Ice Network

Lake overcomes loop troubles to win novice men's

Lin skates clean, takes novice ladies; Asher, Dennler rally for pairs gold
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Max Lake won the novice men's crown in Salt Lake City on Friday. -Jay Adeff

Jessica Lin and Max Lake each rose to the top of their respective novice fields Friday at the 2017 Novice and Junior Challenge Skate in Salt Lake City.

Ladies

Lin turned her 1.45-point lead after the short into a 7.35-point victory, skating a clean free to "Waltz of the Rain." With no deductions and the highest technical elements score (TES) of the event, Lin secured 93.45 for the segment and 140.61 for the week.

"It feels good to be champion because I didn't expect to win," Lin said. "I like how I felt on the ice today. I felt good. This was definitely a good experience for me."

En route to a TES of 57.23, Lin executed six triple jumps and two Level 4 spins, with only two of her 10 elements receiving negative Grades of Execution.

In second place after the short program, Stephanie Ciarochi held on to the silver medal after earning 87.55 points for her free skate to the music of Rachmaninoff. She posted a program components mark of 38.72 -- the highest of the event -- which lifted her to an overall score of 133.26 points.

Beverly Zhu pulled up from a fourth-place finish in the short program to take second in the free and claim the bronze. Zhu earned 88.54 points for her routine to music from Miss Saigon and finished with a final score of 132.50.

Men's

Maintaining his lead after the short program, Lake turned in a 90.94-point free skate to "Elgar Concerto." He held on to the top spot despite a fall on the third jumping element of his performance, a triple loop.

"I've been struggling with loop for the past few days," Lake said. "I got it back last week, but I'm just not over my right hip. I need to work on it when I get back to training. Today, I took things one element at a time and I didn't let the loop phase me."

Recent loop struggles aside, Lake successfully completed five triple jumps, including a triple toe-half loop-triple salchow worth a segment-best 10.73 points. He finished the week with an overall score of 141.72.

Goku Endo, second after the short, fell to fourth place in the segment, allowing Lucas Altieri to claim the silver medal. Altieri, who earned 88.97 for the segment and 132.49 overall, completed four jumping passes in the second half of his "Hey You" free skate.

Endo, who performed his free skate to the song "Roxanne," finished with 131.13 points, the highest PCS of the event (45.80) and the bronze medal.

With a score of 126.95, Daniel Argueta finished fourth, but he did turn in the second-best free skate of the day (89.44 points).

Pairs

In second place after the short program, Hilary Asher and Nathan Dennler pulled up to the top spot after turning in a solid free skate to music from Sleeping Beauty. The duo made up a 1.11-point deficit after Thursday's competition to earn gold with 105.14 points.

"I think we have a lot of fun with our short, but I think our free skate is usually more solid," Dennler said. "We just stayed focused and took it one element at a time."

The duo stayed focused enough to cleanly complete a throw triple salchow, side-by-side double lutz-half loop-double salchow combinations and two Level 4 spins, en route to a segment score of 67.91.

Isabelle Goldstein and Keyton Bearinger, the leaders after the short program, took home the silver medal after botching both of their side-by-side jumps in their Phantom of the Opera free skate. The pair finished the week less than a point behind the champions, amassing a total score of 104.20 points.

Georgia Bush and Timmy Chapman earned 56.21 points for their Elvis Presley free skate, ending the event with 88.54 points and the bronze medal.