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2019 Nationals: Senior Pairs Free Skate

by Liz Leamy


 

Cain and LeDuc Clinch Their First U.S. Pairs Title

(27 January 2019)  Ashley Cain & Timothy LeDuc, the 2017 U.S. bronze medalists, dazzled the packed crowd at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit with an electric program to the ‘W.E.’ soundtrack that put them at the top of the pair leaderboard with a 212.36 and earned them their first-ever U.S. title.

This dynamic duo knocked out gigantic throw triples, solid side-by-side triples, high and well-extended lifts and a silky-smooth inside right forward inside death spiral, among other impressive elements, for which they earned well-deserved Grade of Execution marks of plus threes, plus fours and plus fives.

Visibly happy with their performance, Cain & LeDuc said it was a personal victory to have performed well here at Nationals, especially considering the fact that back in December, they had suffered from a tough fall at the Golden Spin Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, from which they have since clearly recovered.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” said Cain, who is coached with LeDuc by her parents, Darlene and Peter Cain as well as Nina Mozer. “[That experience] gave me hope to keep fighting and that’s what helped me today.”

Cain also cited the importance of tenacity.

“You can always start over and you can’t give up on yourself or your team around you,” said Cain. “Everyone in the audience, as well as the judges [have been] on this journey with us.”

Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier, the 2017 U.S. Champions, wound up second with a 201.64 total.

This high-energy team, trained by John Zimmerman, Jeremy Barrett and Silvia Fontana in Wesley Chapel, Florida, racked up a total score of 201.64 with their compelling program to ‘Two Men in Love’ by the Irrepressibles.

Denney & Frazier opened up with a big split triple twist and followed up with a throw triple loop, level four lifts and a forward inside death spiral, among other things. They did miss a throw triple Salchow, however.

For their efforts, this team racked up Grade of Execution marks of plus threes, plus fours and plus fives.

Overall, Denney & Frazier seemed happy with their performance.

“Today was a fight,” said Frazier. “I’m proud of us and the competition.”

Deanna Stellato-Dudek & Nathan Bartholomay, the 2018 U.S. bronze medalists who are trained by Jim Peterson and Amanda Evora in Ellenton, Florida, took bronze at this event for their arresting rendition of Whitney Houston’s ballads, ‘Run to You’ and ‘I Have Nothing.’

This duo executed a gigantic split triple twist, side-by-side triple Salchows, a throw triple Salchow, throw triple loop, gorgeous lifts and a right forward inside death spiral that were all big crowd pleasers.

For their elements, Stellato-Dudek and Bartholomay earned Grade of Execution marks that featured a collection of plus threes and plus fours.

“We just tried to find the music and tried to find [heart of the narrative] we portrayed,” said Bartholomay. “We’ve taken things one step at a time.”