Team USA Collects Five Medals at Two Challenger Series Events
(9/22/18) – Highlighted by Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc’s second-straight gold medal in Slovakia and Bradie Tennell’s come-from-behind victory in Canada, the United States contingent captured five medals (two golds, two silvers and one bronze) at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy and Autumn Classic International this week. American skaters have now collected 12 medals on the Challenger Series circuit.
At the Ondrej Nepela Trophy, Cain and LeDuc were in the lead after the short program, scoring 65.68 points with three Level 4 elements including a Group 4 lift. The Four Continents silver medalists went on to win the free skate with 115.88 points. Their program included a Level 3 Group 5 Axel lift and a side-by-side triple Salchow-double toe loop-double loop combination. With a total score of 181.56, the pair topped the field by almost seven points.
Their victory in Bratislava, Slovakia, marks their second consecutive gold medal after winning the U.S. International Classic in Salt Lake City. They will kick off their Grand Prix season at Skate America in Everett, Washington.
Just behind Cain and LeDuc, Deanna Stellato and Nathan Batholomay collected their first international medal with silver in their season debut, scoring 174.78 total points. The couple was ranked third after the short program and rallied back with a 115.18-point free skate to move into second place. Their free skate included four Level 4 elements, featuring a Group 3 lift and Group 5 reverse lasso lift. The U.S. bronze medalists will compete at Nebelhorn Trophy next week.
Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter claimed the silver medal in the ice dance competition. The duo finished with a total score of 178.64. Their rhythm dance, which earned 70.37 points, opened with Level 4 synchronized twizzles and closed with a Level 4 rotational lift. In their free dance, the couple received all positive Grades of Execution and completed six Level 4 elements. McNamara and Carpenter’s silver is their second on the Challenger Series circuit after winning silver at the Warsaw Cup last season. They will also open their Grand Prix season at Skate America.
In the ladies competition, Katie McBeath rallied from her seventh-place short program to finish fifth overall with 154.56 points. Her 101.71-point free skate opened with a triple Lutz-double toe loop and she went on to complete two Level 4 spins. Megan Wessenberg finished seventh in the competition with 143.47 overall points. Her free skate featured a Level 4 flying camel combination spin and a Level 4 step sequence, scoring 91.46 points. Wessenberg will be making her Grand Prix Series debut at Skate America in October.
Sean Rabbitt finished seventh in the men’s competition with a total score of 195.83. Scoring 124.85 in his free skate, Rabbitt landed six triple jumps and was awarded a Level 4 change foot combination spin to close his program.
In Canada at the 2018 Autumn Classic International, Tennell was in a close second place after the free skate, trailing two-time World champion Evgenia Medvedeva by just over a point. The reigning U.S. champion opened her short program with a difficult triple Lutz-triple loop combination and executed two Level 4 elements for a score of 69.26. Tennell came up big to win the free skate, landing 11 jumps with six of them in the back half of her program. In her 137.15-point program, she received a Level 4 on four spins that all received positive Grades of Execution. Her final score of 206.41 was enough to best Medvedeva by almost two points.
Her gold medal in Oakville, Ontario, marks her second career medal on the Challenger Series circuit and first victory. Tennell will compete at Skate America to open her Grand Prix campaign, where she won the bronze medal last season.
Starr Andrews also competed in the ladies competition, finishing seventh overall with 159.63 points. In her fifth-place short program, Andrews landed a triple flip and a triple loop-double toe combination and performed three Level 4 spins. Andrews will make her Grand Prix Series debut at Skate America in October.
Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier opened their season with a bronze medal in Canada with 164.43 total points. The duo was in third place after the short program and maintained their position in the free skate, scoring 102.52 points. Their free skate featured three Level 3 lifts with positive Grades of Execution, including a Group 5 reverse lasso lift to close their program. Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson finished fourth with a total score of 150.63 in their first international competition as a team. In their free skate, the team closed their program with two Level 4 lifts and a Level 4 death spiral. They also landed a throw triple Lutz and throw triple Salchow in their performance, scoring 100.38.
In the men’s competition, Jason Brown placed fourth with 233.23 points overall, less than a point off the podium. Brown had the third-best short program with three Level 4 spins for 88.90 points. After doubling his opening Salchow in his free skate, the 2015 U.S. champion earned 144.33 points for his free skate. The Toronto-based skater will compete at Skate Canada International to kick off his Grand Prix Series.
Competition information and live results can be found on the U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone.
Ondrej Nepela Trophy
Autumn Classic International