by Anne Calder | Photo by Daphne Backman

The Wheaton Ice Skating Academy (Rockville, MD) and Novi Ice Arena (Novi, MI) athletes shared the podium at the 2016 US Nationals Ice Dance Championships with Wheaton claiming gold/silver and Novi skaters taking home the bronze and pewter medals. 

Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter won their second straight US National Junior Ice Dance title and are only the fourth team to achieve that feat. Rachel Parsons & Michael Parsons won silver, their fifth US National medal. Elliana Pogrebinsky & Alex Benoit and repeated as bronze medalists, with Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko claiming their first U.S. Championships medal, pewter, after finishing fifth in 2015.

McNamara & Carpenter, 2015 Junior Grand Prix Champions, scored 96.62 points with a riveting performance to Carmen and were rewarded with level 4 twizzles, lifts, and spin. The team explained their reason for selecting the familiar music.

“Many other teams have skated to Carmen and what drew us to it the most is showing the characters and presenting the music,” McNamara explained.  “We thought of it as a challenge because it’s very mature music and it’s a good way to show that while we are young, we still have the maturity that the music requires.”

The total score was 170.04.

Parsons & Parsons danced to selections by Medialuna Tango Project and received level 4 for their twizzles, lifts and spin. The siblings were satisfied with the competition results.

“We’re really pretty happy about the way things turned out, Rachel said.  “Overall, we showed how much progress we’ve been making this year, and we had a great time here in St. Paul.”

The reigning JGPF bronze medalists were awarded 95.17 points for the program and a total 165.46 score.

Elliana Pogrebinsky & Alex Benoit danced to music from Romeo and Juliet – both the film soundtrack and the French musical. They earned level 4 twizzles, lifts and spin.  The team expressed its feelings about returning to Nationals for a second time as a team.

“We were really excited to come and show what we can do and just have fun on the ice together as a couple, and we think we achieved that this week,” Benoit voiced.

The 2015 US bronze medalists were awarded 89.96 points for the program and a 155.94 total score.

Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko were fifth in the free program, but had built a sufficient short dance lead to place fourth overall. The team danced to the gypsy music of Goran Bregovic and earned level 4 twizzles, lifts, and spin. The program scored 87.98 points.  The total score was 153.70.

The World Junior Championships team will be announced Sunday, January 24, 2016 at the Xcel Energy Center.