2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America – Thursday

20 Oct

Thursday, October 20th – Citizens Business Bank Arena – Ontario, Calif.

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Friday

Stay tuned for a digital copy of the official 2011 Skate America program to be posted at 5 p.m. Pacific Time here on SKATING magazine blog. We will also have continued coverage of the early practices and the beginning of the competition.

5:09 p.m.

At the ladies practice, both Caroline Zhang and Alissa Czisny ran though their programs and looked strong. Czisny has garnered a lot of attention before the competition with the promise of a number of triple jumps. Joelle Forte will arrive in California tonight and did not participate in today’s practice.

3:54 p.m.

The pairs team of Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin are hoping to make the most of their sole Grand Prix Series assignment this weekend in Ontario. In their third year together, they admit to focusing more on their connection as a team and their presentation mark. The Arizona skaters, however, will unveil three new lifts and some revised footwork. Vise and Baldwin had the choice of driving five hours to Ontario from their home in Peoria, Ariz., or taking a one-hour flight. They chose the quick flight.

3:46 p.m.

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin completed a strong run through their practice today and both said they’re excited about their Grand Prix debut as a pair. In answering questions, Coughlin spoke confidently and was very loose, making jokes with the reporters on hand. He indicated that he and Denney’s ticket to improvement was simply more time together on the ice. The newly formed pair took bronze at the Nebelhorn Trophy.

2:13 p.m.

Meryl and Charlie answered questions for about 15 minutes following their practice session. The World ice dancing champs say they are pumped up to compete this weekend and kick off the Grand Prix season in California. The Michigan natives are the defending champions.

2:10 p.m.
We ran into two-time U.S. pairs champion Rockne Brubaker at rinkside and did a double-take. Rockne’s long hair is gone. He now sports a much shorter haircut, which he’ll debut this weekend at Skate America with partner Mary Beth Marley. We asked Charlie White what he thought of his good friend’s new hairstyle.  “It looks fantastic,” White said. “Everyone loves Rockne’s hair long but he looks suave, he looks clean-cut. I think it’s a little different approach for him but I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks on the ice.”

1:45 p.m.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White have just done a strong run-through of Die Fledermaus and are cooling down. They are joined in this practice session with fellow Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue as well as Isabella Cannuscio and Ian Lorello. We hope to grab a few comments once the practice session is over.

12:58 p.m.

The song “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard blasts during ice dance practice. Pictures and quotes after it occurs.

12:30 p.m.

The three U.S. men completed their practice skate, and of note, Douglas Razzano told reporters that he feels “great” and that things have been “a whirlwind” since he found out he was selected to appear at Skate America. Razzano, who noted he will be celebrating his birthday on Saturday, took second in the Finlandia Trophy with a stellar performance in the free skate.

12:07 p.m.

Greetings from the site of 2011 Skate America! The entire U.S. Figure Skating media relations staff has arrived and throughout our stay, we will be posting pictures and updates on the newly minted SKATING magazine blog.

Currently, Team USA members Richard Dornbush, Douglas Razzano and Armin Mahbanoozadeh are practicing. Photos will be up soon on icenetwork.com and when they are, we’ll post a link to the gallery.

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