Centered Spin
Don't Miss

Alexa and Chris Take the Lead

Embed from Getty Images

It’s day two of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, California. The pair skaters took to the ice for the short program this afternoon. There were a few disastrous moments, but also some great performances that brought the crowd to their feet.

The clear favorites going into the U.S. Championships were Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim. The pressure is certainly on this team as there is only one spot available for the U.S. pairs Olympic Team. Alexa and Chris’ nemesis has been the side by side jumps, which they have struggled with all season.

Alexa and Chris opened with a huge triple twist. Alexa landed her triple salchow, but Chris fell out of his triple salchow. He managed to stay on his feet though and fought to stay upright. They had a few bobbles here and there, but overall they gave a solid performance. They are currently in first place heading into the free skate with a total of 71.10 points.

“The score was good, our biggest one of the season, but that’s to be expected at a nationals, usually,” Chris said according to a U.S. Figure Skating press release. “But we’re happy. It was definitely an improvement on our Grand Prix season and our senior Bs. Everything is finally coming together and we’re both feeling 100 percent in training. We’re just happy that everything’s coming together, because it’s been a long two years.”

Tarah Kayne and Danny O’shea won the U.S. Championships in 2016. Sadly this team has been plagued with injury until now. Tarah and Danny delivered a fantastic performance in the short program and are currently in second place. They hit their side by side triple salchows, but they opted to do less difficult elements than Alexa and Chris, so they are three points behind the Knierims.

“It’s really nice to get off the ice just feeling good about ourselves,” Tarah said. “I think that we’ve both been struggling with the fact that we go into competitions from last season and we get disappointed. Like, ‘What’s wrong with me, why can’t I do this anymore? What am I missing?’ I was really injured and didn’t put in the training that we needed to, and that showed in the results. And just in the last few months we have really been able to start training again after the surgery.”

Staying in the Mix

One of the most moving performances of the day was given by Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay. They skated beautifully to “Hallelujah.” The audience was with them as they finished with big smiles and satisfaction for a job well done. They are currently in third place and only 1.09 points behind Tarah and Danny.

“It was a little rough around the edges here and there, but I mean, we’re happy with it,” Nathan said. “Obviously a lot of stress, a lot of pressure goes into this year especially, but every competition really. We really felt like we held ourselves together and gave a strong performance.”

Holding onto fourth place is Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier. Haven and Denney have had a rough season, but gave a nice performance. Brandon doubled their planned side by side triple salchows, but other than that it was a good performance. They seem to be on the right track.

“I think today we had some really solid things that we’re proud of,” Brandon said. “We had a big technical mistake on our side-by-side jumps, so that kind of affected the scores in a big way. So of course a little disappointed, but you know, we lost a few levels, we left points out there today…”

On Saturday, January 6 the pairs will take to the ice for their free skate. For full pair team results, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *