FIGURE SKATING: Chen and Miyahara repeat winners at Skate America

2018 World Champion Nathan Chen

The individual winners of the 2018 edition of Skate America were the same as the 2017 winners: Nathan Chen (USA) and Satoko Miyahara (JPN).

This was the season opener for the ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix and Chen dominated the men’s competition, winning both the Short Program and the Free Skate to pile up an impressive 280.57 point total. He won by more than 41 points over Czech Michal Brezina (239.51).

Chen completed four quad jumps and five triples en route to winning. “I’m happy with today’s skate, definitely a lot of improvement from my last competition and that’s really my goal throughout the seasons – just keep on improving from competition to competition,” he said.

“In terms of the number of quads, the program was definitely watered down, but I think that in terms of where I am at in the season right now, it’s definitely perfect. I’m looking to add more, but at the same time build on everything else.”

Miyahara, the 2018 Worlds bronze medalist and fourth at the 2018 Winter Games, also won both segments of the competition, but was pressed by countrywoman Kaori Sakamoto, sixth in PyeongChang and second in both sections here, 219.71-213.90.

In the Pairs competition, there was little doubt that Russia’s Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov should be the class of the field, and they were. The 2018 World Champs silver medalists won the Short Program and Free Skate and piled up a score of 204.85 to win easily. Russia’s Alisa Efimova and Alexander Korovin were at 178.98. The American pair of Ashley Cain (23) and Timothy Leduc (28) were second in the Free Skate and move into third overall at 175.06.

The American Ice Dance team of Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue – silver medalists at rhw 2018 Worlds – also swept both sections of their event and won at 200.82 for their first ISU Grand Prix gold. Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri were second-best in both the Short Dance and Free Dance to finish at 192.30.

Said Hubbell, “Zach and I put in a lot of work since our first competition in Salt Lake [Challenger Series event] to really dive into the emotions of Romeo and Juliet and to put more skating quality, more power into the program. I think we were able to show those changes well, but we’re also looking forward to more and more improvement and hopefully have a cleaner skate next week in Skate Canada.”

Skate America was the first of the six Grand Prix events, and was held at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington (USA). There was good prize money at this event: $18,000-13,000-9,000-3,000-2,000 for the top five placers in both the individual and pairs/dance events. Summaries:

ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix/Skate America
Everett, Washington (USA) ~ 19-21 October 2018
(Full results here)

Men: 1. Nathan Chen (USA), 280.57 (1st in Short Program + 1st in Free Skate); 2. Michal Brezina (CZE), 239.51 (2+2); 3. Sergei Voronov (RUS), 226.44 (4+4). Also: 5. Vincent Zhou (USA), 225.75 (6+3); … 12. Jimmy Ma (USA), 185.06 (7+12).

Women: 1. Satoko Miyahara (JPN), 219.71 (1+1); 2. Kaori Sakamoto (JPN), 213.90 (2+2); 3. Sofia Samodurova (RUS), 198.70 (3+3). Also: 4. Bradie Tennell (USA), 192.89 (5+4); … 6. Megan Wessenberg (USA), 170.33 (6+6); … 10. Starr Andrews (USA), 150.56 (9+10).

Pairs: 1. Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 204.85 (1+1); 2. Alisa Efimova/Alexander Korovin (RUS), 178.98 (2+3); 3. Ashley Cain/Timothy Leduc (USA), 175.06 (4+2). Also: 4. Alexa Scimera Knierim/Chris Knierim (USA), 171.56 (5+4); … 6. Nica Digerness/Danny Neudecker (USA), 151.21 (7+6).

Ice Dance: 1. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA), 200.82 (1+1); 2. Charlene Guignard/Macro Fabbri (ITA), 192.30 (2+2); 3. Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS), 181.38 (3+4). Also: 4. Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter (USA), 180.46 (4+3); … 10. Karina Manta/Joseph Johnson (USA), 139.33 (10+10).