Day 1 at the Indy Challenge

Ellen Price
Dylan Moscovitch and Kirsten Moore-Towers

A number of pairs teams representing the U.S. and Canada competed their short programs at the 2012 Indy Challenge today.

Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch won the senior short program with a score of 56.49. Felicia Zhang and Nate Bartholomay of the U.S. placed second with 51.27.

Moore-Towers and Moscovitch made two minor mistakes in the short — he put his hand down on the side-by-side triple toe and she put her hand down on the throw triple loop. Nonetheless, both were pleased with their performance.

“We’re definitely happy,” Moscovitch said. “From week to week, it’s definitely improving.”

America’s Lindsay Davis and Mark Ladwig began skating together only two months ago. They skated to “One Republic” by Piano Keys and placed third at Indy Challenge with 49.86 points after completing strong side-be-side triple Salchows and a triple twist.

Davis said that even though she only recently began skating with Ladwig, they came to Indy Challenge this year because they wanted to compete with the top teams from the U.S. and Canada early in the season.

Gretchen Donlan and Andrew Speroff, last season’s pewter medalists at the U.S. Championships, placed fourth with a score of 49.72.

Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers of Canada placed sixth in the short program with 49.49 points. They skated to music from “Robin and Marion.”

Although they made technical mistakes, (Lawrence falling on her triple toe and throw triple Salchow), Lawrence said she said was proud of the improvements in their program components.

“We’ve always been a really strong technical team, so (the program components) have really been our focus this summer,” she said. “I think we definitely showed some improvement, but now we need to go and put that technical side back in.”

Marissa Castelli described her short program with partner Simon Shnapir as “uncharacteristic." The duo made mistakes on the side-by-side triple Salchows and the death spiral. Castelli and Shnapir placed seventh with 47.01 to a mix of music from “Stray Cat Strut” and “Pink Panther.”

“We’ve been skating really well in practice and feeling really good about the program,” Castelli said. “But today, we must have just have hit the fast forward switch and went too fast.”

The new U.S. team of Dee Dee Leng and Timothy LeDuc who train in Indianaopolis, placed ninth in their debut with a score of 43.13. Leng, the 2009 junior ladies champion, began skating pairs only five weeks ago.

Leng and LeDuc decided to register for only the short program. They executed strong triple toes and a throw triple Salchow. “For our first competition, this is really exciting,” Leng said. “Hopefully, it’ll just get better and better.”

In the junior pairs short program, the new pair team of Brittany Jones and Ian Beharry representing Canada impressed the crowd with their short program to Egyptian and Indian music, earning 44.88 points.

The duo executed a huge throw triple Salchow and clean double Axels but received a one point deduction for Jones’s unexpected fall in the footwork. “It’s definitely a step up since last week in Detroit,” Beharry said.

Skating to music from “Sing, Sing, Sung,” Caitlin Fields and Jason Pacini placed a close second with 44.58 points. “I thought it was a good first run-through for the competition season,” Pacini said. “We had a few trips, but those were expected since it’s our first time with this program.”

Olivia Oltmans and Joshua Santillan, who will be competing at the Junior Grand Prix event in Lake Placid, scored 33.28 points and placed 10th place after a disappointing short program.