Cranberry Open is a U.S. club competition that takes place every summer in the town of Hyannis, on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. I usually try to make it down there for one day each summer to see some early-season skating.
The competitors at Cranberry are mostly local New England skaters. However, the event sometimes draws skaters from further afield. This year, Florida coach Jim Peterson brought a contingent of his skaters, including U.S. bronze medalists Deanna Stellato-Dudek/Nate Bartholomay. Yesterday, I got a chance to see the debut of Stellato-Dudek/Bartholomay’s new short program, plus a mix of programs in other divisions.
Stellato-Dudek/Bartholomay were the only team competing in Senior Pairs and won with a score of 53.50. They have chosen the “La Cumparsita” tango for their SP music. Choreographed by Anjelika Krylova, this is definitely the most sophisticated program we’ve yet seen from Deanna & Nate. I think it’s a great new look for them. Technically, they completed a triple twist and throw triple loop (slight turnout) in the program. They also went for side-by-side triple Salchows, but Deanna fell.
Two brand-new teams competed in the Junior Pairs short program. Grace Knoop/Blake Eisenach, from Jim Peterson’s pairs group, took first place (38.37). Knoop/Eisenach are still gelling as a team, but have a nice look together (and skated better in competition than they did in practice).
Sydney Cooke/Brandon Kozlowski also competed, skating to Marc Anthony’s “I Need to Know” (33.32). This team has only been together a few months; it’ll be interesting to see how they develop. As a pairs skater, Sydney reminds me a bit of Marissa Castelli. Like Marissa, she has very good skating skills and a fun, extrovert personality on ice. I think this piece of music was a great choice for this team, and hopefully their pairs skills will grow. Cooke/Kozlowski competed in junior pairs at Cranberry, but they are not eligible to compete juniors internationally, as Brandon is 23. (Interesting factoid about Brandon: He once skated pairs with U.S. champion Bradie Tennell.)
In Novice Pairs, the local Boston team of Cate Fleming/Jedidiah Isbell took first place in the short program (36.37). They landed side-by-side double Axels in their “Singin’ in the Rain” program. Their twist and throw were both doubles.
New Florida-based team Taylor Norquist/Mark Sadusky placed second (30.23). This team has not really gelled yet in terms of their elements or unison. However, individually, they are both attractive skaters, with a nice line and elegant look, so I’m sure things will come together with more time.
In the Senior Ladies short program, Heidi Munger of Boston won by a wide margin (60.58). Heidi landed 3Lz/2T, 3F, and 2A. The jumps were all of good quality. Heidi is such an elegant skater, and she showed nice line and polish in her presentation. Her new short program is set to Alanis Morrissette’s “Uninvited,” which is an interesting choice for Heidi, as it’s a little bit more powerful and intense than some of her past music. I think this could be a very good program ultimately, but at present it needs a little bit more speed and drama.
Marietta Atkins took second place in the short program (41.11) with a fun program to Fergie’s “Quando Quando Quando.” Marietta landed 3S/2T and 2A (wild, but held). She fell on her solo triple jump.
Julia Biechler, who was a Team USA senior ice dancer last season with Damian Dodge, is focusing on singles this year. The jumps were not there for Julia in her short program yesterday (39.58). However, her program to Adele’s “Hometown Glory” was wonderful to watch, anyway. I had never really seen Julia before as a singles skater, so I was pleasantly surprised by her skating. Befitting her ice dance background, her skating skills and the quality of her artistry are lovely. She has such beautiful extension through her back and arms, and her choreography in this program was really great, with some unique moves and challenging footwork, which she executed with impressive ease. At the end, she does a spin directly out of an illusion move (which looked difficult). Artistically, Julia was a level above all the other ladies at Cranberry (senior or junior).
Maddie Weiler of Skating Club of Boston, who somewhat unexpectedly won Eastern Novice Ladies Sectionals last year, has opted to move up to Seniors this year. Maddie went for a 3T/3T combo in her SP (which was about the only triple/triple I saw yesterday in ladies), but fell on the second jump. She landed a 3Lp (off balance) and 1A. Maddie has a lovely, light style, but lacks the skating skills and presence of the older girls. She scored 37.77.
Emilia Murdock won the Junior Ladies long program easily, with a score of 88.07. As was the case last year, Emilia is once again off to a strong start this season, winning Colonial Open, placing second at Lake Placid to Gabriella Izzo, and notching another win here. Emilia is making great progress with her jumps this season and seems confident with all her triples (except Axel, of course). Her artistry is developing nicely too, and the airiness of her Breakfast at Tiffany’s LP suits her light, quick style of skating. Here’s a video of her program.
Iris Zhao took second in the free skate (around 82/83 points) with a lovely classical program. This was one of the stronger free skates I’ve seen from Iris in the last couple years, and she is a very pretty skater. One area she could work on is speed. Here is her program.
Emilea Zingas was third in the long program with a score around 80. Emilea went for good difficulty in her program, including 3Lz and 3F, however, her jumps were a bit sloppy. She is a fast skater, both in her speed on ice and in her jump rotations, but a bit out of control at times. I liked her program to Adele’s “Turning Tables”; it was interesting and a bit different.
Mauryn Tyack was fourth in the LP (around 73 points) with an elegant, mature program to Pride and Prejudice. Mauryn landed 3S/2T, 3S, 3T, 2A/2Lp, and 2A. The landings of her solo triples were a bit imperfect. She showed good spins, with nice positions and speed.
Pairs skater Mark Sadusky did double duty in Junior Mens and won the event with a nice free skate that scored 102.54. Mark’s jump difficulty level wasn’t the highest, but he did land quite a few jumps, including 3T/3T, 3S/2T, 3S, 3Lp, and I think one more triple. Some of his solo triple landings were a bit flawed, but held. Mark’s program was enjoyable to watch, with nice musicality and presentation (although he could use deeper edges and more speed).
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