Short Dance Recap
by IDC Staff

The Detroit Skating Club’s Alexandra Aldridge & Daniel Eaton added another national gold medal to their collection by winning the 2012 U.S. junior title, two years after capturing the novice title. Aldridge & Eaton won both phases of the competition with a total score of 142.10. Winning their second consecutive silver medal at this event were Lauri Bonacorsi & Travis Mager, who claimed second in both phases of the competition, scoring 133.73. A pair of teams from the Washington Figure Skating Club rounded out the podium, with Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter winning bronze, and the pewter medal going to Rachel Parsons & Michael Parsons.

In the short dance, Aldridge & Eaton finished just over one point ahead of Bonacorsi & Mager, setting up a great race for the title in the free dance.

Aldridge & Eaton, with a score of 54.42, won the components mark, but lost the technical mark due in part to their twizzles being downgraded to level 2. The team received level 3s for both Cha Cha Congelado patterns and a level 4 for their straightline lift.

In second with 53.39 points, Bonacorsi & Mager (pictured, right) had a higher technical mark than Aldridge & Eaton and received levels 4 and 1 on their Cha Cha patterns, level 4 on their lift, and level 3 on their twizzles and step sequence.

Fresh off their journey from the Youth Olympic Games in Austria, the Parsons siblings scored 50.80 in their short dance to finish third. Their Cha Cha patterns were scored level 3 and their step sequence was level 2, while their lift and twizzles received level 4.

Close behind in fourth were McNamara & Carpenter with 49.11 points. McNamara & Carpenter’s short dance went around the traditional Latin feel and emphasized their youthful exuberance. McNamara was particularly memorable in bright red go-go boot costuming. They earned level 3 on their Cha Cha patterns and twizzles, level 2 on their midline, and level 4 on their lift.

Madeline Heritage & Nathaniel Fast finished fifth with 48.82 points and the mathematical chance to move up to the medals in the free dance.

Free Dance Recap
by IDC Staff

Aldridge & Eaton (pictured, below) skated a high-energy performance to music from “Lord of the Dance/Riverdance.” They scored in the 7-point range for their program components and had a 1.5-point edge in the technical mark over Bonacorsi & Mager. Five of their elements were graded level 4.

“This free dance was probably our favorite to compete so far because it had so much energy and the crowd was great,” Alridge said. “They were clapping along the whole time and it was a very special moment for Daniel and me to have skated such a great program.”

In second, Bonacorsi & Mager’s performance to “Close to You” by Sandra and Tony Alessi was expressive and elegant, and the team received 6s in the program components. Five of their elements received level 4, while both step sequences were marked as level 3.

“We were really happy with how we skated this week,” Bonacorsi said. “We thought we got a clean start with the short dance and then the free dance. We put our heart into it and really enjoyed skating.”

“One of my favorite things about skating is skating with Lauri and when we get to skate together, especially in front of crowds,” Mager said. “It really brings us to our best as people, and I really thought that we made a great connection together.”

McNamara & Carpenter, the youngest competitors in the junior field, snagged the bronze medal and scored 126.10 overall with a dynamic performance to a modern arrangement of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” The young team, who finished ninth in 2011, has already been skating together for six seasons.

“It felt great to be able to entertain everybody, especially for our short dance, to be able to put on an act together,” McNamara said. “We’ve been skating together for so long that it’s just like one of us really.”

“We like to think of each other as one,” Carpenter added. “We’re not two separate people doing things; we’re constantly always dancing with each other. and San Jose has been a really great experience for us. It’s been really fun.”

The duo swapped places with their training partners, Parsons & Parsons, in the free dance. The Parsons siblings matched their fourth-place ranking from the Youth Olympics last week with an overall score of 123.26. The pewter medalists were ranked third in program components, but lost ground on the technical elements, where both of their footwork sequences were level 2.

World Junior Championship Team

U.S. Figure Skating has assigned Aldridge & Eaton to their first World Junior Championships team, along with Bonacorsi & Mager, who finished 11th at the event in 2011. With McNamara & Carpenter being too young to represent the U.S. until next season, Rachel & Michael Parsons will fill the final spot on the team. Alternates to the team are Madeline Heritage & Nathaniel Fast (first), Kaitlin Hawayek & Michael Bramante (second) and Amanda Bertsch & Sam Kaplun (third).