pcloudy.png
Sunday July 3rd, 2022 2:02PM

Cain-Gribble and LeDuc top Calalang and Johnson in pairs

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc laid down a dazzling pairs program that Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson were unable to match Saturday night, giving them the title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships — and almost certainly one of the two spots at next month's Olympics.

Cain-Gribble and LeDuc led Calalang and Johnson by two points after their short program, and the 2019 champions nailed every element from an opening triple twist to an incredible finishing death spiral to finish with 225.23 points.

That put them well ahead of Calalang and Johnson, who couldn't overcome three mistakes in the first half of their program to catch up. They finished in second place with 209.87 points with Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov in third.

“I don't have a lot of words. It's just crazy,” Cain-Gribble said. “We've visualized this moment so many times and to have done a performance like that, and the whole week the way it went — it's just surreal.”

Unlike the other disciplines at the Beijing Games, the Americans only qualified two spots in pairs. One of them is expected to go to Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, who are petitioning for a spot after the favorites were forced to withdraw from the national championships when he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.

That left Cain-Gribble and LeDuc in a showdown with Calalang and Johnson for the other spot on the team.

“I feel like we created a really strong body of work going into this competition,” LeDuc said. “We hope what we did here was confirmation of that. And we have room to grow at the Olympics.”

Likely left off the team will be runners-up Calalang and Johnson.

““The way it was explained to us is a lot more emphasis is on nationals, but they still take into account the whole season. Like 70 (percent) to 30, which I think is a good system,” Johnson said. "You can have an amazing season, win two Grand Prix and medal at the Grand Prix Final, then come to nationals and get third, a fluke or something. I think that should weigh into it. Good system.”

Earlier in the day, men's competitor William Hubbart and ice dancers Raffaella Koncius and Alexey Shchepetov withdrew following positive COVID-19 tests. They joined two-time U.S. champion Alysa Liu, Amber Glenn and defending pairs champ Knierim and Frazier in sitting out at least a portion of the competition due to the virus.

Like Knierim and Frazier, Liu petitioned U.S. Figure Skating for a spot in Beijing. She was chosen by a committee Saturday along with U.S. champ Mariah Bell and runner-up Karen Chen, who will appear in her second Olympics.

“I'm really excited. I've basically been training forever for this moment,” said Liu, adding that she felt fine health-wise, “and I'm really happy (with) the decisions I've made, because apparently they were all pretty good ones. I'm here right now.”

Also making some good decisions? Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou.

Chen began pursuit of his sixth consecutive national title by setting a record of 115.39 points during his quad-tacular short program. Zhou followed with a personal-best 112.78 points that included a quad lutz-triple toe loop.

“This is up there,” Chen said, when asked how his program stacked up historically. “There's been amazing performances done over the history of skating. I can't say it's definitive, but certainly during my career it's one of the standout few.”

___

More AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Intel reports repeatedly failed to forecast Capitol riot
Intelligence reports compiled by the U.S. Capitol Police in the days before last year’s insurrection envisioned only an improbable or remote risk of violence
8:28PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Cain-Gribble and LeDuc top Calalang and Johnson in pairs
Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc laid down a dazzling pairs program that Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson were unable to match Saturday night
8:19PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Tshiebwe, Washington help No. 16 Kentucky top Georgia 92-77
Oscar Tshiebwe had a career-high 29 points and 17 rebounds, TyTy Washington Jr. added a school-record 17 assists with 17 points and No. 16 Kentucky shot 63% after halftime to pull away from Georgia for a 92-77 victory
8:14PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Liu joins Bell, Chen on US figure skating team for Olympics
Alysia Liu has joined U.S. champion Mariah Bell and runner-up Karen Chen on the American figure skating team for the Beijing Olympics
7:01PM ( 1 hour ago )
Browns place Pro Bowl corner Ward on COVID-19 reserve list
Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward has been placed on the COVID-19 reserve list and will miss Sunday’s season finale against Cincinnati
6:49PM ( 2 hours ago )
Chen back on game, soars to short program win at nationals
Clearly back on his game, Nathan Chen set a short program record at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Saturday
6:44PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Intel reports repeatedly failed to forecast Capitol riot
Intelligence reports compiled by the U.S. Capitol Police in the days before last year’s insurrection envisioned only an improbable or remote risk of violence
8:28PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Bolton's fumble return sparks Chiefs' 28-24 win over Broncos
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 28-24 on Saturday thanks to an 86-yard fumble return by linebacker Nick Bolton in the fourth quarter that put them ahead for good
8:19PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Tshiebwe, Washington help No. 16 Kentucky top Georgia 92-77
Oscar Tshiebwe had a career-high 29 points and 17 rebounds, TyTy Washington Jr. added a school-record 17 assists with 17 points and No. 16 Kentucky shot 63% after halftime to pull away from Georgia for a 92-77 victory
8:14PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Flagler, No. 1 Baylor rally past TCU for 21st straight win
Adam Flagler rallied No. 1 Baylor with 18 of his 22 points in the second half, and the Bears extended their national-best winning streak to 21 games with a 76-64 victory over TCU
7:58PM ( 56 minutes ago )
Column: State on edge as Bulldogs try to end 41-year drought
It’s been 41 long years since Georgia captured its only national championship
7:39PM ( 1 hour ago )