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their program to music from Batman and Mariah Carey’s “Hero.” Burgess, a former regular track skater, used his muscle and experience to transport Cooper via both air and land to a score of 51.97. Teir strength is their superior lifts that earned them two Level 4s and one Level 3. Is Cooper scared to be pressed so high into the

air, sometimes with one arm? When asked, the for- mer college cheerleader laughs, “Why would I be? Ethan’s a rock. I know he’s not going to drop me.” Next up is the ISU International Adult Fig-

ure Skating Competition in Oberstdorf, Germany. “Tat will be our final competition as a pair,”

Burgess said. Adds Cooper, “It’s been a great ride, and we couldn’t have done this without the sup- port of our families back home. Tey’re the true unsung heroes of adult skating.” Second overall, Kimberly Sailer and David

Garber, of the Pittsburgh FSC, struggled with their lifts. “It was a fluke because we hadn’t missed a lift

in practice all week,” Sailer said. Te pair traveled to Las Vegas to work with

Doug Mattis, who choreographed their unique wind-up toy program to music from Amelie. “We loved working with Doug, he’s awe-

some,” Sailer said.

Te pair rallied at the end of their program with a spectacular throw Axel and a final forward inside death spiral that earned positive GOEs and brought them the silver medal with 42.22 points. Tara Cioppa, of the New Jersey FSC, and

Stephen Trzaska, of the Washington FSC, won the bronze medal with a clean and divinely inspired skate to “Te Prayer” from Celine Dion and An- drea Bocelli. A highlight was their platter-Heart attack lift.

Cioppa and Trzaska are the only pair who have competed in every championship pairs event since it was added to the competition in 2007. Tey are also the only pair who live in two different cities (Boston and New York), have no coach and prac- tice together only a few times per year. “Tara’s parents have a beach house in Rhode

Island,” Trzaska said. “Last summer we met there and practiced lifts on the beach.” Wendy Barnard and Andrew Arnold, of

the Texas Gulf Coast FSC, took home the pew- ter medal with a performance that was clean and well-received by the audience.

Shay Sterlace and Yovanny Durango CHAMPIONSHIP BY MIMI WHETSTONE When Shay Sterlace (Liberty FSC of Phil-

adelphia) and Yovanny Durango (University of Delaware FSC) took the ice to defend their title, a few hurdles stood in their way. After earning a lead of more than nine points in the pattern dance segment, the duo collided with another team during the free dance warm-up. Ten they had to wait several minutes before their names were called, while a large hole in the ice was re- paired. “When we went out there to compete, we

were definitely ready to go, especially after all the drama with the ice,” Sterling said. “We just thought back and remembered

what we do at practice,” Durango added. “Some- times we’re ready to go and we have to wait for our training mates or other people at the rink to do their thing. We had to take ourselves back to those situations and tell ourselves to relax and make it feel like home.” Te two, who have skated together for three

(l-r) Melissa Patsalides and James Bookwalter, Shay Sterlace and Yovanny Durango, Jessica Zellers and Ryan Van Natten, Barbara Walker and Timothy Bookwalter

years, earned their second title in their second trip to the U.S. Adult Championships, amassing 89.57 points for their Aerosmith program — an impressive 27 points ahead of Melissa Patsalides (Washington FSC) and James Bookwalter (Gar-

dens FSC of Maryland), who finished second, and Jessica Zellers and Ryan Van Natten of the SC of New Jersey, who placed third. Skating to a medley of swing music, Patsal- ides and Bookwalter rebounded from a fourth- place finish in the pattern dance to take silver with 62.13 points. “Our first year, we competed pre-gold, so

this year is a step up for us,” Bookwalter said. Te duo made their championship-level de-

but in Salt Lake City after winning the pre-gold dance title last year in their first appearance at the U.S. Adult Championships. Zellers and Van Natten scored 62.05 points

for the week, skating a solid free dance to the mu- sic of Bruno Mars. Te duo made their competi- tive debut in Salt Lake City after teaming up just six months ago. “It took a lot of hard work,” Van Natten

said. “Tis took lots of practice. We do a lot of basics and edge work. Te last couple weeks we’ve been doing two practices a day to get ready, so we’re on the ice a lot. At the end of the day, you get out what you put in. We’re very happy.” Winning the pewter medal, Barbara Walk-

er (Washington FSC) and Timothy Bookwalter (Gardens FSC of Maryland) scored 53.94 points. Timothy Bookwalter, father of silver medalist James Bookwalter, has been skating with Walker since the first U.S. Adult Championships, win- ning the title in 1997 and 2003. Walker also serves as coach for Patsalides and James Bookwalter.



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