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Medals awarded in juvenile, intermediate pairs

Davidson, Torgashev lead after intermediate short programs

Joanna and William Hubbart skated to gold in the juvenile pairs competition.
Joanna and William Hubbart skated to gold in the juvenile pairs competition. (Melanie Hoyt)

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By Mimi Whetstone, special to icenetwork.com
(01/26/2013) - The 2013 U.S. juvenile and intermediate pairs champions were crowned Friday at Omaha's Civic Auditorium as juvenile siblings Joanna Hubbart and William Hubbart and intermediate competitors Alicia Bertsch and Austin Hale each won their respective events by an impressive eight points.

As Joanna celebrated her 14th birthday, the Hubbart siblings executed a near flawless free skate to selections from Riverdance, which included side-by-side double Lutzes and earned 48.16 points.

"We did a great throw double flip and we skated really well," William said. "I think being brother and sister gives us an advantage because we're around each other all the time."

The silver medal went to Cate Hawkins and Eric Hartley, who earned 39.91 points for their "Samson and Delilah" free skate, while 38.84 points and the bronze medal went to twins Jasmine and Joshua Fendi.

Bertsch and Hale earned 67.83 points for their performance to "Once Upon a Time in America" by Ennio Morricone, a score that bested the 2012 U.S. intermediate pairs title by more than five points.

"They nailed the throws and the twists," coach Alena Lunin said. "We owe the score to a lot of hard work."

In second place with 59.69 points, Darbie Burke and Griffin Schwab executed their performance to music from the films of Charlie Chaplin, followed by Gabriella Marvaldi and Kyle Hogeboom, who nabbed the bronze medal with 53.59 points.

Heading into Sunday's free skates, competitors laid the groundwork for the intermediate ladies and men's podium with Anna Grace Davidson and Andrew Torgashev leading the way, respectively.

Davidson, who earned an impressive 35.36 points for her "Ragtime" short program, will have tough competition as less than one point separates first through third place.

"I felt kind of shaky," Davidson admitted. "I was pretty scared. Last year, I competed as a juvenile, but I think I'll feel good for the free skate."

Within striking distance are 2013 Midwestern Sectional champion Olivia Allan with 35.30 points, and 2013 Eastern Sectional silver medalist Emmy Ma with 35.16 points.

Torgashev, who is coached by his parents, made the event a family affair, taking in a hug from his little sister in the stands post-performance. His program garnered 39.85 points and featured a double Lutz-double loop combination and two Level 4 spins.

"That was the best I've skated all season, so I'm really proud of it," Torgashev said. "I don't go for the points, I just want to skate the best that I can so the points take care of themselves."

In second place with a season-best 37.29 points is Liam Roumila, with Eric Stinehart's 34.66 points rounding out the top three.

In addition to singles and pairs events, the ice dancers established their positions for Sunday's free dances with the juvenile and intermediate pattern dance competitions.

Performing the Willow Waltz and the Foxtrot, siblings Caroline Green and Gordon Green took the juvenile dance lead with a collective 39.23 points, nearly five points ahead of the field.

"I enjoy the compulsory dances," Caroline said. "It feels like there's not as much pressure on you and you can just have fun."

In second place with 34.71 points are Elizabeth Addas and Jonathan Schultz, followed by the brother-sister team of Sophia and Christopher Elder with 33.48 points.

After performing the Rocker Foxtrot and European Waltz, Eliana Gropman and Ian Somerville lead the intermediate dance event with a total of 52.67 points. Their elegant and poised European Waltz earned 28.14 points, besting their competitors by nearly five points.

"We've been training really hard with our coaches and they've been pushing us to do our best," Gropman said. "We want to go to the Olympics some day."

Holding second place are Madison Fox and Val Katsman with 48.37 points, while Rebecca Lustig and Zachary Milestone hold third with 42.07 points.