2007 Skate America

Pairs Event

By Sandra Stevenson

Place Team Country SP FS
1 Jessica Dube & Bryce Davison CAN 1 1
2 Qing Pang & Jian Tong CHN 2 2
3 Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov RUS 3 3
4 Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig USA 4 4
5 Meeran Trombley & Laureano Ibarra USA 5 5
6 Laura Magitteri & Ondrej Hotarek ITA 7 6
7 Stacey Kemp & Davis King GBR 6 7


Short Program

Starting Order - Short Program
  1. Meeran Trombley & Laureano Ibarra
  2. Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig
  3. Laura Magitteri & Ondrej Hotarek
  4. Stacey Kemp & Davis King
  5. Jessica Dube & Bryce Davison
  6. Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov
  7. Qing Pang & Jian Tong


Short Program Placements


Team Country
1 Jessica Dube & Bryce Davison
2 Qing Pang & Jian Tong
3 Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov
4 Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig
5 Meeran Trombley & Laureano Ibarra
6 Stacey Kemp & Davis King
7 Laura Magitteri & Ondrej Hotarek


Dube & Davison

U.S. Champions, BROOKE CASTILE/BEN OKOLSKI, withdrew two days before the event because of her left ankle injury which also kept them out of the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany and several charity appearances. They are still entered for the French Grand Prix in Paris Nov. 15-18. NAOMI NARI NAM/THEMI LEFTHERIS, who were also entered representing the US, withdrew in September after Nam’s hip surgery. She is now back on the ice but will not be ready for competition, probably, until nationals.

(1) 60.80 (35.28+25.52) In an unexpected turn, the 2007 Canadian champions, JESSICA DUBE/BRYCE DAVISON, established a lead of less than half a point, performing to the music, Galicia Flamenco by Gino D’Auri, which was used by Kimmie Meissner last year. Dressed in black with gold, their performance, though polished, was a little disappointing in that they presented "only" a double twist which wasn’t very spectacular.

But they were playing the numbers. The Canadians’ technical score was 2.72 points ahead of Pang/Tong but the Chinese’s emotional showing earned 2.24 ahead of the Canadians.

Dubé stepped out of her triple Salchow in their opening move, which resulted in a -1.40 Grade of Execution but Pang/Tong also received a -1.40 GOE for their triple toe loop because he stepped out. The triple Salchow has a base value of 4.5 which is 0.5 more than the triple toe loop so the Canadians’ were ahead on that.

The Canadians received two Level 4s for their change foot combination spin and for their pair spin. The Chinese receive no 4s, which is the maximum skaters can be awarded.

For their four other required moves which earn levels, the Canadians received Level 3. In contrast, the Chinese were awarded only Level 1 for their triple Lutz twist, their circular steps and pair combination spin. Their other level move, the back inside death spiral, was only Level 2.

This is now a sport in which mathematics reign. The Canadians have done their homework. They pay great attention to the rules. That’s what gets the cookie.

Dubé and Davison teamed up in 2003. They finished sixth in Skate America in 2005. She will turn 20 on Monday (Oct 29). Davison is 21. They are remembered for her plucky return from a bad accident competing in the Four Continents championship in Colorado Springs earlier this year. While traveling on a flying camel spin, his blade hit her face narrowly missing an eye.

But, after her surgery, they went on to repeat their seventh place finish at worlds. They were tenth in the Olympics and are trained by Annie Barabe in Drummondville, Quebec.

This season the ISU has reduced the number of pairs at each of the six Grand Prix. Skaters compete in two events to earn points to qualify for the Final in December where the prize money is more substantial than at the individual events.

Even with the reduction of entries, Dubé and Davison have been invited to a third event, where they can earn money but not score points to the Final. They will compete in Skate Canada and in Japan.

(2) 60.32 (32.56+27.76) QING PANG/JIAN TONG skated last. They had a tentative start but gave a pleasing performance with an expressive maturity. They used the same short program as last year, choreographed by Nikolai Morozov, which is set to Massenet’s O Sweet Springs of Another Time.

They were dressed in the same outfits, with multiple shades of blue. "Although we still use the same routine for the short program as we did last season, we changed some of the details to meet the needs of the new rules."

They won the 2006 world title in Xue Shen/Hongbo Zhao’s absence. Shen/Zhao came to claim that title last March when Pang/Tong took the silver medal. Earlier last season, she went through a very worrying period with bouts of pyelitis, an inflammation of the kidneys, which kept them from competing in last year’s Skate America. Later, just before the Four Continents championships, in which they still managed to win silver, he incurred a serious head injury in a car crash last December.

Pang, who will be 28 on Christmas Eve, and Tong who turned 28 on August 15, are from from Harbin but train in Beijing with China’s legendary coach, Bin Yao.

(3) 56.76 (32.64+24.12) VERA BAZAROVA/YURI LARIONOV, who were second in the 2007 World Junior Championships, skated to Love Story by Francis Lai. They gave a performance of great promise and softness which the crowd appreciated. They began with a nice triple Lutz twist. Her double Axel was good but low. The throw triple toeloop was excellent

They came to Reading from the center of England, Sheffield, where they won the last of the eight Junior Grand Prix events. Bazarova, who will turn 15 on January 28, was born in Ekaterinenburg. Larionov, who was 21 on August 19, was born in Novosibirsk. They train with Liudmila Kalinina in Perm, at the foot of the Ural Mountains. Skate America is their first senior international.

(4) 46.18 (32.56+21.24 -2.0) AMANDA EVORA/MARK LADWIG gave an energetic, fun showing of Stray Cat Strut choreographed by Christine "Tuffie" Sweeney. Dressed in black and pink, they got crowd going right away with a triple twist and the routine’s highlight, an amazing Group 5 Axel lasso lift which had so many variations (which are now called bullet points) that it earned Level 4.

Unfortunately, although she landed the throw triple Lutz, she skidded off the landing and fell. Then he fell on their side by side triple Salchows. That meant a deduction of two points which placed them only 0.70 ahead of their teammates, Trombley/Ibarra.

The duo trains with Kerry Leitch in Ellenton, FL, but he stayed at home this time and left the travel and last minute grooming to former world bronze medalist Lyndon Johnston. In the recent Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany, Evora, who will be 23 in November, and Ladwig, who is 27, were fourth in the Short, second in the free skate and third overall. They gained higher technical scores than the winners, Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy.

Evora lists her hometown as Sugarland, Texas, but laughingly concedes, "I lived there for six years, but I’ve been in Florida, now, for seven, so I should say there." They represent the Southwest Florida FSC. Ladwig was born in Fargo, North Dakota. Evora began skating when her father found her sister’s old skates, and, by a happy coincidence, they fit her. Ladwig started skating on a pond in a park near the family’s home in Moorhead, MN, just over the river from Fargo. They have competed at senior level at nationals four times and in Spokane this past January, they finished fourth. Mark is married. He tied the knot with Janet in March 2006. Like many US male pairs, he has had a succession of partners, Kelsey Sollom (1990-99), Keri Lynn Blakinger (1999-2001) and Christine Dean (2002).

(5) 45.48 (27.88+18.60 -1.00) First up were MEERAN TROMBLEY/LAUREANO IBARRA who are making their international debut as a pair. They created a good opening impression dressed appropriately in red and black with a red ribbon in her chignon. Their music is from the movie, Zorro. The first two elements, the triple Lutz twist and the throw triple Salchow went very well but then she fell on her double Axel.

They are a very international duo. Trombley, 20, was born in South Korea and represented Canada. Ibarra, 24, first stepped on ice in Venezuela. They teammed together in March 2006 and are ranked 11th in the US. The duo trains with Dalilah Sappenfield in Colorado Springs. He has had three previous partners. With Tiffany Vise he finished sixth in the 2002 world junior championships. He also competed in the US with Brandilyn Sandival and Stephanie Kuban.

(6) 44.74 (27.26+17.48) Skating first after the second warm-up group, STACEY KEMP/DAVID KING presented a Flamenco Fantasy by Rodriquez dressed in near identical cat suits of black and red. They began with a double Lutz twist followed by double flips. She landed their throw triple loop but with a very deep knee bend. They had a back position variation of the entry to their back inside death spiral.

Their best element was their Group 5 lift. They are the twice British champions who have been 17th in the past two world championships. Kemp, who is 19, and King, 23, recently moved to Poland to train with Dorota and Mariusz Siudek, who have a new training facility in their home country.

The Siudeks, who competed in Skate America last year, gave their farewell competitive performance at worlds earlier this year. The married couple trained in Canada for their later years in competition. They had represented Poland in top level competition for many, many years.

(7) 38.76 (20.80+17.96) LAURA MAGITTERI/ONDREJ HOTAREK teamed up in 2006. They skated to Chi Mai by Ennio Morricone, dressed in pretty ice blue outfits with him in deep grey trousers. They presented only a double Lutz twist. She stepped out of their side by side double Axels and their throw was just a double loop. They received no marks at all for their last element, the pair combination spin.

The 23 year old Hotarek is from Brno in the Czech Republic and previously competed with Veronika Havlickova. He moved to Italy to begin skating Magitteri who previously had only done singles. Magitteri will turn 19 on December 30. They finished 16th in the 2007 world championship. They are trained by Karel Fajer.


Free Skating

Starting Order - Free Skating
  1. Laura Magitteri & Ondrej Hotarek
  2. Stacey Kemp & Davis King
  3. Meeran Trombley & Laureano Ibarra
  4. Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig
  5. Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov
  6. Qing Pang & Jian Tong
  7. Jessica Dube & Bryce Davison


Free Skating Placements
Place Team Country
1 Jessica Dube & Bryce Davison CAN
2 Qing Pang & Jian Tong CHN
3 Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov RUS
4 Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig USA
5 Meeran Trombley & Laureano Ibarra USA
6 Laura Magitteri & Ondrej Hotarek ITA
7 Stacey Kemp & Davis King GBR


(1) The skaters performed in reverse order to their placing in the short, so Dubé/Davison were the last to skate. They performed to Blower’s Daughter by D Rice, which is their program from last season.

Once again they presented a routine which adhered strictly to guidelines for obtaining the greatest score and they advanced from being marginally ahead to win by a significant 8.07. In the free skate they earned 7.35 ahead of the Chinese on the technical score but were only 0.24 ahead on the components.

"We knew we could be close (to the Chinese) but we didn’t expect to win," Bryce admitted.

(2) Pang/Tong performed to Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet, dressed in a delicate light blue with him in black trousers.

Comparing the Top Two Routines

Dubé/Davison began with a double twist, which received a Level 3. (Their triple twist is not yet 100% sure of getting a good GOE so they are sticking with the lesser double.) The base level was 4.0 and they got a positive GoE of +0.30 so they earned 4.30 for this move (as opposed to the 5.84 earned by the Chinese for their superbly high triple twist, which received +0.84 GoE, but did not have the added features which would have given them more than Level 1.)

The Canadian youngsters followed that move with their sequence of two double Axels which earned 1.0 GoE added to the base of 5.60. The Chinese had a disaster on this with Pang doing a single Axel to single toe loop. They earned only 0.82 for this. That meant the Canadians more than overcame their initial deficit.

The Canadians later lost a little of that lead when they performed double Salchows which had -0.24 taken off their base value of 1.30. The Chinese had opened their routine with excellent triple toes which earned 0.40 over the base value of 4.00.

One of the deciding factors was the final pair combination spin for which the Chinese earned no marks at all while the Canadians had -0.12 taken off their Level 2 spin which had a base level of 3.50.

Both executed a throw triple Salchow but with the Chinese earning just over half a point more. Both Dubé and Pang fell on their throw triple loop. Both pairs earned the same core on that.

The Canadians earned Level 4 for three elements, - two of their lifts and their spiral sequence. The Chinese earned only one Level 4, which was for their Axel Lasso lift. The Canadians received no Level 1, while is the minimum, while the Chinese had two.

(3) Bazarova/Larionov continued to make their extremely impressive senior debut. Performing to the soundtrack of the movie Eragon, with her in a tasteful dress in an unusual green-y yellow, they received three Level 4s (for two of their spins and their spiral sequence) but also three Level 1s (for their triple twist, back inside death spiral and straight line steps). Only two of their 13 moves received a negative Grade of Execution, their sequence of two double Axels and their second throw, a triple loop. (They had previously executed a +0.70 throw triple flip.)

(4) Evora/Ladwig performed to Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe choreographed by Jim Peterson, which was a great complete contrast to their snazzy short program. Dressed in blue, they gave a showing of great potential and great difficulty with entertaining lifts but the performance had a string of flaws.

The received four Level 4s (for their spirals, two of their lifts, and the pair combination spin). They had problems with their throw triple Lutz, in which she was forced to put her hand down, but their triple loop was great. Their side by side triple Salchows were downgraded. However, it will be a great day in skating when all their elements come together.

(5) Trombley/Ibarra chose to perform to music from the movie Speed. They began with an impressive Level 3 back inside death spiral which earned 0.14 over the base level of 3.20. Their Level 2 triple Lutz twist gained the base value of 5.50. They earned three Level 4s – for their Group 3 lift, their spirals and their pair combination spin. Although she fell on their throw triple loop, they showed they had earned their passage into this event.

(6) Magittter/Hotarek opened the pairs final. Dressed in black and silver, they performed to that musical homage to teenage years, the musical Grease, overtaking the British champions. They did a good double twist instead of the planned triple, but she fell on their subsequent throw triple Salchow. Their side by side jumps were only double toes and their second throw a double loop but their Group 5 lift was well done. However, she fell again on her double Axel.

(7) Kemp/King presented a James Bond themed free. She wore a sophisticated, sleeveless, bright orange dress with black trimmings. He had a cummerbund to match her dress and a black tie with his white shirt. They began well with a forward inside death spiral which earned 0.42 over the Level 4 base value of 3.50. They also earned Level 4 for their Axel Lasso lift and their spirals. But they were deducted 3.0 points for falls, on their throw double flip, throw triple loop and during their straight line steps. They also gained no marks for their toe Lasso lift.

2007 Skate America Pairs Medalists


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