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2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships
Monday, January 21, 2013 | CenturyLink Center | Omaha, Neb.
Daily Schedule (All times Eastern)
Novice free dance: 10:20 a.m.
Novice ladies free skate: 12:30 p.m.
Novice men’s free skate: 3:20 p.m.
Novice pairs free skate: 5:15 p.m.
Junior ladies short program: 9:00 p.m.
The 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships continue today with the conclusion of the novice events and the junior ladies short program.
Novice events conclude – Less than four points separate the top three novice competitors in each discipline heading into today’s final events. First to take the ice will be the ice dancers, where newly-partnered Tory Patsis and Joseph Johnson lead the field with 43.73 points following yesterday’s pattern dance competition. Right on their heels are veterans Chloe Lewis and Logan Bye, who finished fourth in novice at last year’s U.S. Championships. Lewis and Bye, in their third season together, sit in second place with 41.25 points. Rounding out the potential podium is the sibling duo of Gigi Becker and Luca Becker with 40.94 points.
Once the ice dancing medalists are determined, Tyler Pierce will attempt to once again edge out her challengers in the novice ladies free skate competition. Pierce executed flawless elements in yesterday’s short program, including a triple Lutz-double toe combination, a triple loop and the highest program components score of the event. She leads with 45.66 points. In second place is Pierce’s teammate, Amy Lin, who earned 44.86 points for her “Kung Fu Panda 2″ short program. Lin achieved a Level 4 on two of her spins and sits less than a point behind first place at her first U.S. Championships at the novice level. Less than a point behind Lin, Bradie Tennell has 43.22 points and heads into the free skate in third place.
As competition enters the afternoon hours, the novice men’s champion will be crowned. After the short program, Tomoki Hiwatashi leads the way with 52.05 points. Celebrating his 13th birthday in style, Hiwatashi received positive grades of execution of at least 0.64 on each of his six elements, including a triple Salchow-double toe combination. In second place, Nicholas Vrdolijak earned 49.53 points for his short program, which included a triple Lutz and a triple flip double toe combination. Vrdolijak finished seventh in the novice event at last year’s U.S. Championships. Finishing out the top three is Oleksiy Melnyk, who earned 49.27 points in yesterday’s short program.
Kaitlin Budd and Nikita Cheban hope to hold onto the top stop as the novice pairs free skate commences this afternoon. After beginning their partnership just seven months ago, Budd and Cheban lead the field with 36.42 points following an effortless short program to “Summertime” by Giovanni. Sitting in second are Christina Zaitsev and Ernie Utah Stevens, who come to the event fresh off their first international assignment in Croatia last fall. Zaitsev and Stevens, who are coached by Zaitsev’s parents, have 35.21 points heading into today’s free skate. In third place, Elise Middleton and Robert Hennings earned 33.74 points for their elegant “Skater’s Waltz” short program, highlighted by old fashioned choreography and the second highest program components score of the event.
High-Flying Ladies - The junior ladies will compete on championship ice for the first time this evening as they close out the day’s events with their short programs. Polina Edmunds and Karen Chen, both of whom completed triple-triple combinations in their short programs at the 2013 Pacific Coast Sectional Championships, will battle for the top spots, joining Eastern Sectional champion Maria Yang and Midwestern Sectional champion Barbie Long.
Live competition will be available on icenetwork.com for Season Pass subscribers.