SALT LAKE CITY – Ice dance teams Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., and Nicole Orford of Burnaby, B.C., and Thomas Williams of Okotoks, Alta., earned silver and bronze medals on Saturday to conclude the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic.
Two-time world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S., won the gold medal with 183.69 points. Weaver and Poje followed at 161.99 and Orford and Williams were third at 137.60.
Weaver and Poje`s season was shortened in 2012-13 when Weaver broke her ankle. However they came back a few weeks later to place an impressive fifth at the world championships. Weaver had successful surgery this past summer on her foot to remove a plate and five screws used to repair the ankle.
‘’This competition was a test for my foot and it felt great,’’ said Weaver. ‘’We’ve never competed this early in the season so it’s nice to get these programs out there. Now we have five weeks before our next competition to clean up the programs.’’
‘’Last year we had some bumps in the road,’’ added Poje. ‘’Those challenges have actually made us a stronger team., It showed us what we are capable of.’’
Orford and Williams are only in their second season at the senior level but they’ll take a stab at trying to gain an Olympic spot.
‘’We are very happy with this kind of start to the season,’’ said Williams. ‘’The performance level was there. We stayed engaged with the judges and ourselves. We know we are going to have to push harder against a very deep field if we want to earn that chance to wear the Canadian uniform.’’
In women’s singles, Courtney Hicks led an American medal sweep with 171.88 points. Amélie Lacoste of Delson, Que., ranked fourth in both the short program and Saturday’s long program for fifth overall at 147.88.
Lacoste introduced her new routine which she will use in her bid to land a spot on the Olympic team. It is choreographed by Shae-Lynn Bourne.
‘’It’s a good start to the season,’’ said Lacoste, 24, the 2012 Canadian champion. ‘’I lost my focus at the end of my program and that hurt my standing. But this is a program I love and right now I need to gain more confidence on my jumps.’’
On Friday, Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto successfully defended their pairs title.