(October 25, 2003)
Canadian ladies took to the ice for the short program portion of Smart Ones Skate America yesterday here in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Michelle Currie, with a new look and new style, looked fabulous. Her program, set to Bolero, really showed a new freedom in her skating, and her presentation level was good. In terms of content, an unfortunate fall on the triple Lutz and a touchdown on the triple flip resulted in an 11th-place showing. Michelle will be looking to move up after the free program.
Teammate Annie Bellemare also debuted a new short program, and awed the audience with one of, if not the best triple Lutz in the event. She fought through her triple flip and double Axel landings with determination. With a focus and goal on consistent performance, Annie showed clearly that she is on track for the competitive season! She ended the night in ninth-place.
The draw for the short program seemed to be a "made for TV" moment, with the American ladies drawing the final three spots to skate.
Michelle Currie with coach Cynthia Ullmark
Annie Bellemare and coach Joanne McLeod
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Sasha Cohen did not disappoint. With the same program music from last year, but some augmented footwork and spin positions, she displayed the line, solid elements, and presentation that she has become known for, and leapt into first-place. The audience was delighted and gave her a standing ovation.
The ice dance original dance was also completed with an interesting result. Leaders after the compulsory dance, Elena Grushina and Ruslan Goncharov struggled with the twizzle series in the midline footwork. The fall was clearly reflected in the marks and they ended up third in this portion of the event. The French team of Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder had a great skate and found themselves the winners of the original dance, followed closely by Americans Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto.
| || | Melissa Piperno and Liam Dougherty
with coach Julie Marcotte
Canadians Melissa Piperno and Liam Dougherty continued their senior Grand Prix debut with a nearly clean skate. One small slip on the midline step sequence was the only mar in a performance that highlighted their line, expression and skating skills.
On an interesting note, there are many former Canadian world-ranked athletes now coaching future champions here at the event. Charlene Wong, Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, as well as Shae-Lynn Bourne all have students competing here at Skate America.
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