MILWAUKEE – Pairs skaters Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., and ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto won bronze medals on Saturday at Skate America.
The competition is the first stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.
In pairs, Séguin and Bilodeau were the only entry to skate clean in the final flight and produced a personal best 189.49 points. It was their first international medal at the senior level. Last winter they took silver at the world juniors.
‘’We didn’t expect to win a medal so early in our senior careers,’’ said Bilodeau, 22, fifth with his partner at the Nebelhorn Trophy last month in Germany. ’’But I think we realized after Germany we had to be more solid in order to compete at this level.’’
Their program was highlighted by remarkable lifts.
‘’We’ve put a lot of focus on improving our lifts,’’ said Séguin, 18. ‘’We’ve worked at making them more challenging and original as well.’’
In ice dancing, Gilles and Poirier notched a second international medal this month earning 157.58. Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. took the gold at 173.22 and Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia were second at 162.21.
‘’Our goal this year is to make the Grand Prix Final so that result will make it more difficult for us,’’ said Gilles. ‘’Still we were very happy with the performance and we felt it was a step-up from Slovakia.’’
Three weeks ago, Gilles and Poirier won gold at an international event in Bratislava.
‘’It’s a big boost for us to see our scores higher than at this point last season,’’ said Poirier. ‘’We’ve been really consistent so far and we’ve got two programs that really work us.’’
Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China took the gold at 202.00 and Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim of the U.S., who each fell in the free skate, were second at 191.91.
In women’s competition, world junior champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia won the gold medal with Gracie Gold of the U.S. second and Satoko Miyahara of Japan third. Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., was 12th.
The next stop on the circuit is Skate Canada International this Friday and Saturday in Lethbridge, Alta.
Full results: ISU GP 2015 Progressive Skate America