Cain and LeDuc Lead the Way After Day One of U.S. International Classic

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(9/13/18) - Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc lead the pairs field after the first day of competition at the 2018 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City.

The duo scored 59.10 points in their jive short program, which featured a Level 4 lift and Level 3 death spiral. They also landed their side-by-side triple loops early in the program.

“It’s early in the season, but we’ve worked really hard this offseason to be ready to do everything that we want to do,” LeDuc said. “We want to be U.S. champions, we want to get the two spots back for Team USA at Worlds. This is right where we need to be on that trajectory. We made some little mistakes but this is the place to do that. Each time we perform we feel stronger and better connected.”

Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov are in second place after a strong senior international debut. The pairs scored 57.25 points in their short program set to “Masquerade Waltz” by Khachaturian. They gained early momentum with a throw triple loop and also landed their side-by-side triple Salchows.

Winter Deardorff and Max Settlage are fifth after scoring 45.07 points.

The Australian duo of Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor rounded out the top three after earning 55.79 points.

In the men’s competition, Jimmy Ma is the top American after the short program, scoring 73.21 points for fourth place in his “Mi Gente” short program. After falling on an opening quad, Ma rebounded with a triple Axel, a triple flip-triple toe combination and two Level 4 spins.

“I’m kind of disappointed,” Ma said. “Landing a quad was one of my main goals. I’m proud that I didn’t fall apart after messing up on the quad. These past couple of weeks I have been really working on transitions from jump to jump and jump to spin to get the footwork right. I’m super excited to get out there and show people my content. I’m really grateful for an experience like this to learn and go home to sharpen everything up so I’m ready for Skate America.”

Vincent Zhou, who finished sixth at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, scored 61.72 points in his short program set to music by Muse. Zhou fell on his opening quad jump, but did tally three Level 4 spins. He was sixth.

“It’s exciting to be competing again and showing new programs,” Zhou said. “I feel like my artistic development has been aided greatly by my new choreographer, Lori Nichol. I have been working hard on developing as a skater, not just as a jumper. The jumps weren’t really there today but I think the performance was good and I gave it my best effort as I always do. I’m just starting my season so hopefully tomorrow goes better.”

Canada’s Nam Nguyen was first (80.28), followed by Czech Republic’s Michal Brezina (79.57) and Yaroslav Paniot of Ukraine (74.97).

On Friday, the ladies and ice dance competitions will begin, and will be followed by the pairs and men’s free skates.

The entire competition can be seen live on the Figure Skating Pass on NBC Sports Gold. Competition information and live results can be found on Competition Central on the U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone