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2023 U.S. National Championships

San Jose, CA

23-29 January, 2023

Reporting by Liz Leamy

Photos by George S Rossano


Chock and Bates in Quest for Gold at Their 12th National Championship

Knierim and Frazier Look to Defend National Title in San Jose

Ilia Malinin Seeks Seeks His First U.S. Senior Title at 2023 U.S. Nationals

Estimated Attendance


  Exhibition: 1050


Malinin Claims First U.S. Title

Ilia Malinin, the 18 year-old jumping sensation who was second at the 2022 U.S. Championships and first at the 2022 World Junior Championships, scored his first-ever U.S. title in resolute style with an impressive free skate for which he racked up a 177.38 and 287.74 total.

Skating with incredible speed, command and conviction, Malinin, the final skater in this event, executed most of his elements with the quickness, strength and finesse.

Although he didn’t hold the landing on his quad Axel and doubled two jumps, Malinin did a lightning-quick quad flip, quad Lutz, quad Salchow and triple Lutz-triple Axel, among other notable things.

At the same time, Malinin’s spins and footwork were exceptional, featuring great lines, velocity, flow and energy.

This talented and driven athlete, who is said to be a very humble and kind person, also illustrated in his spins, footwork and connecting steps, the reason why he earned a 84.15 component score.

“Overall it was a very good experience and I’m really happy to be here,” said Malinin. “It was ok that I was still trying to be in the moment.”

Malinin trains with his parents, Tatyana Malinina and Roman Skorniakov near his hometown of Vienna, Virginia in Reston as well as with Raphael Arutyunyan in Irvine, California.

Jason Brown, the decorated Highland Park, Illinois contender who was the 2015 U.S. titlist and a two-time Olympian, scored silver for his superb program to ‘The Impossible Dream’ as sung by Josh Groban for which he was awarded a 177.06 and 277.31 total.

Skating with his famous charisma and energy, Brown knocked out two triple Axels, one in combination with a triple toe loop, triple loop, triple flip-half loop-triple Salchow and triple Lutz-triple toe loop that covered 25 to 30 feet of the ice length.

Further, Brown’s other notable moves, including his beautifully formed spins, artful footwork, falling leaf, Ina Bauer and split jump were also sensational.

For these stalwart efforts, Brown was awarded the highest components of the competition, a 93.46.

For Brown, it was about being in the moment as well as just doing his job.

“I wanted to be empowered by the moment,” said Brown, who trains in Toronto with Tracy Wilson and Brian Orser. “I love performing and I love competing and I hope it showed today.”

Andrew Torgashev of Coral Springs, Florida catapulted to third overall after finishing sixth in the short to come out at the top of the leaderboard in the free skate with a 177.78 and 256.56 total.

Skating to Enigma’s ‘Fortuna X (Gravity of Love),’ Togashev threw down the proverbial hammer and rifled through all of his jumps, including a quad toe loop, triple Axel, triple Lutz-half loop-triple flip, triple flip-triple toe loop, triple flip-double Axel, and triple Lutz like a warrior, taking them each from optimal speed and pushing off from the ice like a rocket to rack up a 94.69 technical score.

Torgashev works with Raphael Arutyunyan, Nadezda Kanaeva and Vera Arutyunyan at Great Park Ice in Irvine, California.

“I just hoped to do my best and it worked out great,” said Torgashev. “I’m just taking it one step at a time and pushing myself everyday.”

Knierim and Frazier Score Second U.S. Title in Stellar Fashion

Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, the 2022 World champions and 2021 U.S. gold medalists, secured a second U.S. title in golden fashion with their stellar free skate to ‘Sign of the Times’ by Harry Styles for which they were awarded a 146.01 and 227.97 total, a score that put them more than 30 points ahead of the rest of the 11-team pair contingent on the leaderboard.

The duo, who are renowned for their expertise, power, artistry and technical acumen, reeled off a split triple twist, throw triple loop, throw triple Salchow, triple toe loop-toe loops and other memorable elements with strength, ownership and attack.

Further, the entertaining, exciting and edgy narrative of their program was a hit with the audience as well as with officials who awarded them a 73.58 component score.

“This has been a week filled with emotion and it was all about love tonight,” said Frazier. “It means the world to return and return to the top of the [U.S.] podium.” (Last year, Knierim and Frazier had to withdraw last minute from Nationals due to a Covid issue.)

Knierim and Frazier, who train at Great Park Ice and FivePoint Arena in Irvine, California with Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, credited training, experience and preparation as being the main key to the success of their competitive career so far.

“We’re just trying to progress each time we come out [on the ice] and that was our goal at this event,” said Frazier. “We’ve been building and trying to build with every performance.”

Emily Chan and Spencer Howe, the 2022 Four Continents silver medalists, held onto second with a dynamic program to ‘Unchained Melody’ as performed by the ‘Ghost’ cast and Marc Martel, respectively for which they earned a 130.00 and 196.86 total.

This duo, who trains at the Skating Club of Boston in Norwood, Massachusetts with Alexsey Letov, flew around the ice at optimal speed, knocking out such impressive elements as a split triple twist, throw triple loop and soaring lifts and other notable things.

“We’re grateful to be on the podium and go through this experience together,” said Chan. “It meant a lot to us being here and being here on the podium also means a lot to us, [especially] with all the ups and downs of training.”

Ellie Kam and Danny O’Shea, a team that has only been skating together for five months, claimed bronze with their innovative and engaging program to ‘Nocturnal Animals’ by Abel Korzeniowski for which they were awarded a 118.26 to rack up a 184.01 total.

Although Kam and O’Shea missed the landings on their triple twist and throw double Salchow, they reeled off excellent triple Salchows, a big throw double loop, gorgeous lifts and a powerful, well-extended death spiral, among other things.

This team, who trains in Colorado Springs with Drew Meekins, was happy with their outcome at this event, especially in considering that their partnership is still such a new one.

“We’re very happy to be where we are and we look forward to working hard and keeping it going,” said O’Shea.

Chock and Bates Capture Fourth U.S. Title in Valiant Style

Madison Chock and Evan Bates, the three-time World medalists and three-time U.S. champions, knocked the proverbial ball out of the park in the free dance event on Saturday to claim their fourth U.S. title as dance champions.

This remarkable duo, who has been competing together for more than12 years, skated to musical instrumental selections by Jorane and Orange Blossom, racked up a 137.85 and 229.75 total to increase their first-place standing from the rhythm dance among the 14-member roster by more than 22 points.

In their signature fashion, this duo flew around the ice with strength, confidence and ease and executed their step sequences, lifts and spins in premier world-class fashion, much to the delight of the audience who gave them a rousing standing ovation at the program’s finish.

Notably, Chock and Bates were incredibly connected to their music and skated every move, element and inflection as if it was they only thing they ever wanted to do, something that also did not get lost with the audience.

“We had a wonderful time performing to the audience today and we’re so grateful,” said Chock, who, along with Bates, trains in Montreal with Marie France-Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer. “It’s always incredible to perform at the U.S. Championships.

For Chock and Bates, who are from Redondo Beach, California and Ann Arbor, Michigan, respectively, it’s all about evolving while also trying to enjoy the journey.   

“We’re very motivated people and we’re very driven,” said Chock. “We’re very grateful for all the opportunities we’ve had over the years to be the best we can be and I believe we are right on track and exactly where we need to be.”

Caroline Green and Michael Parsons, the 2022 Four Continents champions, clinched silver, earning a 126.06 and 207.46 total for their memorable program to George Gerschwin’s legendary American classic, ‘Rhapsody In Blue.’

Green, wearing a stunning hot pink dress with Swarovski crystals and Parsons, donned in gray slacks and white shirt with suspenders, skated their program in such a compelling and effective manner that their elements almost seemed secondary to their whole presentation of dancing, in fact.

“I don’t think we could’ve put out a better skate and couldn’t be happier than I am now,” said Parsons, who, along with Green, trains with Charlie White, Tanith White and Greg Zuerlein in Canton, Michigan. “One of the biggest things we’ve worked on is trusting the process and it just felt really good to fuel the feel the work we’ve put in.”

Green agreed.

“We’re really challenging ourselves each day to show up for ourselves and the future,” said Green, who is from Rockville, Maryland.

 Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko, the 2022 Four Continents bronze medalists, catapulted to third in the final standing after having finished fourth in the rhythm dance with their arresting free program to ‘Summertime’ by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, racking up a 121.08 and 198.45 total.

Wearing monochromatic black costumes, the duo was a potent presence on the ice, executing all of their elements with great power, speed and confidence.

Notably, their one-foot turn sequence was a big crowd favorite.

In it, Carreira and Ponomarenko skated each of their turns with terrific flow, command, quickness and sureness while accelerating every edge in and out of their turns with visible speed, something that is not exactly easy to do.

“We’re really happy with how we skated today,” said Carreira, who, along with Ponomarenko, trains with Scott Moir and other prominent coaches in Ontario, Canada.

Her partner agreed.

“To go out there and skate the way we wanted to and end in the position we’re in now, it’s an honor,” said Ponomorenko.

Levito Triumphs in Women’s Free Skate to Claim her First-Ever U.S. Championship Title

Isabeau Levito, the 2022 U.S. bronze medalist and 2022-23 ISU Championship Grand Prix Final silver medalist, commanded the women’s field in San Jose in golden style with a superb free skate to ‘Dulcea Si Tandra Mea Fiara’ by Catalilna Caraus and Eugen Doga, racking up a 149.55 and 223.33 total to claim her first-ever U.S. Championship title.

In this thrilling competition, the talented 15 year-old Mount Holly, New Jersey native further increased her already substantial lead among the 17 other contenders after the short with her remarkable free skate to put her ahead of the rest of the roster by more than 10 points in the final tally.

Being one of just two skaters to skate clean in this portion of the competition, (the only other contender to have accomplished this was Josephine Lee, the fifth-place finisher), Levito reeled off a triple Lutz-triple loop, triple toe loop, two double Axels, triple flip-double toe loop, triple flip and triple Lutz-half loop-double loop, among other notable things.

“I’m proud that I did the program I needed to do and I felt so proud to achieve what I have achieved,” said Levito, who trains in Mount Laurel, New Jersey with Yulia Kuznetsova and a team of other prominent coaches.

The big victory for Levito, however, was the fact that she stayed as focused as ever in regard to the execution of both her short and free skate programs at this competition.

“Going into this event, my entire goal was to stay composed and really focus on staying in control and in my zone,” said Levito, also the 2022 World Junior champion. “I feel as if I did that today and I’m very proud of myself.”

Bradie Tennell, the two-time U.S. champion, secured the silver medal with a dynamic and engaging free skate to Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ as arranged by Cedric Tour, her coach in tandem with Benoit Richard, for which she was awarded a 139.36 to render a 213.12 total.

Wearing a gorgeous blue, red and yellow beaded ombre dress, Tennell commanded the full attention of the audience at the SAP Center with her laser-like power, confidence and attack in regard to all of her elements.

Notably, Tennell’s executed a triple Lutz-triple toe loop, double Axel-triple toe loop, triple flip, triple loop, and double Axel with fluid and fast takeoffs and landings along with beautifully lined spins.

For Tennell, placing second at this competition meant a great deal as last year, she had to refrain from competing at the 2022 U.S. Championships in Nashville due to physical issues.

“I’m very proud of myself and I think I have a lot to be proud of skating at Nationals again,” said the 24 year-old Carpentersville, Illinois native to members of the press following the competition. “I told myself I wanted to go out there and soak up every moment.”

Tennell, who trains in Nice, France with Richard and Cedric Tour, further elaborated on what winning silver meant to her.

“This medal is very special to me,” said Tennell, who was the U.S. titlist in 2018 and 2021. “I think this one means the most because I didn’t think I could do it again.”

Amber Glenn, the 2021 U.S. silver medalist, claimed bronze in this event, earning a 138.48 in the free skate for a 207.44 total score.

The talented 23 year-old, who hails from Plano, Texas, was awarded stellar scores in this competition for her incredible technical acumen, for certain.

Glenn’s program to ‘Without You’ by Ursine Vulpine and Annaca featured a triple Axel (with a step out in the landing), triple flip-triple toe loop, triple loop-double toe loop, triple loop and triple flip, all of which were defined by visible acceleration on the takeoffs, great height and stunning rotational energy.

Last year, Glenn had faced some unexpected challenges with her skating having had to withdraw from the 2022 Nationals due testing positive for Covid there.

In turn, Glenn said finishing on the podium at this year’s U.S. Championships was a personal victory for her.

“I’m very happy with how I did and it was a big mental hurdle for me,” said Glenn, who trains in Colorado Springs with Damon Allen and Tammy Gambill. “My love for skating has reemerged this year at age 23. It’s been hard, but very rewarding.”

Glenn also said her love of skating has been a main driving force for her.

“I do have a lot of love for skating and I do have a lot of goals I do want to hit,” said Glenn, who was the only woman in this competition to attempt (and do) a triple Axel.

Malinin Master in the Men’s Short Program

Ilia Malinin, the 18-year old Virginian jumping wizard who scored second at the 2022 U.S. Championships and gold at the 2022 World Junior Championships, brought the house at the SAP Center with a superb program in which he reeled off two quads and a triple Axel, commanding the 18-member contingent by nearly 10 points with a 110.36 score.

Throughout his program, Malinin, of Vienna, Virginia, commanded the ice, knocking out a quad Lutz-triple toe loop, quad toe loop and triple Axel with the confidence, aptitude and strength of a leading world-class skater, conclusively bringing the audience in the SAP Center to its feet with thunderous applause at its conclusion.

Skating to Jay Hawkins’ ‘I Put a Spell on You’ as performed by Garou, Malinin executed some superior spins, including a beautifully lined camel-cannonball as well as high-energy footwork featuring great turns, steps, edges and arm and body movements as well.

Looking quite satisfied with his program at its finish, Malinin proceeded to wave to the cheering audience with gratitude and then made a fist pump as he exited the ice, indicating that this was also a big win for him on a personal level.

“I just try to think about this like practice and try to go full out to perform,” said Malinin, who is a full-time senior at George C. Marshall High School in Fairfax County. “But it’s always a lot more fun to perform here because there’s a huge audience to help you through your program.”

Jason Brown, the 2015 U.S. champion and two-time U.S. Olympian, also brought the crowd at the SAP Center to its feet with his stunning short program to Alexey Kosenko’s ‘Melancholy’ for which he racked up a stellar 100.25 to take second.

Brown, who trains in Toronto with Tracy Wilson and Brian Orser, skated masterfully, knocking out a triple Axel, triple flip and triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination that covered nearly 20 to 25 feet of the ice length, among other notable things.

In characteristic style, Brown, who hails from Highland Park, Illinois, skated his program with tremendous feel and emotion, flying around the ice as though it was his only habitant.

For Brown, his performance was all about doing what he loves to do the most, which is to share his love of skating with others.

“It was great to perform this afternoon and it felt great to be out there,” said Brown.

Brown, who refrained from competing on the International Skating Union Grand Prix circuit last fall, credited his level of confidence and command in his performance to his regularity of skating in Japanese shows during this period.

“In a lot of ways, I feel like I’ve been training for this moment the entire year,” said Brown, who said, on average he would do six shows in three days in Japan, skating five programs for each show, something kept him in excellent competitive form. “The stamina from doing the shows has been really useful. It’s also helped give me a renewed lightness, energy and passion to train the programs again.”

Tomoki Hiwatashi, the two-time U.S. medalist who trains with Damon Allen in Colorado Springs, clinched third with his adrenalized Asian-themed techno program to Hans Zimmer’s ‘Roman Holiday’ for which he scored a 85.43.

Skating with terrific energy, speed and command, Hiwatashi, who also lives in Colorado Springs, opened up with a high-flying quad toe loop and followed it up with a big triple Axel and rock-solid triple Lutz-triple toe loop to garner big technical marks.

For Hiwatashi, it was all about doing his job.

“I’m excited to come here and I was very excited with how I skated today,” said Hiwatashi.

Hiwatashi also added that it felt good for him to be back competing at this performance level.

“Right now, I feel like I’m back,” said Hiwatashi, 23.

Knierim and Frazier Outdistance National Pair Field with Superb Short

(26 January 2023)  Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, the reigning World champions and 2019 U.S. gold medalists, threw the proverbial hammer down in the pairs short competition with an adrenalized and emotional interpretation of Journey’s ‘Separate Ways’ to take a 15-point lead among the formidable 11-member field of entrants with 81.96.

Right from the outset, it was clear this team was on fire as they easily knocked off every required element with the strength, aptitude and command of premier world competitors, showing exactly why they are the number one pair in the sport.

Opening up with a high-flying split triple twist, Knierim and Frazier then went on to reel off rock-solid triple toe loops, a huge throw triple flip, powerful and soaring lasso lift, synchronized combination spins, fluid footwork and a death spiral that matched exactly with the final inflections of the song.

Upon finishing, the crowd stood on their feet, reacting with thunderous applause.

At this juncture, Knierim and Frazier beamed at the crowd, hugging one other and showing their gratitude to the audience, as they stood there just seeming to soak in the moment.

“Being able to skate today was a gift and also something that’s true to our hearts,” said Knierim. “Personally I’m very proud of the conviction and commitment we put out for the program.”

Frazier agreed.

“You can’t take anything for granted and once we got done you just want to take in every second, but these seconds are what get you out of bed,” said Frazier.

According to Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, the three-time World medalists and three-time U.S. champions who are the team’s coaches, much of their work this year has involved focusing on the team’s details as much as their technicality.

“They’ve been focused on all of the small details,” said Meno. “They’ve also been working a lot with Shae-Lynn Bourne, which has made a big impact, I believe and also got a lot of great experience skating with Stars on Ice this past year.”

Emily Chan and Spencer Howe who represent the Skating Club of Boston scored second with their compelling program to CH2’s ‘Nyah’ for which they earned a 66.86.

Like Knierim and Frazier, this team opened up with a breathtaking split triple twist and then followed it up with a massive throw triple loop, back inside death spiral and fluid and beautifully extended lasso lift of which Chan exited from with a high-energy cartwheel.

Although Chan missed her side-by-side triple toe loop, the overall quality of this program was exceptional, especially in regard to the skating, choreography and presentation.

For this duo, it was simply all about doing their best.

“We’re really happy with what we put out,” said Chan. “We want to develop ourselves and we’re just trying to be present and want to enjoy every minute.”

Howe concurred.

“It’s a great thing to come to these events and do our best. We’re grateful to be sitting in these seats,” said Howe at the media press conference following the short program competition. “Success is about embracing opportunity and we are just trying to take it one season, one competition and one practice at a time.”

Ellie Kam and Danny O’Shea, a team that has only been skating together for four months, proved they are a force in the sport with their stunning performance to ‘The Prayer’ by Charlotte Church and Josh Groban, for which they were awarded a 65.75.

Skating with command, confidence and technicality, Kam and O’Shea, who train with Jim Peterson and Amanda Evora in Detroit, executed a host of memorable elements, including a big split triple twist, double Axels, high throw triple loop and level five lasso lift which featured a one-handed hold as well as terrific power, flow and extension.

“We’re excited to be here and proud of what we put out,” said O’Shea, a U.S. pair medalist. “At each competition, we can learn the most from it. It’s all about taking the baby steps and the only way to achieve the big goals is by the daily grind and short term and living in the moment.”

Kam agreed and elaborated on the energy in the SAP Center during the competition as well.

“It was very exciting to be able to compete for a very exciting audience. You could feel the energy in the building,” said Kam.

Chock and Bates Command Competition in Rhythm Dance

Madison Chock and Evan Bates, the internationally and domestically decorated dance team, once again knocked the ball out of the park in the short dance competition, earning a 91.90 to put them ahead of the rest of the 15-member field by more than 10 points.

Skating to David Bowie’s famous 80s tune ‘Let’s Dance’ as remixed by Ben Liebrand, Chock and Bates, who are three-time World medalists and three-time U.S. champions as well as the 2022 Olympic team silver medalists, were fast, fluid and technically superb.

They executed a fantastic curve lift defined by speed, extension, quickness and ease that covered a great deal of the ice, well synchronized twizzles and a dynamic choreographic step sequence with features such as a lasso lift, among other memorable things.

Chock, who wore a stunning sleeveless beaded dress comprised of gold, light blue, pink and red tones and Bates,who donned a sleek and modern navy button-down shirt and pants, this duo brought down the house at the SAP Center in San Jose down with this genuinely entertaining performance.

“We had so much fun performing out there and the U.S. Championships are something we look forward to every year,” said Chock, who trains in Montreal with Marie France-Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer in Montreal with Bates. “We’re exactly where we need to be going into the second half of the season and we look forward to evolving and continuing to improve.”

Caroline Green and Michael Parsons racked up the second-highest marks of this competition, an 81.40, for their outstanding program to a compilation of music by Alessandro Olivato, Cesaria Evora and Watuzu, respectively.

Skating with great power, smoothness and aptitude, this duo, who train with Tanith Belbin, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist and Charlie White, the 2014 Olympic champion in Canton, Michigan, their program featured many memorable moments, including a midline step sequence with edges in and out of their turns as long as their standing height in length that covered the entire ice surface, among other notable things.

“I think we’ve really just stuck to the training and just working everyday,” said Parsons. “We’re really happy with how we skated today and are growth on the ice.”

Emilia Zingas and Vadym Kolesnyk, who are coached by Igor Shpilband in the Detroit suburban area, scored third in this event with a 78.18 for their lively program to ‘Conga’ by the Miami Sound Machine.

This duo, who only began skating together this year, did a terrific twizzle sequence with innovative arm and leg variations with great quickness and unison, among numerous other memorable elements.

“We’re excited to be here and happy to perform,” said Zingas. “We had an amazing time today and wanted to show how we love skating.”

Levito Tops Women's Short Program Leaderboard by Close Margin over Tennell 

Isabeau Levito, the 2022 U.S. bronze medalist, made serious inroads in her quest toward becoming the crowned queen of American women’s figure skating Thursday at the U.S. Championships and catapulted right to the top of the leaderboard of 18 total contenders edging out Bradie Tennell, the two-time U.S. champion by a mere two-tenths of a point in the final tally.

The talented 15 year-old Mount Holly, New Jersey native earned an impressive 73.78 points for her engaging Spanish-themed program to ‘Una Noche Mas’ by Yasmin Levy.

Wearing a black dress with red-ribbon accents and intricate beadwork, Levito reeled off a triple Lutz-triple toe loop, triple flip and double Axel with terrific height, quickness and attack as well as beautifully positioned spins and a complex straight-line footwork sequence.

For her technical elements, Levito racked up the highest technical score of the competition, a 40.02.

Notably, throughout this program, Levito transmitted the theme of the music in memorable fashion hitting all of its crescendos and inflections with tremendous connection to convey its narrative in a unique and compelling manner.

Levito, the silver medalist at the 2022-2023 International Skating Union Grand Prix Final in Torino last December, said she was happy with her performance.

“This felt so great,” said Levito, who trains in Mount Laurel, New Jersey with Yulia Kuznetsova and several other coaches. “I always love being at Nationals and I’m very satisfied with my short program today.”

For Levito, training is the key to everything.

“Everything that shows on the ice is your practice at home and [it shows] at how you handle the competition,” said Levito, who also clinched gold at the 2022 World Junior Championships.

Tennell, who hails from Carpentersville, Illinois, claimed second with her edgy and power-infused program to Mario Batkovic’s ‘Restrictus’ as arranged by Cedric Tour for which she earned a 73.76.

Wearing a black dress with an ombre canary yellow skirt and black gloves, Tennell executed a triple Lutz-triple toe loop, triple flip and double Axel with terrific speed, length and aptitude as well as super-fast spins, among other things.

Tennell, who missed last year’s U.S. Championships due to physical issues, said she was thrilled to be back in the game facing off against the country’s finest figure skaters in San Jose.

“It felt so great to be back on National ice and I’m very happy with the way I skated today,” said Tennell, who trains overseas in Nice, France with Benoit Richard and Cedric Tour, the same person who arranged the music for her short program. “I’m happy to be back and I’m looking forward to the free.”

Starr Andrews, the 2022 International Skating Union Skate Canada silver medalist, was awarded the third-highest scores in this event, a 68.97, for her compelling program to Demi Lovato’s ‘Dancing With the Devil.’

Donned in a fire-engine red unitard with diamond-like beading, Andrews knocked out a triple toe loop-triple toe loop, triple loop and double Axel with attack, command, height and distance.

Andrews, who lives in Los Angeles and trains with Derrick Delmore, the esteemed coach and former National competitor, performed with visible purpose and intent and around the ice with the speed and presence of a premier international skater, much to the delight of the crowd at the SAP Center.

“I felt really comfortable and confident and just did my thing,” said Andrews. “I’ve been training so hard this year and my perspective on competition has changed.”/p>

Andrews also remarked on the energy of the audience.

“The crowd was amazing and I can’t believe I’m at this press conference. It’s really cool,” said Andrews, referencing the post-event media conference in which the top-three finishers of the competition discuss their performances and skating with members of the press.


In the Junior Women's event Soho  Lee took the short program, leading by 0.77 points.  She landed three triples, and completed three level 4 spins.  Her step sequence was level 3.  She received mostly 2s and 3s for components in a well skated and well choreographed program.

“I’m really happy with today’s performance," she said.  "I felt good. [I think highlights] were my first jump combo and the ending spin because I was like, ‘It’s all done!’"

Lee led again in the free skate (with 114.80 points) to win the Junior Women's championship, with 181.14 points.

“I think it [her free skate] was OK," she said. "I missed my first combo so that was a big mistake for me, but I think the rest of the program was pretty good.”

The top four Junior women, all train in southern California.

Lucas Broussard takes lead in Junior Men's event with 82.03 points in the short program.

Brousard landed a clean triple Axel, as well as three other triples.  The top three men in the short program all landed triple Axel.

“My goal was to skate how I’d been skating in practice,  he said." "The skate that I put out today was pretty much how I’d been skating in practice, and I think it shows that the training really paid off because I put out a high-scoring program at nationals, which is exciting.”

In the free skate Broussard earned a leading 157.52 points for a 239.55 point total.

“It’s really special," he said.  "Last year, I got COVID, and I couldn’t go to Nationals, and then in 2021, I finished last in the short and then I pulled up to sixth overall, so it’s special that I finally have my moment here and that I’ve skated two almost clean programs. It’s been special to come back from those two upsetting Nationals.”  

Ellie Korytek & Timmy Chapman scored 57.69 points in the Junior Pairs short program, taking a small lead of 0.90 points ahead of Naomi Williams & Lachlan Lewer.

The team gave a generally strong and exuberant performance but gave up several points on a fall (Chapman) on side-by-side double Axel, which was also called at the quarter.

Korytek & Chapman also won the free skate, with 102.71 points, to take the pairs title with 160.40 total points for the event.

“It [the free skate] felt really good," Korytek said. "After the second element, we just let go.”


Helena Carhart & Volodymyr Horovyi lead in the Junior Dance event after a hard fought Rhythm Dance, with 68.53 Points.

Following close behind are Jenna Hauer & Benjamin Starr with 65.4 points and Elliana Peal & Ethan Peal with 61.91 points.

Of their skate, Carhart said, “I think our main focus today was just to do our best skate and be connected. That’s been something we’ve been working on – our connection, our facial expressions – performance in general. I think that we made our goal, which was to skate our best and perform at the level we’ve been training.”

In the free dance, Leah Neset and Artem Markelov moved up from seventhin the rhythm dance, earning 105.56 points in the free dance an 161.75 point in total.

“It definitely took a lot of focus to come back," said Neset, "but I’m really happy with how it turned out in the end.”  

Helena Carhart and Volodymyr Horovyi dropped to second place, with 160.81 points.  A fall by Carhart in the twizzles element, cost them the gold.