Wednesday, 18/7/2018 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today



  1. Alexa Scimeca+Chris Knierim (210.49)
  2. Haven Denney+Brandon Frazier (199.92)
  3. Tarah Kayne+Danny O’Shea (185.31)
  4. Madeline Aaron+Max Settlage (175.74)

Scimeca+Knierim opened with a spectacular record setting quad twist and earned 10.53 points with a 2.43 GOE (Grade of Execution). They aced the often-troublesome 3S, but faltered on the Axel combination.

When the marks were announced, Scimeca leapt in the air with hands high about her head and let out a loud scream, while Knierim sat staring at the screen in disbelief. It was the team’s first National title.

The duo later explained their thoughts about the successful quad twist done at the beginning of their American in Paris performance.

“For me it was relief right after we got it done. It was the first time we’ve done it at a completion, so I definitely had some nerves. I take a lot of pride in the twist. I’m real happy we kept a cool head and got it done,” noted Knierim.

Scimeca added, “After completing the quad twist I didn’t even really think about it because I was already moving into a triple Sal (Salchow), which has been a battle for us. I did get really exited in the end and almost fell on the dismount” (of the Axel lift).

Scimeca summed up their reason for attempting the quad twist.  “The US pairs need to be more competitive with international teams, and if they’re capable of stepping it up in any type of elements, they should start going for it. Hopefully by 2018 we’ll have some teams in the top five…three.”

Silver medalists, Denney+Frazier, fought through their Renee Roca choreographed program to The Lion King. The lifts were Level4, but they had difficulty with the triple loop throw and the 2A combination jump.

“We still put out a good performance and are proud of that. We’ve done more than we expected this season.  We learned a lot. We are very excited.  It’s the start of a new quad,” stated Frazier.  Coach John Zimmerman nodded in agreement.

Kane+ O’Shea won the grit and determination award. Kane was off the ice for eight weeks after having major hip surgery on July 28.  They withdrew from their November Grand Prix assignments to focus on preparing for Nationals and the next three years.

“In the beginning, we tried as safely as possible to push to do them. We decided it was smartest for us, for the whole next quad and for this season in general, to take our time and make sure we didn’t risk a re-injury.

In August, O’Shea attended Champs Camp alone where he skated their programs solo.

“They told me I had the best lifts, so that was good,” O’Shea laughed and flashed his contagious Irish smile.

“Now we couldn’t be happier, and I couldn’t be more proud of my strong partner,” he concluded.

Madeline Aaron+Max Settlage won the junior title at the 2014 Nationals.

“This is our first year as seniors after moving up from juniors: it’s a totally different feeling,” said Settlage.

The team spoke about the costumes worn during their performance to The King and I.

“We wanted to stay as close to the characters as we could.  We took a lot of inspiration from the ballroom.”

As for the future, “We really want to be strong contenders for the Olympic spots in 2018,” announced Settlage.

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