There are seasons that can make a career and seasons you just, well, manage. Sometimes they’re one in the same, though Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker will have to look back from a spot well down the line to know if this is one of those.

Right now, with the calendar just turning over to 2016, it’s simply this for the young American ice dancers: “A growing season for us — and maybe a little bit of a rough ride,” said Baker.

“We’ve been managing a lot of different situations,” Hawayek added.

There was the concussion Baker suffered in September, though not from a nasty fall to the ice as you might expect in a swift and slippery sport. “I whacked him with an elbow,” Hawayek confessed.

A couple months later, it was Hawayek who was felled by a nasty case of food poisoning on the eve of the Cup of China competition in Beijing. She gritted through the short dance after having been up all night, vomiting eight times in four hours, but eventually the pair had to withdraw from the second of their two ISU Grand Prix assignments…. read more here