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Gold twins shine on day one at Skate Detroit

Jiang takes first in senior ladies short; tie at the top for senior men

Gracie Gold and Carly Gold both scored well in the junior ladies short program.
Gracie Gold and Carly Gold both scored well in the junior ladies short program. (Jacque Tiegs)

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By Denise Manzagol, special to icenetwork.com
(07/22/2011) - Gracie Gold racked up 56.58 points in the junior ladies short program, putting her way out in the lead Thursday at the 30th annual Skate Detroit.

Representing the Springfield FSC and competing in junior ladies group B, Gold opened with a clean triple flip-triple toe combination. She followed with a strong triple Lutz and a double Axel.

Carly Gold, Gracie's twin sister, landed her triple loop-double toe for the first time in competition and scored 42.54 overall, which put her second in group C.

"I wanted to land it so badly. I knew I could do it," Carly Gold said.

Hannah Miller, 14, who recently worked with Tanith Belbin, put out a solid program and won group C, despite getting an edge call on her triple Lutz, which she says is a problem area.

"We were pleased with it," said Kirsten Miller-Zisholz, Miller's coach and aunt.

With good speed, Mariah Bell, 15, completed a strong double Axel and edged Springfield FSC's Barbie Long for first place in group A.

"A lot of room to improve," Bell said. "I was a little disappointed in my Lutz because I rushed it."

Senior Ladies Short Program
Although Nina Jiang from Texas Gulf Coast FSC stepped out on a triple Lutz, she landed in first-place in Group A with an overall score of 51.71. Her strong double Axel and triple toe-double toe combination were executed with great ease.

Competing in singles for the first time in 1 ½ years, Becky Bereswill of the Detroit SC felt good about the day's performance despite a fall on her triple flip.

"You have to start somewhere," said Bereswill, who placed fourth in group A with a score of 44.79.

Alexe Gilles is settling in well at Detroit SC, having moved from the Broadmoor SC barely two and a half months ago.

She opened with a solid triple toe-double toe combination but did not complete her triple Lutz.

"Really pleased," Gilles said about her 46.10-point short program performance "Last year I didn't get a 46."

Amanda Dobbs of the Peninsula FSC won group B by scoring a 46.56 skating to "Moon River." She landed a triple toe-double toe combination and a double Axel, and wrapped up her program well with a combination spin.

Junior Men's Short Program
Christopher Berneck of Germany won the junior men's short program with a score of 51.66.

U.S. skater Cale Ambroz followed close behind with a score of 48.44.

With creative spins, power and style, Canadian Joel Bond related well to his "Mozart Tango" program. His double Axel gave his performance an added punch, landing him in third place with a score of 47.18.

Taipei's Jordan Ju executed a triple Lutz and trails Bond by less than a point.

William Littlefield of the Dallas FSC was the only junior men's competitor to attempt a triple Axel, although he fell on it and placed ninth

Junior Pairs Free Skate
Britney Simpson and Matthew Blackmer started skating together just three months ago. Performing to music from Titanic, their overall score of 78.76 points indicates their partnership could be a lasting one. The pair landed side-by-side double Axels and performed a well-executed combination spin.

Anna Marie Pearce and Craig Norris edged up behind Simpson and Blackmer with a score of 75.69, followed by Jessica Calalang and Zack Sidhu, with 69.28.

Sister-brother team Carlotta Powers and David Powers are glad to be back on the ice after taking a one-year break. They placed fourth with a score of 58.04.

Senior Pairs Short Program
Margaret Purdy and Michael Marinaro of Canada took first place with 44.63 points. They had a dramatic opening with side-by-side double Lutzes.

One of their coaches, Allison Purkiss, thought the team exhibited "good energy, good flow."

Behind them are Cassie Andrews and Tim LeDuc with 41.23 points. The U.S. junior bronze medalists landed their side-by-side triple toes but fell on the death spiral.