Golden Skate

Langlois and Hay take pairs title in Vancouver

Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay (QC) won their first senior national title with less than a point to spare. Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison (QC) rose from fifth to second place overall to settle for silver, while Meagan Duhamel and Craig Buntin (QC) took the bronze.

Dubé and Davison wove a spell over the audience in their routine to The Blower’s Daughter, easily placing first in the long with 120.54 points. Their focus on each other was so intense, it was almost palatable, and the only error came when Dubé fell on a throw triple Lutz.

“We’re pretty happy with our skate today,” said Davison. “It went very much as we had hoped it would, except of course, the throw Lutz. But we’re really happy winning the free after a short like that. I think it shows what we’re really made of and I think we’re going to learn from this. That’s the way we’re looking at it right now and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”

The 2007 champions also produced a very good double twist, solid side-by-side double Axel-double Axels (sequence) and triple Salchows, two level 4 spins, and three excellent lifts.With a total score of 174.86, they rose from fifth to second place overall.

“I was a bit scared,” admitted Dube, when asked about the possibility of not making world team. “But I had the singles and it gave me more confidence. We just wanted to do great in the long, and that’s what we did.”

“We had heard that it was really difficult from a lot of different view points,” said Davison, when asked what it felt like to chase the title as opposed to defending it. “Craig [Buntin] just talked to me earlier, and it’s true. It is very difficult. I don’t think we really realized it until after our short program. It’s a different feeling going in. It’s not that we buckled under pressure, we just had an uncharacteristic performance in the short and we were kind of dumfounded. But you have to fight from there and it’s what every athlete does.”

For the rest of the season, the team plans to focus on the quality rather than the quantity of their programs.

Langlois and Hay, who skated with confidence and joy, finished second in the long with 112.28 points. Skating to music from the Dr. Zhivago soundtrack, the team opened with a huge throw triple Salchow, followed by perfectly synchronized side-by-side triple toeloop-double toeloops. Langlois later put her hand down on the side-by-side triple Salchows (downgraded to double), but they otherwise produced a big throw triple flip and three very good lifts. With a total score of 175.01 points, the 2007 bronze medalists placed first overall by less than a point.

Langlois was visibly stunned when the marks came up. “It feels amazing,” said the 26-year-old.”We worked so hard all year. We didn’t have the Grand Prix season we wanted. We kept moving up, but we had a lot of adjustments to do all season.”

Duhamel and Buntin displayed beautiful speed, flow, and edging throughout their long program to Tosca, carrying the crowd with them as the program progressed. They opened with clean side-by-side triple toeloop-double toeloops, followed by an excellent Axel lift. Buntin doubled his jump on the side-by-side triple Salchows, but the team otherwise produced an excellent throw triple loop and throw triple Lutz, as well as very good level 3 straightline footwork and a level 4 spiral sequence. They earned 108.80 points, as well as an instant standing ovation from the audience, and placed third overall with (170.28 points.

“Today was awesome,” said Buntin. “Just to be out here after seven months together… we’ve worked so hard to get to this point. To come out and really perform like a pair and get on the podium and get to Worlds. We set a pretty hefty plan for ourselves when we got together, and this was the first step. It’s exactly where we needed to be and we’re really proud of ourselves.”

“Everything!” Buntin laughingly replied, when asked what they will be focusing on for the rest of the season. We have so much work to do. You know, Worlds are in, what? Two months? Four Continents in a couple of weeks… We have to put in four months worth of work in the next two months. Stroking, lines, edges, posture, expression… everything. And we’re prepared to do that work and come out even stronger at worlds.”

Rachel Kirkland and Eric Radford (CO), who stood in eighth after the short, finished fourth in the long (106.60 points) and rose to fifth place overall (157.06 points). The team, which carried the crowd with them, performed their routine to music from “X” (an anime series) with real intensity. The start of the program was soft and gentle and slowly built to a climax in the final lift. The highlights included a throw triple twist, two very good level 4 spins, and an excellent level 3 Axel lift. They also completed side-by-side triple Salchows, side-by-side double loop-double toeloops, and a clean throw triple Salchow.

Kyra Moscovitch and Dylan Moscovitch (WO) placed fifth in the long (103.75 points) and slipped to fourth overall (160.76 points). The brother-sister team delivered a solid routine to Scheherazade which featured a triple twist, synchronized side-by-side double Axel-double toeloops and side-by-side triple toeloops, a throw triple Salchow and triple Flip, excellent side-by-side flying camel combination spins, and good level 3 straightline footwork.

The team, which received a standing ovation, didn’t receive points for their second lift (toe overhead) as Dylan was ¼ rotation short of the minimum required rotations for a lift. Their speed, unison, and matching lines are unlike any other team, and they are are incredibly fast and in sync.

Jessica Miller and Ian Moram (BC/YT) slipped from fourth to sixth overall (153.92 points) after placing sixth (98.31 points) in the long. The team attempted a throw quadruple Salchow, but Miller put her hand down on the landing and fell out of it. She later fell out of a throw triple loop as well. Moram but his hand down on the landing of his jump in the side-by-side triple toeloops, while Miller doubled hers.

Despite the errors, Miller and Moram have shown a marked improvement in their presentation and interpretation of music. Their unison and and how they relate to each other was also noted.

Mylène Brodeur and John Mattatall (NS) maintained seventh place overall (153.92 points), while Taylor Steele and Christopher Richardson (WO) slipped to ninth (137.07 points).

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