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Figure Skating - 24. January 2008.


New champions crowned-

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Jan. 21, 2008) – The 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Saint Paul, Minn., continued Monday with the novice pairs free skate, novice ladies free skate, junior compulsory dance, novice men’s free skate and novice free dance. Four new champions were crowned Monday night at the Xcel Energy Center.

Novice Pairs (Free Skate)

Brittany Chase and Andrew Speroff (Broadmoor SC) led going into the free skate after turning in a strong performance in the short program Sunday morning. However, after Chase fell on the throw double loop during Monday’s free skate, their gold hopes faded. That left room for Brynn Carman and Christopher Knierim (Broadmoor SC) to capture the title. “We just wanted to skate our best and take it a step up from last year,” Knierim said. Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir (Smithfield FSC/Colonial FSC) were able to secure the bronze.

Novice Ladies (Free Skate)

Sophia Lamay (Texas Gulf Coast FSC) ran the show Sunday afternoon in the short program but surrendered the title when Marissa Secundy (Broadmoor SC) landed four out of five planned triples in her free skate. “I was a little nervous going into it, with it being my first nationals. I’m glad I went for everything,” Secundy said. Felicia Zhang (SC of New York) didn’t need any triples to take the bronze. She moved up one spot with a rock-solid free skate performance.

Junior Dance (Compulsory Dance)

Sibling pair Madison Hubbell and Keiffer Hubbell (Ann Arbor FSC) waltzed their way to the top of the junior ice dance field Monday afternoon with an almost four-point lead in the Viennese Waltz. "We did as well as we could hope for," Keiffer said. "Since we train in an Olympic-sized rink at home, it's always harder to fit our (compulsory) patterns into an NHL-sized rink, but we handled it more gracefully than in previous years." Piper Gilles and Timothy McKernan (Broadmoor SC), and Pilar Bosley and John Corona (Peninsula SC/Philadelphia SC and HS) are in second and third, respectively.

Novice Dance (Free Dance)

After the compulsory dance Sunday night, Chloe Wolf and Rhys Ainsworth (University of Delaware FSC/North Atlantic FSC) were ahead by less than a tenth of a point. The door was wide open for Megan Evans and Nathan Truesdell (Washington FSC/Arctic FSC), second after the short program, to take the lead. Their lyrical program to “Little Miss Sunshine” by Devotchka was convincing, but it was not enough to overtake Wolf and Ainsworth. “It was great; I'm really happy with our finish,” he said. “I actually, I guess, made history because I'm only the second African-American to ever get a medal at U.S. nationals. I'm really excited mostly because it shows that the diversity of the sport is growing.” Una Donegan and Andrew Korda (SC of Boston) delivered their “Anytime, Anywhere (Albinoni)” free skate with enthusiasm and moved up to collect bronze.

The junior original dance and junior ladies free skate will begin tomorrow at 5 p.m. and 7:40 p.m., respectively, at the Xcel Energy Center. For competition results and schedules, visit www.icenetwork.com.

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