Team USA Earns Six Medals at Two Competitions This Weekend

The United States wrapped up a successful competition weekend, winning six medals at two international competitions.

Nebelhorn Trophy
The United States took home four individual medals, as well as the Fritz-Geiger-Memorial Trophy for the top team performance, at Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany.

In the ice dance competition, Rachel and Michael Parsons won their fourth Challenger Series medal and third of the 2018-19 campaign with 180.95 total points. Second with 70.02 points heading into the free dance, the duo scored 110.93 points in the free skate to take second place overall. On Friday in the free dance, the Parsons were awarded with Level 4 twizzles and three Level 4 lifts.

Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko continued their first senior season with a bronze medal in Oberstdorf. The team, which trains in the Detroit area, earned 177.49 overall points. In their Tango rhythm dance, they were third with 69.56 points, and tallied 107.93 points in their free dance to finish on the podium. Despite a small bobble on their twizzles, the tandem garnered three Level 4 lifts and a Level 4 spin.

Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier took home the gold medal with 194.12 points.

In the pairs competition, the United States put two teams on the podium, winning the silver and bronze medals.

Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim began their 2018-19 campaign with a silver medal. The duo, which has been training in Oberstdorf under coach Aliona Savchenko for much of the summer and fall, earned 177.22 total points. In their first-place short program, they landed an impressive triple twist, and a Level 4 lift, totaling 61.73 points. In the free skate, the pair counted three deductions, but finished strong with two Level 4 lifts and a Level 4 spin, earning 115.49 points.

Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay put together the second-best free skate to secure the bronze medal. Scoring 116.72 points in Saturday’s free skate, the duo landed their side-by-side jumps and their throw triple loop, but also talled two Level 4 lifts and a Level 4 spin. Stellato and Bartholomay scored 174.91 points overall to earn their second international medal of the season.

Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov, who placed fourth in the free skate, finished fifth overall with 157.22 points.

In the men’s competition, the United States finished with two top-five finishes. Tim Dolensky finished fourth with 209.02 overall points. The Atlanta-native improved from fifth in the short program to fourth overall with a solid free skate which included 11 jumps, including three in combination.

Alex Krasnozhon, who was making his season-debut, finished fifth with 194.10 overall points. This competition marked his first international competition since injuring his leg at the 2018 World Junior Championships.

Canada’s Keegan Messing took the title (257.16 total points), while Alexander Majorov of Sweden and Artur Dmitriev of Russia finished second (226.64) and third (225.31), respectively

In the ladies event, Mariah Bell and Ashley Lin finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Bell, who was making her season debut, earned 188.97 total points. She was propelled by a strong short program, earning 70.02 points behind a strong triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and a triple flip which earned a bonus. In her free skate, Bell’s program’s top earning elements were a double Axel-triple toeloop combination and a triple Lutz-euler-double Salchow combination in the second half of her program. She earned 118.95 points.

Lin had a solid senior international debut in Oberstdorf. In her 59.45-point short program, she skated a clean program, landing all four jumps, including a triple toeloop-triple toeloop combination. In Friday’s free skate, Lin had a fall, but otherwise was impressive, landing ten jumps, including three combinations, to earn 121.76 points.

Alina Zagitova of Russia won the competition (238.43), with Mai Mihara and Loena Hendrickx finishing second (209.22) and third (204.16), respectively.

Based on Team USA’s performances, the United States also took home the Fritz-Geiger-Memorial Trophy for the best overall team performance at the event.

JGP Czech Republic
Team USA won two medals at the Junior Grand Prix Series event in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

In the men’s competition, Camden Pulkinen clinched a spot in December’s Junior Grand Prix Final with a 212.45-point total score and silver meda. In 2017, Pulkinen won the silver at the Junior Grand Prix Final. 

Pulkinen, who earned 81.01 points in his short program, got off to a quick start with a triple Lutz-triple Toe combination and a triple Axel. He also tallied three Level 4 spins. In his free skate, Pulkinen tallied 131.44 points. He struggled early but was impressive as he fought through the performance that was highlighted by a triple flip-triple toe loop combination and triple Lutz-double toe loop combination.

Jonathan Yang, who was competing in his first JGP event, finished 12th with 145.27 overall points.

Sarah Feng and TJ Nyman earned their first international medal with a third place finish in the pairs competition at JGP Czech Republic. 

The pair sat fourth after their 58.90-point short program. The duo opened with an impressive triple twist, and followed with a Level 4 spin and Level 4 lift.
In their free skate, the Colorado Springs-based team earned 104.54 points to finish on the podium. They performed a Level 4 triple twist and an impressive triple Salchow-double toeloop-double toeloop combination. They also were awarded a Level 4 lift. With the result, Feng and Nyman also clinched a spot in December's JGP Final.

Laiken Lockley and Keenan Prochnow finished sixth (140.63), while Kate Finster and Balazs Nagy came in ninth (128.31).

Russia took the gold and silver medals in the pairs competition. Kseniia Akhanteva and Valerii Kolesov took the top podium step with 184.73 while fellow compatriots Polina Kostiukovich and Dmitrii Ialin took second.

In the ice dance competition, the United States tallied two top-10 finishes. Sophia Elder and Christopher Elder notched their second sixth place finish of the season with 137.42 points. Katarina Wolfkostin and Howard Zhao earned 127.58 points in their international debut to finish tenth.

Russia’s Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Nikita Nazarov won with 161.00 points, while Georgia’s Maria Kazakova and Georgy Reviya finished second (154.17). Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin of Russia came in third (148.62).

In the ladies competition, Ting Cui finished seventh with 172.74 points. Cui, who finished fifth in Austria earlier this season, was second after a clean short program that earned 70.20 points. Cui landed all four jumps, including a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, and three Level 4 spins. In the free skate, she had three falls, but did have several bright spots, including a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination.

Russia’s Alena Kostornaia won the title with 198.38 points, while Yelim Kim of Korea finished second (196.34) and Viktoria Vasilieva of Russia took third (182.87).