Team USA Claims Three Medals to Close U.S. International Classic
(9/21/19) - Team USA closed out the 2019 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic with three total medals in the ice dance and ladies competitions. In total, the United States collected five medals in Salt Lake City - two golds, one silver and two bronzes.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates claimed the ice dance title on Saturday evening, wowing the crowd with their Egyptian-themed free dance.
“I think we are happy just to debut the program and unveil a new look,” said Bates. “That’s what we are really going for. Last year our free dance was an Elvis Presley medley so to come out this year with something a lot more exotic and mysterious, we are really excited about it.”
The 2019 Four Continents champions earned Level 4 marks for their combination curve lift, rotational lift, combination spin and synchronized twizzles. Additionally, the duo received over 3.00 points for their Grade of Execution on five of nine elements to total 122.22 points for their free dance. With an overall score of 202.40 points, Chock and Bates topped the field by 13.93 points to earn the gold medal.
“We are very happy with how we skated,” said Chock. “We had a really good energy and we could feel the crowd into our program which is always a good feeling. I feel very happy about such a good start.”
For the second straight year, Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko earned the silver medal in the ice dance competition at the U.S. International Classic. In their Flamenco-themed free dance, the Michigan-based team was awarded Level 4s for their rotational lift and curve lift-stationary lift combination to notch 111.29 points. Carreira and Ponomarenko scored 188.47 cumulative points to secure second place.
“Every competition is a learning experience for us and we are just happy to be here,” said Ponomarenko. “We know where we are at and we know we have improved a lot, so we just want to capitalize on that and see where we go from here.”
Canadians Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus claimed the bronze medal with a 110.06-point free dance for 181.39 points overall.
In the ladies competition, Amber Glenn led the way for the U.S. contingent, securing the bronze medal. In her free skate to “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles, the Texas-native landed five triple jumps, opening with a triple flip-triple toe loop combination followed by a double Axel-euler-triple Salchow combination. Glenn was awarded Level 4 marks for her flying sit spin and closing layback spin. Her free skate earned 120.19 points for a total score of 186.28.
“I feel like I got my job done,” said Glenn. “It definitely wasn’t my best ever, but I fought and that’s what I’m really proud of. I showed mental strength out there. Now I want to combine that with a performance at Skate America. So with this [performance] I proved to myself that I can do it, now I need to go do it with some pizzazz in Vegas.”
World Junior bronze medalist Ting Cui finished just behind Glenn in fourth place. Her 114.37-point free skate included a strong triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination with her arms extended over her head, followed by a triple flip. Cui also notched Level 4s for her flying camel spin and layback spin. She finished with a cumulative score of 177.47.
“The beginning went really well, but I think I lost a little focus and lost a little gas towards the end,” said Cui. “The last elements weren’t what I was hoping they would be, but I’m happy with all of the jumps I did as planned.”
Japan’s Satoko Miyahara won her fourth U.S. International Classic title with 204.30 points while Young You of the Republic of Korea earned the silver medal with a total score of 199.29.
On Friday night, Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc captured their second straight U.S. International Classic title in the pairs competition, while Vincent Zhou claimed the bronze medal in the men’s competition.
Cain-Gribble and LeDuc scored 205.58 total points to top the field by over 10 points. The 2019 U.S. Champions won both the short program and the free skate.
Also competing for Team USA in the pairs competition, Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea finished in fourth place with 174.02 total points, Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov placed fifth with 168.50 points, and Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson took sixth with 166.50 points overall.
In the men’s competition, Zhou led the way for Team USA with his third-place finish. The 2019 World bronze medalist finished fourth in the free skate with 142.92 points, but claimed bronze with a total score of 231.95.
Alex Krasnozhon finished third in the free skate, jumping from fifth to fourth place with 230.11 points overall. Tomoki Hiwatashi finished in fifth place with 214.82 total points and Jimmy Ma placed sixth place with an overall score of 200.30.
Watch competition live and on-demand on the Figure Skating Pass on NBC Sports Gold. For more stories about the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, check out the U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone.