Ice Network

Higuchi, Uno take control on Day One at Lombardia

Nagasu, Brown sit second after shorts; Marchei, Hotárek lead pairs
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Shoma Uno wasn't at his best Friday, but he still took a five-point lead over the field. -Getty Images

Japan's Wakaba Higuchi and Shoma Uno finished first in the short programs at the 2016 Lombardia Trophy in Bergamo, Italy, on Friday.


Higuchi opened up a lead of more than five points over runner-up Mirai Nagasu. The two-time world junior bronze medalist completed a triple lutz-triple toe and a triple flip in the second half of her program en route to a segment score of 66.66, beating her previous personal best by more than five points.

Nagasu had some problems during her short to Chopin's "Nocturne in C-sharp minor," falling on her opening triple flip and performing only a triple-double combination. She did, however, pull in the highest program components score (29.80) of any skater in the event. She enters Saturday's free skate with 61.29 points.

Korea's Na Hyun Kim, who led off her routine with a rare triple loop-triple loop combo, is in third with 59.58 points.


Uno took the lead with an 86.68-point short, although his effort was far from his best. Skating to "Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra," the 18-year-old Japanese skater fell on his opening quad flip attempt and followed that with a shaky quad toe-double toe combination. He also had problems with a spin later in the program. His performance was highlighted by a picture-perfect triple axel landed past the midway point.

Second place went to American Jason Brown, who posted a segment total of 81.58. He led off his "Appassionata" short with a fall on his quad toe but rebounded to land a triple axel and a triple flip-triple toe, the latter coming in the second half of the program.

Max Aaron had a disappointing outing of his "Nessun Dorma" short, two-footing the landing of his opening quad salchow and performing only a triple-double combination. He sits well back in third with 72.93 points.

The third U.S. man in Bergamo, Grant Hochstein, landed his opening quad toe-double toe but popped his axel in his "Rhapsody in Blue" short. His score of 64.95 landed him in fifth.


Valentina Marchei and Ondřej Hotárek took a one-point lead over countrymen Nicole della Monica and Matteo Guarise in a mistake-filled short, with each team suffering two falls in its program. Marchei fell on the team's opening side-by-side triple lutzes, and she also hit the ice on the duo's throw triple lutz. The former Italian champions finished with 59.40 points.

Things went similarly for the runners-up, as della Monica took a tumble on the team's side-by-side triple salchows, and she also failed to remain upright on the team's throw triple loop. The reigning Italian champions sit in second with a score of 58.22.

The third Italian team in the competition, Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini, performed the cleanest program of the day, and they sit in third with 55.20 points.

Americans Jessica Pfund and Josh Santillan slotted into fourth after tallying 49.18 points. They landed a clean set of side-by-side triple salchows.