With an expanding repertoire of jumps, Dinh Tran put together two impressive programs to earn a spot on the podium in the junior men's division.
Stuart Hall sophomore Dinh Tran didn't wait long to fulfill one of his top New Year's resolutions.
Skating close to home and on the biggest stage of his young career, he put together two high-level performances at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships to take home a silver medal in the junior men's division.
Following a strong short program on January 1, the 16-year-old turned in a stunning free skate at the SAP Center in San Jose two days later.
"The thing I am proudest of in my performance was the ability to maintain my focus throughout the whole competition," Dinh says.
Dinh Tran's free skate at the U.S. championships, January 3, 2018.
Dinh, who entered the free skate event trailing the heavily favored leader by just .60 of a point, is peaking at just the right moment. He landed six triple jumps, including a very difficult triple axel, which he nailed for the first time in competition in the short program.
Dinh's emergence did not come out of nowhere. He took home the bronze medal in the novice division at the U.S. Championships last year and represented the United States in Poland this fall at his first international competition.
Dinh Tran's short program at the ISU Grand Prix in Gdansk, Poland, October 5, 2017.
For many skaters, it can be difficult to balance school and a demanding training schedule. "The truth is that they get in the way of each other," Dinh, who also plays silver flute in the coed high school jazz band, admits. "You have to try your best and work around it. Working hard always pays off."
By placing on the medal podium in San Jose, Dinh has secured a spot as an alternate on the national team at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Bulgaria in March.
In the Headlines:
The Mercury News: How one teen is overcoming skating's long odds
S.F. Chronicle: Teen from SF's Tenderloin snags silver at U.S. Figure Skating Championships
The Mercury News: Dinh Tran, skater from Tenderloin, medals at nationals
The Roundtable: Sophomore skater finds success on the ice
Photo credit: Karl Mondon, The Mercury News