Thursday, 19/7/2018 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today

Denny and Barett Skate Lights Out to Take Early Pairs Lead

Caydee Denny, 15, and Jeremy Barrett, 24, who train in Ellenton, Florida snuck under the radar Thursday to take an early lead in the senior pair division at the United States Figure Skating Championships. The Figure Skating Championships which are being held this week at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland will culminate Sunday with the naming of the 2009 Four Continents and World Figure Skating Championship team.

The naming of the 2009 team is exceptionally important this season as the placements at this year’s World Championships in March will dictate the number of Olympic Berths the United States will have for the 2010 Olympic Games.

Denny and Barrett who rejoined forces and have been together only since June, skated a near-perfect skate which earned the duo a segment score of 61.51 points. The pair edged out reigning Champions Keauna Mc Laughlin and Rockne Brubaker who currently sit second with 61.12 and veterans Rena Inoue and John Baldwin who are third with 61.11 points.

Skate well is exactly what they did when they laid down an exciting program to the music from the movie themes of “James Bond”. They opened their program with a stellar triple twist and side-by-side triple toes. Their throw triple flip and the side-by-side flying change foot combination spin were highlights, as was there forward inside death spiral and their pair combination spin. While the duo captured the top spot with a strong technical score of 36.58 the duo lacked the sophistication and presentation of the other top teams and placed only third on the components.

The pair looked stunned in the kiss and cry area when they realized they were ahead of the reigning champions.

“We just wanted to come here and skate the best program,” Barrett told the press. “We skated together two years ago and stopped skating for a year and a half because Caydee moved out to Colorado from Florida. In June we got back together, and we have been working hard since.”

Reigning National Champions Keauna Mclaughlin, 16, and Rockne Brubaker, 22, left the door open in their short program set to the music “Malaguena” when the duo strepped out on their side-by-side triple Salchows and then Keauna stepped out of the landing on the throw triple loop.

“We had two big errors with the step out on the jump and the step on the throw,” Rockne explained. “I think it will do us better to get that one out of the way. We’re looking forward to the long program. Each experience is a learning experience. We would have liked to skate a little better, but it is a step in the right direction in getting this program where it needs to be.”

They started the program strong with a level four pair combination spin followed by a gorgeous level four lift which captured high GOE’s. While the duo struggled on the technical elements they presented a mature and elegant presentation which earned them the highest component scores of 28.19 points.

“I thought it could have been better,” Keauna added about the program. “I didn’t like our big tricks that much. I thought we had good presentation, and I had a lot of fun out there. The crowd was awesome.”

By the narrowest of margins reigning U.S. Silver medalists Rena Inoue and John Baldwin currently sit third with a segment score of 61.11 points. Despite a collision on the triple twist, the Nhk Trophy silver medalists gutted out a strong performance to the music “Illuminations” by Secret Garden.

The program included a double Axel and a solid throw triple loop. Their non-jumping elements were not as strong managing only two levels four elements, a flying change foot combination spin and a nice overhead lift. The forward inside death spiral, spiral step sequence were level three and the pair combination spin a level two.

“We couldn’t be happier (with the performance), “John told the press. “Anytime we can go out and make the audience happy, that’s great and that’s our goal. We think of ourselves as entertainers, and we hope the audience comes back with the feeling of Wow. It was a good day.”

Caitlin Yankowskas, 18, and John Coughlin, 23, delivered a serene and elegant short program to the music “The Dying Swan” by Camille Saint-Saens. The program was highlighted by rock solid side-by-side triple Salchows and a throw triple Salchow. The Midwestern Sectional Champions managed all level four elements except for the forward inside death spiral which was level three and a triple twist which was level one.

They enter the free skate in fourth place with a segment score of 56.09 points.

2007 National Champions Brooke Castile, 22, and partner Ben Okolski, 24, showed great promise when they captured the U.S. Title in 2007. However, the pair has struggled with injury and has had disappointing results since 2008. They placed twelfth at the World Championships in 2007 and then eleventh in 2008.

During their elegant short program set to the movie soundtrack “Memoirs of a Geisha” the pair fell on their opening triple Salchows and then Brooke stepped out on the throw triple Salchow. Despite the mistakes the duo produced three level four elements and interpreted the music well.

Amanda Evora, 24, and Mark Ladwig, 28, who are training mates to leaders Caydee Denny and Jeremy Barrett fell on their side-by-side triple Salchows and stumbled on the throw triple loop. They also struggled on the Flying change foot combination spin, but put out a strong pair combination spin, forward inside death spiral and spiral step sequence. The duo picked up 52.98 points for the short program and will enter Saturday’s free skate in sixth place with 52.98 points.

Chloe Katz and Joseph Lynch sit sixth with 52.06 points and last year’s pewter medalist Tiffany Vise and Derek Trent are eighth after they under-rotated and two-footed their side-by-side triple toe’s and Tiffany put a hand down on the throw triple Salchow. They currently have 51.16 points.

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