Evan Lysacek Wins Silver Medal at 2007 Skate America

(10/28/07) - Two-time World bronze medalist Evan Lysacek won the free skate Friday at 2007 Skate America in Reading, Pa., pulling him up to a second-place finish overall behind Japan's Daisuke Takahashi. World champion Kimmie Meissner sits in first place after the ladies short program at the Sovereign Center, and ice dancers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto held on to first after the original dance.

Men
The final three men gave those in attendance a night to remember. Patrick Chan's performance was flawless until his fall on the final jump – the triple flip. But it was Lysacek who brought the crowd to its feet. His final straight line step sequence exhilarated the crowd and showed why he is one of the world's most exciting skaters. Lysacek nailed his final program by landing six triple jumps. He won the free skate with 152.38 points, although it still wasn't enough to overcome Takahashi's lead after the short program.

“I was coming into today with a large deficit, so I think I wasn't really looking at the win per se,” Lysacek said. “I just wanted to fight through the competition and make the event a success overall, which I think it was.”

Both Takahashi and Lysacek attempted quadruple toe jumps, though only Takahashi was able land his cleanly. American Stephen Carriere moved up two places to finish fourth overall.

Patrick Chan's performance earned him a bronze medal, which thrilled the Canadian.

“Coming to Skate America and it being the first Grand Prix, I definitely wanted to make a good impression,” Chan said. “I trained really hard. I really made sure this time I came into the competition and was ready…and the results showed.

Ladies
Reigning U.S. champion Kimmie Meissner sits in first, with fellow American Caroline Zhang in third after the ladies short program. Olympian and U.S. teammate Emily Hughes skated a strong program and sits fourth heading into Sunday's free skate.

“I was very pleased with (my performance),” Meissner said, “Since it's the first time out.”

Japan's Miki Ando, currently second with a score of 56.58, trails Meissner by less than three points.

“My jumps have not been good lately,” said Ando through an interpreter. “They haven't been trained a lot, but they are getting better. I just made a stupid mistake in the straight line sequence.”

Ice Dancing
Americans Tanith Belbin & Benjamin Agosto lead the dance competition, finishing first in compulsory dance and original dance. The music for the original dance was folk dance, with each team skating to music that is native to their country of choice.

“As we were digging into it, we found it was almost an evolution of folk dance where you have immigrants coming from all over the world to the US throughout history and they are bringing their own folk dancing and it melds together,” Agosto said. “You have a lot of Polish polka, clogging from Ireland, so it's very interesting to look back at the American folk dance and see where it's come from.”

The French team of Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat came in second, with Italy's Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali rounding out the top three. Americans Meryl Davis & Charlie White sit in fourth, moving up one place after the compulsory dance.

The U.S. team of Kim Navarro & Brent Bommentre wowed the crowed with their African-inspired costumes and music.

“We've done polkas before for the compulsory dance and everybody's done some Russia at some point in their career, and we wanted to challenge ourselves,” Bommentre said. “We wanted to do all we could to push ourselves to learn how to be more body aware and become better off-ice dancers and translate that on ice.”

Pairs
Canadians Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison garnered gold in the pairs competition, although they suffered a fall on the throw triple loop.

“I don't even know what happened,” Davison said. “I thought I landed and then I fell, so I have no idea what happened.”

The Chinese team of Qing Pang and Jian Tong finished second after a difficult long program. Like Dube and Davison, the pair also fell on the throw triple loop.

Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov from Russia finished third.

Skate America continues Sunday with the free dance and ladies free skate.