Sunday, August 23, 2009

Abbott among impressive field at DuPage Open

The DuPage Figure Skating Club, home club to world champion Evan Lysacek, hosted its annual summer competition Aug. 13-16. Some of the top skaters in the country joined together to compete at the Twin Rinks Pavilion in Buffalo Grove, Ill.

The junior ladies event was a hotly contested one, with U.S. junior ladies champion DeeDee Leng, up-and-coming star Agnes Zawadzki and U.S. novice ladies silver medalist Mary Beth Marley competing for the title.

Zawadzki amazed the crowd with a flawless short program Friday evening. She performed an impressive triple Lutz combo followed by a triple flip that was beautifully executed. She set a new high score of 59.04 for herself. Marley, skating at her home club, finished second in the short with 49.62 points, and Leng placed third, landing a gorgeous triple Lutz but failing to land the ensuing triple flip. Zawadzki's free skate was just as pleasing as her short, as she finished with a score of 102.18, far and away the best in the event. Club mate Marissa Secundy was second with 75.06 points. Marley was third in the free skate (71.35), and Leng was sixth (65.89).

Shocking herself, Kayla Howey took the senior ladies title in both segments. She skated a dramatic short program, completing a solid triple toe-double toe combination. She also performed an interesting free skate, the main highlight of which was an inside edge spiral. She scored 81.63 points in the free skate and took home the sizable first-place cup. Alexe Gilles finished second with 44.50 points in the short and 80.90 in the free skate. She landed a solid triple loop-double toe combination in the free skate.

In men's competition, Eliot Halverson skated a clean short and had a nine-point lead heading into the free skate Sunday afternoon. He competed as a junior in order to prepare for his upcoming Junior Grand Prix assignment. In the free skate, Jason Brown completed six triple jumps as well as an astounding triple toe-triple toe halfway through the program. He took the lead, scoring 111.39 points, with Joshua Farris behind him in second with 97.46. Halverson finished third with a program that was not nearly skated to its potential. Despite his setbacks, Halverson still pleased the crowd with his unique style of skating.

An intriguing group of senior men tested their new programs. Triple Axel attempts flooded the ice, and Ryan Bradley nailed the quad toe in his free skate. He pulled into first after placing third in the short with a program rife with character.

Jeremy Abbott made an appearance with his new coaches. He won the short by five points over former club mate Brandon Mroz but ended up second in the free skate. Mroz pulled off a triple flip-double toe-double loop combination.

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