Long, Kaugars, Chen top podiums at Gardena

U.S. junior men's champ lands six clean triples in free skate; Bell earns junior ladies silver

Nathan Chen's winning margin at the Gardena Spring Trophy was 9.27 points.
Nathan Chen's winning margin at the Gardena Spring Trophy was 9.27 points. (Tom Briglia)


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By Kristin Zinsmeister, special to
(04/14/2012) - All of Team USA's competitors at last week's 2012 Gardena Spring Trophy in Val Gardena, Italy, earned medals. Barbie Long and Mariah Bell took first and second, respectively, in junior ladies, Lukas Kaugars won the junior men's event, and Nathan Chen jumped from second after the short to win novice gold.

Junior Ladies

Long scored 133.25 points overall, giving her a 17-point win over Bell. Skating to 42nd Street, the highlights of her free skate included a triple Lutz-double toe and a double Axel-double Axel sequence along with two Level 4 spins (flying sit and layback). She accumulated 83.47 points in the segment. Her Swan Lake short program, in which she completed a triple Lutz, a triple flip-double toe and three Level 4 spins, earned 49.78 points.

Bell scored 39.45 points in the short, 77.01 points in the free skate and 116.46 overall. During her Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind free skate, she landed a triple Lutz-double toe and a triple toe-double toe, while her "Mack and Mabel" short program included a triple flip-double toe and a Level 4 combination spin.

With an overall score of 101.49 points, Germany's Luisa Weber placed third. She completed a triple toe-double toe and three Level 4 spins in her short, and a double Axel-double toe, double flip-double toe-double loop and two Level 4 spins in her free skate.

Junior Men's

Kaugars' 138.07 points earned him a 21-point victory. During his "Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor" free skate, he landed a double Axel, triple Salchow-double toe-double toe and triple toe-double toe, earning 89.16 points. His Duplicity short program, which scored 48.91 points, included a triple Lutz and a straight line step sequence that received positive grades of execution.

Germany's Anton Kempf moved up from third after the short to second overall after a free skate that included a triple toe-double toe-double toe and a triple flip, scoring 80.63 points. He earned 37.29 points for his short program, during which he completed a Level 4 flying sit spin and a double Axel. Kempf earned 117.92 points overall.

Skating in his home country of Italy, third place went to Alessandro Pezzoli. Pezzoli landed a triple Salchow-double toe and a double Axel during his free skate. The highlights of his short program were a triple toe-double toe and a double Axel. He earned 39.03 for the short, 74.78 for the free and 113.51 overall.

Novice Men's

Skating to Franz Lizst's "Hungarian Rhapsody," Chen landed seven triples (six clean), including a triple flip-triple toe and a triple Lutz-double toe, accumulating 85.42 points in the free skate. During his "Rawhide" short program, Chen completed a triple Lutz-double toe combination, a triple flip and a double Axel, scoring 44.03 points for that segment of the competition. Chen's competition total was 129.45 points.

Timofeï Novaikim of France took the silver medal. During his free skate, he completed a triple loop-double toe and a triple Salchow-double toe along with four other triples, earning 75.74 points. He scored 44.44 points in the short, landing a triple Lutz-double toe, triple loop and double Axel. He finished with an overall score of 120.18.

Great Britain's Graham Newberry finished third, amassing 100.29 points. His free skate included a triple Salchow-double loop combination, a double Axel-double toe combination and a triple toe. He earned 64.98 points in the free skate and 35.31 points in the short to take the bronze medal.