2010 U.S. Nationals

Senior Pairs






Place Team SP FS
1 Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett 1 1
2 Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig 3 3
3 Rena Inoue & John Baldwin 4 2
4 Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski 5 4
5 Keauna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker 7 5
6 Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin 2 6
7 Amanda Dobbs & Joseph Jacobsen 6 8
8 Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin 9 7
9  Molly Aaron & Daniyel Cohen 8 9
10 Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir 11 10
11 Tracy Tanovich & Michael Chau 13 11
12 Andrea Best & Trevor Young 14 12
13 Kendra Moyle & Steven Pottenger 12 14

Ameena Sheikh & Aaron VanCleave

10 15
15 Lisa Moore & Justin Gaumond 15 13
16 Laura Lepzinski & Ethan Burgess 16 16

Photos copyright 2010 by George S. Rossano


Short Program

Starting Order - Short Program

1. Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir
2. Ameena Sheikh & Aaron VanCleave
3. Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski
4. Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett

5. Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin
6. Andrea Best & Trevor Young
7. Kendra Moyle & Steven Pottenger
8. Rena Inoue & John Baldwin

9. Keauna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker
10. Amanda Dobbs & Joseph Jacobsen
11. Laura Lepzinski & Ethan Burgess
12. Tracy Tanovich & Michael Chau

13. Molly Aaron & Daniyel Cohen
14. Lisa Moore & Justin Gaumond
15. Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin
16. Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig


Short Program Placements


1 Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett
2 Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin
3 Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig
4 Rena Inoue & John Baldwin
5 Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski
6 Amanda Dobbs & Joseph Jacobsen
7 Keauna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker
8  Molly Aaron & Daniyel Cohen
9 Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin

Ameena Sheikh & Aaron VanCleave

11 Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir
12 Kendra Moyle & Steven Pottenger
13 Tracy Tanovich & Michael Chau
14 Andrea Best & Trevor Young
15 Lisa Moore & Justin Gaumond
16 Laura Lepzinski & Ethan Burgess

Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett

The Pairs Short Program was a bit of a shocker, with the two-time reigning National Champions ending up more than ten points back, and are currently sitting in seventh place.  With only two spots open for the Olympic Team, the pressure is now on them to come back in the Free Skate.

Leading after the short are Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett, the 2009 sliver medalists.   They opened with a nicely executed triple twist lift, called at level 1. They followed with strong triple toe loops and a bid, though a bit wobbly, throw triple Lutz.  On back outside death spiral they got a few -1s, the only negative GoEs for their elements.  Their side-by-side combination spin was very well done, with very good unison through four different positions, and was rewarded with +1 and +2 GoEs.  Towards the end they started to look like they were getting a little tired in their straight line step sequence, but still finished strong with the pair combination spin called at level four, and scored with +1 and +2 GoEs.

Less than one point back, Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin, who were 7th in 2009 are in good position to make the Olympic team, but they will have to fight off Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig who are breathing down their necks, 3.33 points back.   It was a clean skate with only a handful of negative GoEs (3) spread out among the elements.  Except for a level two on the twist lift, their elements were called levels three and four, with their group four lift the strongest of the elements.  They also landed clean side-by-side triple toe loops.  Skating to Mozart Piano Sonata No. 16, it was an expressive program that was well presented.  The most significant hole in their performance was a weakness in Transitions, the lowest of their components -- averaging 6.0 vs. mid to upper sixes for the other components.

Evora & Ladwig, who placed fourth in 2009, placed third in the Short program and are still in the running to place in the top two and make the Olympic Team.  They opened with a big level one triple twist which was well done and received mainly +1 GoEs.  Step outs on triple toe loops resulted in -2 GoEs, and two footing throw triple loop also resulted in -2 GoEs.  The remainder of the program then finished strong.  Except for the level one on the twist and  level three on circular steps, their elements were called at level four and were well executed.  Unison on their change combination spin was very good, and their group four lift was also well done.

More shocking than Yankowskas & Coughlin moving up from seventh last year, was the fall from grace for Keauna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker who now sit in seventh place.   They opened with an excellent level one twist lift, and then it was downhill from there.  McLaughlin fell on triple Salchow.  They came back on straight line steps and a change combination spin with inconsistent unison -- receiving inconsistent GoEs for the element in the process.  Throw triple loop was two footed.  The group four lift was well done, even receiving one +3 GoE.  On the back outside death spiral, McLaughlin fell out of the element which received no points.  They closed with a decent level four pair combination spin.

Despite thier many errors, McLaughlin & Brubaker's component marks did not suffer excessively, expect for the Performance and Execution mark which was the lowest of the five.  They were scored second in PCS, but twelfth in total element points.

Also struggling to make the Olympic Team now are Rena Inoue & John Baldwin, who were third in 2009.  They placed fourth in the Short Program, primarily due to three elements that ended up scored negative.  In PCS they were competitive with the rest of the pack with the third best score.  For the solo jump the opted to use double Axels which were clean.  On throw triple Axel Inoue fell, and on triple twist they had a clear shoulder bump on the catch.  During their side-by-side combination spin, Baldwin fell out of position during the second half of the spin, pulling down the scores on that element.

In the Free Skate tomorrow, four teams remain competitive to reach the top two places and make the Olympic team.  The event will be live on NBC and starts at 11:15 AM PST to accommodate the broadcast time on the east coast.


Free Skate

Starting Order - Free Skating

1. Andrea Best & Trevor Young
2. Tracy Tanovich & Michael Chau
3. Lisa Moore & Justin Gaumond
4. Laura Lepzinski & Ethan Burgess

5. Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin
6. Ameena Sheikh & Aaron VanCleave
7. Kendra Moyle & Steven Pottenger
8. Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir

9. Amanda Dobbs & Joseph Jacobsen
10. Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski
11. Keauna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker
12. Molly Aaron & Daniyel Cohen

13. Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig
14. Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett
15. Rena Inoue & John Baldwin
16. Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin


Free Skating Placements
Place Team
1 Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett
2 Rena Inoue & John Baldwin
3 Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig
4 Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski
5 Keauna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker
6 Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin
7 Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin
8 Amanda Dobbs & Joseph Jacobsen
9  Molly Aaron & Daniyel Cohen
10 Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir
11 Tracy Tanovich & Michael Chau
12 Andrea Best & Trevor Young
13 Lisa Moore & Justin Gaumond
14 Kendra Moyle & Steven Pottenger

Ameena Sheikh & Aaron VanCleave

16 Laura Lepzinski & Ethan Burgess



The Pairs final produced fireworks both on and off the ice.

Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett delivered a solid performance that gave them an 11.88 point victory in the Free Skate and a 16.58 margin of victory overall.  There performance to "Scheherazade" was skated with sustained speed and power, with only two -1 GoEs among the 12 elements.  Their opening triple twist was excellent, and followed by solid triple toe loops.  Both throws were also well done, with the later triple loop a bit stronger and higher than the thriple Lutz.  Unison in their side-by-side combination spin was also excellent.  Except for a level 2 on the twist and level 3 on  the spiral sequence, their elements were otherwise all called level 4.

In Program Components the team was scored mostly in the sevens, with a few marks falling into the sixes and even fives, and a few in the eights.  In terms of projecting and relating to the audience the performance hit the mark, receiving and overwhelming standing ovation from the audience.  It wasn't clear, however, what the program really had to do with Scheherazade, but when it came to that only one judge seemed to care, with marks in the fives.  Their performance was a substantial improvement in their previous best, when they earned 176.27 points at 2009 Nationals vs. 190.30 points here.

Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig gave a strong performance which scored third best in the Free Skate, but was good enough to place second overall, and earn the second available place on the Olympic team.  Three of their elements were scored negative, but the remainder were well done, with their lifts the most spectacular of all.  Except for a level 1 on triple twist, atheir elements were called level 4.  The opening twist was well done with mostly +1 and +2s for GoEs.  On triple toe loop - double toe loop combination the landings were not solid with the double toe lop downgraded.  The following throw triple Lutz was fully rotated but with a fall.  The third element scored negative was the side-by-side combination spin which received a few -1 GoEs, probably due to poor unison.  From element five onwards, the program was well done, with no negative GoEs among them.  Their three overhead lifts were all stunning.

Skating to the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, their components were mainly in the upper sixes, with a few judges going into the sevens for a few marks.  The components were fairly well balanced, with Interpretation slightly lower.  The team skated with decent speed, projecting a better than typical relation between them, but the emotion of the music was not fully captured in the performance.  The team earned a personal best 173.78 points edging out Rena Inoue & John Baldwin by 0.60 points.

After finishing fourth in the Short Program, Inoue & Baldwin moved up to second in the Free Skate to finish third overall.  The team completed throw triple Axel, and had a generally good skate and were extremely disappointed by their scores.  So much so they declined to be considered for berths on the World or Four Continents teams, and were not listed as alternates for those two teams.  In comments after the event Baldwin vented his frustration about the judges often not giving performance the marks they deserve, with a bit of a Rodney Dangerfield we don't get enough respect riff.

Inoue & Baldwin opened with triple toe loops which Baldwin singled.  Their triple twist had a major shoulder bump on the catch, and the throw triple Axel though landed also received four -1 GoEs, but also one +1.  Except for the twist lift, their elements were called level four.  Their group three lift seemed to have a little problem going up, but the judges didn't mind and scored it with +1 GoEs.  There closing group five lift was well done, ending in their trademark swoop movement.

Though the team may feel like they did not get enough respect, their Program Components were in the same ballpark as the other top teams, scored third best of the group.  Their marks were mostly in the upper sixes and low sevens.  One judge dinged them in Transitions at 5.75, but that was the only mark in the fives.  Among the five components Performance was scored the highest and Interpretation the lowest, and rightly so.

In missing out on the Olympic Team, the team can point to the component marks thinking they were too low, but in the end their result here truly was in their own hands, with errors in six elements among the short and long programs.

Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin, who had place second in the short had a difficult skate, with four elements scored negative and two falls.  Even so, their results was a personal best, though small consolation in missing the Olympic Team.  The team moved up one place overall from their seventh place result in 2009.

Keauna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker moved up to fifth in the long an fifth overall.  It was a difficult end to a difficult season for them, and will likely be the end of their partnership, as the team appears to have no rapport either on or off the ice.  There elements were scored negative with a hand down my McLaughlin on triple Salchow, a near disastrous exit from a group five lift, and a two footed throw triple loop.  Their best eleents, scored mostly with +2 GoEs were a big, clean triple twist, and an outstanding group three lift with carry called at level 4.  Their Program Components were second best, mainly in the high sixes and low sevens, but their element scores was only fifth best and the main reason for their result this year.


2010 Pairs Medallists

Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig, Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett, Rena Inoue & John Baldwin, Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski

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