by Liz Leamy
(20 January 2020) Ashley Cain-Gribble & Timothy LeDuc, the 2019 U.S. champions who have been making a name as a global podium threat the past few seasons, seem as poised as ever to retain their position as the country’s premiere pair in Greensboro.
This Dallas area-based duo, who train with the coaching team, Darlene and Peter Cain (who are Ashley’s parents) and Nina Mozer, are said to have all of their technical elements, including their throw triple Lutz, in order as they head into 2020 Nationals.
This, combined with the superior level of their skills, artistry and program delivery ought to be key factors as they prepare to face off against such formidable opponents as Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier, the 2019 U.S. silver medalists and 2017 U.S titlists and Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea, the 2019 U.S. National fourth-place finishers and 2016 U.S. Champions, among other top pairs next week.
The collective energy of Cain-Gribble & LeDuc, combined with their fighting spirit which they so boldly demonstrated last year after having scored a first-ever U.S. title after having experienced a frightening fall earlier that season, which kept them from training temporarily, show they possess the right stuff to wind up at the top of the leaderboard.
The chemistry between Cain-Gribble, with her classic platinum Hollywood looks and LeDuc, with his terrific presence, is palpable, and a ‘thing’ that seems to be strongly transmitted in their skating, which is characterized by terrific speed, beautifully extended lifts, big throw jumps and fast, well-formed spins, among other things.
“We feel prepared and we know what we need to do,” said Cain-Gribble, who got married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony to her husband, Dalton, last June. “We know it’s probably going to be an intense week and we’re prepared [for] that.”
Notably, Cain-Gribble & LeDuc, who have been skating together since 2016, are looking forward to competing in Greensboro, a place that holds fond memories for both of them, as this was where they both qualified for their first-ever Junior World team back in 2011 when they had been with different partners.
“Greensboro is definitely a special place for us,” said Cain-Gribble. “I know the venue and the area well and I’m looking forward to going back. I remember the crowd there being electric.”
LeDuc, an Iowa native, agreed.
“Greensboro is a great skating town,” said LeDuc. “We worked super hard this year and we’re very hungry to put out super performances.”
Clearly, for this team, it’s all about getting the task accomplished.
“Every competition is kind of the same in that you always go out and do your task,” said LeDuc. “You do your job and [it’s not about] allowing fears to control [the] narrative.”
On a side note, both of these athletes have also emerged as vital players in the American skating community on an ‘official’ front in the sport’s federation, as both are members of the U.S. Figure Skating Athlete Advisory Committee, the group that represents the voice of the athletes within U.S. Figure Skating.
“We’re very excited to be part of it,” said Cain-Gribble.
Somehow, excitement seems to explain what this duo is all about.