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INTERMEDIA TE


came back and worked really hard to get where I am now, and I’m really excited to get my first medal here.” “He’s only been skating for about three and a


half years,” Hsieh’s coach, Viktor Pfeifer, said. “Te fact that he qualified to compete at nationals last year was amazing, but in his mind he could have done better. Of course it motivated him to do bet- ter, but he’s the kind of kid that loves to skate, so he does well with that kind of fuel in the fire. He’s always motivated. Even in the toughest times, he’s always positive. He loves what he’s doing.” Philip Baker (SC of Boston) also pulled up a spot after the short program, securing the bronze medal with 108.20 points. Baker finished fourth in the juvenile event at last year’s championships and used his experience to boost his performance in Kansas City. “Tis year I was more relaxed,” Baker said. “I


went out there and did the best I could. I focused on myself and did my job. I’m excited to be the U.S. silver medalist and I’m ready to go home and get back to work.” Baker performed his free skate to music


from the Tony award-winning musical Hamilton, which even received praise from the show’s star and creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, on Twitter af- ter a video of his performance was shared. “I picked Hamilton because I wanted to do


something different,” Baker’s coach, Mark Mitch- ell, said. “It was a hot show, but at first I didn’t know if it was really skateable. Ten I listened to the soundtrack a lot and found the pieces that worked well together and could make a cohesive


Masha Mokhova/Ivan Mokhov


program. I think it works well.” “We’ve all seen the tweet,” Mitchell added.


“We were so excited about it. I think it’s fabulous.” Daniel Argueta (Texas Gulf Coast FSC) took home the pewter medal, earning 107.46 for his efforts.


PAIRS BY TROY SCHWINDT


For coaches Oksana Yakusheva and Andrey


Mokhov, watching their children — 10-year-old Masha Mokhova and 17-year-old Ivan Mokhov (Lansing Skating Club) — claim the intermediate pairs title on Jan. 15 was an overwhelming experi- ence.


“It’s hard, it’s challenging, it’s difficult, but


we have fun,” Yakusheva said. “I’m full of emotion right now.” “I’m proud of my kids, and students,” An-


drey Mokhov added. Te sister-and-brother team have been skat- ing together for a year and a half at the Suburban Ice Arena in East Lansing, Michigan. Tey didn’t compete at the sectional championships, and un- veiled their free skate to music from Cipollino, a Russian ballet, for the first time in Kansas City. Te siblings, second after the short program,


delivered a nearly flawless program to secure the title with a total score 97.11. “We are happy we skated clean,” Ivan Mok-


hov said. “Tat was our main goal.” Teir program included a throw double Sal-


chow, a double Salchow-single Axel combination and a forward inside death spiral that achieved a


program-best grade of execution of 1.40. Mokhova is a fourth-grader, while her broth- er is a high school senior. Ivan Mokhov has com- peted at the U.S. Championships six times as a singles skater. Tey plan to move up to the novice ranks next season. After the competition, the fam- ily loaded up the car and drove halfway home to Mason, Michigan. “It’s about 700 miles,” Andrey Mokhov said.


“We’ll drive halfway and stay in a hotel and let them swim. We’ll do something fun when we get back home to celebrate.” Short program leaders Jade Esposito and


Franz-Peter Jerosch (Colonial FSC) finished sec- ond in their free skate to songs by Michael Bublé and secured the silver medal with 95.61 points. “Tey both went out there and fought the


whole time and put 100 percent into their skate,” coach Carrie Wall said. “Tey were a little disap- pointed like any athlete would be. Tey wanted to stay in position, but they gave it their best effort and that’s all we can ever ask of them.” Esposito and Jerosch executed solid lifts and


a throw double Salchow in their free skate. “It was a great program from them to show


some of their diversity from their short program, which was more of slow ballad, and this is a little more upbeat and has a nice feel to it for them. Tey enjoyed skating to it,” Wall said. Wall expects the team to continue to develop


their partnership and basic skating, in addition to improving the technical elements needed for the novice level. Juvenile champions from a year ago, Isa- belle Martins (Chicago FSC) and Ryan Bedard


58 MARCH 2017


JAY ADEFF/U.S. FIGURE SKATING


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