Davidson, Torgashev win intermediate gold

Green and Green top juvenile dancers; Gropman and Somerville claim intermediates

Eliana Gropman and Ian Somerville took the intermediate pairs gold medal.
Eliana Gropman and Ian Somerville took the intermediate pairs gold medal. (Melanie Hoyt)


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By Mimi Whetstone, special to
(01/27/2013) - While the senior men prepared for their free skate Sunday, the name on everyone's lips at the 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships was Andrew Torgashev, who, despite a fall during his footwork sequence, won his first intermediate men's U.S. title by nearly 10 points.

"This would only happen in my dreams," Torgashev said. "I was really nervous coming out, but I had to put it aside and do what I could."

Torgashev's program, set to the music of Elvis Presley, earned 68.07 points, en route to a remarkable 107.92 points for the week. Following a juvenile title at last year's U.S. Junior Championships, Torgashev successfully executed three triple jumps, including a triple Salchow-double toe combination that earned a program-high 6.10 points. His program components score of 31.95 bested the field by more than five points, giving Torgashev his second U.S. title in as many years.

The silver medal went to Eric Stinehart with 98.00 total points, followed by Micah Tang, whose solid free skate pulled him up from a fifth-place finish in the short program to stand on the podium with 88.55 points.

Despite finishing second in the free skate, Anna Grace Davidson edged out her competitors, including Anastasia Kortjohn, Emmy Ma and Olivia Allan, all of whom competed as juveniles last year, for the intermediate ladies gold.

"It feels different being at such a big competition with so many older girls," Davidson said. "I think I handled it well. I've been working really hard."

Earning 99.52 points for the event, Davidson dazzled in her performance to "Whitaker's Wonder" by Michael W. Smith. In an elegant light-blue dress, Davidson completed two Level 4 spins and a double Axel-double toe combination, giving her 64.16 points for the segment.

Kortjohn, who sat in fifth place after the short program, executed a stunning free skate to "Rhapsody in Rock" by Robert Wells that included double Axel-double toe and triple Salchow-double toe combinations. Kortjohn won the segment with 64.92 points, finishing the event with 97.41 points and the silver medal.

Ma earned bronze with 95.59 points, while Allan, in second place after the short program, finished fourth with 94.27 points.

Caroline Green, 10, and her brother Gordon Green, 12, held onto their lead after the pattern dance segment to win the juvenile dance competition by more than seven points after finishing seventh at last year's U.S. Junior Championships.

"I think we have a lot harder elements this year," Gordon said. "We've watched a lot of other teams and try to do everything the way they do it, like Meryl Davis and Charlie White. They have such great expression."

Caroline and Gordon performed a well-synched free dance to "Davy Jones Lullaby" by Hans Zimmer and "He's a Pirate" by Klaus Badelt and earned a Level 4 on three of their five elements. They earned 46.60 points for the segment and finished the week with 85.63 points.

Alina Efimova and Kevin Kwong pulled up from a fourth-place finish in the pattern dance segment to take the silver medal with 78.68 points, while Elizabeth Addas and Jonathan Schultz took third with 77.68 points.

Eliana Gropman and Ian Somerville also maintained their leading status after the pattern dance, winning the intermediate dance title with 103.56 points.

"I think our footwork was pretty good today," Gropman said. "We're both really happy to be here."

Performing their free dance to "Les Aventures de Rabbi Jacob Danse des Jeunes Hassidiques" by Vladimir Cosma, Gropman and Somerville earned an impressive 28.86 points for their program components, demonstrating posture and quality well beyond their years.

Madison Fox and Val Katsman, who train alongside newly crowned novice bronze medalists Tory Patsis and Joseph Johnson, earned the silver medal with 97.63 points, followed by Gwen Sletten and Elliot Verburg with 89.75 points.