Chen Wins Gold, Cain and LeDuc Earn Bronze on Saturday at Skate America

(10/21/18) - Nathan Chen won his second consecutive Skate America title on Saturday afternoon, highlighting a strong second day for the United States at Angel Of The Winds Arena in Everett, Washington.

Chen scored 189.99 points in his free skate for 280.57 overall points. Chen claimed the gold medal by over 40 points.

“I am happy with today’s skate,” Chen said. “I definitely had a lot of improvement from the last competition. That’s really my goal throughout the season – to keep on improving from competition to competition. The program in terms of quad number was definitely watered down, but in terms of where I am in the season right now, it is perfect. I am looking to add things and build on everything else.”

Americans Vincent Zhou and Jimmy Ma finished fifth (225.75) and 12th (185.06), respectively.

Czech Republic’s Michal Brezina finished second with 239.51 points, while Russia’s Sergei Voronov took third with 226.44 points.

In the pairs competition, Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc took home their first Grand Prix Series medal after a 117.34-point free skate. The duo scored 175.06 overall points.

“[The short program] awakened a fighting spirit in us and forced us to reset and refocus today to remember the athletes that we are and remember the work that we put in,” LeDuc said. “We fought for everything today and there were still some mistakes and some scary moments, but I’m really proud of Ashley and the effort that we put in today. We couldn’t be happier to have our first medal at a Grand Prix.”

Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim finished just off the podium in fourth place with 171.56 total points. Nica Digerness and Danny Neudecker, who are appearing in their first Grand Prix event, came in sixth place (151.21 total points).

Russian pairs skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, and Alisa Efimova and Alexander Korovin took the gold (204.85) and silver (178.98) medal, respectively.
The ladies and ice dance competitions also got underway later on Saturday night. World silver medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue lead the way after the rhythm dance with 78.43 points.

“It was great for Zach and I to be back in the states competing,” Hubbell said. “It’s been awhile since we have been able to skate here at Skate America. Overall we were happy with the day. I got a little bit overly passionate and fell on top of Zach at the end, but overall we are happy and looking forward to tomorrow.”

Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter sit just outside of the top-three, scoring 72.44 points to finish fourth in the rhythm dance. In their Grand Prix debut, Karina Manta and Joe Johnson are in 10th place with 51.89 points.

Rounding out the top-three, Italians Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri are in second place (75.01), and Russia’s Tiffani Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro are in third (73.30).
In the ladies short program, Bradie Tennell was the top American finisher with a fifth-place, 61.27-point short program.

“I’m a little disappointed,” Tennell said. “Obviously, the combination is something I don’t ever miss so it was a little bit of a shock for me. But I’m human and I’m dealing with that and I’m ready to come back tomorrow. It's like a new chapter of a book. I can’t dwell on the past; what happened, happened and I just have to go forward. I love this program. I’m very proud of it and I think I’ve come a long way from last year. Mistakes happen and you just have to learn to deal with them. The crowd is great, the fans are great and I’m super happy to be here.”

In their respective Grand Prix Series debuts, Megan Wessenberg scored 60.20 points to place sixth. Starr Andrews, who will also compete at Skate Canada International next week, scored 56.03 points and is ninth heading into Sunday’s free skate.

2018 Skate America closes tomorrow with the free dance and ladies free skate. Catch all the action on NBC Sports Gold and U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone.

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