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2022 Nationals: Junior Pairs

by Liz Leamy


Baram and Tioumentsev Take Lead in U.S. Championship Junior Pairs

(4 January 2022) Sonia Baram (Los Angeles FSC) and Daniel Tioumentsev (Dallas FSC) soared to the top of the U.S. Championship junior pairs leaderboard in the short program with a strong seven-point lead over their competition, racking up a 62.26 segment score.

Baram and Tioumentsev, who have generated a great deal of buzz over the past several years as being one of the country’s hot up-and-coming teams, wowed the crowd – and officials - with a high-energy program to Petty Booka’s ‘Bla Bla Bla, Cha Cha Cha’ in which they reeled off an outstanding split triple twist, side-by-side double Axels, level four combination spins, a level-four lift.

Right from the outset of their performance, Baram, donned in a pink dress, and her partner, who was wearing a black costume, brought everyone in the Nashville Bridgestone Arena to the edge of their seats with their presence, power and ownership in their skating, designating the afternoon a most memorable one.

This duo, who trains in Irvine, California with Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, along with Christine Fowler-Binder and Chris Knierim, racked up a 35.49 for their technical elements and a 26.77 for their components, putting them significantly ahead of the rest of the competition, totaling 11 pairs hailing from all over the U.S.

Isabelle Martins (Chicago FSC) and Ryan Bedard (Northern Ice SC) scored second in the short with a compelling program to the Doors’ ‘House of the Rising Sun’ as sung by the Heavy Young Heathens for which they earned a 54.89.

This program, choreographed by Rohene Ward, who does the artistic work for Jason Brown, the 2015 U.S. titlist, was a highlight of the afternoon, as this two flew around the ice at top speed knocking out such elements as a triple twist, throw triple Salchow (with a touchdown of the hand on the landing), side-by-side double Axels and a soaring lasso lift with the command and expertise of a seasoned junior international contenders.

Martins and Redard train with Rockne Brubaker, the two-time U.S. pair champion, and Stefania Burton in Geneva, Illinois.

Cayla Smith (Fort Wayne ISC) and Andy Deng (Fort Wayne ISC) clinched the third-highest marks of the short porgram, a 48.70, for their fluid and graceful interpretation of Ludwig van Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata.’

Smith and Deng rendered big marks for their library of top-notch technical elements that included a triple twist, throw triple Salchow, side-by-side double Axels and a slingshot-like back outside death spiral, among others.

Smith and Deng train in Fort Wayne, Indiana with Alena and Alexander Lunin, with the former being the program’s creator.