Ice Network

Team USA wins three disciplines at Ice Challenge

Miller rallies to take ladies title; Razzano wins gold; Shibutanis top dance
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Hannah Miller claimed the ladies title at the 2014 Ice Challenge. -Jay Adeff

Members of Team USA traveled to Graz, Austria, this week for the 2014 Ice Challenge, earning the top spot in three-of-four disciplines.

Two-time and reigning U.S. bronze medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani took the title in ice dance, while their compatriots, Hannah Miller and Douglas Razzano, topped the podium in the ladies and men's events. Lina Fedorova and Maxim Miroshkin of Russia won the pairs gold.

Ladies

In fourth place after the short program, Miller turned in a solid free skate to win the event with 156.39 points. Her performance, set to "Perseverance" by Michelle McLaughlin and "Illumination" by Jennifer Thomas, included seven triple jumps, four of which took place in the second half of the program to help earn the highlight distribution bonus. Although a double Axel-triple toe combination was downgraded and several of her jumps were penalized for under-rotation, Miller's Level 4 spins and step sequence lifted her to a segment score of 109.57 and her first senior international title.

Silver went to Isabelle Olsson of Sweden, who earned 152.85 points. Although Olson placed third in both segments of competition, a fourth-place free skate from bronze medalist Ivett Tóth of Hungary left the door open for Olson to finish in second. Tóth, who placed second in the short program, earned a combined score of 152.18 points.

Men

Representing Team USA for the fourth time this season, Razzano won his first senior international title with 199.92 points. In addition to completing seven triple jumps, his "Piano Concerto No. 2" free skate included a quadruple toe and a triple toe-triple toe combination in the second half of the program worth a program-high 9.86 points. Although he fell on his second triple Axel, Razzano's segment score of 134.43 was enough to pull him up from second place in the short to win the men's title.

Strong short programs established the rest of the podium, with Alexander Samarin of Russia and Martin Rappe of Germany earning silver and bronze, respectively. Samarin, who won the first segment, finished second with 196.92, while Rappe withstood a fourth-place free skate to place third with 180.66 points.

Pairs

Fedorova and Miroshkin proved themselves to be a force on the senior scene, winning the pairs title fresh off a pair of silvers from Germany and the Czech Republic in the Junior Grand Prix Series. Comfortably winning both segments of competition, a throw triple loop, triple twist and trio of Level 4 lifts in their free skate proved too much for their challengers, giving them the title by nearly 15 points. They earned 102.02 points in the final segment, en route to 157.80 overall.

In fourth place after the short program, Miriam Ziegler and Severin Kiefer of Austria pulled up to earn the silver with 142.56 points. Mari Vartman and Aaron Van Cleave of Germany, who placed second in the short, fell to bronze with 140.82 points.

Ice Dance

Adding to an already impressive medal haul for the 2014-15 season, which includes gold at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy and a pair of silvers from Skate America and Cup of China, the Shibutanis took the ice dance title by nearly 20 points. Their free dance, set to a selection of Waltzes by Strauss, featured eight elements, five of which earned a Level 4. They notched 100.96 points for the segment, en route to a personal-best 166.34 points.

Placing second in both segments of competition, Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen of Denmark earned silver with 147.06, while Barbora Silna and Juri Kurakin of Austria won the bronze with 129.58 points.