Denney and Frazier top Broadmoor trifecta in pairs

Colorado Springs teams dominate junior competition in San Jose

Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier held off their Colorado Springs teammates to win gold.
Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier held off their Colorado Springs teammates to win gold. (Tom Briglia)


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By Josh Ellis, special to
(01/25/2012) - It was a clean sweep of the top three for coach Dalilah Sappenfield in the junior pairs competition, as pairs under her guidance finished first, second and third at the 2012 U.S. Championships.

Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier, who reunited last spring after competing with different partners, led after their Chicago short program and reeled in the title with a second-place performance in the free skate.

"It felt just like home," Frazier said. "We went out there and it felt like another long program to do -- just another day at the office."

Denney and Frazier scored 52.83 points in their short program and the pair earned 96.01 points in the free skate, which included a Level 4 Axel lasso lift that grossed them 7.20 points -- the highest scoring element in the competition.

Britney Simpson and Matthew Blackmer, the bronze medalists at the Junior Grand Prix Final this season, were third after the short program and rallied to win the free skate to take home the silver medal.

"We just did another run-through like we would have done at home, and we were just happy that it was clean," Blackmer said. "We did everything that we could, so we were pleased with our performance."

Kylie Duarte and Colin Grafton skated last and moved up one position from where they entered the free skate, receiving 95.52 points to finish in bronze-medal position. Duarte and Grafton used their past experience to bump themselves up the podium.

"We ended up drawing last, last year, so we had a little experience to draw back on this year," Grafton said.

All of the medalists mentioned feeling comfortable on the ice and how skating in San Jose felt like home. The strong connection all of the teams felt with each other and to Sappenfield was very clear. Simpson summed up the feeling for the group.

"For all of us, it just felt like skating at home," Simpson said. "We were really happy that we did all that we could do with confidence, and we each did what we trained."