Cain-Gribble and LeDuc Claim Pairs Title and Zhou Captures Bronze at U.S. International Classic
(9/20/19) - Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc captured their second straight U.S. International Classic title in the pairs competition, while Vincent Zhou claimed the bronze medal in the men’s competition on the second day of competition at the 2019 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City.
Cain-Gribble and LeDuc scored 205.58 total points to top the field by over 10 points. Their free skate earned 129.35 points, a new international best, and included a side-by-side triple Salchow-double toe loop-double loop combination.
“We have worked really hard this competition, especially to be this ready this early in the season because of that challenge of the altitude,” said LeDuc. "We relied on our coaches, we relied on our training, we relied on each other and we won.”
“Everything we are doing now is to the best of our ability,” said Cain-Gribble. “We will grow, yes, but we are able to do everything with a lot of power, a lot of confidence. We don’t hold back anymore and I think that you can see that out there.”
Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea finished in fourth place with 174.02 total points. In their free skate set to music from Les Miserables, the 2019 U.S. pewter medalists had three solid lifts, two of which were awarded Level 4 marks to earn 109.12 points.
Team USA also captured the fifth and sixth spots in the pairs competition with Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov finishing fifth with 168.50 points and Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson taking sixth with 166.50 total points.
Russia’s Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov captured the silver medal with 194.69 total points, while Cheng Peng and Yang Jin of China earned bronze with 184.04 points.
In the men’s competition, Zhou led the way for Team USA with his third-place finish. The 2019 World bronze medalist finished fourth in the free skate with 142.92 points, but claimed bronze with a total score of 231.95.
“I’m not willing to make excuses for myself,” said Zhou. “There isn’t much I can do to change what happened out there. What I have to do is go back and work on how I can make myself better for the next time and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Alex Krasnozhon finished third in the free skate, jumping from fifth to fourth place overall. His Dracula-themed program received 153.19 points for 230.11 points overall.
Just behind Krasnozhon, Tomoki Hiwatashi finished in fifth place with 214.82 total points. The 2019 World Junior champion scored 137.86 in his free skate.
Jimmy Ma finished in sixth place, scoring 132.96 in his free skate for 200.30 points overall.
Japan’s Keiji Tanaka and Sota Yamamoto took home the gold and silver medal with 249.96 and 240.11 total points, respectively.
In the rhythm dance, Madison Chock and Evan Bates claimed the top spot with 80.18 points. The 2019 Four Continents champions were awarded over 1.50 points for their Grade of Execution on every element.
Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko received 77.18 points for their rhythm dance, marking a new career best for the Michigan-based team. The duo won the silver medal at the 2018 U.S. International Classic and are currently in second place.
The U.S. ladies are also in podium position after the short program with Amber Glenn in second place and Ting Cui in third.
In her clean skate, Glenn opened with a strong triple flip-triple toe loop combination and was awarded three Level 4 spins with all positive GOE in her 66.09-point program.
Cui scored 63.10 points to take the third spot in the short program. The 2019 World Junior bronze medalist also had a clean skate, landing two triple jumps in her performance.
Competition concludes tomorrow with the free dance and ladies free skate. Watch competition live and on-demand on the Figure Skating Pass on NBC Sports Gold.