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skating,” she said. “I go out there and try to do the best for myself. It’s not about the placement, but rather for myself.” Skating to sassy music from the movie Chi-

cago, Galuszka electrified the crowd with her ath- letic jumping ability and stage presence. At the program’s end, she fought back tears of joy. “Tis is the first year that I’ve really been able to sell my program, to go out there and have fun, to skate because I love every moment of it,” Galuszka said. Chase-Naperkoski, who skated to music

from Te Chronicles of Narnia, left Bensenville with a new element.

“I did the double loop for the first time in a competition,” she said. “It was exciting.”


Skating with a heavenly style to match his angelic music, Michael Rubke from the Los An- geles FSC defended his title. With choreography by Grant Rorvick and

Lauren Levin, his was the complete program — well-placed and measured with calm intensity, his speed building throughout the performance. When asked about the ethereal quality to his

music, Rubke explained, “It’s actually different cuts from a video game called ‘Final Fantasy.’” With elements that included a huge Axel, a solid double loop, a springy double Salchow, and a gorgeous death drop, Rubke drew in the crowd as the program progressed. “I am a Michelle Kwan fan, and here’s my cheesy skating confession: I like to channel her intensity from 2004, when she skated to Tosca. Remember her face when she got into position at the beginning of her program? Tat’s the inten- sity I strive for.” It works for him. His final score was 36.81 points and his program components were the highest in the event. Veteran showman Burton Powley claimed

silver with a score of 35.61 points. He’s won the event twice, once in 2008 and again in 2010. A powerhouse of a one-man show who creates his own costumes, chooses his own music and cho- reographs his own programs, Burton’s favorite move is his “Burtono” double toe, arm over the head. Te audience likes it, too. A skating coach with his master’s degree in

art, Powley uses the ice like a canvas, often devi- ating from his program if the spirit moves him. Burton explained that another spirit moved him during this particular performance. “My sister died recently, and I wear her ring

now when I skate,” he said. “It makes me feel like she’s with me.” His program included two double Salchows and two double toe loops, but it was his positive GOEs on his spiral sequence that made him hap- piest.

Michael Rubke

Skating first, and skating just 20 minutes after winning the silver medal in the Champion- ship Pairs event, Mark Stanford took the bronze with a total score of 33.81 points “We had to delay the medal ceremony in pairs so I could skate,” he said.

A studied dancer who has skated in the en-

semble with Ice Teatre of New York, Stanford shared his fabulous sense of style (as well as stam- ina) in every move of his program, set to selec- tions from Strictly Ballroom. His pairs partner, Jan Calnan, was on the sidelines still in costume and cheering him on every second of the program. “I just wanted to skate and have fun,” he

said. “I value having a good attitude with my fellow competitors, being positive with everyone here, and just being happy.” His opening double toe loop was explosive, and his crispness and speed was impressive, con- sidering it was his second event within one hour. His final score was 33.81 points. Christopher Williams, looking dashing in the best costume of the event, wowed the crowd with his signature hydroplane move. His score of 31.96 points earned him the pewter medal.


Te field consisted of veterans and newcom- ers, but it was a veteran, Elizabeth Chase, who floated to the top with her sublime performance to On Golden Pond. Skating with grace, poise and spirit, Chase

gave a sense of calm to the audience that made them smile almost as much as she was smiling herself.

“My inspiration was the loons floating over

the pond,” she told icenetwork. “I loved the yel- low dress I was skating in, and I just wanted to be connected to the music, to float.” Te All Year Figure Skating Club competi-

tor’s smooth Axel jumps, springy combinations and perfectly centered spins were most definitely “at one” with the music. Skating under the direc- tion and choreography of former U.S. and World Junior medalist Bobby Beauchamp, her total seg- ment score was 32.77. Tough Chase had earned gold in open events at past U.S. Adult Champi- onships, the Championship Gold Ladies title had eluded her in 12 years in this event. Elizabeth Finn of the Sycamore ISC col-

lected the silver medal. Finn skated to a piece of music titled “Eliza-

beth Taylor in London,” and it was perfect for her style.

“I like to find unique music, something that other skaters haven’t necessarily skated to,” Finn said.

Finn opened her program with a huge

Axel, and then an even bigger double Salchow. Te cheers from the audience were as big as her jumps, but Finn skated with such control and presentation that she was not unnerved by the crowd’s excitement. Her coach is Marie Millikan, who competed

for Czechoslovakia at the 1968 Olympics. “I just held it together, and besides, I al- ways check the landings on my jumps because my coach is Czech,” Elizabeth said, laughing. Her first U.S. Adult Championships was in 2007


(l-r) Burton Powley, Michael Rubke, Mark Stanford, Christopher Williams



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