|1||Elena Berezhnaya & Anton Sikharulidze||RUS|
|2||Kristy Sargeant & Kris Wirtz||CAN|
|3||Danielle Hartsell & Steven Hartsell||USA|
|4||Viktoria Maksuta & Vladislav Zhovnirsky||RUS|
|5||Sarah Abitbol & Stephane Bernadis||FRA|
|6||Mariana Khalturina & Andrey Kroukov||KZK|
|7||Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman||USA|
|8||Tiffany Stiegler & Johnnie Stiegler||USA|
Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze skated a strong short with only a wild landing on throw triple loop to mar an otherwise well skated program. They landed side-by-side triple loops and the unison on their combination spin (camel-chg-camel-sit) was outstanding. They received technical marks of 5.6-5.8 and presentation marks of 5.7-5.9. The Canadians Sargeant & Wirtz took second place on a stand up program whose most difficult element was side-by-side triple toes. For the newly required throw jump they used throw double Axel. With a weaker program presented capably but no more, they were three to four tenths below the Russians in each mark. Hartsell & Hartsell placed a respectable third with a program that was fairly well done and showed the promise of continued improvement in the second mark which thus far in their career has been a weakness for them.
In their first major competition, Ina & Zimmerman showed a lot of rough edges. He fell on triple toe loop and she went down on throw triple Salchow. The unison in their side-by-side combination spin was poor and overall throughout the program it was not much better. They have their work cut out for them between now and February. They are currently working with Tamara Moskvina in Stamford, CT.
The young team of Stiegler & Stiegler gave a weak performance that was skated in slow motion. He fell on triple toe loop and she put a hand down on throw triple loop. Later in the program Johnnie also lost his balance in the side-by-side combination spin but managed to hold onto the spin. More serious in the long run, however, is their continued lack of speed. This is a long standing problem which has shown no sign of improvement over the past few years and is sure to keep them out of the running in even a weak senior international event.
|1||Elena Berezhnaya & Anton Sikharulidze||RUS||1||1|
|2||Kristy Sargeant & Kris Wirtz||CAN||2||2|
|3||Viktoria Maksuta & Vladislav Zhovnirsky||RUS||4||3|
|4||Danielle Hartsell & Steven Hartsell||USA||3||4|
|5||Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman||USA||7||5|
|6||Sarah Abitbol & Stephane Bernadis||FRA||5||6|
|7||Mariana Khalturina & Andrey Kroukov||KZK||6||7|
|8||Tiffany Stiegler & Johnnie Stiegler||USA||8||8|
Despite a few errors and very somber skating skating to 4 1/2 minutes of a shrieking soprano, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze captured an easy victory here. They opened with side-by-side triple toe loops, but then missed the catch on triple twist, and singled double Axels. Their throw triple Salchow was good, but throw triple loop was landed on the toe followed by a fall. Their three other lifts consisted of a lasso to a one arm position, back press, and a lateral star. Overall the program seemed a little thin in content, but with little serious competition here their victory was assured.
Sargeant & Wirtz skated with generally good technique, and by not overreaching they were able to skate clean to earn the silver medal. Their lifts and spins were good except for a weak triple twist. For throws they used double Axel - which was landed on the toe - and triple Salchow. Perhaps the greatest weakness of the program is the expression of the music (a medley of tunes by Duke Ellington) which is non-existent for most of the program. The routine hardly captures the spirit of the music at all.
The young Russian team of Maksuta & Zhovnirsky moved ahead of Hartsell & Hartsell to win the bronze medal, boosted by the benefit of being a Russian team it would seem. A junior team, their lifts were simple with a marginal twist. Their choreography was undistinguished and immature, and during a step sequence they skated into the wall. For throws they used double Axel and triple Salchow.
The Hartsells maintained their lead over the other American team of Ina & Zimmerman in a program with a lot of potential a content which throws in the kitchen sink. It seemed like they tried just about one of everything and were generally successful in the process. Skating to "Romeo and Juliet" and "Heart of a King" the program could be competitive for the National title if they get more passion into the presentation.
Ina & Zimmerman looked a lot better than they did in the short program and even earned two third place marks. For music they are using music from "Phantom of the Opera". This is a potentially nice program, but it still needs polish, stamina and strength training. Given the brief time they have been together, many of the errors in the program were excusable. More troubling, however, is how two such experienced pair skaters would show such poor unison in their basic skating. The team is now working with Tamara Moskvina with choreography by Tatiana Terasova.
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