Hubbell and Donohue, Cain and LeDuc Win U.S. Titles
(1/26/19) - Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue won their second consecutive U.S. ice dance title on Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena.
First after the rhythm dance, they posted a score of 131.32 to claim the free dance and finish with an overall score 215.88.
“I think in this performance more than ever before Zach and I were really connected,” Hubbell said. “We kept looking into each other’s eyes, so we created a bubble and there wasn’t a realization until the end. We were in bubble time, but to find a way to open up our bubble and see everyone standing, it was really special.”
Madison Chock and Evan Bates finished second in only their second competition of the season. They earned 129.19 points for their free dance and finished with an overall score of 211.52.
Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker completed the sweep for the trio of Montreal-based teams, earning 196.95 total points behind a 120.18-point free skate.
Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter took fourth place with 191.10 points.
Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc won the U.S. pairs title after being second after the short program. The duo scored 141.89 points for their free skate and posted an overall score of 212.36.
“It was just amazing to watch each day that we came back, adding one little thing at a time,” LeDuc said, referring to Cain injury during a competition in December. “It was like building a castle almost, one brick at a time. There were some really difficult times that we had to push through. Through all of that we relied on each other and came closer together. I said it after the short program and I’ll say it again, it’s been so inspiring for me to watch Ashley push through this and overcome all of these challenges day by day.”
Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier won the silver medal. They earned 133.32 points for their free skate and 201.64 points overall.
Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay, and Danny O’Shea and Tarah Kayne finished third (199.92) and fourth (198.64), respectively.
Nathan Chen got off to a quick start in the men’s event with a 113.42-point short program, giving the defending champion a nearly a 13-point lead heading into Sunday’s free skate.
“I hit the jumps that I wanted to go for, changed up the Lutz for a flip,” Chen said. “The Lutz was a little bit shakier than the flip, so I thought that was a good move. Overall, I thought the performance has been developing comparatively to the past couple of competitions, so I’m pretty satisfied.”
Jason Brown and Vincent Zhou were second and third, respectively, but separated by just .27 point. Brown scored 100.52 points while Zhou tallied 100.25 points.
Tomoki Hiwatashi is fourth with 84.05 points.
The 2019 GEICO U.S. Figure Skating Championships will conclude on Sunday afternoon with the men’s free skate and the Skating Spectacular.