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2022 Skate America Pairs Short Program

by Liz Leamy



Knierim and Frazier Lead in Pairs Short

(22 October 2022) Alexa Knierim & Brandon Frazier, the reigning World champions and 2021 U.S. gold medalists, dominated the international eight-team pairs contingent at the 2022 Skate America Championships in Norwood, Massachusetts with a stellar score of 75.19.

Skating to Journey’s ‘Separate Ways’ as remixed by Bryce Miller and Alloy Tracks, this high-powered team put the proverbial pedal to the metal and knocked out a stunning split triple twist, throw triple flip and side-by-side triple toe loops, among other impressive elements.

Knierim & Frazier, who were sixth at the 2022 Olympics and the 2021 Skate America champions, train with Jenni Meno, Todd Sand, the three-time U.S. champions and three-time World medalists and Chris Knierim, Alexa’s husband and former partner with whom she won three U.S. titles (in 2015, 2018 and 2019) in Irvine, California and appeared to be right on point.

Wearing gorgeous gray and white outfits featuring red Swarovski crystals, Knierim & Frazier skated with confidence, command and technical and artistic prowess and hit every element with aptitude, power and ownership.

Happy with their performance, Knierim & Frazier said they’re looking forward the free skate competition and that it’s just all about taking things a step at a time.

“I felt very calm, warm and excited by the audience. You feel everything out there,” said Knierim, who hails from the Chicago suburban area.

Frazier agreed.

“There was a lot of positivity out there tonight,” said Frazier, who is originally from Colorado Springs. “It was a good starting base.”

Frazier also said he and Knierim are as focused on building the standard of their skating.

“We’re coming out this season determined and hungry for more,” said Knierim. “Every event is important to us because we are very passionate [about what we do].”

Deanna Stellato-Dudek & Maxime Deschamps, the 2022 Canadian bronze medalists, scored second with their high-octane ballroom-inspired program to ‘Oblivion’ by Plus Tango, earning a 73.05.

Stellato-Dudek, a Chicago native who formerly competed internationally for the U.S. with Nathan Bartholomay, and her partner did a soaring throw triple loop, nice side-by-side triple toe loops and a fluid and easy reverse lasso lift that covered the rink length and then width for which they earned plus four and five grade of execution marks.

Sitting in a position where they could clinch the Canadian title later this year, Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps have been working as hard as ever to insure they are in optimal condition.

“This was our first Grand Prix event and it’s been like a homecoming for me,” said Stellato-Dudek, who was surrounded by skaters, coaches and friends hugging and chatting with her in the media zone after the competition. “It was a great experience and we’re very pleased with our performance.”

Stellato-Dudek, who competed nationally and internationally as a singles skater back in the 2000s, also talked about why she was so visibly happy during the lift in her program.

“I love being in lifts,” said Stellato-Dudek. “I feel very comfortable and feel safe, strong and secure.” She noted that Deschamps, like her former partner, Bartholomay, is very strong and gives her the feeling of great security when he lifts her.

Letizia Roscher & Luis Schuster, the three-time German junior champions, claimed third with their clean and pristine program to the famous 80s song ‘In the Air Tonight’ that was made famous by Phil Collins.

This powerful and apt duo scored a 54.87 and did a big split triple twist, nice throw triple Salchow and good side-by-side double Axels, among other things.

At the conclusion of the competition, Roscher & Schuster, who are coached by Ingo Steuer and Robin Szolkowy, both former Olympians, said being out on the ice was a memorable experience for him.

“This was a great experience for us,” said Schuster. “We did our best and can be proud of the new stuff for us.”

Roscher agreed and said she felt very much welcomed by the crowd in Norwood, which made her feel good especially with this being her first time ever in the U.S.

“I really liked the crowd cheering us,” said Schuster.