2011 U.S. Nationals

Senior Pairs






Place Team SP FS
1 Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin 1 1
2 Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig 2 2
3 Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett 4 3
4 Mary Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker 3 4
5 Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir 6 5
6 Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin 5 7
7 Lindsey Davis & Themistocles Leftheris 7 6
8 Gretchen Donlan & Andrew Speroff 9 8
9 Chloe Katz & Joseph Lynch 12 9
10 Becky Bereswill & Trevor Young 8 12
11 Molly Aaron & Daniyel Cohen 10 10
12 Erika Smith & Nathan Bartholomay 13 11
13 Lisa Moore & Justin Gaumond 11 13
w Alexa Scimeca & Ivan Dimitrov 14 --

Photos copyright 2011 by George S. Rossano


Short Program

Starting Order - Short Program
  1. Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig

  2. Lisa Moore & Justin Gaumond

  3. Lindsey Davis & Themistocles Leftheris

  4. Alexa Scimeca & Ivan Dimitrov

  5. Gretchen Donlan & Andrew Speroff

  6. Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin

  7. Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin

  8. Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir

  9. Chloe Katz & Joseph Lynch

  10. Mary Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker

  11. Erika Smith & Nathan Bartholomay

  12. Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett

  13. Molly Aaron & Daniyel Cohen

  14. Becky Bereswill & Trevor Young


Short Program Placements


1 Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin
2 Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig
3 Mary Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker
4 Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett
5 Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin
6 Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir
7 Lindsey Davis & Themistocles Leftheris
8 Becky Bereswill & Trevor Young
9 Gretchen Donlan & Andrew Speroff
10 Molly Aaron & Daniyel Cohen
11 Lisa Moore & Justin Gaumond
12 Chloe Katz & Joseph Lynch
13 Erika Smith & Nathan Bartholomay
14 Alexa Scimeca & Ivan Dimitrov


Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin have spent the last three years in Senior Pairs mired in sixth-seventh place at U.S. Nationals, but this year they have made a major breakthrough and seem to be the team to beat.   In their two Grand Prix events they placed third in China and fourth at NHK.

Their Short Program performance was very well skated with good speed and power, refined expression and very clean elements.  Their opening triple twist and subsequent throw triple Salchow were very well done.  They landed triple toe loops and had level four elements, except for their twist (typical for pairs under IJS) and a level one back inside death spiral, the only real weakness in the program -- and even that element was well executed.  Their component scores averaged just above 7, with some of the highest scores for the interpretation of their tango routine.

Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig, who are appearing at their ninth Senior National Championship, and placed second in 2010, placed second in the short program.  They were scored 1.43 points behind the leaders.  Skating to "Sing, Sing, Sing,"  they opened with a strong triple twist follwed by nice triple toe loops, that were mostly scored well by the judges.  They received one GoE of -1 on the element, the reason for which was not obvious.

On throw triple loop there was a small reach for the ice and swipe of the hand that may or may not have touched.  Eight judges went to -1 for this element.  Their twist was called level two and the death spiral level 3.  The remaining elements were called level 4.  Their straight line step sequence and the death spiral received GoEs of +1s with a few +2s.  The positions on the death spiral were very well done.

The team received components that averaged above 6.75, with Presentation marked the strongest at 7.07.  Theirs were the second highest components of the group.  Their performance was overall well skated but could use a little more speed in the fastest parts of the music.  The team remains in striking distance for the gold.

Newcomers (or half newcomers) Mary Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker placed third in the Short Program, skating to music from the "Elizabeth" sound track.  Brubaker is a two-time National Champion with former partner Keauna McLaughlin, while Marley, who placed fifth in the Junior Ladies event the day before, is in her first year as a pair skater.

Marley said that in the past she never had considered skating pairs, and when people suggested she try it (due to her size) she said that she joked she would, only when Rockne Brubaker became available.  After he did become available at the end of last season they tried out and she had to pass all the pairs test this summer to be able to compete in Seniors this year.  The hardest part of doing this, she said, was managing her time to balance both pairs and single skating.

The team gave a nicely skated performance with only one significant error.  Their opening triple twist seemed slightly under-rotated and their was clear shoulder contact on the catch.  Four judges went to -2 and the remainder -1, perhaps mitigated by the superior height of the toss.  They landed triple toe loops and throw triple Salchow.  Their lift and spin were called level four, and the sep sequence level three.  Unison on the spin was inconsistent and the judges responded with GoEs from -1 to +1.  The death spiral was called at level 2.

For component marks Marley & Brubaker received marks that averaged just below 6.5 and were scored best in Presentation and Choreography. 

The reigning National Champions, Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett, placed fourth in the Short Program, 6.51 points behind the leaders and 0.31 points behind Marley & Brubaker.  A fall on triple toe loops by Denney cost them at least 3.1 points and one place.  Other than that error, the program was well skated.  They also gave up a few points on element levels which were a bit lower overall than the three higher scoring teams.  For component marks they were scored third best, averaging just below 6.75.  The team has dug a bit of hole for themselves and will have to skate the big elements cleanly in the final on Saturday to retain their title.


Free Skate

Starting Order - Free Skating
  1. Erika Smith & Nathan Bartholomay

  2. Chloe Katz & Joseph Lynch

  3. Lisa Moore & Justin Gaumond

  4. Gretchen Donlan & Andrew Speroff

  5. Becky Bereswill & Trevor Young

  6. Molly Aaron & Daniyel Cohen

  7. Lindsey Davis & Themistocles Leftheris

  8. Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin

  9. Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir

  10. Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett

  11. Mary Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker

  12. Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin

  13. Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig


Free Skating Placements
Place Team
1 Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin
2 Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig
3 Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett
4 Mary Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker
5 Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir
6 Lindsey Davis & Themistocles Leftheris
7 Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin
8 Gretchen Donlan & Andrew Speroff
9 Chloe Katz & Joseph Lynch
10 Molly Aaron & Daniyel Cohen
11 Erika Smith & Nathan Bartholomay
12 Becky Bereswill & Trevor Young
13 Lisa Moore & Justin Gaumond



A rare and special moment.  That completely sums up the performance of Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin in the Free Skate.  It was the kind of performance where judges in the days of 6.0 would put down their pencils knowing first place was on the ice and there would be no further need to take notes.  Today, with the judges continuously pushing buttons, one wonders if the panel realized what the rest of us realized after the fourth element.  This was a uniquely special performance.  First place for sure, and a moment to be remembered for years to come.

It was not a perfect performance.  On the third element, throw triple loop was landed with difficulty and marked down.  The program was also a bit thin on Transitions.  But it didn't matter.  The team was in the moment and had the audience for the entire program.  Projection, yes.  Communicating with the audience, yes.  Understanding and expressing the purpose of the program, yes.  Expressing the character of the music, yes.  At the end, the performance received the most heartfelt standing ovation for all of these National Championship events.  At center ice Coughlin slowly turned Yankowskas around to take it all in. 

The judges, however, were less impressed.  Yes, they placed the team first, but with component marks that only averaged 7.75.  Only one judge went to 8.5s for Choreography and for Interpretation.  Perhaps the rest of the panel were too busy pushing buttons to connect with the moment.

It was a tough situation, then, for Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig, who had to skate next, and were just 1.47 points back after the Short Program.  Afterwards Ladwig said that they knew it was coming (the audience reaction for Yankowskas & Coughlin) and were mentally prepared for it.  Mentally focused, the team was in control of their performance and did the job they needed to do.

Evora & Ladwig attempted the most difficult program of the event, with the highest base value.  Four of the elements were scored slightly negative.  Three of these were jumps and throws, and the fourth a bit of stumble on the set down of their closing lift.  There were also some big elements, with a superb triple twist (level two), a huge throw triple flip, and very strong reverse lasso lift.  Even with the several small errors, the team had the highest element score of the Free Skate.

Skating to "Nessun Dorma," they skated with good speed and power and decent expression, though a bit short on passion.  Their component marks averaged just above 7.5, and given the pressure they were under, and  being last to skate, they showed themselves to be fierce competitors.  They placed second in the free skate to finish second overall.

Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett, the 2010 National Champions, moved up from fourth in the Short Program to third in the Free Skate and third overall.  It was a stronger performance that the short, with the only significant technical error Barrett stepping out of the landing of a double Axel in what was to be a double Axel - double Axel sequence.  Their elements were otherwise cleanly executed with a huge throw triple flip particularly noteworthy, as well as a flying change foot combination spin (level three) which had superb unison on both feet.  It was their highest scoring element with eight judges marking it +2 and one +1.  Their performance to "Rhapsody in Blue" was respectable, with decent speed and power, but this old warhorse was just a bit too old and tired looking.  Their components averaged near 7.25 and a few marks dipped into the sixes.  Their results for this competition were well off the pace from their championship performance last year.

In the Free Skate Mary Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker showed the limitations of having been together for less than a year, and perhaps also the wear and tear on Marley who also competed in Junior Ladies where she placed fifth.  Their Short Program was well done, but with five additional elements and another minute and a half in the Free Skate, it was clear the team did not have enough time to polish two competition programs.

Still it is a credit to Marley that she was able to pass all her pairs tests this past summer, and for the team to come together on all the pairs elements as well as they have thus far.  The only significant technical error on their elements was a clear shoulder bump on triple twist -- the same error also having been committed in the Short Program.  In addition, both fell outside the elements for a deduction of -2.

While competitive technically, their lack of time together showed in their component scores.  Their performance to music from "The Addams Family" had it's moments, but these scores averaged just above 6.5 and two judges went into the fives for some components.  Their marks for Interpretation were particularly contentious with a range of 2.00 in that mark, the highest range among the judges for the top six teams.


Erika Smith & Nathan Bartholomay Chloe Katz & Joseph Lynch Lisa Moore & Justin Gaumond
Gretchen Donlan & Andrew Speroff Becky Bereswill & Trevor Young Molly Aaron & Daniyel Cohen
Lindsey Davis & Themistocles Leftheris Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir
Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett Mary Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin
Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig


2011 Senior Pairs Medallists

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