Ice Network

Donlan, Bartholomay crush pairs field in The Hague

Peng, Hiwatashi earn junior titles; Dolkiewicz, Marvaldi take pairs bronze
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First-year team Gretchen Donlan and Nathan Bartholmay (middle) won the senior pairs gold medal by more than 28 points. -Tamie Campbell

Team USA took home four medals from the 2015 Challenge Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

Gretchen Donlan and Nathan Bartholomay, Team USA's lone senior entry, marked their international debut with a 28.65-point win in pairs over Great Britain's Caitlin Yankowskas and Hamish Gaman. The Ellenton, Florida,-based team totaled 157.58 points for the weekend.

Donlan and Bartholomay were the only team to break the 100-point mark for the free skate, tallying 104.12 points. Their "Clair de Lune" performance featured a trio of Level 4 lifts.

Minerva-Fabienne Hase and Nolan Seegert of Germany earned the bronze.

Tomoki Hiwatashi, who trains in the greater Chicago area, struck the first gold of the event. Hiwatashi put out two solid performances and won both phases of the junior men's competition.

Both of Hiwatashi's programs included triple-triple combinations: His "Take5/Unsquare Dance" short was highlighted by a triple flip-triple toe, and his Barber of Seville free skate featured a 10.80-point triple Lutz-triple toe. 

"I'm very proud of my gold medal in this competition," Hiwatashi said. "I'm a little disappointed in my mistake in the free skate (a fall on his triple Lutz) but will continue to try my best to skate clean programs."

Juho Pirinen of Finland claimed the silver, while Spain's Hector Alonso finished with the bronze.

Boston's Rebecca Peng moved up from second after the short program to take the junior ladies gold in her international debut. The short program leader, Germany's Annika Hocke, finished off the podium in fourth, while Kyarha Van Tiel of the Netherlands and Belgium's Loena Hendrickx won silver and bronze, respectively.

Peng's free skate, set to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, was highlighted by a pair of Level 4 spins and four jumping passes in the second half of the program.

U.S. junior pair Gabriella Marvaldi and Cody Dolkiewicz were out of the medals after the short program, but they rallied in the free to win the bronze medal with 105.64 points. The top two teams, Ami Koga and Francis Boudreau-Audet, and Renata Oganesian and Mark Bardei, represented Japan and Ukraine, respectively.

Marvaldi and Dolkiewicz performed a Planes free skate that included side-by-side double Lutzes and two Level 4 spins.

Dolkiewicz said, "This has been such a fun experience. One of the coolest parts was to see and meet all the international competitors from all over the world. I will never forget it and can't wait to do it again."