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Maxwell, Musademba win senior free skate groups

Maxwell places second at Liberty behind Fordham student

Kristine Musademba (left) sits with Angela Maxwell (right), winners of their respective free skate groups at Liberty on Saturday.
Kristine Musademba (left) sits with Angela Maxwell (right), winners of their respective free skate groups at Liberty on Saturday. (Lynn Rutherford)

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By Liz Leamy and Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(07/18/2009) - Angela Maxwell won her free skate group at the Liberty Summer Competition, earning 86.94 points for an outing that included three solid triples, a flying sit spin and superb layback to Biellmann spin.

Now if only she could remember her program.

"I just got my free skate re-done two days ago, and I forgot which jumps went where," said the bubbly 16-year-old, who trains at the Ice House in Hackensack, N.J., under former ice dance competitor Olga Orlova.

"I was fine after the opening double Axel, but then the slow part started and I didn't know what to do. I skipped a jump and made up some footwork. I was just throwing out moves."

Maxwell may have a future in choreography, because her exciting straight-line step sequence earned cheers from the crowd. She also landed two of her clean triples, the toe and loop, in the second half of her program to "Nostradamas."

"We didn't want to try my most difficult jumps here, so Olga asked Craig Maurizi [another of her coaches] to re-do the jumps," the skater explained. "I just got confused about what went where."

Maxwell hopes to do even better at her next competition, the Detroit Open.

"That's in a week," she said. "I'll see if I can remember everything by then."

Joelle Forte, who won the short program, placed second in the free with 81.40 points.

Skating to music from Rachmaninoff, the 23-year-old Fordham University student popped her opening triple loop but recovered quickly with a triple Lutz-double toe combination. Her triple flip and triple Salchow were judged to be underrotated by the technical panel, but she landed a triple Salchow-double toe and a second triple Lutz-double toe.

"That's the first loop I've popped since the 2008 North Atlantics," Forte said.

"I think I rushed it. I tried not to rush my Lutzes and flip. They both felt really good."

Forte's next competition is the Moran Memorial in Hackensack.

"That gives me a good month to come back down and train. Every time I go out there, I look to improve upon my last competition," she said.

Melissa Bulanhagui was third in the group with 77.83 points. Karina Johnson was fourth at 72.26.

In senior ladies group A, short program winner Kristine Musademba again earned top honors.

The soft-spoken 16-year-old, who placed 11th at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships, scored 76.82 points for her free skate to Saint-Saens' "Africa Fantaisie," despite having three triples (Lutz, loop and toe) downgraded.

"I'm pretty happy with how my programs ended up," said Musademba, who will compete on the Junior Grand Prix circuit this fall.

The skater, a junior at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C., received positive Grades of Execution for her double Axel-double toe combination and triple Salchow.

"My performance was okay, but I think I can keep getting better with more training," she said. "This is a good position to build from."

Daniela-Bella Favot, fourth in juniors at the 2009 Canadian Championships, had the second-best score, 75.16, for her arresting performance to Puccini's Turandot.

"I want to draw people into the program and make it like a show," said the skater, who trains in Hackensack under Maurizi. "I also want people to see how much fun I'm having doing what I love."

Favot's program, choreographed by Nikolai Morozov, featured an innovative Level 4 spiral sequence that included a back, inside-to-outside-edge change with an overhead leg stretch.

"I was so tired of seeing the same type of spiral sequence. I made this up," said the 17-year-old Windsor, Ontario, native.

Kate Charbonneau, the 2009 Canadian junior ladies champion, took third place, earning 74.04 points for her dramatic interpretation of Scheherazade.

Her program, designed by former ice dance competitor Svetlana Kulikova, was elegant and graceful. She reeled off a triple toe, a triple Salchow and a double Axel. She also performed a Level 4 spiral sequence.

The 16-year-old lives with her family in Savage, Minn., south of Minneapolis, and is coached by her mother, Lorie Charbonneau. The two frequently drive up to Barrie, Ontario, to work with Robert Tebby and Doug Leigh.

"I have been trying to get more height in my jumps and also do a lot of off-ice work, including a group plyometrics class with other skaters. That's a lot of fun," said Charbonneau.

Rebecca Stern, who landed a solid triple Lutz, placed fourth with 68.16 points.