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“I was pleased with some aspects; I was wor- ried about my double loop, but it was probably the best part of the program,” she said. Rebecca Musick (SC of San Francisco),

skating to “Allegro for Hasanna” by Jenny Oaks Baker, earned the pewter medal with 38.92 points.


By Barb Reichert Melinda Speer

Michael Rubke is not afraid of hard work. As the CFO of Mastro’s Restaurants, he often puts in 12-hour days. But far from the madness of Southern California’s hectic restaurant scene, Rubke works just as hard on the ice, where his athleticism takes over. Such was the case in Scottsdale. “It’s been a long week, you know?” said

Rubke, as he wiped sweat from his brow. Rubke (Los Angeles FSC) needed every ounce of energy to edge veteran Burton Pow- ley (Hawkeye SC) to win the gold medal. Rub- ke’s three double jumps helped him earn 34.53 points — just one point ahead of the silver med- alist’s 33.57 points. Christopher Williams (FSC of Minneapolis) secured the bronze with 31.59 points while Keith Newcombe (Los Angeles FSC) won the pewter with 29.79 points. A strong spinner, Rubke performed to a

(l-r) Jamie Tanker, Melinda Speer, Rebecca Musick, Beth Delano

total score of 38.97. Known for skating to clas- sical pieces, Delano decided to change things up for her 18th appearance at the U.S. Adult Cham- pionships. Delano skated to Jeff Beck’s version of Te Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.” She and her coach Lydia Paley Hume, how-

ever, struggled to find the right music. “I wanted to do something out of the box,

but they found this music challenging to choreo- graph,” Delano said. “Tis is more go-go-go, so there are no stops in the program. It’s a big chal- lenge for me to keep it moving, and I think that was evident in the last part of the program.” Delano completed several nice jumping pass- es, including a double loop, double toe loop, and an Axel-single toe-single toe combination. She ended with her classic layback spin, which earned her a Level 2 and was her highest-scoring element.

medley of A River Runs Trough It, Out of Africa and Final Fantasy. Skating on the final day of the competition, Rubke lost his edge on a death drop and a cannonball spin. “In the open event I skated [Friday], I was closer to 40 points. I was spot-on,” said Rubke, whose partner, Justin Stromberg, flew in to sur- prise him. “Tere was a long wait between me and the other competitors and my legs kind of got crampy in between the waiting. On my two spins, I almost lost my footing. I don’t think [having tired legs] is that much about stamina as much as it is at the end of the week that the muscles start to get fatigued.” Powley, who playfully pretended to whack

Rubke’s knee on the podium, was disappointed in himself.

“I handed it [the victory] over to Michael,”

Powley said. “I was planning on doing a double Salchow-double loop at the beginning and I had a little trouble on the landing. So when I did my second double Salchow I had to make it a combi- nation and I put a single loop instead of a double loop. Tat gave me too many single loops, and that invalidated my jump box.” Always a fan favorite, the affable Powley put

on a great performance. In an attempt to boost his second score, he hammed it up. “I was putting my face in front of the judges and blowing them kisses and doing all the tango

moves,” he said. “Tey were cracking up in their seats.”

Williams also put on quite a show, skating

to a jazz medley. “When Wynton Marsalis blew his horn, it

was time to party, so we partied,” Williams said. “And then Louis Armstrong comes in, and when I heard that horn, it was like, ‘yeah.’ Tat music, you just have to party! Tis was my best skate since I don’t know when.” With his wife Andrijana and 7-month-old

son Marco watching, Williams was all smiles. “With the baby, it’s been a change,” he said.

“My wife is so generous letting me skate at all. I definitely have to thank her because she had a lot to do with this [bronze medal] and she keeps me going. When I was having trouble, she’d say, ‘I just want you to go out there and smile.’ “I’ve got a big smile today.”

(l-r) Burton Powley, Michael Rubke, Keith Newcombe, Christopher Williams

Michael Rubke






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