FIGURE SKATING: Hubbell & Donohue win second straight title at Skate America

Skate America repeat Ice Dance champs Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (USA) (Photo: ISU)

Despite losing the Free Skate, the American duo of Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue won the Ice Dance title for the second straight year at Skate America at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Hubbell and Donohue led after the Rhythm Dance, 84.97-81.91 over Russians Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, but lost to Stepanova and Bukin by just 0.08 in the Free Dance, 124.66-124.58. That left them with a final margin of 209.55-206.57 for their second straight win and third medal in this event in four years.

Said Hubbell, “We were really looking forward to debuting this [Free Dance] program. It feels like you work on a project for so many months and you can’t see straight anymore. We’re happy to put it out the first time, we got a lot of feedback. There were good things and not so good things and we feel like we can make a lot of progress already for next week.”

It’s the 11th straight year that an American couple has won the Ice Dance at Skate America.

The women’s Free Skate was dominated by Russia’s Anna Shcherbakova, who scored 160.14 points to just 141.04 for American Bradie Tennell, who had the lead after the Short Program. So, Shcherbakova ended with 227.76 points to 216.14 for Tennell with Russia’s 2015 World Champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva third (205.97).

It’s Tennell’s second Skate America medal in three years; she won a bronze in 2017. For Shcherbakova, – still just 15 – it’s the first Russian win in this event since 2015.

Said the winner, “My goal was to show [two] quad Lutzes and all my other jumps. This [medal] is very important to me, because this is my first senior season and I want to show clean skating.”

The Grand Prix heads to Kelowna (CAN) next week, with the Internationaux de France and the Shiseido Cup of China following. Summaries:

ISU Grand Prix/Skate America
Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) ~ 18-20 October 2019
(Full results here)

Men: 1. Nathan Chen (USA), 299.09 (1st in Short Program + 1st in Free Skate); 2. Jason Brown (USA), 255.09 (4+2); 3. Dmitri Aliev (RUS), 253.55 (2+3); 4. Keegan Messing (CAN), 239.34 (3+8); 5. Kazuki Tomono (JPN), 229. 72 (8+4).

Pairs: 1. Cheng Peng/Yang Jin (CHN), 200.89 (1+1); 2. Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin (RUS), 196.98 (2+3); 3. Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA), 192.70 (4+2); 4. Jessica Calalang/Brian Johnson (USA), 180.52 (5+4); 5. Ashley Cain-Gribble/Tim LeDuc (USA), 177.54 (3+5).

Women: 1. Anna Shcherbakova (RUS), 227.76 (4+1); 2. Bradie Tennell (USA), 216.14 (1+2); 3. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS), 205.97 (5+3); 4. Kaori Sakamoto (JPN), 202.47 (2+4); 5. Eunsoo Lim (KOR), 184.50 (8+5). Also: 7. Amber Glenn (USA), 169.63 (7+9); 8. Karen Chen (USA), 165.67 (6+10).

Ice Dance: 1. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA), 209.55 (1+2); 2. Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS), 206.57 (2+1); 3. Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorenson (CAN), 197.53 (3+3); 4. Olivia Smart/Adrian Diaz (ESP), 191.01 (4+4); 5. Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS), 181.82 (5+5). Also: 6. Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko (USA), 180.55 (6+6); 7. Caroline Green/Michael Parsons (USA), 173.03 (8+7).