Ice Network

The Inside Edge: Cain, LeDuc reenter pairs fray

New team to make debut at Cranberry Open; Navarro weds in Idaho
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With their well-matched heights and long lines, Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc look to make an elegant pair. -courtesy of Ashley Cain

Ashley Cain, who has experience in both singles and pairs, and veteran pairs skater Timothy LeDuc announced their partnership last week. The two will compete as a senior pair in the upcoming season, training with Cain's parents, Peter and Darlene, in Euless, Texas.

They paired their announcement with videos of nicely synchronized side-by-side double axels, triple salchows, triple loops and triple flips, and a nice throw triple salchow.

Cain, 20, competed at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships with Joshua Reagan in 2011 and 2012. Since then, she has focused on singles, most recently finishing 14th at the 2016 U.S. Championships. Leduc, 26, hasn't competed since finishing seventh at the 2014 U.S. Championships with former partner DeeDee Leng.

"Any time I went to a show or seminar where there was a pair guy, like John Coughlin, we would do some pair elements for fun," Cain said Sunday. "I always missed the feeling of being lifted."

Since splitting with Leng, LeDuc has busied himself performing with Willy Bietak Productions and Royal Caribbean cruise lines.

"I've spent the last two years amassing funds," he said.

U.S. Figure Skating played matchmaker, contacting Cain and Leduc and suggesting a tryout.

"Our tryout was a week ago, Thursday, May 19th," Cain said. "We spent a half day getting used to each other, doing lots of side-by-side jumps. We did some throws and lifts. We skated together all day Friday, talked to U.S. Figure Skating and made it official on Monday."

LeDuc moved to Texas last Thursday and is looking for a place to live. He plans to coach as well as train. Cain will continue her singles career and start college (online) at Texas Tech University in the fall.

Training singles and pairs is a familiar feeling for her.

"I did both for so long that when I stopped it felt very strange and I had so much time on my hands," she said. "As soon as Tim came, I went back in the mode of what I used to do."

On the phone, both skaters were giddy and giggly with excitement over the suddenness of the new partnership, and how well they matched up.

"We have long lines to work with, and flexibility as well, and we have an extensive singles background," LeDuc said. "We're both extroverts on the ice; we're very passionate performers."

"We really want to thank U.S. Figure Skating, especially Mitch Moyer and Justin Dillon, for everything they did for us," Cain said. "The feedback we've gotten is pretty incredible and made us very excited for this journey we'll have together."

Cain plans to compete in singles at the Broadmoor Open next month. She and LeDuc are aiming to make their debut as a pair at the Cranberry Open in Massachusetts, Aug. 10-13.

Navarro weds

After dating for more than 10 years, two-time U.S. bronze medal ice dancer Kim Navarro and Mark Freeman were married May 28 in Ketchum, Idaho. Navarro's skating partner, Brent Bommentre, and Skyliners coach Josh Babb were in the wedding party; skaters and skating folk Jeremy Abbott, Lisa Marie Allen, Karen Kresge, Doug Webster, Moira North, Stephanie Grosscup, Erin Reed, Joel Dear and Eve Chalom also attended.

Navarro wore a fringed white Alice + Olivia dress, festively covered with red poppy appliqués. A friend who flew in from Melbourne, Australia, married the couple. Navarro wore her grandmother's wedding ring, and said that seven hours of dancing were planned.

The couple is on their honeymoon in Iceland.

Cancer benefit

Richard Dornbush and Sean Rabbitt are set to headline a June 22 benefit at Schneider Arena on the campus of Providence College, hosted by the Providence & Pawtucket Figure Skating Club. Advance tickets are $8, going up to $12 the day of the show, with proceeds benefiting the Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Other performers in the show include Brooklee Han, Megan Wessenberg, Brad Vigorito and U.S. novice bronze medalist Maxim Naumov, 14, who won the advanced novice gold medal at the Gardena Trophy in April. The show starts at 7 p.m.

Wicked smaht

Former world junior ice dancing champion Morgan Matthews graduated from Wellesley College on May 27. She was a Davis Scholar, part of a program that admits a small number of non-traditional-aged students to Wellesley each year, with some financial assistance.

"The high professor/student ratio allowed me to connect with professors and further explore my passions," Matthews messaged. "Also, the all-female student body fosters the kind of intellectual environment that I thirsted for."

Matthews was an economics major and plans to go into finance.

"[I'm] staying in Boston for now," Matthews said. "I will coach a little, since I don't think I am capable of being completely disengaged from figure skating."

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