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2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America – Sunday

23 Oct

Sunday, October 23rd – Citizens Business Bank Arena – Ontario, Calif.

Useful Links

Twitter  Official Event Program

Event Page (LIVE video stream of Skate America)

Starting Order and Result Page       Photo Gallery

6 p.m.

Ladies Recap

Alissa Czisny didn’t have her best stuff on Sunday afternoon, but it was good enough to win her first Skate America title by .13 points over Italy’s Carolina Kostner.  Sweden’s Vikortia Helgesson earned her first-ever Grand Prix medal, a bronze. It was the first time a U.S. lady has stood on top of the podium at Skate America since Kimmie Meissner in 2007. The two-time and reigning U.S. champion struggled early with her jumps, falling on her triple flip. But the standout from Ohio, as always, dazzled the crowd with her spins and spirals, finishing with the highest component mark of the event. Caroline Zhang, third after the short program, fell three times and finished last in the free skate and sixth overall. She called her miscues “stupid mistakes” and vowed to rectify her problems in upcoming competitions. Joelle Forte enjoyed a successful first Grand Prix Series event, finishing seventh in the free skate and eighth overall.

Ladies Results

Pairs Recap

The German pairs team of Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy rallied past the veteran Chinese tandem of Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang to capture their third Skate America title (2011, 2010, 2008). The three-time and reigning World champions entered the day in fifth place, but just shy of four points behind the Chinese team. Their dynamic free skate contained all the difficult elements and transitions that the skating world has come to appreciate. They did not try the throw triple Axel  as they did in the short program, but left the door open for that challenging element in future competitions. Their free skate score of 124.53 was seven points better than the Canadian team of Kristin Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch, who garnered the bronze medal. The U.S. team of Caydee Denney and John Coughlin enjoyed a strong performance, finishing fourth overall. With the crowd behind them, they flowed nicely from one element to the next. A hiccup or two on the double Axel by Denney and a timing issue with a lift likely prevented them from making the podium. Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin fired up the crowd with their free skate. As they took the ice, the wrong music began to play. The same thing happened a second time. On their third try, there was an uncomfortable delay before the program began. The delay, however, seemed to relax both skaters as they turned in the best performance of their three-year career together, finishing sixth overall. Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker experienced the fall en route to an eighth-place finish. Brubaker said it’s a growing experience and that the team will continue to learn and grow.

Pairs Results

11:30 a.m.

Big day for Team USA today in both the pairs and the ladies events. In pairs, after skating first yesterday, Caydee Denney and John Coughlin will skate second-to-last in the free skate with an opportunity to medal in the event. Similar to the men’s competition on Saturday, the pairs leaderboard is tight and there are a number of players in contention. Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker sit only three points behind the pack of four pairs who are all at 59 points and Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin are in seventh.

In the ladies free skate, Alissa Czisny hopes to continue her success from the short program where she brought the crowd to their feet and her score through the roof. Czisny was awarded 64.20 points in her short program and is nearly four points ahead of Carolina Kostner. Czisny will skate a very difficult free skate which she has said will include seven triples. She looked good in her final practice in a partial run-through. In third after the short program, Caroline Zhang was in very high spirits on Saturday and is looking forward to a big day on the ice on Sunday. Zhang earned bronze at this event in 2007 and she would love to reach the podium again. Joelle Forte, a recent Fordham graduate, is the final skater to perform in group one today as she sits in sixth position.

8:45 a.m.

Good morning from Ontario, Calif. for the final day of 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America! Today, the pairs and ladies will take to the ice for their free skate and Americans have hopes of the podium in each event. Yesterday we wrapped things up late, so if you missed the notes and quotes from the pairs and ladies short program, click here.

Currently, the pairs are in the building and on the ice for their final warmup before they compete at 1 p.m. PT. The ladies will take to the ice at 9:40 a.m. to practice before their free skate at 2:40 p.m.

Like yesterday, we’ll post on Twitter during the competition with results for Team USA and we’ll be back her throughout the day to post updates. Additionally, the Pairs free & Ladies free will air LIVE on Universal Sports from 4:30-7:30 p.m. ET. Have a great start to your Sunday!

2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America – Saturday

22 Oct

Saturday, October 22nd – Citizens Business Bank Arena – Ontario, Calif.

Useful Links

Twitter  Official Event Program

Event Page (LIVE video stream of Skate America)

Starting Order and Result Page       Photo Gallery

Television Alert

Live coverage of Skate America will air on NBC for three hours beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

Acclaimed film RISE will be shown on VERSUS at 7:30 p.m. ET and at 9 p.m. ET. Click here to learn more about RISE. Click here to order a copy of the DVD or Blue-ray.

10:45 p.m.

The pairs and ladies short programs have been completed at Skate America. Click below for the results pages for both events:

Pairs Result Page

Ladies Result Page

U.S. champion Alissa Czisny delivered a nearly flawless short program to take a four-point lead into Sunday afternoon’s free skate. Czisny, who last competed at Skate America in 2005, had the California audience in her corner from the start. “I was really nervous at the beginning, so I’m happy to get this first competition underneath me,” she said. Czisny, a silver medalist at 2005 Skate America, said he plans to attempt seven triple jumps in the free skate. Italy’s Carolina Kostner, the 2011 World bronze medalist, also skated well and is in second place. She fought injuries last year and got a late start to this season, she said. Caroline Zhang, a bronze medalist at Skate America in 2007, is attempting to rejuvenate her career and she took a step in that direction with a solid short program. Her score of 55.05 points puts her in third place heading into the free skate. Zhang’s love of skating, she said, has kept her in the sport and striving to improve.

The Chinese pairs team of Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang are on track to win their third Skate America title with a three-point lead heading into the free skate. The 2006 Olympic silver medalists won Skate America titles in 2004 and 2005. They didn’t compete last year due to a series of injuries to Hao, which included a crushed finger during practice. The newly formed team of Caydee Denney and John Coughlin and the Russian duo of Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov each scored 59.62 point in the short program but Denney and Coughlin are sitting in second place because of their higher technical mark.  Less than .17 points separates second and fifth place. The World champion German team is in that tight race. Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy attempted a throw triple Axel but was unsuccessful. They won’t try it in the free skate. The team of Mary Beth Marley and Rockney Brubaker enjoyed a successful short program with a score of 56.16, while Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin sit seventh with a score of 51.55 points.

The pairs free skate will begin the final day of competition on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT and the ladies free skate will start at 2:40 p.m.

4:15 p.m.

The men’s and ice dance competitions have been completed at Skate America. Click below for the results pages for both events:

Men’s Result Page

Ice Dance Result Page

The big story of the early session is that the streak for Meryl Davis and Charlie White continues. The Americans backed up their strong performance in Friday’s short dance with an equally as dazzling free dance to win gold by nearly 22 points. Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France finished with the silver and credit should be given to Bourzat for his podium performance despite being quite visibly sick. The Lithuanian team of Isabella Tobias and Deividas Stagniunas, who were entered into Skate America two weeks ago, used their consistency to jump from fifth to third overall after the free dance.

Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue showed great promise with their performance in the free dance which garnered the third-best score.

In the men’s competition, despite noting that he could have skated a more clean program, Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic cruised to the gold medal, his first in the Grand Prix Series. Kevin van der Perren, a 29-year-old from Belgium, landed a quad toeloop en route to a silver medal.

For the Americans, Richard Dornbush worked the crowd with his western-themed skate and finished in fourth position, while Douglas Razzano finished fifth in the free skate and seventh overall.

Up next, the pairs short program and ladies short program beginning at 6:55 p.m. PT. Also, RISE, as noted above, will air on VERSUS at 7:30 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET.

11:15 a.m.

The warmups for both the men’s free skate and the free dance competition have been completed. The first session of the day will begin with the men’s free skate at 11:30 a.m.

The free skate will provide a big opportunity for Richard Dornbush who performed well in his short program. Dornbush, who has a number of fans on hand due to the event’s proximity to his hometown, was seen laying in the skaters lounge with his eyes closed in a very relaxed state. Despite his fifth place finish in the short program, Dornbush is less than one point away from second. The men’s free skate is setting up for a very exciting conclusion with four skaters closely positioned.

Americans Douglas Razzano and Armin Mahbanoozadeh are both looking forward to their free skate as an opportunity to improve their position from the short program. Razzano, who turns 23 today, vaulted up the leaderboard at the Finlandia Trophy to finish second as he won the free skate in that event and Mahbanoozadeh noted yesterday that he will incorporate a quad into his performance.

In the ice dancing competition, Davis and White are in prime position to continue their winning streak from last season as they are placed 10 points higher than their nearest competitors. The reigning World champions will skate their Die Fledermaus free dance which they performed well in the warmups and practices leading up to the competition.

Check the U.S. Figure Skating Twitter page for live updates and tune into NBC from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for live coverage of these two events.

After the conclusion of the men’s and the ice dance competitions, we’ll get situated for the session tonight which features the pairs and the ladies.

9 a.m.

Good morning from 2011 Skate America! Today there will be four sessions which include the conclusion of both the men’s and ice dancing competitions as well as the beginning of the ladies and pairs events. Here is a list of what is on tap for today:

(All times Pacific)

Men’s free skate: 11:30 a.m. – 1:10 p.m.

Free dance: 1:30 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.

Pairs short program: 6:50 p.m. – 8:10 p.m.

Ladies short program: 8:20 p.m. – 9:50 p.m.

For a recap of the action from Friday as well as links to the results, click here.

2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America Program

21 Oct

Click on the picture of the cover above to view the official 2011 Skate America Program!

2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America – Friday

21 Oct

Friday, October 21st – Citizens Business Bank Arena – Ontario, Calif.

Useful Links

Twitter   Online Auction (Bidding for most items closes on at 11:59:59 p.m. ET)

Event Page (LIVE video stream of Skate America)

Starting Order and Result Page       Photo Gallery

Sign up for the U.S. Figure Skating Fantasy Challenge (Free) – Picks are due by 7 p.m. CT!

Friday Recap (10:40 p.m.)

Good evening and thanks to everyone who followed the SKATING magazine blog today for the first two events at 2011 Skate America. The men’s short program was highlighted by the performance of Michal Brezina of Czech Republic, who received high marks for his triple Axel, a triple flip-triple toe and a triple Lutz along with two level four spins. There will be a lot of intrigue as the competition heads to the free skate, as positions two-through-five are separated by 0.66 points.

American Richard Dornbush, skating near his hometown, finished the short program in fifth position with a score of 70.03. Dornbush will perform his free skate in striking distance of a position on the podium.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White were dazzling in their short dance as they hope to continue the unbeaten run they began last season. The World champions performed last and posted the best mark by more than 10 points. Despite a fall, Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France finished in second, more than five points ahead of third.

Men’s Short Program results

Short dance results

The event page is located at the top of this blog post and the official event program can be found by clicking here.

On Saturday, the men’s and ice dancing competitions will come to their conclusions and the ladies and pairs will begin. Check back for more information from 2011 Skate America.

5:35 p.m.

The start of the competition is less than 90 minutes away and the excitement is beginning to build here in Ontario, Calif. For coverage during the live event, log on to, as subscribers will gain access to a live feed for Skate America and a host of other events throughout the year.

During the event, we’ll post updates to our Twitter and after the event, we will compile a list of post-event links as well as a short recap to tonight’s men’s short program and short dance.

Picks for the U.S. Figure Skating Fantasy Challenge will close at 6:59 Central Time. This free contest will run throughout the skating season so you won’t want to miss a single competition. Additionally, the online auction with many Skate America-themed items will end at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

We hope you enjoy tonight’s competition and we’ll check in with results, reaction and more useful links tonight.

2:55 p.m.

Caroline Zhang appears primed to improve upon her disappointing finish at Skate America in 2010. The California resident has worked hard to be competition-ready, competing in several  events this summer. “I hope all that work will show,” she said. Zhang, who graduated from high school last May, has a triple loop-triple loop combination in her arsenal, which she may consider using at this event or later in the season depending on how she feels.

2:45 p.m.

Joelle Forte arrived last night in Ontario from New York. She took part in this afternoon’s practice session. Her decision to come in late for her first-ever Grand Prix Series event was orchestrated in an effort to help quell any nerves she may experience competing against the international field. “That’s what I’m used to,” said the 25-year-old. Anytime I go to nationals or Easterns, I go at the latest possible time. I don’t want to start to freak out, so I try to keep things as normal as possible. I want to get my legs under me and have a good skate tomorrow and Sunday. Forte graduated from Fordham University in May with a degree in psychology. She wants to one day attend grad school in her chosen field. She also coaches skating back home.

1:05 p.m.

With the short dance warmup wrapping up, Meryl Davis and Charlie White did a little more than half of their short dance and they looked extremely polished. Davis, in an orange dress, and White, in all black, floated effortlessly around the ice to their trio of musical selections. The dance is very uptempo and energetic, and all the while, a big smile appeared on Davis’ face. The reigning World champions look ready to perform tonight as the short dance begins at 8:40 p.m. Pacific Time.

10:41 a.m.
Armin Mahbanoozadeh hopes to make his first-ever trip to California a memorable one. The 2010 Skate America bronze medalist completed his practice this morning and reports to be ready to go for tonight’s short program. It was in Portland, Ore., last year where Mahbanoozadeh recorded the biggest accomplishment of his career at Skate America. “I just want to keep on improving and setting personal-bests as much as I can and hopefully that will keep me moving forward.” Mahbanoozadeh said. He is a better skater, he said, than he was last year and has added a quad to his free skate. “I think my programs in general are a big step forward for me. My long is a lot of fun and my short is really powerful and really serious, so I’m trying to evolve my programs this year.” When he’s not skating, Mahbanoozadeh takes a few courses at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

In addition to Mahbanoozadeh, both Richard Dornbush and Douglas Razzano skated their warmups today and jumped extremely well. Razzano landed a strong combination which brought cheers from the crowd in attendance. Overall, morale and expectation amongst the American men appears to be high.

9:40 a.m.

Good morning from Citizens Business Bank Arena for the first day of competition in 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America! Today, the men and the ice dancers will have their warmups at 11 a.m. followed by practice for the ladies and pairs. Tonight at 7 Pacific Time, the men will take to the ice for the short program followed by the short dance.

For you on the blog, we’ll be posting live updates all day long with a special blog post around 5 p.m. with a FREE digital copy of the official event program from 2011 Skate America! Be sure to check back throughout the day and feel free to post comments in the comments section below.

2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America – Thursday

20 Oct

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

Useful Links


Event Page

Starting Order and Result Page

Sign up for the U.S. Figure Skating Fantasy Challenge (Free)


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 and when they are, we’ll post a link to the gallery.

2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America

19 Oct

The 2011 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating kicks off in Ontario, Calif. with Skate America at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The event will begin on Friday, October 21st and end on Sunday, October 23rd.


The lineup of skaters scheduled to compete at 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America is available for download here (PDF).

Coverage Entire streaming schedule can be found here.

NBC: Live coverage will run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 22nd

Universal Sports: Coverage times can be found here.

Updates will also be posted on U.S. Figure Skating’s Twitter page and on the SKATING magazine blog.

The film RISE, which tells the story of the 1961 U.S. World Figure Skating Team, will also be televised at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Oct. 22, on VERSUS, part of the NBC Sports Group. The premiere presentation will be followed immediately by a re-air of the film.


The event preview for Team USA can be found here.


Detailed Schedule (PDF)

Thursday, Oct. 20
11 a.m.-5 p.m.: Official practice (open to public)

Friday, Oct. 21
10:30 a.m.-4:35 p.m.: Official practice (open to public)
7 p.m. – Session 1: Men’s short program, short dance (competition)

Saturday, Oct. 22
9-11:15 a.m.: Official practice (open to public)
11:45 a.m.-3 p.m. – Session 2: Men’s free skate, free dance (competition) — LIVE ON NBC
3-3:30 p.m.: Men’s and dance awards
3:45-6 p.m.: Official practice (open to public)
7-10 p.m.: Pairs short program, ladies short program (competition)

Sunday, Oct. 23
8:30 a.m.-noon: Official practice (open to public)
1-4:40 p.m. – Session 4: Pairs free skate, ladies free skate (competition)
4:45 p.m.: Pairs and ladies awards
7-9 p.m. – Session 5: Skating Spectacular (exhibition)



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