2017 US Nationals Senior Pairs Preview

After a slew of withdrawals, only 12 pairs teams are competing at this event and the field is wide open.  As a group, these teams have won 11 nationals medals.  Denney and Frazier were the only team to win a medal on the Grand Prix this season and they are former World Junior Champions.  Liu and Johnson won a Junior Grand Prix medal.  Kayne and O’Shea are former Four Continents medalists.  This group earned four medals on the Challenger circuit.  The 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th and 10th place finishers will be competing here along with the junior 1st and 5th place finishers, who are moving up to compete as seniors.  The short program will  be held on Thursday, January 19th with the free skate on Saturday, January 21st.

To be competitive internationally, these teams will need at least one quad, either a twist or a throw.  The standards for side by side jumps have also increased with many teams attempting triple flips or lutzes and even triple + triple combinations.

Denney and Frazier won the sole Grand Prix medal for the US in pairs this season at Skate Amercica.  They have the 10th best free skate and 9th best total scores internationally.  They were not able to compete at all last season after she had to have major knee surgery.  While they started off strong, their placements and scores began to drop as the season progressed.  Their short program includes a Level 3 triple twist, throw triple loop, side by side triple salchow and Level 4 Group 5 Axel lift.  Their free skate includes a Level 3 triple twist, throw triple loop, side by side triple salchow + double toe, side by side double axel, throw triple salchow, Level 4 Group 5 Axel lift, Level 4 Group 5 Reverse Lasso lift, and Level 4 Group 3 lift.  At best, they received Level 4 on all of their spins, Level 2 on the death spiral, +6.5 points from GOE and had program components ranging from 7.75-8.18.  Their side by side jumps were the element that gave them the most trouble throughout the season and they had difficult executing them cleanly at their events.

Castelli and Tran have the 10th best short program score internationally, but it was set way back at the Autumn Classic International, and they haven’t been able to replicate it.  They have the 17th best total score internationally for juniors and seniors combined.  Their short program includes a Level 2 triple twist, side by side triple salchow, throw triple salchow, and Level 4 Group 5 Reverse Lasso Lift.  Their free skate includes a Level 2 triple twist, Level 4 Group 5 Reverse Lasso lift, side by side triple toes, throw triple lutz/flip, side by side triple salchow (combination but never completed), Level 4 Group 3 lift, Level 4 Group 5 Axel lift and throw triple salchow.  At best, they earned Level 4 on their spins and Level 3 on the death spiral.  Their best program components ranged from 7.46-7.61.  They had some Level issues throughout the season and could not maintain their desired levels between events.  Their Levels changed so much, that they received nearly identical technical scores between events even though some elements earned them as much as an additional two points by increasing the Level.

Kayne and O’Shea are the reigning US Champions.  They were the underdog going into nationals last season, but put out two squeaky clean performances to take home the title.  With the Knierims withdrawing, they should be the clear favorite for the title, but they haven’t been able to skate cleanly and make an impact on the standings internationally this season.  They have the 19th best total score internationally for juniors and seniors combined.  Their short program includes a Level 1 triple twist, side by side triple salchows, throw triple lutz, and Level 4 Group 5 Axel lift.  Their free skate includes a Level 2 triple twist, side by side triple salchow, throw triple lutz, Level 4 Group 5 Reverse Lasso lift, double axel + double axel sequence, throw triple salchow, Level 4 Group 3 lift, and Level 4 Group 5 Axel lift.  They received Level 3 and 4 on their spins and up to Level 4 on their death spiral.  They generally earned about a point from GOEs with program components ranging from 7.18-7.36.  Their side by side jumps were the most difficult element for them to skate cleanly, and they had several falls on the throw triple lutz.  They also had several issues with lifts dropping Levels at NHK Trophy.  Like Castelli and Tran, they had nearly identical TES and PCS marks across events as some elements would improve and others would be worse, balancing out the gains.

Cain and LeDuc are a new team this season, but they are already making big waves.  They have competed three times on the Challenger Series circuit and even took home the bronze medal from Golden Spin, beating Denney and Frazier.  They also went head to head against Kayne and O’Shea at Finlandia Trophy, and placed ahead of them as well.  They have the 20th best total score internationally for juniors and seniors combined.  Cain is an experienced singles skater, competing on the Grand Prix in senior ladies and winning a silver medal at the junior level at Nationals.  She is also a former US Junior Pairs Champion, finishing as high as 4th at Junior Worlds and competing on the Grand Prix.  LeDuc is a bronze medal winner in the junior level at Nationals and competed in the senior level until 2014.  Their short program includes a Basic triple twist, side by side triple loop, Level 3 Group 5 Axel lift, and throw triple lutz.  Their free skate has a Level 1 triple twist, side by side triple loop, Level 4 Group 5 Axel lift, side by side double axel + single loop + triple salchow, throw triple lutz, throw triple salchow, Level 3 Group 5 Step in Lasso lift, and Level 4 Group 3 lift.  At Golden Spin, they received Level 3 on one spin but no credit on their pairs spin.  They earned 4 points from GOE and had program components ranging from 6.95-7.40.

Pfund and Santillan competed at Cup of China this season.  Their short program has a Level 2 double twist, side by side triple salchow, throw triple loop and Level 3 Group 5 Reverse Lasso lift.  Their free skate has a side by side triple toe, Level 2 double twist, Level 4 Group 5 Axel lift, throw triple salchow, Level 3 Group 5 Reverse Lasso lift, side by side triple salchow + double toe combination, throw triple loop and Level 4 Group 3 lift.  They earned Level 4 on their spins but did not receive credit for their death spiral.  They lost 4 points from GOE and received program components ranging from 6.21-6.57.  The most encouraging part about this outing is that despite having three falls, they still lost only 4 points on the whole program from GOE.  Their program components also weren’t that much lower than the rest of the US field and the falls would cause those scores to be significantly lower.

Liu and Johnson competed mostly as juniors this season, winning the bronze medal at JGP Estonia.  They did have the chance to compete as seniors at the Warsaw Cup where they won a silver medal.  They have the 8th best short program, 8th best free skate and 8th best total scores internationally as juniors.

Stellato and Bartholomay are a new team competing at nationals for the first time.  They had an impressive showing at nationals where they skated mostly clean, except for a fall on their side by side combo jump in the free skate.  They only have a double twist, and that costs them over 2 points per program in base technical value.

Most of these teams have similar base values for their jumps, throws, and lifts.  The teams above have base values ranging from 19.8 to 23.1 in the short program and 41.9-45.3 in the free skate.  These scores are even closer if you remove the two teams that do not have a triple twist in their programs.

None of these teams have any significant international successes this season or have skated enough clean programs to be considered a favorite for the podium.  The closest might be Denney and Frazier because of their silver medal at Skate America, but they have been beaten in head to head competition by other teams here.  The US pairs are already lagging behind the rest of the world in technical capabilities and their only hope is to skate completely clean programs with what they have.

Cain and LeDuc are an interesting case.  While they are a first year team, they are both very strong skaters and successful in their own right.  They have beat two of the top teams here in head to head competition this season and they have the most difficult element in any program with the double axel + single loop + triple salchow combination which is worth 8.20 points.  Most of the other teams are doing triple salchow + double toe, which is worth 5.70 points.  It might be their program components that hold them back, but if they skate like they can at nationals, the energy in the arena could give that portion of their score a big boost.

My podium predictions:

Gold: Denney/Frazier

Silver: Kayne/O’Shea

Bronze: Cain/LeDuc

Pewter: Castelli/Tran

 

Bios of the competitors:

Cain/LeDuc: She is 21 and represents the Skating Club of New York and he is 26 and represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club.  They placed 4th at Nebelhorn Trophy, 4th at Finlandia Trophy and won bronze at Golden Spin.

Castelli/Tran: She is 26 and he is 26 and they represent the Skating Club of Boston.  They finished 6th at Four Continents.  They placed 7th at Skate America and 5th at Trophee de France.  They won bronze at the Autumn Classic International.  They are the reigning Bronze Medalists and finished 6th in 2015.

Denney/Frazier: She is 21 and represents the Skating Club of New York and he is 24 and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  They won silver at Skate America and placed 4th at Skate Canada.  They placed 4th at Ondrej Nepela Memorial and 4th at Golden Spin of Zagreb.  They are the 2013 World Junior Champions.  They are the 2015 Silver Medalists, finished 5th in 2014, 5th in 2013, are the 2012 Junior Champions and 2008 Intermediate Bronze Medalists.

Fujimoto/Barsi-Rhyne: She is 25 and represents the Peninsula Skating Club and he is 25 and represents the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club.  They placed 10th last season, 12th in 2015, 8th as juniors in 2014, 8th in juniors in 2013, 11th in juniors in 2012, 7th in novice in 2009, 12th in novice in 2008, 5th in intermediate in 2007, are the 2006 Juvenile Pewter Medalists, finished 7th in juvenile in 2005 and 11th in juvenile in 2004.

Green/Newby-Estrella: She is 18 and represents the Detroit Skating Club and he is 21 and represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  They placed 5th in juniors last season and are are the 2015 Novice Bronze Medalists.

Kayne/O’Shea: She is 23 and he is 25 and they represent the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club.  They placed 13th at Worlds and 4th at Four Continents last season.  They placed 6th at Skate America and 4th at NHK Trophy.  They placed 5th at Finlandia Trophy.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They are the reigning Champions, 2015 Bronze Medalists, placed 6th in 2014 and 7th in 2013.

Liu/Johnson: She is 17 and represents the St. Paul Figure Skating Club and he is 21 and represents the Detroit Skating Club.  They finished 5th at Junior Worlds last season.  They won bronze at the JGP Czech Republic and placed 5th at JGP Estonia.  They won silver at the Warsaw Cup.  They are the 2015 Junior Silver Medalists.

Pfund/Santillan: She is 19 and represents the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club and he is 24 and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  They placed 8th at Cup of China.  They finished 4th at Lombardia Trophy.  They placed 7th last season.

Shaugnessy/Morgan: She is 24 and he is 25 and they represent the Skating Club of Boston.  They won bronze at the US International Figure Skating Classic.  They placed 9th last season, 10th in 2015, 12th in 2014, 10th as juniors in 2013, are the 2012 Novice Bronze Medalists and finished 5th in novice in 2011.

Smith/Reiss: She represents the Skating Club of New York and he is 24 and represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club.  They placed 5th at Nebelhorn Trophy.  They finished 6th last season.

Stelatto-Dudek/Bartholomay: They represent the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club.  They finished 6th at Golden Spin.

Weinberg/Fernandez: She is 20 and he is 21 and they represent the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club.  They placed 10th at Junior Worlds last season.  They are the reigning Junior Champions.

Kansas City part of the big picture for Pfund and Santillan

Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan have each had successful pairs careers.  She finished as high as 5th in juniors and 10th in seniors at the US Championships with A.J. Reiss.  With Reiss she competed at two Junior Grand Prix events, placing 5th at JGP USA in 2012.  Santillan previously competed with Olivia Oltmanns with whom he placed as high as 6th in juniors and 11th in seniors at US Nationals.   They competed in four Junior Grand Prix events, finishing 7th at JGP Latvia in 2011.

When their partnerships ended, these two teamed up in 2015.  They quickly earned an assignment to the Skate Canada Autumn Classic last season where they won bronze and were a last minute replacement at Skate America where they finished 8th.  This season they competed at Cup of China, where they again finished 8th and at Lombardia Trophy where they finished 4th.  In their nationals debut as a team, they placed 7th last season.

With their long lines, ease on the ice, and big throw triples, this is definitely an up and coming team who are looking for long term success.

How did you two pair up? 

After the US Championships in Greensboro in 2015, Josh split with his previous partner and we scheduled a tryout.  Following a successful tryout in Florida, we had a second tryout in Colorado Springs, Josh’s old training base, and decided we were a perfect match.

What made you choose Florida to train?

Jessica moved here to Florida to train because of the high level of success that has come from the school in Ellenton.  Although it was a tough decision for Josh to move, it was easy to choose Jessica as a partner.

How would you describe yourselves as a team?

We work well together because our skills complement each other.  Jessica is a positive force that balances Josh’s perfectionist attitude.  We stay organized and prepared so that we can take whatever is thrown our way.  These complementary attitudes help us gel and work together.

Tell me about yourselves outside of skating?

Pfund (JP): At the end of the skating day I like to come home and unwind.  I’m currently in online school and when I’m not busy burying my face in books, I like to go to the beach, play with my dog, and spend time with friends and family.

Santillan (JS): Right now I’m working on my business degree, with a minor in information systems management.  I also wait tables at a local seafood restaurant.  My interests include sports and comedy.  I really like basketball and if I ever have the opportunity, you’re sure to find me on the court.

Josh – one of your favorite teams was the St. Louis Rams, do you still root for them now that they’re in L.A.?

JS: I’m sad to say that yes, I do root for them.  The team has a recent history of losing and they haven’t had a winning record or made the playoffs in over a decade.  Still, I have always rooted them because of their roots in L.A.  I’m from southern California and we never had a football team while I was growing up, but we did have the Rams that were historically from LA.  Their move back just solidified my fandom and I hope one day they can become relevant again.

Tell me about your programs this season.

For our short program we skate to Purple Rain.  We use Prince’s original version, mixed with one that we found from a contestant from X-Factor.  While some people are skating to Prince this year as a tribute, we actually chose this music before his death.  Jessica took fondly to his artistic style after watching the movie Purple Rain.  This year we had our short choreographed by Emilie Connors.  Emilie has previously competed in both dance and pairs.  She competed both domestically and internationally, representing Team USA.  It was a different experience having choreography from someone in a dance background, and we feel that it has helped us grow as a team and experiment with different choreography.  We really feel like the music builds along with the choreography and we’re excited at the growth it shows in us this season.

For the free skate we chose Madonna’s version of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina from Evita.  Compared to last year’s free skate to Polovstian Dances, we really feel like this music is easy for us to relate to.  Lyndon, our head coach, did the choreography.  It was nice having the choreography done by our primary coach because he understands our skills and what we like.  Nonetheless, he wasn’t scared to take us out of our comfort zone and challenge us.  Still, it was great that we were able to have so much input while the program was created.  Because we took a part in the creation, we have a deep sense of ownership and feel like we have a strong connection with the choreography, interpretation, and the music in general.  We are really excited to show how far we’ve come this year with our programs.

What is the most difficult element for you in your programs?

The great part about our programs is that we don’t really have anything in it that we consider difficult.  The triple twist isn’t ready yet, so it isn’t in the program; otherwise that might be the hardest element for us.  Getting through a program with elements we are completely comfortable with is still a challenge, but there isn’t one we would single out as difficult on its own whatsoever.

What is your favorite element to complete?

JP: I like throw triple salchow because I feel really comfortable with it and I am usually able to execute it with ease.

JS: I like triple salchow because it’s an element we typically perform well and is within our comfort zone.  The closeness and unison we have on this element I feel is unmatched in the whole world and I’m proud of that.

 

You earned international assignments pretty early into your partnership. Were you surprised with how quickly you gelled as a team and the success you had right off the bat?

We wouldn’t really describe our quick success as surprising.  From our first tryout, we knew that we had a lot of capabilities.  Still, it was a big surprise to receive a Grand Prix assignment our first year together.  Although our results haven’t quite risen in the same manner they did last year, we can see how much we’ve developed and how far we’ve come in our second season.

You competed at Cup of China this season. How was it different competing on the Grand Prix as a second year team?

Competing at Skate America last year was really cool because we got to perform in front of a home crowd.  However, it was an awesome experience to go overseas and perform for enthusiastic fans in Beijing.  China is home to a history of recent pair greats and it was an honor to meet Hongbo Zhao while we were there.  Since we are still relatively unknown on the international scene, it is nice to compete with little to no pressure at these Grand Prix events.  Hopefully in the future we can move up in rankings and compete for the podium on the Grand Prix.

As a team, you have one of the most intense schedules in the sport, balancing school, full time jobs and training. How do you find time to make it all work?

Well, Josh is the only one of us who works full time.  Jessica works at the rink teaching learn to skate classes, but not full time.  This year is the first that Josh has moved to full time credit hours in school, because of scholarships he received, which has proven to be burdensome.  However, thanks to some funding we’ve been able to acquire, Josh has toned down the working hours just a little bit so that he can make time for school and skating.  Staying busy keeps our minds sharp and almost gives us an advantage at competitions; if we can train while working all the time and doing school work, we can certainly compete with none of that on our minds.

You’ve talked before about the difficulties with finding funding to advance your training. I often find that the steep financial costs of skating is an issue that doesn’t get discussed. Why do you think that is? What does it mean to you that you’ve been so successful with less resources?

The financial side of skating doesn’t get discussed often because everybody has to deal with it.  Having high expenses in our sport is not unique and we’re certainly not the only ones in this position.  Since we’ve reached our level of success with less resources than others, we feel like once we’ve acquired more resources that we’ll be able to soar to even further heights.  One of our short-term goals is to get into Team B for USFSA’s funding.  This would allow us to receive what is known as PET funding from the International Olympic Committee.  Although this wouldn’t solve all of our problems, or fund our skating completely, it would ease our responsibilities.  The clearest path to this is to place top 5 at the US Championships.  Whether that happens this season or in another season, we feel like this can help guide us higher in rankings and further our skills.

Have you made any changes to your programs for nationals?

We’ve adjusted some of our transitions, mostly in the free program, to make our elements a little easier and more comfortable.  The biggest change we’ve made is that we changed our opening jump from a three-jump triple toe combination to just a plain triple toe.  While this moves our combination to the second half in the form of a triple salchow + double toe combo, it helps us relax and makes the opening of our program much less of a challenge than it was before.  We feel like if we can open with a strong set of side by side solo triples that we can set the tone for a great program.

What are your goals for nationals? For next season?

First and foremost, we don’t allow ourselves to make placement based goals.  We can only affect our own skating and if we skate perfectly and we get last place, we’ll still be very happy with our performance.  Almost anything we do in the free program will be better than what we did last year.  Even at Cup of China where we took three falls and had no value for our death spiral, we scored 95 points.  100+ in the freeskate is easily attainable and it’s well within our range.  Ultimately, we want to show the progress that we’ve made this year and how much our interpretation and leveled elements have improved from last season.

We haven’t sat down and made goals for next season, but we know that getting a Grand Prix event will be more difficult next year because we didn’t put out a good season’s best mark this year.  With that being said, we want to skate well in the summer so that we can be considered for Skate America and perform well at any Senior B’s we receive so that we can be put in the pool for a potential replacement pick.  Our goals aren’t year to year and it’s incredibly narrowminded to treat each season separately.  Instead, we treat each season as a part of our overall career that hopefully ends in Olympic glory.  Just as how we do at nationals doesn’t define our whole season (after all, we had a great season last year, despite a poor showing at nationals), one season doesn’t define our career.  We’re looking at the bigger picture and the constant state of improvement is the only path we desire to go down.

Is there anything else you want people to know?

Together we’ve made our own website, www.Joshica.net.  We keep it updated with videos and any pertinent information to upcoming events.  It was a lot of work to put it together, but we’re really pleased with how it looks.  We’ve also been keeping a blog on the site that we post on just about every month, so it’s a great outlet for skating fans to keep up with us.  We also have created a Gofundme; www.gofundme.com/joshica.  While it would be in the best interest of those who are so kind to contribute to us to use the New England Amateur Skating Foundation that we have posted on our website (http://joshica.net/supportus.html), it’s undeniably easier and more convenient to use Gofundme.  Hopefully our skating can be fully funded in the future, so that we can focus our efforts more wholly on skating and not worry about some of the other stuff that gets in the way.  It’s amazing how many people have already shown an interest in our skating and we hope that our performance at the US Championships will help us reach even more people and gain new fans.  It’s such an awesome feeling to perform in front of people who are rooting for us and truly appreciate the art that we are painting on the canvas of blank ice.

 

2016 US Nationals Senior Pairs Preview

As a group, these teams have won 14 nationals medals.  Scimeca and Knierim took home two medals from the Grand Prix.  This group earned seven medals on the Challenger and Senior B circuit combined.  The gold, bronze and pewter medalists are returning along with the 5th, 6th, 10th and 12th place finishers.  The junior gold and silver medalists along with the 7th place finishers are moving up to compete as seniors.  The short program will  be held on Thursday, January 21st with the free skate on Saturday, January 23rd.

To be competitive internationally, these teams will need at least one quad, either a twist or a throw.

Scimeca and Knierim were the only US team to medal on the Grand Prix this season, and they won medals at both of their assignments.  Their short program includes a triple twist, side by side triple salchows, and throw triple flip.  They received higher levels at Skate America, earning Level 4 on their death spiral, lift, step sequence and spin with a Level 3 on their twist.  They earned 5 points from GOE at that event.  Their best program components came at NHK Trophy where they earned 7.61-7.89.  Their free skate includes a quad twist, side by side triple salchow (fall at Skate America), throw triple salchow, triple toe (intended combo missed at both events, fall at Skate America) and throw triple flip.  They received a Level 4 on their lifts and side by side spin at Skate America with a Level 3 on their death spiral and pairs spin.  They had fairly similar program components between events, earning 7.64-8.00 at Skate America.

Kayne and O’Shea earned two Grand Prix assignments this season.  Their short program includes a triple twist and a side by side triple salchow.  They landed a throw triple flip at Skate America and a throw triple lutz at Rostelecom Cup.  They had better levels at Skate America, where they earned Level 4 on their spin and lift with a Level 3 on the step sequence.  Their best program components came at Rostelecom Cup where they earned 7.04-7.29.  Their free skate includes a triple twist, side by side triple salchow (under-rotated at fall at Skate America), triple salchow throw (attempted quad at Skate America was under-rotated and fall), side by side double axel + double axel and a throw triple lutz.  They had better levels at Rostelecom Cup where they received Level 4 on their lifts, death spiral and spins.  They also earned better program components there, ranging from 7.21-7.43.

Castelli and Tran only had one full Grand Prix event this season, competing at Skate Canada and Trophee Eric Bompard.  Their short program includes a triple twist, side by side triple salchow and throw triple salchow.  They earned Level 4 on their lift, spin and death spiral with a Level 3 on their step sequence.  Their program components ranged from 6.89-7.11.  Their free skate includes a triple twist, side by side double salchow (likely triple), throw triple salchow, side by side triple toe (under-rotated and missed combo) and double axel throw.  She is capable of landing throw quad salchows and throw triple axels so these throw jumps are likely place holders for upgrades, although they may not be for this season.  They earned Level 4 on their lifts, pair spin and death spiral with a Level 3 on their side by side spin.  Their program components ranged from 7.04-7.32.

Calalang and Sidhu earned one Grand Prix assignment to the NHK Trophy.  Their short program includes a side by side triple salchow (under-rotated and fall), triple twist and triple lutz throw.  They earned a Level 4 on their lift with a Level 3 on their spin and steps.  They earned program components ranging from 6.36-6.64.  Their free skate includes a side by side double axel + double toe (under-rotated), triple twist, side by side single salchow (likely intended triple), throw triple salchow and throw triple flip (fall).  They received Level 4 on two of their lifts with a Level 3 on their death spiral and third lift.  Their program components ranged from 6.04-6.43.

Pfund and Santillan have made a big splash on the international scene in just their first season together, earning an assignment to Skate America.  Their short program includes a side by side triple salchow, throw triple loop (fall at Eastern Sectionals) and a double twist.  They earned Level 4 on their lift with a Level 3 on their spin and step sequence at sectionals.  Their best program components came at Skate America where they earned 5.54-5.96.  Their free skate includes a side by side triple salchow + double axel sequence (fall and missed combo at sectionals), double twist, side by side triple toe (fall at sectionals), throw triple loop, and throw triple salchow.  They earned Level 4 on two of their lifts and the pair spin at sectionals with Level 3 on their death spiral and side by side spin.  Their best program components came at Skate America, where they earned 5.82-6.32.

Aaron and Settlage missed the first half of the season due to injury but were able to compete at the Tallinn Trophy.  Their short program includes a triple twist, side by side triple salchow (under-rotated) and a throw triple salchow.  They earned Level 4 on their spin and Level 3 on their step sequence.  They received a 2 pt deduction for illegal elements.  Their program components ranged from 6.25-6.70.  Their free skate includes a triple twist, side by side triple salchow (under-rotated and fall), throw triple loop, single axel (intended double axel + double axel sequence), and a throw triple salchow.  They earned Level 4 on one lift and their pair spin and Level 3 on another lift and their side by side spin.  Their program components ranged from 6.05-6.50.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Scimeca/Knierim

Silver: Kayne/O’Shea

Bronze: Castelli/Tran

Pewter: Calalang/Sidhu

 

Bios of the competitors:

Aaron/Settlage: She is 21 and represents the Coyotes Skating Club of Arizona and he is 23 and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  They placed 5th at the Tallinn Trophy.  They are the reigning Pewter Medalists, 2014 Junior Champions, 2013 Junior Bronze Medalists, finished 6th as juniors in 2012 and are the 2011 Novice Champions.

Calalang/Sidhu: She is 20 and represents the DuPage Figure Skating Club and he is 24 and represents the Las Vegas Figure Skating Club.  They finished 7th at NHK Trophy.  They placed 4th at Ice Challenge.  They finished 5th last season, 11th in 2014, are the 2013 Junior Silver Medalists, 2012 Junior Pewter Medalists and finished 8th in juniors in 2011.

Castelli/Tran: She is 25 and he is 25 and they represent the Skating Club of Boston.  They placed 4th at Skate Canada and 6th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  They won silver at the US International Classic, silver at the Autumn Classic International and placed 5th at the Golden Spin of Zagreb.  They finished 6th last season.

De la Mora/Kurdukov: She is 16 and he is 25 and they represent the Texas Gulf Coast Figure Skating Club.  They won silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Fields/Stevens: She is 20 and he is 22 and they represent the Indiana World Figure Skating Academy Figure Skating Club.  They finished 5th at Junior Worlds last season.  They placed 8th at Golden Spin of Zagreb.  They are the reigning Junior Champions.  They won gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Fujimoto/Barsi-Rhyne: She is 24 and represents the Peninsula Skating Club and he is 24 and represents the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club.  They placed 12th last season, 8th as juniors in 2014, 8th in juniors in 2013, 11th in juniors in 2012, 7th in novice in 2009, 12th in novice in 2008, 5th in intermediate in 2007, are the 2006 Juvenile Pewter Medalists, finished 7th in juvenile in 2005 and 11th in juvenile in 2004.

Kayne/O’Shea: She is 22 and he is 24 and they represent the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club.  They placed 8th at Four Continents last season.  They placed 6th at Skate America and 4th at Rostelecom Cup.  They won gold at the US International Classic and bronze at the Golden Spin of Zagreb.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They are the reigning Bronze Medalists, placed 6th in 2014 and 7th in 2013.

Liu/Johnson: She is 16 and represents the St. Paul Figure Skating Club and he is 20 and represents the Detroit Skating Club.  They finished 7th at Junior Worlds last season.  They placed 8th at JGP Austria and 5th at JGP Poland.  They are the reigning Junior Silver Medalists.

McDougal/Schatz: She is 17 and represents the Birmingham Figure Skating Club and he is 24 and represents the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club.  They finished 7th as juniors last season, 10th as juniors in 2014.  They won bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Pfund/Santillan:  She is 18 and represents the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club and he is 23 and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  They placed 8th at Skate America.  They won bronze at the Autumn Classic International.  They won gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Scimeca/Knierim: She is 24 and represents the DuPage Figure Skating Club and he is 28 and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  They placed 7th at Worlds and 5th at Four Continents last season.  They won silver at Skate America and bronze at NHK Trophy.  They won silver at Nebelhorn Trophy and gold at Ice Challenge.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They are the reigning Champions, 2014 Pewter Medalists and 2013 Silver Medalists.  Internationally, they have the 10th best short program score.

Shaughnessy/Morgan: She is 23 and he is 24 and they represent the Skating Club of Boston.  They placed 10th last season, 12th in 2014, 10th as juniors in 2013, are the 2012 Novice Bronze Medalists and finished 5th in novice in 2011.  They won silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Smith/Reiss: She represents the Skating Club of New York and he is 23 and represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club.

Usmantseva/Silecky: She represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club and he represents the Skating Club of New York.

Eastern Sectionals Senior Pairs Results

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 3 Jessica Pfund, Southwest Florida FSC
Joshua Santillan, All Year FSC
1 45.16 2 87.69 132.85
2 2 Alexandria Shaughnessy, SC of Boston
James Morgan, SC of Boston
2 43.04 1 88.58 131.62
3 1 Cali Fujimoto, Peninsula SC
Nicholas Barsi-Rhyne, Southwest Florida FSC
3 40.88 3 77.36 118.24