Ice Network

Winning recipe: Rubke captures sixth U.S. title

Los Angeles skater lands eighth adult medal; Williams wins ladies gold
  • Ice Network on Facebook
  • Ice Network on Twitter
Michael Rubke skated his way to a sixth U.S. title Saturday at the 2018 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships. -Jay Adeff

Eight for eight. Michael Rubke (Los Angeles FSC) claimed his sixth U.S. title -- and eighth medal overall -- in the championship masters intermediate-novice men's event Saturday at the 2018 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

"This is my eighth trip -- sixth title and two silvers -- so I've medaled at every appearance," Rubke said. "But in the back of my mind, I was really for gunning for this one because this may, I believe, be a record. Nobody's ever done six championship titles in this novice event ever."

Even though he replaced his double loop with a single due to his late decision to continue competing this year, Rubke won the record-setting title with a new personal-best score of 48.53 for his performance to "Unchained Melody."

"I skate all year. I skate consistently, but to skate in a competitive mindset, it's different," he said.

To prepare mentally, Rubke treated each training session like a competition in the four weeks leading up the these championships, from doing a six-minute warmup, waiting off the ice, then running through his program.

Ken Ho of the Pittsburgh FSC and Eric Bilardi (Los Angeles FSC) tied in program component scores with 25.60, but Ho's technical mark of 17.31 gave him the edge for the silver medal. Bilardi won bronze with a total of 41.32.

Burton Powley (Central Iowa FSC), who has become a mainstay at the U.S. adult championships, added to his medal collection by capturing the pewter medal.

Championship Intermediate-Novice Ladies

Karissa Williams (Arctic FSC) took home the Championship Intermediate-Novice Ladies title, bringing to life music from a Disney favorite, The Lion King.

"I pretty much took the same program, but did it to different, more recognizable music," said Williams, who also wore the same dress as last year. "It was a little more on the artistic side."

At the 2017 Adult Championships, Williams finished second, performing to music from the movie Coming to America.

Williams, who coaches at the Arctic FSC in Canton, Michigan, netted a score of 43.52. She received a Level 4 on her opening flying camel spin and landed four double jumps, one in combination.

Stephanie Senterfit (Wyandotte FSC), who won the intermediate-novice crown in 2014 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, secured the silver medal with 39.58 points, which she earned while performing to music from The Great Gatsby soundtrack.

"I like the fun, peppy music," said Senterfit, who recorded the top program components of the event. "It gets me going, gives me energy and I enjoy skating to that. I want to bring the crowd into my skating."

Beth Delano (Philadelphia SC & HS) earned the bronze medal with 38.79 points, while last year's champion, Rachel Reynolds, claimed the pewter medal with 38.46 points.