Hilton HHonors Skate America continued Saturday in Kent/Seattle, Washington with the Ladies Short Program, the Short Dance, Pairs and Men's Free Skating. Skate America is the first of six events in the 2012/2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series
Ashley Wagner (USA) captures Ladies Short Program
Ashley Wagner (USA) captured the Ladies Short Program. Russia's Adelina Sotnikova and Christina Gao (USA) follow in second and third.
Wagner's program to Red Violin featured a triple flip-double toeloop combination, a double Axel and a level-four layback spin, but she two-footed the triple loop. The reigning Four Continents Champion scored 60.61 points. Today, since it was my first short program internationally, going out there I was really nervous, but I kept my head on my shoulders. I put out a solid performance. The loop could have been better, Wagner said.
Performing to Capriccio Espagnol, Sotnikova produced a triple toe-triple toe combination, double Axel and difficult spins, but singled her flip. The 2011 World Junior Champion earned 58.93 points. I'm not so happy with what I did today because I did not do what I wanted to do. I landed my triple -triple, but popped the flip and it's a jump that I usually never miss, the 16-year-old commented.
Gao hit a triple toe-triple toe as well, a double Axel and triple loop in her routine set to Close Without Touching to collect 56.63 points. I lost a few levels on footwork and spins, but coming into the season I'm really, really happy with what I did today, the skater noted.
Mae-Berenice Meite (FRA) is sitting in fourth place with 54.41 points and Valentina Marchei (ITA) came fifth at 54.01 points.
Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) dance to lead
Meryl Davis/Charlie White of the USA danced to the lead in the Short Dance. Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver/ Andrew Poje finished second ahead of Russia's Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev.
Davis/White chose a March, Waltz and Polka from the ballet Giselle for their Short Dance. They completed fast twizzles, a side by side circular footwork and picked up a level two and four for the Polka patterns. The 2011 World Champions scored 71.39 points. Charlie and I feel really good about our debut today. As athletes and performers, we're never completely thrilled with a performance, but we think this is a good start and we're very excited about this program and we're anxious to see it evolve over the season, Davis noted.
Weaver/Poje's Polka and Waltz from The Sound of Music was highlighted by a confident Polka (level four and three) and a rotational lift. The Four Continents bronze medallists were awarded 65.79 points. It's our second competition this season so we were lucky enough to get feedback from our previous and improved our levels and key points of the polka. This short dance also has special meaning to use because of Andrew's grandmother who passed away this summer. She loved Edelweiss and was Austrian so we are really proud to perform this for her, Weaver told the post-even press conference.
Bobrova/Soloviev interpreted a Polka and Waltz from to Russian movie soundtracks, picking up a level four for the first Polka pattern and the straight line lift. The European silver medalists earned 62.91 points for their effort. We are very happy with our performance today we skated to have fun and enjoy ourselves. We think with every competition we can continue to improve, Bobrova said.
Lynn Kriengkrairut/Logan Giuletti-Schmitt (USA) are currently ranked fourth at 53.89 points and Nelli Zhiganshina/Alexander Gazsi (GER) are sitting in fifth (52.30 points).
Takahiko Kozuka leads Japanese sweep in Men's event
Takahiko Kozuka led a Japanese sweep in the Men's event. Kozuka overtook Yuzuru Hanyu for the gold medal and Tatsuki Machida moved up from fourth to claim the bronze.
Kozuka landed a quad toe and five triple jumps in his routine to Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saens, but the second quad toe was underrotated and he fell on a triple Salchow. The 2011 World silver medalist scored 166.12 points and totaled 251.44 points to win his second Skate America title. My performance was not so good, but I am happy that I could win, the 23-year-old said. This season I've been able to focus on skating alone. I have been accumulating good practices so far and hopefully I will be injury free this season, he continued.
Overnight leader Hanyu had a rough start into his Notre Dame de Paris program, missing his opening quad toeloop and quad Salchow. He hit five triples but went down again on a triple flip towards the end.The reigning World bronze medalist was ranked third in the Free Skating with 148.67 points and overall slipped to second at 243.74 points. Today's performance was very close to my worst. I haven't skated that bad even in practice. I know the importance of skating well in both my short and free skate and I have many things to work on for my free skate and in my short program. I will practice hard and prepare for my next competition, the 17-year-old commented.
Skating to Firebird, Machida produced a seven triple jumps but fell on te quad toe to score 154.17 points. He moved up one spot to third at 229.95 points overall. In today's performance, I was not perfect but I was able to skate quite well due to the spectators' help. They really pushed me and I was able to get my first Grand Prix medal, the 2010 Four Continents silver medalist noted.
Konstantin Menshov (RUS) was the only skater to nail two clean quadruple toeloops and pulled up from fifth to fourth at 212.53 points. Jeremy Abbott (USA) dropped from third to fifth after several errors.
Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) strike gold
Russia's Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov struck gold in the Pairs event. Qing Pang/Jian Tong of China skated to the silver and the bronze went to Caydee Denney/John Coughlin (USA).
Volosozhar/Trankov's routine to Violin Muse was highlighted by a triple twist, a triple Salchow-double toeloop, a triple toe, a throw triple loop and two difficult lifts. The World silver medalists struggled with their reverse lasso lift and she fell on the throw triple Salchow. The Muscovites eanred 129.29 points and accumulated a total of 195.07 points. We won our first Grand Prix of the season. It was our goal for this competition and we did it. We're a little unhappy about our performances, in our short, we had a mistake and we fell on a throw in the free skate, but we have time. We have time to improve programs and get better and better, Trankov said.
Pang/Tong delivered a solid skate to Variations on a Original Theme Enigma by Edward Elgar, completing a double Axel-double Axel sequence, a triple twist, two triple throws and three level-four lifts. However, their forward outside death spiral received no level. We are really happy with our performance today. We were a little worried because we did not compete in America for a really long time and it was a very long distance for us to travel here. I feel a little awkward after the travel, Tong explained. Because of my knee injury, we made some changes to our free skate. We switched the triple toe to a double toe, he added.
Denney/Coughlin reeled off a triple twist, throw triple loop and flip, but underrotated the double Axel-double Axel sequence in their program to Phantom of the Opera. The U.S. Champions scored 117.47 points and remained in third place at 178.22 points overall. I think our components (scores) are moving in the right directions. Obviously we watched the teams that we aspire to compete with and we see where we need to improve, especially with our short program which I think is well documented. Specifically in that program we are looking to refine and fine tune the little nuances and characters and if that happens, the components will come, Coughlin told the press.
Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA) finished fourth with a solid performance (167.66 points) and Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir (USA) came fifth (164.19 points).
Hilton HHonors Skate America concludes Sunday with the Ladies Free Skating, the Free Dance and the Exhibition Gala.
For full results please see Entries/Results