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Showstopping performance lifts Palmeri to title

Alsup defends ladies crown; Former national competitor Roth takes silver
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Daniel Palmeri credited his years as a show skater with Disney on Ice with helping him win the championship masters junior-senior men's crown. -Jay Adeff

Daniel Palmeri (Onyx-Suburban Skating Academy) was in a class by himself Saturday night, easily winning the championship masters junior-senior men's event at the 2017 U.S. Adult Championships in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

Palmeri, a former professional show skater with Disney on Ice, skated to Sia's version of "Unforgettable" and "One Day I'll Fly Away" from Moulin Rouge. With a performance that featured an effortless double axel and a triple salchow-double toe loop combination, Palmeri earned the gold medal with 66.79 points.

One of the few adult competitors to have a triple jump in his arsenal, Palmeri attributes his big jumps to his professional show experience, which ended in 2013.

"When I skated with Disney on Ice, we did so many shows where I didn't even think about it," he said. "To be honest, I've never shown up (at this competition) like, 'Oh, I got this.' Everyone is very talented, and skating is much more than a triple."

Grant Chien-Hao Huang (Kansas City FSC) also put in a strong performance, scoring 53.35 points while skating to Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You." Huang doubled down on his double jumps (lutz, salchow, flip, toe) and skated clean throughout.

He was followed by David Grindstaff (Burnsville-MN Valley FSC), who took home the bronze medal with 48.18 points. Grindstaff performed to a selection from the Broadway musical Hamilton, which he plans to flesh out even more next season.

Championship masters junior-senior ladies

Regan Alsup (Detroit SC) gave a performance that featured effortless jumps and smooth transitions en route to defending her championship masters junior-senior ladies title.

"I've been skating really well lately," said Alsup, who generated an event-best 66.46 points. "I think it's some of the best skating I've ever done in my life. I felt confident coming out today. Sometimes that means more pressure, but when I got out there, I was feeling real calm and just kind of let my body do what it knows how to do."

Alsup, who lives and trains in Washington, D.C., beat her sectionals score by more than six points. She performed to Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up."

"I just love the music and program," she said. "It's funny because when I get toward the end, there's a point where he says, 'I won't give up, I'm tough enough,' which I use to channel me through the program."

Stephanie Roth (Jersey Coast FSC) also bettered her sectionals mark by six points, and the former national competitor earned the silver with a score of 65.24.

"It was my goal to beat my sectional score and let the chips fall where they may after that," Roth said.

Jaclyn Yacomes-Metzler (Washington FSC), the winner of this event in 2015, took the bronze with 54.22 points.