by Liz Leamy
Baram and Tioumentsev Claim U.S. Junior Pairs Title With Senior Quality Performance
Sonia Baram (Los Angeles FSC) and Daniel Tioumentsev (Dallas FSC) triumphantly claimed first at the 2022 U.S. Championships in the Junior Pairs competition, taking gold with a 171.36 and finishing nearly 26 points ahead of the rest of the competition.
This vibrant and talented team, who train in Irvine, California with Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, the three-time U.S. pairs titlists and three-time World medalists, Chris Knierim, the three-time U.S. titlist and Christine Binder, displayed a gold standard as they skated with the speed, aptitude and grace of premier world contenders.
For their program to ‘Pilgrims on Journey’ from Child of Light and ‘Primavera’ by Ludovico Einaudi, Baram and Tioumentsev, who have only been skating together for less than two years, racked up a 109.10, making them the only pair to score more than two figures in the free skate showdown.
The duo did such elements as a lovely split triple twist for which they earned grade of execution marks of plus threes and plus fours, side-by-side triple Salchows followed by two double toe loops, a throw double Salchow, a throw double loop and soaring lifts in which they covered the length of the ice with command and flow.
At the same time, their components were also exceptional, as they interpreted the music with effectiveness, aptitude and balletic style that reflected many hours of hard work both on the ice and off. They earned a 54.61 for components, a total that came up more than five points higher than the second-place finishers, Isabelle Martins and Ryan Bedard.
At the conclusion of the competition, it was clear the two were happy with their performance.
“I’m really proud of ourselves,” said Baram, who also qualified and competed in the U.S. Championship junior ladies event in Nashville.
“Our goal was to make sure to get everything done,” said Tioumentsev. “And for [Sonia] to come out and do two events is [awesome]. I’m just really proud of her.”
The two, who focus on all their elements, particularly the lifts, jumps, spins and ballet in their daily training, said they have very much enjoyed competing in Nashville and hope to do some sightseeing with their friends and family during the remainder of the week.
“I love it here, it’s really beautiful,” said Baram.
Isabelle Martins (Chicago FSC) and Ryan Bedard (Northern Ice SC) clinched the silver medal with their dramatic free skate to ‘Caruso’ by Lara Fabian for which they scored an 89.82 and 144.71 total, marks that put them nearly 15 points ahead of the third place finishers, Catherine Rivers and Timmy Chapman.
Martins and Bedard, two-time U.S. junior silver medalists going into this competition, train with Rockne Brubaker, the two-time U.S. pairs titlist and Stefania Berton in Geneva, Illinois.
In their program, they did a split triple twist, high-level lifts and a throw triple Salchow and throw triple Loop in which she slightly two footed both landings.
“We’re happy we made it and gave it all we could give,” said Martins.
“We just wanted to go for everything and give it 100 percent,” said Bedard.
Catherine Rivers (Knoxville FSC) and Timmy Chapman (Central Florida FSC) took bronze, catapulting from fifth in the short to third overall with a top-grade free skate for which they earned an 85.05 and 130.75 total score.
“Just going out there and skating felt so good,” said Rivers who is a Tennessee native. “I had this energy from the crowd and the other skaters and feel like such a part of a big team.”
“I felt like the skate was really good,” said Chapman. “I feel like we accomplished our goals and our mission. It was also great we have an audience.”
Rivers and Chapman, train, like Baram and Tioumentsev, with Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, Chris Knierim and Christine Binder in Irvine, California.