Jennifer Wester & Daniil Barantsev teamed up in April and are training in Newington, Connecticut, under the coaching skills of Nikolai Morosov. They are currently ineligible to compete as Barantsev is Russian and currently working on his green card and citizenship. Before deciding to skate with Jennifer, Daniil also tried out with Emilie Nussear, Jamie Silverstein, Kirsten Frisch and Kendra Goodwin.
How did your tryout together come about?
Jennifer: Matthew Gates contacted Judy Blumberg who in turn contacted me. Matt gave me Nikolai’s phone number and in a brief call to him before the world championships, he told me to meet him there. At worlds, I introduced myself to him and Shae-Lynn one night in the stands. He asked me for my phone number and we agreed I would stay on the east coast for a tryout with Daniil. The next Friday after the end of Worlds, Daniil and I had a tryout in Cromwell, CT.
What were your impressions from that tryout?
Jennifer: I was in brand-new boots and hadn’t skated in a week and a half. But for me, I felt an instant click. It was a feeling I will never forget and I hope will never go away.
Daniil: Our tryout went very well, of course there was alot of work needed for her to match my level but I trusted in her ability to learn and improve. Nikolai told me that we looked great together and I felt a very good connection with her.
Were you surprised that he and Nikolai Morozov, approached you to start a partnership?
Jennifer: Yes, as a matter of fact, I was. As I mentioned, I was in new skates…and didn’t feel I was perticularly ‘on top of my game’, what so ever. But they seemed very sure, and if Daniil experienced the same connection I did, then I understand there lack of hesitation completely.
Do you like to train with Nikolai?
Daniil: Of course. He is a great coach and choreographer. He’s the greatest coach in the world. He helps me not only to skate better technically but also beautifully.
Daniil is a 2-time world junior champion (2000/2001 with Natalia Romaniuta), do you feel any pressure to achieve the results has with his former partner?
Jennifer: Sure, but I’ve always believed in positive thinking and becoming anything you work hard to achieve. Daniil believes very much in me, and I believe very much in him. Together I think we can be unstoppable. The past success in his history will only enhance the future, and we all bring different experiences to a team, that’s what makes a couple interesting.
Before teaming with Daniil, you also spent some time in Italy skating with an Italian partner—what was this like for you?
Jennifer: For me, that was a wonderful growing experience and a lesson in all aspects of my life that I will never forget. Italy showed me that I could make it and that my own strength can pull me through what ever I faced. I think one thing that I could say I am reminded of everyday is that the training lifewe have here in the US is superior to that of the forgein countries, that I need never complain and always be thankful to be in America.
Daniil, how is training in the USA different from training in Russia?
Daniil: I don’t find a difference because I have a Russian coach with russian system. I like training in the USA.
What are you currently working on in your practices?
Daniil: We are currently working on compulsories and exercises.
At the end of May, you’ll travel with Daniil to Russia for a month. What are you looking forward to in visiting this country? What is the purpose of the trip?
Jennifer: EVERYTHING!! I’m so excited about this trip. We will be visiting Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg. The latter of which is where he is from and where his family lives. I am very happy to get to meet his family (little sister and parents), hopefully I will pick up a bit of russian while I’m there as well. I’ve been studying the language like crazy since I got here (CT).
Since you and Daniil are planning to compete for the USA, when will you be eligible to skate in national competitions? International? Has Daniil applied for citizenship or green card?
Jennifer: The first season we will be eligible for is the 2004-2005 season. From that season on, the only competitions we will be ineligible for will be the olympics 2006. We are working very hard on his green card/citizenship. We only hope for a speedy process, there is not alot you can do about government.