Day 2 at the Indy Challenge

Ellen Price
Kloe Bautista and partner Tyler Harris withdrew from the long. Bautista fractured her shoulder in the short program.

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch continued their winning ways today, claiming victory in the senior long program with a personal best score (127.44). The duo also earned solid grades of execution for all of their elements.

“This is a huge step for us,” Moscovitch said. “Our goal for this competition was to come out and attack everything. It worked well for us.”

Their clean performance to instrumental music from Queen earned them a standing ovation from fellow competitors and family members. “It’s nice that we competed how we’ve been training,” Moore-Towers said. “We have been training this program well and pretty lights out for weeks now, so it’s nice to be able to show it to people.”

Despite a new personal best score for the long program, Moore-Towers said the pair plans to work on the quality, fluidity and connection in their program for upcoming competitions. “We’re always looking to make everything better,” she said. “So hopefully for the next competition, we will improve on our skate here and hopefully our score as well.”

Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir from the U.S. earned 102.95 points and claimed second place. Castelli said the team was pleased with the way they skated their tango long program overall. “We made some silly mistakes on the throws and triples, but we’re really happy that we redeemed ourselves from yesterday and skated well,” he said. “We have two brand new programs, so we’re glad that we got our base marks today, and we’re ready to push it harder now.”

Canada’s Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers placed third in the free skate with 101.32 points.

Coming into this competitive season, America’s Gretchen Donlan and Andrew Speroff decided to keep their long program from last season. Speroff said the team received a good response from the program last year and wanted to improve on it this year.

“With having the same long program, we know what to expect and when to breathe,” Speroff said. “We’re planning on making it stronger and stronger.”

After executing a huge triple twist at the beginning of their long program, Donlan and Speroff placed fourth with a score of 100.28. The team made mistakes on their side-by-side double Axels and both throws.

“We try not to have too many expectations going into the first competition,” Speroff said. “It might not have gone great, but we felt good out there. It’s a start, and it’s something to build on.”

Although Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay placed second in yesterday’s short program, the team had a disappointing performance today in their “West Side Story” long program. The American duo received two deductions for falls on their throw triple Salchow and throw triple Lutz to finish seventh with 94.49 points for their free skate.

“We tend to have really strong throws and really strong jumps,” Bartholomay said. “Unfortunately, we had some mistakes on those elements today. I’ve been sick the past couple of days, so we had a little bit of a strength issue toward the end of the program, but this competition is just another stepping stone.”

In yesterday’s short program, Kloe Bautista fractured her shoulder after a fall on a throw flip. Bautista and partner Tyler Harris withdrew from today’s long program.

The team is representing the Philippines this year. “It will be a new experience for both of us (representing the Philippines), and we’re really looking forward to it,” Harris said.

Bautista expects to be fully healed by November for the national championships.

In the junior pairs long program, Shalena Rau and Phelan Simpson skated to first place with 84.15 points. The Canadians received plus grades of execution on their triple twist and throw triple Salchow.

“We were just aiming for having fun, smiling and doing the best we can,” Rau said. “We weren’t really focusing on results. We were just focusing on what we were supposed to do.”

Brittany Jones and Ian Beharry placed second with 81.41 points. After the throw triple Salchow, Beharry’s toe-pick cut Jones’ leg. He carried her off the ice at the end of their program.

“I started not thinking at the end in the last few spins,” Beharry said. “We probably lost a few marks there, but overall, the program was well-skated and well-done.”