by Anne Calder | Photo by Daphne Backman

Short Dance

The 2016 silver medalists, Rachel Parsons & Michael Parsons, topped the leader board with 72.42 points. They earned Level 4 for both blues patterns and the twizzles, straight-line lift, and not touching midline step sequence. The program opened and closed with the hip-hop rhythm to “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody”, with the blues “Born to Die” sandwiched in between.

The 2016 gold medalists, Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter were just 2.0 points behind with a 70.44 segment score. They also earned Level 4 for all their elements. They danced their second rhythm to hip-hop selections that included “The Power”, “Vanguardian” and “Gaia”.

The 2016 pewter medalists, Christine Carreira & Anthony Ponomareko scored 66.77 points for their blues to “Why Don’t You Do Right” and “Cool Cat in Town” for swing. Their patterns, straight-line lift, and twizzles were Level 4, with the not touching midline step sequence earning Level 3.

Chloe Lewis & Logan Bye were fourth with a blues pattern and swing rhythm to a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy medley and scored 60.60. The Michigan based team earned Level 4 for the stationary lift, twizzles, and second blues pattern. The not touching midline step sequence and first blues pattern were level 3.

Eliana Gropman & Ian Somerville were fifth with a 52.94 score for their blues and hip hop program to selections from the New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys. Their straight-line lift and twizzles earned Level 4; the not touching midline step sequence and both patterns were Level 3.

Caroline Green & Gordon Green, the 2016 U.S. novice champions, were sixth with a blues and hip hop dance that earned a 50.54 score.  The team lost points when Caroline fell during the midline steps.

Free Dance 

On Friday, the golden baton was passed from the 2016 US National Champions, Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter to their Wheaton Ice Skating Academy training mates, Rachel Parsons & Michael Parsons.

Parsons & Parsons are also the newly crowned Junior Grand Prix Final gold medalists.

The Maryland siblings performed a seamless interpretation of a new composition, “Singing in the Rain” written and recorded by New Zealander, Sophia Sin. Noted Russian sports music editor, Alexander Goldstein, arranged and adapted the piece for figure skating.

A dramatic pose and the mesmerizing sounds of falling rain opened the ethereal dance that was rewarded with all Level 4 marks and a 103.91 score and total 176.33.

When asked about the confidence built from the Junior Grand Prix Final win,” Michael said. “We’ve never had so much fun as we’ve had this year with both our programs, and I don’t think we’ve genuinely felt like this about a free dance, so it’s easy for us to build confidence and momentum this year.”

Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko won the silver medal after finishing third in the short dance. Their music selection to “Exogenesis Symphony Part 3” by Muse guided the Michigan trained team to Level 4 in the six required elements. The free dance scored 98.29 and together with the short program totaled 165.06.

Ponomarenko responded to questions about the legacy bestowed upon him by his famous parents, Marina Kilmova and Sergei Ponomarenko – Olympic gold, silver, and bronze ice dance medalists.

“They really support me. They comfort me – they help me out a lot. They put me onto this platform. I can try my best to get to their level one day, but it’s my career.”

Bronze medalists, Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter skated to classical violinist David Garrett’s interpretation of AC/DC’s “Thunder Struck”, Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”, and “Rock Prelude”.

The team changed their costumes after the Junior Grand Prix Final.

“We thought maybe it would be a good idea to be more sleek and simplified and modern to really show off the program itself,” McNamara explained.

The reigning World Junior Champions used the frenetic rise and fall of the rock rhythms to accent their technical elements and earned five Level 4 marks, but an unfortunate fall in the diagonal step sequence resulted in a Level 1 and a 1.00 deduction. The program scored 93.19 points; both dances received a total 163.63.

Chloe Lewis & Logan Bye skated to a George Gershwin medley that included “Rhapsody in Blue”, “Embraceable You” and “I’ve got Rhythm”. The team won the pewter medal, their first as juniors at the US National Championships; they were 2013 Novice Champions.

The 2015/16 Youth Olympics silver medalists earned Level 4 for the spin, lifts, and twizzles, while the footwork received levels 2 and 3. The segment score was 87.83 and together both programs earned a 148.43 total score.

Caroline Green & Gordon Green, moved up to fifth place. Their straight-line lift, combination spin, and twizzles were all Level 4; the footwork earned Level 2. The WISA trained team danced to a medley from the Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill soundtracks and scored 79.28. The total was 129.82.

Eliana Gropman & Ian Somerville were sixth with a dance to music from Le Petit Prince that earned 74.95. The total score was 127.90.