtain call that it was meant for Samantha Krusza and Javier Campos.
Eight-year-old Samantha and 13-year-old Javier are actually from Lansing. They both train at Lynwood Sports Center under the tutelage of coach Julie Jessup.
"They've only been together for a short period of time," Jessup said. "Javier has only been skating for one year.
"I feel they will get much stronger in their lifts, where they need to improve, the longer they work together."
Samantha and Javier are relatives. Samantha started skating seriously when she was just 4 years old after she begged her mother Sue, who was assisting Jessup with her skating team at LSC, to include her in a show.
In last year's National Championships, Samantha took fifth in the Primary Girls Freeskating division. This year in Lincoln, she placed third in the division.
"That's the first time I've coached a girl who won a medal at the National Championships," Jessup said. "And I've been coaching for a long time.
"I've had boys and pairs medal, but Samantha was the first girl to medal all by herself."
The medal ceremony format announced the gold medal winner(s) first ahead of the silver and bronze medalists. Each medalist, whether singles or pairs, were given the opportunity to skate across the floor in an artistic manner while receiving applause from the crowd before reaching the podium.
"I think the reason why they do the gold medalists first is because they don't want them climb around the other medalists on way to the top platform with their skates on," Sue Krusza said.
"That's why I want to win gold the next time," Samantha said. "I'll get to stay up there longer."