2009 Skate America

Ladies Event


Alexandra Stevenson

Place Skater Country SP FS
1 Yu-Na Kim KOR 1 2
2 Rachael Flatt USA 2 1
3 Julia Sebestyen HUN 3 3
4 Fumie Suguri JPN 4 5
5 Elena Glebova EST 5 4
6  Elene Gedevanishvili GEO 6 6
7 Emily Hughes USA 11 7
8 Sarah Hecken GER 12 8
9 Joshi Helgesson SWE 7 10
10 Alexe Gilles USA 10 9
11 Susanna Poykio FIN 9 11
12 Tugba Karademir TUR 8 12


Short Program

Starting Order - Short Program
Warmup Group 1
1. Emily Hughes, USA
2. Tugba Karademir, TUR
3. Alexe Gilles, USA
4. Elena Glebova, EST
5. Sarah Hecken, GER
6. Susanna Poykio, FIN
Warmup Group 2
7. Joshi Helgesson, SWE
8. Fumie Suguri, JPN
9. Elene Gedevanishvili, GEO
10. Julia Sebestyen, HUN
11. Rachael Flatt, USA
12. Yu-Na Kim, KOR

Est. Start Time: 19:00:00

Trick List

Short Program Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Yu-Na Kim KOR
2 Rachael Flatt USA
3 Julia Sebestyen HUN
4 Fumie Suguri JPN
5 Elena Glebova EST
6  Elene Gedevanishvili GEO
7 Joshi Helgesson SWE
8 Tugba Karademir TUR
9 Susanna Poykio FIN
10 Alexe Gilles USA
11 Emily Hughes USA
12 Sarah Hecken GER

Yuna Kim, South Korea, 1. 76.28 (Element Score 44.00 + Program Components 32.28), presented another brilliant showing of her James Bond Short Program that was perfect from her first element, the triple Lutz to triple toe combination of jumps, to her sexy look as she fired a make believe gun in her concluding stance. She blew away the opposition just as she did when she scored 76.08 for her short program in her other Grand Prix event, the Eric Bompard Trophy in Paris, even though there, she left out her triple flip. This time she bettered her world record of 76.12 which she earned when winning this section and the title in the world championships last March in Los Angeles.

"I felt a lot of pressure to skate well because I skated so well in Paris but once I got going, I was alright," said the 19 year-old. Her sophisticated look as a James Bond heroine was set off by her black and silver dress, with its strap over one shoulder and bondage neck band. The "dangerous woman" was complete, right down to her black nail varnish.

However, the perfectionist, who was too young by a few months to compete in the last Olympic Games, was not completely satisfied. Speaking in English, she said, "I think my footwork and my last spin were a little slow. But the reaction of the audience was incredible." The rink was wallpapered with signs of support and posters of her and the audience rose in a total standing ovation when her music stopped. "Iím aware that after Paris, people were talking about my score. I can do better but I can do worse, too. Itís not about the score. I donít want to think about the score."

Brian Orser, who became a coach because Kim and Korean officials thought he would be good for her, knows all about pressure. He was second in both the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. She is so much of a celebrity that the Korean Association thinks it better for her to train in Canada where she will not be as bothered by the adoring public.

He said, "She wants to go out, skate well, and show everybody who she is. When that music starts, she just goes into this other state," Orser explained. "I think sheís just excited about these new programs. They are such a good fit for her. She wears them well."

Kimís opening triple-triple, which has a base value of 10 points, got 2.20 added marks because six of the judges punched in a GoE of 2 and two gave the maximum +3. The remaining judge thought the move deserved only +1. The following move, a triple flip was also light, very high and securely landed, earning +2s from seven of the judges and +1 from the other two. A layback spin and the spiral sequence followed earning Level 4 and good GoEs of +0.70 and 1.40 respectively. Her double Axel was rewarded with +1.60. The flying sit spin was Level 4 with +0.50; the straight line steps gained Level 3 and +0.90; and a change foot combination spin earned Level 3 and +0.50.

Her component marks ranged from a low of 7.25 given by two judges for transitions up to a high of two 8.75s, one for choreography and composition and the other for Interpretation, both given by one of the judges who punched in one of her lows. The score was enough to win the silver medal in the menís event.

Rachael Flatt, US, 2. 58.80 (33.40+26.40 -1.0), skated a snazzy number to Sing Sing Sing in a pink and silver outfit. She earned second place despite a fall on her first move, a triple Lutz to triple toe. Flatt got credit for full rotation on both jumps so the element still earned 6.50, although a point was taken off the overall score for the fall. The 17-year-old from Colorado Springs said, "I was very disappointed with the fall. Even in training, I don't fall that often. It was a silly mistake, but the audience still got really behind me. I'll just have to work harder to land it in the long. I do it in practice everyday, so I'm not worried."

Flatt, who finished fifth in the World championships earlier this year, picked herself up and immediately soared into a base value triple flip. Her flying camel and spiral earned Level 4 and small positive GoEs, +0.10 and +0.40 respectively. Her layback spin was only Level 2 with +0.20. The double Axel which followed earned its base value. Her straight line steps were Level 3 with +0.90 and the final element, her change foot combination spin was Level 4 and +0.50. Her components ranged from a low of one 5.25 for her for Transition/Linking steps up to three 7.50s

She said Kim was inspirational. "Itís neat to compete against Yu-na. Sheís incredible and someone I look up to. When we get on the ice, I think, ĎCool, Yu-na is out here.í" Flatt performed far better than she had in the Chinese Grand Prix, where she finished fourth. She explained, "I donít know what happened to me there. I was relaxed and confident before the trip but I never felt comfortable once I was there. Maybe it was the jetlag."

Julia Sebestyen, Hungary, 3. 58.54 (32.10 + 26.44) is very aware this is her last season. The 28 year old 2004 European champion has been in top level competition since the last century. Her first appearances in the European and World championships were, respectively, in 1995 and 1998. This year, she appears to have got a fresh lease on life, and produced a clean short as she had in the Nebelhorn Trophy and in the Rostelecom Grand Prix in Moscow. Her jumps are very high and she soared through her triple Lutz to double toe earning 0.60 over the base value of 7.30. However, her triple flip was given an "e" for wrong edge which meant 1.40 was taken off the base value of 5.50. Her flying camel was Level 4, which has a base value of 3.20 and she got an added 0.40. Her spirals were also Level 4 and she earned the base value of 3.40.

Her double Axel got +0.80 but her Layback, always her weakest element, got only the base level for Level 2 (1.90). Her circular steps and change foot combination spin were both Level 3 and both earned +0.30 over their base values of 3.30 and 3.0. One judge gave her particularly low component marks, a 4.50 for interpretation, 4.75 for transitions and 5.25 for choreography. But she also had 11 marks in the 7s. She said, "I need to get points from the spins and spirals, not just the jumps. But Iím really happy with my Short Program performances this season."

Sebestyen, skated in bright red to a Song from A Secret Garden. She said, "I was very happy at the end of my program, because it was one of my goals to skate a clean short program. This was better than in Moscow. The jumps were the same, but the spins and the footwork were better. A clean short program was the first step for me." She will go to her fourth Olympics in February, escorted by her first coach, Gurgen Vardanjan.

Fumie Suguri, Japan, 4. 56.04 (29.28 + 26.76), is another "old-timer". Suguri, who will turn 30 on New Yearís Eve, won bronzes in the 2002 & í03 world championships and silver in 2006, but has since been eclipsed by younger skaters in Japan. She is now training in St. Petersburg hoping Plushenkoís coach, Alexei Mishin, can refresh her skating. She performed to two pieces by Bach, Air from his Orchestral Suite No.3, and Toccata & Fugue, in a relatively plain but bright royal blue long-sleeved outfit with matching gloves, that had a yellow skirt and a yellow ribbon in her hair.

She began with a triple Lutz to double toe which was saddled with an "e" for wrong edge and -1.40 was taken off the base value of 7.30. Then she was slapped with a downgrade for her triple flip which meant she earned only 1.74 for a move which has a base value of 5.50. However, she earned the maximum Level 4 for four of the five moves which are given a Level. (The jumps are not awarded levels.) She received at least the base value for the other six moves, which included a double Axel which is not given a level. Her flying camel and spirals were Level 4. The straight line steps were Level 3 but earned her best GoE, +0.70. She judged her performance as "so-so, better than the Cup of China. I went back to Lori Nichol and we rechoreographed a few things. I love her work. I worked with Lori many years ago and I told my coach I wanted to work with her again. We didnít have much time but I think it helped a lot."

Elena Glebova, Estonia, 5. 52.28 (28.80 + 23.48), is a 20 year old, 4-time national champion, athough her titles were not consecutive. She skated to Lee Holdridgeís East of Eden, a piece once used by Michelle Kwan. She was the only skater, apart from Kim, to successfully accomplish a combination of two triples, both toe loops, for which she earned +1.0 in addition to the base value of 8.0. Her solo triple was a Salchow. Although she was rewarded with +0.80 GoE for this element, it has a lower base value, 4.5, than the loop, flip or Lutz, which most of the competitors attempted.

Glebova is trained in Tallinn, the capital city of her country, which will host the European championships in January, by Anna Kondrasheva Levanti, who was the first Soviet woman to win silver in the world championships (in 1994). She wore a lime green dress. "I designed it. Fashion is my hobby. Iím happy I landed all my jumps. I donít know what happened with the flying sit spin. I came off my blade and so I did it again but you canít do that and so I got no points for that element."

Elena Gedevanishvili, Georgia, 6. 52.18 (27.90 +24.28), earned less technical marks but greater components than Glebova, and the two are almost tied. The 19-year-old, who is trained in Hackensack by Robin Wagner, made a splash when she took 10th place in the 2006 Olympics, but she subsequently grew and has had problems adjusting to the transition into womanhood. She has stayed with her routine set to Fever which she really sells. But she doubled her Lutz and received only 0.90 marks for this element. Her second move was meant to be a combination of two triple toes but she doubled the second jump and got a minus for the GoE of 0.80. All her other moves got positive GoEs. Three of the five moves, which earn levels, got 4 and the other two, the layback and the straight line steps, were awarded 3s.

Joshi Helgesson, Sweden, 7. 51.32 (29.48 + 21.84), is a new comer to Senior level competition. The 16-year-old is 3-time Swedish Junior champion and has placed 7th and 4th in the world junior championships. Skating to Chris Spheerisí Magaya, she began with a triple toe which earned the base value but her triple Lutz to double toe had -1 taken off the base value. Her double Axel gained +0.40. Three of her five level moves earned 4 but the straight line steps were given 3 and the layback only 2 with a marginal negative.

Tugba Karademir, Turkey, 8. 49.42 (27.50 +21.92), skated to the appropriate, Bazaar Istanbul, but got off to an unfortunately start, doubling her flip in combination with a double toe. The Technical Specialist, Ravi Walia, and his assistant, Evelyn Rossoukhi Schneider, gave the 24-year-old long-time Canadian resident, a dreaded "e" for wrong edge take-off and that meant she scored only 2 points for this element. However, the rest of her elements, which included triple Salchow and double Axel, all gained positive GoEs. She gained three Level 4s. The layback spin was Level 3 and her straight line steps Level 2. Both of these moves got +0.40. Her component marks ranged from a low of 4.50 for transitions up to a 6.50 for choreography.

Susanna Poykio, Finland, 9. 46.72 (22.80 +23.92) won the bronze in this yearís European championship, although she was only third in the last Finnish Nationals. She was the first Finnish lady ever to medal in an ISU event, which she did when she won bronze in the 2001 world junior championships. She is trained by her sister, Heidi. Skating in royal blue, the 27-year-old performed to music with the intimidating name, Vanhoja Poikia Viiksekkaittia. She got off to a less than stella start when she was forced to put her hand down on the combination of triple Lutz to double toe and then doubled her flip. The double Axel earned 0.80 over its base level of 3.50. However, she earned no Level 4s and her layback gained only the basic Level 1.

Alexei Gilles, US, 10. 46.56 (24.04 + 22.52) had two major errors. The 17 year old who was born in Rockford, IL, now lives in Colorado Springs and trains with Tom Zakrajsek. She said, "I made a silly mistake. After the triple Lutz (which was landed a little unsteadily), I only put in a single toe and so I didnít get credit for a combination. And then my foot slipped on the take-off for the triple flip, so I only did a single. Iím always nervous for my competitions." The flip got an exclamation mark on the details sheet. That means the Technical Specialist was issuing a warning that the edge had been outside for a short time but not held long enough to incur a penalty for wrong edge takeoff.

She added, "Of course I didnít want to make those mistakes here, but better here than at nationals. I really feel great about this program and Iíve been training it well, so Iím a little surprised." Her double Axel earned +0.40 over the base value and she gained Level 4s for all of her spins. The spirals and straight line steps were Level 3. She skated in pink to Johann Straussí Aschenbroedel.

Emily Hughes, US, 11. 45.32 (21.56 + 23.76), the younger sister of 2002 Olympic champion Sarah, said she was very happy to be back skating. She had not competed since finishing 9th in October 2008 in the Paris Grand Prix, due to injuries. A problem with an ankle forced her to pull out of nationals earlier this year. She recently completed her second year at Harvard University. After Saturdayís Short Program, she said that watching nationals on television made her realize how much she loves skating and competing. She was the replacement for the 2006 Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen who had also planned a comeback but withdrew due to injury.

Although she did not skate as well as she had hoped, singling her intended triple Lutz which was combined with a double toe, and getting a wrong edge call on her triple flip, just competing in this Grand Prix has qualified her for nationals in Spokane. "There were some nerves, and thatís probably why I missed that first jump. Iím taking as much time as I need off my studies because I want to qualify for the Olympics. Thatís where Iím going to try and peak. I need to get that program clean. Itís nice to be back especially because a lot of people from my hometown and my home rink came." She is now training with Bonnie Retzkin in Great Neck, NY.

The now 20-year-old, who finished 7th in the 2006 Olympics where she was the substitute for Michelle Kwan, skated in a black and silver creation to

Rachmaninovís Caprice Bohemien. Other than her first two elements, Hughes received at least the base value for all her moves. However, she received Level 4 only for her final spin, the change foot combination. Her spirals and layback spin were Level 3 but the flying sit spin and her straight line steps were Level 2.

Sarah Hecken, Germany, 12. 43.86 (24.10 + 19.76) at 16, was the youngest competitor. She was born just two months later than Helgesson. Hecken was German champion in 2008 but only 4th nationally last season. She was obviously upset with her performance which was set to a Croatian Rhapsody. The first element was an intended combination of two triple toe loops and turned into a messed up double toe. The rest of the performance was not which started with a messed up combination which turned into a sole double toe. She received a Level 4 for her spirals and the other level moves were all 3.


Free Skating

Starting Order - Free Skating
Warmup Group 1

1. Sarah Hecken, GER
2. Emily Hughes, USA
3. Alexe Gilles, USA
4. Susanna Poykio, FIN
5. Tugba Karademir, TUR
6. Joshi Helgesson, SWE

Warmup Group 2

7. Elene Gedevanishvili, GEO
8. Elena Glebova, EST
9. Fumie Suguri, JPN
10. Julia Sebestyen, HUN
11. Rachael Flatt, USA
12. Yu-Na Kim, KOR

Est. Start Time: 14:00:00

Trick List

Free Skating Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Rachael Flatt USA
2 Yu-Na Kim KOR
3 Julia Sebestyen HUN
4 Elena Glebova EST
5 Fumie Suguri JPN
6  Elene Gedevanishvili GEO
7 Emily Hughes USA
8 Sarah Hecken GER
9 Alexe Gilles USA
10 Joshi Helgesson SWE
11 Susanna Poykio FIN
12 Tugba Karademir TUR

Yu-na Kim: Overall 1. 187.98; Free Skate 2. 111.70 (Elements score 51.18 + Program Components 61.52 -1.0) After the brilliance of her Short Program here in Lake Placid, and in both sections of her previous event, the Grand Prix event in Paris, and in the world championships, it came as a shock to discover that Kim is vulnerable. Although she won her second straight Skate America by 13.07 points, she did not win the Free. Right from the moment she stepped on the ice on Sunday while her main rival received a standing ovation and went to sit in the Kiss & Cry area to await her marks, Kim looked a bit like a skittish, prize-winning thoroughbred waiting for the race to get started. She went back and forth to the barrier, tying and re-tying one of her boots.

The delay, before she was announced and could take up her starting position, was almost three minutes because there was an unusual situation concerning Rachael Flattís last element, the change foot combination spin. Flatt has the ability to do what few skaters can Ė spin both ways, not just the same way on different feet, and she has incorporated this into her routine. Her coach, Tom Zakrajsek, said sheís been doing this variation for four years. She has also performed it in competition and there has not been a problem before, including at the recent Grand Prix in China. In Lake Placid, the Technical Specialist, Ravi Walia, and his assistant, Evelyn Rossoukhi-Schneider, decided that, because Flatt must step out to establish a center for the spin on the other foot, the distance makes it no longer a combination spin but two separate spins. So she got no marks for this move. If that is what is decreed, then that is what the skaters must do. A "request for clarification" was made by USFigureSkating but no further action will be taken.

Performing in royal blue and silver to George Gershwinís Concerto in F, Kim landed her first move, a triple Lutz combined with a triple toe, with a little tremor on the first landing. The tremor was a little more pronounced on the second jump which was deemed under-rotated. On her second move, the triple flip, which was also called as under-rotated, the landing was worse with the boot buckling and she fell. Kim said, "My flip was all right in practice this morning and in the warm-up. I think I was just nervous. I was very actually very nervous." The double Axel to double toe to double loop was given the base value deeming it satisfactory in all aspects, but she definitely has done it with more aplomb.

Then things took a turn for the better. The flying combination spin (Level 4, +0.40 GoE), the spiral sequence (Level 4, +1.40) and the soaring double Axel to triple toe (+1.20) were all superb. A good triple Salchow earned +0.40 over the base value. But then there was a gasp from the knowledgeable members of the audience. Something went wrong on the take-off for a triple Lutz and the move became an under-rotated double. Still, Kim didnít let up. She pulled herself together and the last four moves showed off the superb skater we have come to expect. Her straight line steps received Level 3 and +0.80. A high, very steady double Axel earned +1.20 over the base value. Her flying sit spin gained the maximum Level 4 and +0.50. Her final move, a change foot combination spin, was good, although she has done better. It was awarded Level 3 and +0.60.

"I was too nervous today," she explained. "It was terrible. I want to forget about it. That sometimes happens. I was feeling nervous and heavy. I donít know what happened. I just want to forget about it. I learned a lot today: Always focus on the next jump. Anything can happen, anytime. Not every skater can achieve what they want every time. I felt my stamina was not that good. I couldnít move my body like I wanted to." A little later she added, "I skated last and I had had a perfect Short Program, so I felt the pressure. My first two jumps were weird and my body got tense. When I miss a jump, I try to refocus, but I wasnít able to do that this time."

Rachael Flatt 2. 174.91; 1. 116.11 (60.35 +55.76) Dressed in a sleeveless bright red outfit with gold trim, Flatt performed immediately prior to Kim, to Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini by Rachmaninov. She began with a +0.60 double Axel. Then came a triple flip to triple toe and a triple Lutz, which both earned +0.20 over their base values of 9.50 and 6.0. Next on the agenda were two Level 4 spins. The flying camel gained an extra +0.10 while the change foot combination got a small negative, -0.06 taken off the base value. Her triple loop, scheduled for when the 10% bonus clicked in at the half way point, was awarded the base value but her second triple Lutz which was combined with a double toe got -0.40 subtracted. Her spirals were only Level 2 though they received an addition +0.40. Her three-jump combination, triple flip to double toe to double loop earned the base value plus 10%, a whooping 9.13.

"I was feeling really tired going into that combination," Flatt confessed. "I thought about maybe reducing the difficulty but the audience was really behind me so I went for it." That was followed by a +0.20 triple Salchow and circular steps which were awarded Level 3 and +0.50. Then came the questionable spin discussed above. Flatt won the free skate by 4.41 points, but Kim had established a huge lead which was impossible to overcome. Flatt, who won the 2008 world junior championship, said, "I skated like I train. I skated a clean program. That was pretty exciting and I enjoyed every minute of it. Skating with Yu-na has been incredibly inspiring. Sheís a wonderful competitor and itís an honor to win the free skate. It shows that everyone can make mistakes. Weíre all perfectionists but perfection doesnít always happen. This was a great performance for me. It gave me a lot of confidence heading into Nationals."

Julia Sebestyen, 3.159. 03; 3. 100.49 (47.13 + 53.36), performed to a medley of music by Raul di Blasio, Voice of Violin and Allegro. "I was really tired in the program because of jet lag and we came really late, Wednesday night. It was a long trip - almost 24 hours." (This complaint was echoed by many competitors. Lake Placid does not have a commercial airport and some competitors revealed they had to hang around the airport for hours before being collected. The most extreme case occurred at the Montreal Airport where some skaters were not met for over six hours. And one skaterís skates didnít arrive until after the last practice before the Short Program. However, the organizers bent over backwards and let him practice just before the Short Program began.)

Sebestyen said, "The beginning of the routine was perfect. I got 100 points (for the FS) and Iím excited about that. This is my personal best (since her 107.6 free in Skate Canada in 2003)." She began with an excellent +1.60 double Axel and then got credit for a three jump combination, triple Lutz to double toe to double loop. Although that combination got -0.60 removed from the base value, she still banked 8.20 points for it. Her triple flip received a wrong edge call but she earned an extra +0.20 on her triple Salchow. Her second attempt at a triple Lutz was doubled but right at the end she brought off a triple toe to double toe combination, although that had a slight deduction of -0.20. Her planned sequence of two double Axels turned into singles and her flying combination spin was only Level 1. Her high place in this section was accomplished mainly because most of the field made major errors. Her last medal in a Grand Prix event was three years ago. She said, "I am happy. I was a little tired in the middle of the program, but then I pulled myself together because I knew that the combination at the end would earn the 10% bonus and I really needed that." Asked why she wasnít doing a triple-triple combination as were the other skaters on the rostrum, she said, "I can do triple-triple but it is very risky. The chance of getting down-graded is too high so I stick with the triple Lutz to double toe. I can do that nice and high and clean so it is a better bet for me. But, of course, Iím sure that will be necessary in the future.

Fumie Suguri, 4. 148.99; 5. 92.95 (40.95 + 52.00). Suguri, who skated to Khatchaturianís music for the ballet Spartacus, prettily and appropriately dressed, admitted her performance was, "So-so. It was good at the beginning but Iím not physically trained enough. Iíll have to get better for Japanese nationals." She had a wrong edge call on her triple Lutz which was combined with a double toe. She also got an edge call on the second of her triple flips. She singled her second triple Lutz and doubled her Salchow. But she earned four Level 4s and her remaining Level move, the straight line steps, gained a 3. Her elements score was only the 8th highest but her components were 4th best behind Kim, Flatt and Sebestyen.

Elena Glebova 5. 148.71; 4. 96.43 (48.51 + 47.92). Skating to Rimsky Korsakovís Capriccio Espagnol, the Estonia champion survived a poor beginning in which she executed a single flip to two double toes and a triple loop with a poor landing. She earned +0.40 over the base value plus 10% for her combination of two triple toes. Glebova included a rare combination upright spin which received the base value for Level 4. Her technical score was the 3rd highest, behind Kim and Flatt, but her elements were graded only 6th best.

Elena Gedevanishvili, 6. 144.19; 6. 92.01 (42.09 + 49.92) performed to music from the opera, Carmen, dressed in black. She brought off only two triples, a toe loop which was combined with a double toe, and a Salchow. Both earned the base value. Her only Level 4 move was her flying sit which was rewarded with +0.40. But her program was entertaining.

Emily Hughes, 7. 135.31; 7. 89.99 (43.35 + 46.64), said, "This is my fourth or fifth Skate America. Iím really happy to be here and happy with getting back the Lutz and the flip. Thatís the first time in the season I got credit for both in the same program. Now, Iíll just go back and train, train, train. I wasnít at a top level event (in the 2008 season or at nationals in 2009). January (nationals) is still two months away. Thinking of where I was two years ago (with injuries), Iíve made huge leaps since then and who knows what can happen in two months?"

Attired in red in a shorter version of the dress which Vivien Leigh wore to scandalize polite society in Atlanta, Hughes opened her routine, set to the soundtrack of the immortal 1939 Gone With the Wind by Max Steiner, with a +1.0 double Axel and a base value triple Lutz to double toe. The following triple flip to double toe was given a slight negative (-0.40) and the next move, a Lutz was doubled. Her triple Salchow, combined with a double toe, was downgraded and a second attempt at the Salchow doubled. But a second triple toe earned the base value and her Layback spin was Level 4 with +0.30.

Sarah Hecken, 8. 131.10; 8. 87.24 (46.36 + 40.88) rose up four slots from her disappointing Short Program finish of last. Dress in an unusual, lovely white dress with black swirling lines and a flash of red on one side of the skirt, Hecken interpreted three pieces played by Maksim Mrvica, Croatian Rhapsody, Wonderland and Lee Loosí Tune. She opened with a solid combination of two triple toes which earned +0.60 over the base value but her triple loop was downgraded. The German brought off two base value triple Salchows, the second, timed after the bonus marks clicked in, was combined with a double toe loop. She executed three double Axels. The first and third, which was combined with two double toes, earned the base value, but the second had -0.96 taken off. Only her spirals were Level 4 and she gained only one Level 3 which was for her concluding element, the change foot combination spin. Her technical score was the fifth highest but her components were ranked 12th.

Joshi Helgesson, 9. 129.91; 10. 78.59 (38.83 + 41.76 -2.0), dropped from 7th after the Short Program with a disappointing showing in which she fell on both downgraded triple Lutz attempts. Her triple Salchow and the two triple toes, the second of which was combined with a double toe, were all flawed. They received GoEs of -0.80 for the Salchow, and -0.40 for both toe loops. However, three of her Level moves gained the maximum, 4, and the remaining two earned Level 3.

Alexe Gilles, 10. 129.01; 9. 82.45 (40.33 + 43.12 -1.0). Dressed in bright blue, Gilles opened the routine with playful movements choreographed to Leonard Bernsteinís On the Town. She said, "I fought through it. I really donít know what happened. I was fighting to hold the landings. I have to have more flow out of the jumps. I was pleased I didnít get the edge deduction." Both her flips were given an exclamation mark, which is a warning, but not a penalty, that there was a "very short" wrong edge take-off. Her first three jumps were flawed. The triple flip and triple Lutz were saddled with -2.0 GoEs, and the triple toe, in which she was forced to put a hand on the ice, had -1.0 taken off the base value.

Her Level 4 flying sit gained the base value while her Level 4 layback had +0.30 added. She put two hands and her free foot on the ice landing her double Axel so that was counted as a fall. The three jump combo, triple flip to double toe to double loop had -1.60 removed from the base value. She singled the following Lutz and though she completed the triple Salchow, it was combined with a single and not the planned double toe and was given a -1.0 GoE. All three spins were Level 4, with two earning the base value and the layback getting an additional +0.30. Her spirals and circular steps were deemed Level 3 and worth the base value.

Susanna Poykio, 11. 124.22; 11. 77.50 (32.02 + 46.48 -1.0), performed in black and silver to two pieces, The Hours Suite, Movement 111 by Portait and Phillipp Glassí Secret Agent. Her routine started badly. Though she accomplished the rotation, she fell on her first jump, the triple Lutz and the following planned triple flip was doubled. Her triple Salchow to double toe had -1.60 take off the base value. Her first Axel was singled and the second downgraded. Her triple toe to double toe had a small -0.20 deduction from the base value but her second try was doubled. Two of spins earned Level 4 with +0.20 and +0.10 added. Her other spin was Level 3 and +0.10 but the spirals (+0.30) and steps (base value) were only Level 2. She was given the lowest elements score but the 8th highest components.

Tugba Karademir, 12. 122.40; 12. 72.98 (32.82 + 42.16 -2.0). The very personable Karademir, skating to Tango of the Exiles in black, had one of those outings which are best forgotten and dropped four places. She fell on her first jump, a triple flip, meant to be a combination, and it was given an "e" for wrong edge. Then she fell again on her second triple toe, which was down-graded. Her second double Axel was also down-graded. Although she doubled her first triple Salchow, a second one gained the base value and her spirals and three spins earned Level 4 with either the base value or better. She earned the 11th best technical score and had the 10th best components but that was not enough to keep her out of last place. However, just to gain entry to the Grand Prix event, which is done on world rankings, means you have already accomplished a good standing in international competition.


2009 Skate America Ladies Medalists


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