Chock and Bates Reclaim U.S. Title
by Liz Leamy
(26 January 2020) Madison Chock & Evan Bates, the 2015 U.S. champions and two-time World medalists, valiantly seized the U.S. title with their sparkling free Egyptian-themed free dance, for which they scored a 134.23 and 221.86 total.
This duo, who trains in Montreal with Marie France-Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, skated with terrific lightness, flow and quickness and executed five level-four elements, including a curve lift, one-foot step sequence, rotational lift, combination spin and synchronized twizzles.
Meanwhile, the team, who claimed silver at the 2019/2020 International Skating Union Grand Prix Finals last December, scored the highest program component scores of the competition, a 58.56.
“It was a good night,” said Chock. “We are happy to be back in Greensboro (where they won their first U.S. title). It was fun. We performed and that was our goal, to have a good performance and enjoy ourselves. We are so thrilled.”
Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue, the 2018 and 2019 U.S. Champions, were second with their program to the ‘Star Is Born’ film soundtrack for which they earned a 130.88 and 217.19 total.
This duo, which also trains with France-Dubreuil and Lauzon in Montreal, wowed the crowd with their power, energy and presence, executing, like Chock and Bates, five level four elements.
Their level four moves included a combination spin, midline step sequence, rotational lift, synchronized twizzles and a straight-line lift, for which they were awarded grade of execution marks ranging from plus three to plus fives from the nine-member official panel.
The team also earned a 57.55 for program components.
Afterwards Hubbell related that the couple exited their opening spin in the wrong direction, and the next four elements were executed in the opposite direction before they could correct the direction after they exited the one foot step sequence.
Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker, the 2019 U.S. bronze medalists who, like their podium mates at this event, train with France-Dubreuil and Lauzon in Montreal, clinched third place for the second consecutive year in a row.
This dynamic team, who was a huge crowd hit in the short dance due to their electric disco-themed routine that put them in third going into this showdown, skated a Spanish-themed program for which they were awarded a 118.57, making their final tally a 201.16.
Hawayek & Baker executed two level-four elements, synchronized twizzles and a curve lift, as well as two level-four moves, a one-foot step sequence and circular step sequence, for which they earned grade of execution marks of mostly plus threes.
This duo also scored a 53.13 for program components.