Hubbell and Donohue win ice dance at International Classic
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue were back on top of the podium Saturday night.
The reigning U.S. ice dance champions, who took silver at the world championships earlier this year, performed a solid free dance to a medley of songs from the 1996 film “Romeo and Juliet” to score a combined 197.42 points and win the U.S. International Classic.
Hubbell and Donohue, who finished fourth in ice dance at the Pyeongchang Olympics, outdistanced American teammates Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko by more than 23 points.
The Japanese team of Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto leaped the Canadian dance team of Haley Sales and Nikolas Wamsteeker in the free skate to earn bronze.
Satoko Miyahara, who led the women’s event after the short program, capped the final tuneup before the Grand Prix season by winning the free skate and cruising to the overall title.
The 20-year-old Japanese skater landed five triple jumps, including a triple flip-double toe-double loop combo to finish with 201.23 points. That left the world bronze medalist well clear of Eunsoo Lim, who scored 187.30, and fellow Korean skater Yelim Kim, who scored 175.65 to earn bronze.
Gabrielle Daleman, who helped Canada win team gold in Pyeongchang, was third after the short program but struggled to land the more difficult elements of her routine. She wound up with the seventh-best free skate, dropping her to sixth in the overall standings.
That was still better than the trio of American skaters. Courtney Hicks was seventh, followed by Akari Nakahara and Brynne McIsaac. Nakahara was making her debut in the challenger series.
Hubbell and Donohue will try to extend their momentum when they head to Skate America, the first stop on the Grand Prix circuit, in mid-October. They will be joined in Seattle by fellow U.S. Olympians Bradie Tennell, Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim, Vincent Zhou and Nathan Chen.
Miyahara, a two-time Grand Prix Final silver medalist, is also headed to Skate America.