Miller and Brubaker Win Junior Pairs For First U.S. Title

by Amy Partain
Mariel Miller and Rockne Brubaker,
photo by Michelle Harvath

Junior Pairs Free Skate Results
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(1/13/05) — Attack was the theme of the music from “Pearl Harbor” that Mariel Miller & Rockne Brubaker (Broadmoor SC) used for the junior free skate Thursday at the 2005 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Portland. And that theme translated into their program and into a gold medal.

Skating last in the competition, Miller and Brubaker nailed their elements, including a triple twist, side-by-side double Axels and overhead lifts with interesting positions and exits. The triple twist probably made the difference for Miller and Brubaker since the other pairs in the top three performed double twists.

“All of our work is paying off,” Brubaker said of their medal. “We've been working really hard the last couple of weeks, and I think it showed because I think that was the best long program we've skated all year.”

At the beginning of the season Miller and Brubaker set three main goals for the season: to make the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, to medal at the U.S. Championships, and to make the World Junior Team. As of Thursday, they've accomplished two of those goals and will likely be named to the World Junior Team later this week.

Silver medalists Julia Vlassov & Drew Meekins (Elite Training Academy) made it a close race skating to music from the movie “Paycheck.” Their program had good speed and unison and they completed double Axels, a side-by-side double Lutz-double toe sequence and a throw triple toe. Their last overhead lift, which was the last major element in the program, didn't go up. Still, overall they were pleased with the program.

“We're happy,” Vlassov said. “We could have skated better, but for today it was good. We're glad we finished second.”

Chloe Katz & Joseph Lynch (SC of New York) struggled a little in the free skate and dropped from second place, which they occupied after the short program, to win the bronze. Katz put her hand down on one of their throw triples, and he fell on their side-by-side triple toes. But they recovered and completed a jump sequence of double Axel into double toes. Despite the mistakes they were still pleased with their medal.

“It's nice to see the hard work pay off,” Katz said.