Dornbush, Hu capture titles at U.S. CollegiatesBlue Hen Criss wins junior ladies; UCCS's Neudecker tops junior men
Earning a total score of 139.54 and the senior ladies title at the 2014 U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships was Jessica Hu of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Skating to Lawrence of Arabia, Hu's program was highlighted by a solid triple loop-double loop combination, double Axel-double toe-double loop, triple loop and triple Salchow.
"I am pleased with how I skated and that I was able to have this chance to skate for my college in such a fun, relaxing environment," Hu said.
Skating to "I Love You" and "In A Moment Of Greatness" was Katie McBeath of the Cuyahoga Community College. McBeath, second after short, opened the program with a solid double flip, before executing a nice triple Lutz. That was followed by a triple loop-double toe, triple loop and a huge double Axel. She earned the silver medal and a total score of 135.64.
McBeath said, "That was the most triples I have ever done in a program, and I am so excited it happened here. Being here with the other student-athletes was so much fun and relaxing -- I am glad I entered the competition."
Harvard freshman Yasmin Siraj secured the bronze medal with a combined total score of 129.70 for her routine to music from Alicia Keys and "Listen" by Beyoncé.
"I enjoyed my time at collegiates and getting to know the other skaters who are also balancing school and skating," Siraj said. "I know I did not skate my best, but I am pleased for this to be the start to my season, and I look forward to building on this in the coming months."
Earning the pewter medal with a combined score of 125.46 was Isabelle Dow, a freshman at Boston College.
University of California San Diego's Richard Dornbush maintained his commanding lead following the short program to capture the senior men's title. Performing a brilliant free skate to "Viva La Vida," Dornbush amassed a total score of 211.56, more than 77 points ahead of his closest competitor. Dornbush displayed tremendous power, superb edge quality and effective choreography throughout his free skate.
After opening the program with a double toe, Dornbush landed a huge triple Axel, followed by a double Lutz. Other completed jump elements included a triple Lutz-double toe-double loop combination, triple loop and triple Salchow. He also earned Level 4 on his step sequence and flying spin.
"I enjoyed being at the collegiate championships and to have had the chance to compete with other student-athletes," Dornbush said. "The event was especially significant since I was able to bring together two passions of mine: academics and figure skating. What a fun weekend and experience!"
Daniel Palmeri from Macomb Community College finished the event with a total score of 133.55 and the silver medal. Highlights of Palmeri's program, skated to "Clair de Lune" and On Golden Pond, included a solid triple toe-double toe, triple Salchow-double toe and a pair of double Axels.
"I'm pleased to have performed so well in front of the hometown audience," Palmeri said. "I really wanted to do well for everyone here and am pleased with how the weekend went."
Finishing in third place with a total score of 113.43 was Alexander Newman of Wayne State University. His free skate opened with a nice triple toe-double toe combination and also included a double Axel and a well-performed step sequence and flying spin, each of which earned Level 3.
Rounding out the podium in fourth, with a total score of 68.46, was Matthew Essigmann from Davis College.
Kathleen Criss of the University of Delaware dazzled the crowd and judges alike en route to winning the junior ladies title with a total score of 87.76.
Criss' program to "Dark Eyes" and "Two Guitars" contained a nice double Lutz-double toe combination, double flip-half loop-double Salchow, double Lutz, double flip and double loop.
"I am very pleased with how I skated and to have had the opportunity to compete here at collegiates," Criss said. "Competing under IJS again was a test run for me after a season in 6.0, so I am pleased with how it went. The experience was made better by me having my University of Delaware teammates here cheering me on as fellow competitors."
Amber Guizzotti, a sophomore from John Carroll University, skated an expressive free skate to capture the silver medal with a total score of 71.28. Guizzotti executed a nice double Salchow, double flip and double loop.
College of Charleston's Jacquelin Zimmerman earned a total score of 71.16 and the bronze medal. Zimmerman skated to music from Sherlock Holmes and Cirque du Soleil's "Corteo." Her program included a huge double flip and a fast combination spin that garnered a Level 3.
Bridget Race, an incoming freshman at Michigan State University, took home the pewter medal with an overall score of 64.60.
Danny Neudecker of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs maintained his commanding short program lead and secured the win with a total score of 136.36. Neudecker executed a huge triple Axel and a solid triple toe, and earned Level 3 for his combination spin.
Securing the silver with a total score of 92.29 was Kevin Wu from Texas A&M University. Skating to Edvin Marton's "Fanatico," Wu's program contained a triple toe, big double flip and nice double Axel.
Rounding out the podium in third, with a combined score of 77.87, was Scott Brody of the University of Michigan. Highlights of Brody's program included a nice double flip-double toe combination, double Salchow and double loop.