Shibutanis win dance, Japan's Uno wins Skate America men's
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) Americans Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani won the ice dance title, while teammates Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue finished second Sunday at Skate America.
Japan's Shoma Uno claimed the men's championship earlier in the day, with Americans Jason Brown and Adam Rippon finishing second and third in the opening event of the Grand Prix season.
The Shibutanis' victory extends the United States' streak of gold medals in ice dance at Skate America to eight; it has won 12 of the last 14. The brother-and-sister team, the reigning world silver medalists and U.S. champions, dazzled the crowd with their intricate free dance. They totaled 185.75 points overall after a free dance mark of 112.71.
''It was a great start to our season, very happy with our free dance performance today,'' Alex Shibutani said. ''There was a lot of anticipation on our part in getting to debut both of these programs. We are excited to have gotten our season started. We're looking forward to building toward Cup of China.''
Hubbell and Donohue moved up from third after the short dance to win the silver medal with 175.77 points. They edged Russia's Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev by exactly one point.
''We were happy to start our Grand Prix series here in America,'' Hubbell said. ''I think it was a great event for us as well as all of Team USA. It was a really wonderful week.''
Earlier, Uno landed three quadruple jumps en route to the title at the Sears Centre Arena. Uno, skating to an intense tango, moved seamlessly through his demanding program, but fell late in the program on a triple axel combination. He finished with 279.34 points.
''The first half of my program was great,'' Uno, 17, said through a translator. ''Unfortunately, I missed a three-jump combination toward the end and I feel regrettable about that. My six-minute warmup didn't feel so good, but I was still able to pull out what I felt today and I'm satisfied in that sense.''
Brown, rom the Chicago area and the 2015 U.S. champion, landed his opening quad for the first time this season, although it was scored as under-rotated. He received 268.38 points.
''It's been a long, long journey to put out a quad, so I'm pleased to stand up on it today and kind of just take it as another day,'' Brown said. ''Once I landed it, I just kept on going.''
Rippon, meanwhile, fell on his opening quad. In debuting a brand new program, Rippon scored 261.43 points.
''I have only had the program for a week and a half,'' Rippon said. ''I was really pleased with what I did today. It wasn't perfect, but I think the work I did in the offseason paid off in making the quick change. I'm so glad I changed the program. It feels right. There's a lot of work to do and I'll definitely be getting all that work done.''