by Anne Calder | Photos by Daphne Backman
In the 1990s, the juvenile and intermediate levels began competing at an event called the U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships. In 2013, for the first time, they joined the novice, junior and senior groups at the U.S. Nationals in Omaha, Nebraska.
Both the 2018 juvenile and intermediate programs consisted of two pattern dances and a free dance.
Recap: Juvenile ice dance event
The 2018 juvenile podium included: Jenna Hauer & Benjamin Starr (gold), Zoe Sensenbrenner & Matthew Sperry (silver), Kristina Bland & Gabriel Francis (bronze), and Emma L’Esperance & Mika Amdour (pewter).
- Hauer & Starr won gold with a total 83.84 total score. Skating at their first US Nationals they were first in the Foxtrot, fourth in the Cha Cha and first in the free dance to music from The Artist. Svetlana Kulikova, Denys Latyshev and Mathew Gates are their coaches.
- Sensenbrenner & Sperry (pictured) were second in the Foxtrot, ninth in the Cha Cha, and second in the free dance to selections from Zorba the Greek. Their silver medal total was 69.51. Alexei Kiliakov, Elena Novak, Dmytri Ilin, and Ramil Sarkulov coach the new team.
- Bland & Francis won bronze with a third in the Foxtrot, second in the Cha Cha, and third in the free dance to a Michael Jackson medley. In their second season together, they scored a total 68.59. Paul Bellantuono, Natalia Annenko-Deller, and Anjelika Krylova are their coaches.
- L’Esperance & Amdour were sixth in the Foxtrot, fourth in the Cha Cha and fourth in the free dance to “Gimme That Swing”. In their second season together, they won pewter with a 68.48 total.
Recap: Intermediate ice dance event
The 2018 intermediate podium included: Elliana Peal & Ethan Peal (gold), Clair Cain & Andrei Davydov (silver), Anna Gissibi & Alexander Colucci (bronze), Nastia Efimova & Jonathan Zhao (pewter).
- Peal & Peal claimed the gold medal with level 4 in all their elements and a 96.01 total score. The siblings were third in both the Tango and Fourteenstep and first in the free dance to music from Beetlejuice. The team placed third in the Juvenile division at the 2017 U.S. Nationals. Their father, former national ice dance competitor, Robert Peal, coaches the team.
- Cain & Davydov (pictured) were first in the Tango, second in the Fourteenstep and second in the free dance to “Nocturne” and “Reel” by Secret Garden with a 91.59 total score. The team, who has been together since 2013, moved up from sixth in the intermediate division at the 2017 U.S. Nationals and is coached by Alexei Kiliakov, Elena Novak, Dmytri Ilin and Ramil Sarkulov.
- Gissibi & Colucci were second in the Tango, first in the Fourteenstep and third in the free dance to “Good Morning Baltimore” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from the musical Hairspray. The total at their first U.S. Nationals was 90.74. Slava Uchitel is their coach.
- Efimova & Zhao were fourth in Tango, Fourteenstep and free dance, which they skated to “Dark Eyes” by Andre Rieu. The total was 86.42. Nathan Truesdell coaches the team who competed in their third U.S. Nationals.