by Doris Spicer Pulaski
(23 January 2013)
Chloe Rose Lewis & Logan Bye, aged 12 and 14, won the 2013 U.S. Nationals Novice Ice Dance Championships by scoring 61.64 points to win the free dance segment of the competition by a huge 4.95 points over the leaders after the pattern dances, Tory Patsis & Joseph Johnson, aged 17 and 18. Lewis & Bye, the students of Ikaika Young and Judy Blumberg, had the highest base value of skills performed in the competition, 28.50, including a level 3 rating for their circular step sequence.
The young dancers also earned higher PCS scores than their older and stronger competitors. Skating to the “The Artist” soundtrack, Lewis & Bye successfully evoked the 1920’s era of the film’s setting, and portraying the film roles of a very peppy young Peppy and a more somber, older George. Lewis, wearing a pale blue flapper dress, and Bye, sporting an Argyle diamond-patterned vest, surpassed the other teams in every program component except Transitions & Linking Footwork. The only significant flaw in their routine was their sequential twizzles, which were only judged level 3, probably because the second set of twizzles didn’t travel down the ice, and so were judged pirouettes, and a downgrade of one level.
Patsis & Johnson, a new team this year, who are coached by Patti Gottwein, skated the same sinuous, sensuous Tango free dance program that won the 2013 Midwestern Sectional Championships for them. It also won them a silver medal in their debut in U.S. national level competition. The judges awarded all their elements positive grades of execution. However, they lost base value points for their curve lift, which only garnered a level 2, probably due to the fact that Patsis did not hold her attempted difficult pose, a layback position over Johnson’s leg while he was in a cantilever spread, for a full three seconds, and for their diagonal step sequence, which did not have the accuracy of edging and turns to achieve a higher level than level 1. As a result, their base value was only 25.00 points to 28.50 for the gold medalists, Lewis & Bye.
Another new team, Sammi Wren & Alexey Shchepetov, of the Philadelphia SC & HS also made their U.S. national debut at the 2013 U.S. National Novice Ice Dance Championships. Wren & Shchepetov won the bronze medal with a total score of 95.37. The fourteen-year old Wren and the fifteen year-old Shchepetov presented a fast-paced, dramatic routine to “Alegria” by Cirque du Soleil, that earned them 55.08 points, third place in the free dance, and third place overall in the event, by the tiny margin of 0.11 points over the fourth place finishers, Gigi Becker & Luca Becker, who had been in third place following the pattern dances. The one serious flaw the students of Slava Uchitel made in their routine was a loss of a level in their sequential twizzle sequence, due to the fact that Wren did not execute the required number of full rotations in the second set of twizzles.
Gigi & Luca Becker, 10 and 12, had to settle for the pewter medal, and fourth place in the free dance and overall, with a total score of 95.26. Their free dance to music from the “Rio” soundtrack earned 54.32 points. Despite having the second highest base value for their elements, The Wheaton Academy students skated noticeably slower, and with less deep edges, than their older competitors, Wren & Shchepetov, and earned lower PCS scores as a result, 25.39 points, compared to the bronze medalists’ 26.00 points. The team also suffered a 1.00 deduction for a short lift that lasted longer than 6.0 seconds. That, in the end, was the difference between receiving the bronze and the pewter medals.
Katherine Gourianova & Alexander Petrov, the third place team at the 2013 Eastern Regional Championships, finished in fifth place with a combined score of 88.55 from sixth place finishes in both the pattern dances and the free dance.
Rebecca Lucas & Yan Kazansky, who finished in seventh place in both segments, earned sixth place with a combined score of 87.39.
The fifth place finishers in the free dance, Sierra Chadwick & Alexander Martin, of the Detroit SC, were unable to overcome the results of their disastrous performance in the Starlight Waltz pattern dance, where they received a penalty of -3.00 points for falls.
The fifth place finishers in the pattern dances, Anthony Ponomarenko & Sarah Feng, could only manage a tenth place finish in the free dance, and dropped to eighth place overall, due to the penalty and loss of scores for a fall in their circular step sequence in the free dance.
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