Tag Archive for: Kirsten Moore-Towers/ Michael Marinaro

Olympians Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro Retire from Competitive Skating

OTTAWA, ON: Three-time Canadian pair champions Kirsten Moore-Towers, 29, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 30, Sarnia, Ont., have retired from competitive skating. The team began skating together in June 2014.

Moore-Towers and Marinaro won their first of five national championship medals in 2017 and would land on the podium at that event every year after (bronze 2017, bronze 2018, gold 2019-2022). They would go on to represent Canada at two Olympic Winter Games, placing 11th in 2018 and 10th in 2022.

“I am filled with gratitude for having been able to compete internationally for Canada for 13 years. My eternal thanks go to my family; their constant support and sacrifice allowed me to live my dream. Thanks to our support staff for keeping us together physically and mentally. To Pat Magee, especially, for working so hard for us from anywhere in the world. I am grateful for my past partners and coaches. Thanks, Dylan Moscovitch for carrying me, literally, through the first half of my career,” said Moore-Towers.

Moore-Towers continued, “There are not enough words to express my love and respect for the coaching team that saw us through to the end. Julie Marcotte, who is responsible for so much of our growth as people and athletes through the years. Mark Pillay, who started and ended the choreography of my pair career. Brian Shales, for his expertise and the fun lessons we had. Bruno Marcotte and Alison Purkiss, who see us as humans first and athletes second. My career has been more enjoyable and worthwhile with them as coaches and mentors. It has been the honour of my life to skate with Mike. I have no regrets and will cherish the memories forever”

“What an honour it has been to represent this amazing country and federation. It has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of my training and support staff throughout my career. I will do my best to pass on all the valuable skills and lessons each and every one of you have taught me,” said Marinaro. “None of this would have been possible without my parents.  I would like to thank them for their endless support and giving me the opportunity to chase my dreams. Lastly, thank you to Kirsten for sharing this amazing journey filled with a lifetime of memories. It was a blast.”

Together they won seven ISU Grand Prix medals and qualified for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in 2019 where they placed fifth. They picked up gold medals at both the 2019 Nebelhorn Trophy and at the 2017 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic. Moore-Towers and Marinaro represented Canada at four ISU World Figure Skating Championships placing in the top eight each time.

“Kirsten and Mike have had a fantastic career in pair skating. Their dedication and drive to advance pair skating in Canada has helped to inspire the next generation,” said Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada.  “Skate Canada wishes Kirsten and Mike the best in their future ventures.”

Moore-Towers and Marinaro both had international success with previous partners before teaming up in 2014.

Moore-Towers skated with Dylan Moscovitch from 2009-2014. They went on to become Canadian champions in 2011. Moore-Towers is a four-time Canadian pair champion in total across her two skating partnerships. They competed at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships three times together, with two fourth place finished in 2013 and 2014. In 2014, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch won the silver medal as part of figure skating team event at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and placed fifth in the pair event.

Marinaro skated with Margaret Purdy from 2007-2014. They saw success on the junior circuit winning three medals on the ISU Junior Grand Prix series and placing fourth at ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in 2012. Marinaro and Purdy won silver at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in 2013.

Moore-Towers is relocating to Vancouver, she looks forward to sharing her love of skating in her new community and is excited to explore new roles within the figure skating community. She will continue to advocate for the mental health of athletes and will be cheering on the next generation of skaters from the stands.

Marinaro looks forward to staying involved in the sport and spreading his love and passion for figure skating.


OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have six entries, for a total of ten skaters competing at the 2021 Finlandia Trophy in Espoo, Finland this week. Canada will have one entry in men, one entry in women, two entries in pairs and two entries in ice dance. This event is the fourth stop of the 2021 ISU Challenger Series and takes place from October 7 to 10, 2021.

Keegan Messing, 29, Girdwood, Alaska, USA, will be the lone Canadian entry in men. Last season, Messing finished sixth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2021 and brought home bronze at Skate America. He is coached by Ralph Burghart in Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

Madeline Schizas, 18, Oakville, Ont., will be the only Canadian entry in women. Last season Schizas finished first at the Skate Canada Challenge and thirteenth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2021. She is coached by Nancy Lemaire and Derek Schmidt in Milton, Ont.

National pairs team, Kirsten Moore-Towers, 29, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 29, Sarnia, Ont., will be the first of two Canadian entries in pairs. Last season they finished sixth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2021. They are coached by Bruno Marcotte, Alison Purkiss and Brian Shales in Oakville, Ont.

National pairs team, Vanessa James, 34, Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford, 36, Balmertown, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in pairs. They finished second at the 2021 Autumn Classic International. This is their first season competing together internationally. They are coached by Julie Marcotte in Montreal, Que.

Marjorie Lajoie, 20, Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha, 22, Saint-Hubert, Que., will be the first ice dance entry representing Canada. Lajoie and Lagha are the 2020 Canadian Silver Ice Dance Medalists and most recently placed fourth at the 2021 Autumn Classic International. They are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis and Josée Piche in Montreal, Que.

Carolane Soucisse, 26, Châteauguay, Que., and Shane Firus, 27, North Vancouver, BC., will be the second Canadian entry in ice dance. In 2020, they finished third in the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships and most recently finished fifth at the 2021 Autumn Classic International They are coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs in Toronto, Ont.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director will be the team leader and Dr. Shae Zukiwsky, Senior Director, Performance Excellence will be the team official at the event. Physiotherapist Pat Stanziano, Oakville, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Beth Crane, Burnaby, B.C., and Janice Hunter, Vancouver, B.C., will be the Canadian judges attending the event.

For more information, please visit www.isu.org.


Keegan Messing (29) / Girdwood, Alaska / Ice Palace FSC / Coached by Ralph Burghart

Madeline Schizas (18) / Oakville, Ont. / Milton SC / Coached by Nancy Lemaire and Derek Schmidt

Kirsten Moore-Towers (29) and Michael Marinaro (29) / St. Catharines, Ont., and Sarnia, Ont. / Skate Oakville / Coached by BrunoMarcotte, Alison Purkiss and Brian Shales

Vanessa James (34) and Eric Radford (36) / Scarborough, Ont., and Balmertown, Ont. / EPJM and C.P.A. Saint Leonard / Coached by Julie Marcotte

Marjorie Lajoie (20) and Zachary Lagha (22) / Boucherville, Que. and Saint-Hubert, Que. / CPA Boucherville and CPA Saint Lambert / Coached by: Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis and Josée Piche

Carolane Soucisse (26) and Shane Firus (27) / Châteauguay, Que. and North Vancouver, BC. / CPA Repentigny / Coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs

Canadian pair champions Moore-Towers, Marinaro hoping for a chance at redemption in Sweden

Given the circumstances, Michael Marinaro could be forgiven for the faux pas.

On a conference call with reporters prior to departing for this week’s ISU World Figure Skating championships in Sweden, Marinaro and partner Kirsten Moore-Towers, the two-time Canadian pair champions, discussed preparations as the tandem gets ready to step onto international ice for the first time in more than a year.

“This is the biggest positive of the past 12 years, so we’re just hoping to take advantage of that,” said Marinaro.

“12 months…past 12 months,” Moore-Towers corrected her partner with a laugh.

It hasn’t been a dozen years. It just feels that way.

One year ago, Moore-Towers and Marinaro were coming off two silver medal performances on the ISU Grand Prix circuit and a bronze at the Four Continents Championships to go along with their second straight Canadian crown in Mississauga, Ont.

Enjoying their most successful season together, the team seemed poised for a run at the podium with the 2020 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, on home soil in Montreal, on the horizon.

Just a few days before the start of the championships, reality hit as the global pandemic forced the cancellation of the championships as leagues and events around the world went dark.

Nothing hasn’t been the same since.

“The momentum we built last year was immense and we were really on a great path,” admits Moore-Towers. “(The worlds cancellation) was a big bummer with a lot of bummers to follow. We thought that was going to be the biggest one and we’d have a couple of weeks of the pandemic, and boy, were we wrong. Life’s a little different now, our perspective’s a little different now.”

Their perspective is understandable, and not just as it relates to skating.

On March 31, nine days after the world championships were scheduled to end in Montreal, Marinaro’s grandmother, Charlotte Jones, passed away without warning after a COVID-19 outbreak spread through a long-term care facility in their hometown of Sarnia. The family loss hit Marinaro hard and a few months later, Moore-Towers suffered a rib injury that kept them off the ice for several weeks.

Now, finally, opportunity knocks once again, and they aren’t letting the moment pass them by.

Unlike many of their competitors they’ll see in Sweden, Moore-Towers and Marinaro haven’t skated internationally this year. But the Canadian champions see it as a chance to make up for some lost time and, perhaps, gain a little redemption.

“There’s adversity, it’s been a difficult road to get here, but some of the most difficult events that we’ve had have turned out to be the most successful,” reasons Moore-Towers. “We’ve thrived on adversity before, and I believe we have the ability to do it again.

“I hope it’s another mark in our story.”

“I’m just excited to get out there on the competition ice again,” adds Marinaro. “Throughout the season, it’s been difficult training without having those clear goals and events to get ready for.

“Before the pandemic, skating had become a little bit of a job for us, and a little bit monotonous. Now, having that layoff has rekindled the love for the sport and the joy of the sport.”

With their competition season being grounded by the pandemic, Moore-Towers admits it has been hard to stay focused, adding the uncertainty has taken its toll, both emotionally and physically.

“There’s a lot to be said for how much mental preparation, never mind physical, but how much mental preparation goes into each event,” she reasons. “It’s extremely difficult to continue to mentally prepare yourself when things continue to get cancelled.

“We are hoping the world heals and we can have audiences back next season.”

Now, with the past year in their rear-view mirror, Moore Towers and Marinaro, in this most uncertain of seasons, have their sights on the road ahead.

That road ends at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm this week.

If they don’t have medals draped around their necks on their return flight to Canada, so be it. Overcoming adversity isn’t defined in glitter.

“If we are proud of our two performances, it will be a success,” says Marinaro matter-of-factly.

“We are ready to lay it down in Sweden.”

Moore-Towers, Marinaro find perspective, hope during trying times

As the most uncertain of skating seasons dawns over the horizon, Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro have found a silver lining in these challenging times.

Now back on the ice tuning up for a season that has more questions than answers due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the two-time Canadian pair champions are staying optimistic and looking forward to picking up where they left off when the 2019-20 season was abruptly halted in March.

“We’ve been back on the ice for a while now, and we’re getting ready as best we can,” says Moore-Towers from their training base in Oakville, Ont.

“We’ve always known what our goals are, and we know we are capable of achieving them. The time away really gives you a chance to think and evaluate how you can improve. It’s easy to remember why we’re here and why we are doing this.”

“Right now, we are not exactly sure which events we are training for, but eventually that opportunity is going to come, and we want to be ready for it,” adds Marinaro.

Coming off a 2019-20 season in which they captured their second straight national title and added a pair of silver medals on the ISU Grand Prix circuit, the tandem is preparing for a new season as they normally would.

Right now, uncertainty is the new normal.

“Regardless of the state everything is in, we have to believe we will compete somewhere,” says Moore-Towers.

“That is the mindset we take into training each day, so when that happens, we will be prepared. We only have a couple of years left in our career, so we want to spend our time doing what we enjoy doing.”

“With all the uncertainty, we are just looking at taking a couple of steps forward each day,” adds Marinaro. “We’re just trying to grow together and improve. This time away just reinforced that we have to enjoy the process here and reconfirms that we love what we do.”

Even during these trying times for our world, Moore-Towers and Marinaro prefer to look at the glass as half-full.

After all, sometimes perspective, as painful as it may be, is a gift.

It has been almost seven months, just after the quarantine started in March, since Marinaro put in a FaceTime call to his grandmother, Charlotte Jones, an avid skating fan and one of his biggest supporters. On the call, Marinaro noticed his grandmother was having some difficulty breathing, but he didn’t give it more than a passing thought.

It would be his last conversation with her.

The following day, Charlotte Jones was taken to hospital and, one day later, on March 31st, she passed away from complications of COVID-19.

Just like that, she was gone.

“It was unexpected, and a huge loss for our family,” says Marinaro. “It really did put things in perspective. Sports took a back seat. This whole situation over the past few months is so much bigger than sport.”

“It was a loss for Mike, and I agree, it really did put everything in perspective,” adds Moore-Towers. “You realize what is truly important in life.”

“It was a low time not only for Mike, but for a lot of people, but it’s been nice to see people sharing their gifts and talents around the world. I saw a lot of positivity with people coming together in a way I hadn’t seen before.”

When the quarantine was first implemented, Moore-Towers and Marinaro, like many others, figured the hiatus would be short-term, perhaps only a few weeks. As time went on, both knew they had to find things to do with their surplus of spare time.

“I did a lot of teaching,” says Moore-Towers, adding she was grateful that Skate Oakville conduced virtual sessions to keep skaters active, both mentally and physically. “I was joking I was excited for quarantine to end, so I could be less busy. It gave me the gift of understanding where my passions lie and what I’m good at.”

Marinaro took advantage of the time off to get outdoors and spend some time with Mother Nature.

“After being locked up in an arena for the past 25 years, I had a chance to get outside during the quarantine and do a lot of camping and outdoor activities that I don’t normally get an opportunity to do,” he says.

Marinaro also took up Frisbee golf.

“I’m still not very good yet, but I’m trying to get better,” he adds with a laugh.

Along with their newfound perspective comes the reality that they are likely heading into the twilight of their competitive careers. Moore-Towers and Marinaro feel there is still some unfinished business to take care of and they don’t want the moment to pass them by.

And in these dark times, they’ve found a beacon of light.

“We’ve always had a clear, concise idea of who we are as athletes and as a team,” says Moore-Towers. “When that is stripped away, you start to think of these other things that will determine who you are as an athlete to complement who you are as a human being.

“We’ve been working on this our whole lives. But suddenly, everything you’ve been working for is unclear. This time has given both of us the opportunity to be well-rounded individuals and understand what we want to do when this is all over.”

But for now, that can wait.

Athlete Spotlight: Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro

Kirsten Moore-Towers

Q: What’s your favourite social media account to follow?
Kirsten: @thebucketlistfamily

Q: What is your favourite place in the world and why?
Kirsten: Vancouver. The mountains and oceans make me feel euphoric (even when it’s raining)

Q: What is your favourite emoji?
Kirsten: ‍ 🤷🏼‍ 👏 🎉

Q: Who is your celebrity crush?
Kirsten: Zac Efron, Channing Tatum

Q: If you weren’t a figure skater, what sport would you do?
Kirsten: Football quarterback. Just kidding. Frankly, I’m not very skilled in any other sports so I always struggle with this question.

Michael Marinaro

Q: What is your favourite place in the world and why?

Michael: Italy – because of the food

Q: Who is your celebrity crush?
Michael: Hilary Duff

Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Michael: Not being able to turn right on reds in Montreal.

Q: What fictional character would you like to meet in real life?
Michael: Rocky Balboa

Q: If you weren’t a figure skater, what sport would you do?
Michael: Golf

Moore-Towers and Marinaro win free, take silver at Finlandia Open

ESPOO, Finland – Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., won Saturday’s free skate to earn the silver medal in pairs at the Filandia Open figure skating competition.

Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia won the gold with 198.98 points. The Canadians, third after Friday’s short, followed closely at 193.93 and Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii of Russia were third at 188.54.

“We felt good about our competition but we had mistakes in both programs,” said Moore-Towers. “Our goal was to was have an improvement from the Autumn Classic International (at which they also placed second two weeks ago in Oakville) and we definitely did that. We’ll follow the same path to be ready for Skate Canada International (October 26-28 in Laval, Que).”

In men’s competition, Nicolas Nadeau of Blainville, Que., was less than four points from the podium finishing fourth with 227.76. Mikhail Kolyada of Russia was the winner with 250.58, Junhwan Cha of South Korea second at 239.19 and Morisi Kvitelashvili of Georgia third at 231.19.

“I only have one quad in the long so I need to execute it better,” said Nadeau. “Also a big mistake on my triple Axel which is my best jump which was disappointing after landing the first one in the long and also in the short.”

In the short dance, Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver stand third with 70.79, less than two points out of second spot.

On Friday, Véronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., was seventh after the women’s short.

Competition ends Sunday with the free dance and women’s free skate.

Full results Filandia Open: CS Finlandia Trophy Espoo 2018

Moore-Towers and Marinaro surge to sixth in gutsy performance at ISU World Figure Skating Championships

MILAN, Italy – Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., were profiles in courage on Thursday as they produced the fourth best free skate to climb from 10th to sixth in pairs at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships.

Olympic champions Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany took the gold with 245.84 points. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia were second at 225.53 and Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres of France third at 218.36.

Moore-Towers and Marinaro scored a personal best 204.33. Their training was derailed after their 11th place finish at the Olympics due to an ankle injury to Moore-Towers. They had not started doing throws until this week and had not done two in one day since the Olympics.

‘’We are extremely happy,’’ said Moore-Towers. ‘’ We had a tough couple of weeks leading into this competition with not much training to rely on. We didn’t have that same confidence so this is a testament to how hard we worked all season.’’

The Canadians seemed to get better as the program progressed. After an uneneven side-by-side jump early and just hanging on on the throw triple loop, they finished strong with their side-by-side triples and throw triple Salchow.

‘’We’d been putting in a full work load since July so I think that allowed us to put up personal bests under the circumstance,’’ said Marinaro.

Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., skated to a personal best score of 93.00 to sit sixth after the men’s short program.

‘’I was filled with joy going into the last spin,’’ said Messing. ‘’I’ve never felt that in a program before.’’
American Nathan Chen leads with 101.94, Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada is second at 100.08. Vincent Zhou of the U.S. is in third at 96.78.

Toronto’s Nam Nguyen was 25th and didn’t qualify for Saturday’s free skate.

‘’It’s a little upsetting,’’ said Nguyen. ‘’It’s always a different ball game when two of your three jumps in the short program are quads. I thought I was ready for it but it didn’t go well.’’

Competition continues Friday with the women’s free skate featuring Canadians Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman who were fourth and sixth in the short and the short dance.

Full results: ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018

Duhamel, Radford win Olympic pairs bronze in dramatic fashion

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – In what may have been the swan song to a illustrious career, waiting turned out to be the hardest part for Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford.

Just a few days after helping Canada win gold in the figure skating team event, the two-time world and seven-time Canadian champions claimed pairs bronze Thursday in a drama-filled final hour of the pairs free program. Duhamel and Radford scored 153.33 in their free program, which included the first clean throw quad Salchow in Olympic history. The Canadians ended with a 230.15 total to win Canada’s first Olympic pairs medal since Jamie Salé and David Pelletier won gold in 2002.

Duhamel and Radford entered the free program in bronze medal position, just in front of Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot. The German pair laid down the performance of their lives, setting a world record free program score of 159.31 to finish at 235.90, edging out reigning world champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China (235.47) for gold.

It was the first Olympic gold medal for the legendary Savchenko, a five-time world champion.

The final flight was not for the faint of heart. Savchenko and Massot were flawless in their free program, throwing down the gauntlet to the three teams left to skate. Duhamel and Radford laid down a strong program of their own to stay in medal contention before Weijing and Cong scored 153.08 to slip into second spot, just behind the Germans.

All the three podium hopefuls could do was hurry up and wait as the final pair of the evening, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov from the Olympic Athlete from Russia team, took to the ice.  Tarasova and Morozov had their struggles and fell to fourth.

“I think that was more intense that being backstage getting ready to skate,” said Radford of having to wait and see if they would stay on the podium. “I think we’re both really proud and a little surprised at how good we felt as the Germans were receiving their marks. It didn’t excite us or make us any more nervous. We were just like ‘all right, happy for them, they had a great skate, they got a great score, and now we’re going to do the same.’”

“While we were waiting and watching the Russian team skate, after they finished skating I was holding Eric’s hand and I said, ‘I think we did enough,’” said Duhamel.

“And Eric’s like, ‘No, I’m not going to believe it until the marks come up.’ And I was like ‘Eric, I need hope, I need to feel hopeful,’” she added with a laugh.

“We came to the Olympics and we just delivered four amazing performances – four out of four.”

The other two Canadian entries also had strong showings in their first Olympics together.

Julianne Séguin and Charlie Bilodeau scored 136.50 in their free program to finish ninth while Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro managed 132.43 to wind up 11th.

“Today was a little bit more of what we are capable of,” said Moore-Towers. “We had nothing to lose. There’s not an Olympic medal on the line for us. It was about bettering yesterday and bettering our performances this season.”

“Today was strictly about Kirsten and I, a learning experience and leaving it all out there on the ice,” added Marinaro.

“It was a great feeling,” said Séguin of their free program. “We were able to take the energy from the crowd, get in the zone and create a moment.”

With the pairs event now completed, the men take the ice for their short program Thursday night at 8:00 PM ET. Three-time world and ten-time Canadian champion Patrick Chan and first-time Olympian Keegan Messing represent Canada.

Medal Photo Credit: David Jackson/COC

PyeongChang 2018 Figure Skating Schedule & Results

Olympic Spotlight : Kirsten Moore-Towers / Michael Marinaro

For the second consecutive year, Moore-Towers and Marinaro finished third at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, earning a spot on the Canadian team for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

After teaming up in 2014, Moore-Towers and Marinaro notched their first ISU Grand Prix medal by winning bronze at 2015 Skate Canada International. In the summer of 2016, Moore-Towers suffered a concussion in training, keeping them out of action until they returned for the 2017 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, finishing on the podium for the first time.

This past season, Moore-Towers and Marinaro won the U.S. International Classic, a Challenger Series event, and placed third at the Cup of China for their second Grand Prix medal. The pair finished sixth at Skate America in their other Grand Prix assignment.

Moore-Towers and former partner Dylan Moscovitch competed at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, where a photo of Moore-Towers and NHLer Zdeno Chara went viral.  They were also part of Canada’s silver medal-winning team in the inaugural team event at those Games.

Moore-Towers and Marinaro win bronze in pairs at Cup of China

BEIJING – Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro produced a personal best free skate to win the bronze medal on Saturday in pairs to conclude the Cup of China figure skating competition – the third stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.

It was a 1-2 Chinese finish. World champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han took the gold with 231.07 and Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang were second at 205.54. Moore-Towers and Marinaro, fourth after the short program, followed at 194.52.

“We did a clean skate although we missed some levels,” said Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont. “So to still get a personal best, we feel pretty good about that.”

It was a second career Grand Prix medal for the Canadian pair and first since 2015.

“We definitely know we have more than that,” added Marinaro, from Sarnia, Ont. “We’re going to go back for the next three weeks and plan to put out an even higher number for our next event.”

In women’s competition, Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., dropped from first after the short to sixth overall.

“It was nowhere near where it was when I competed it three weeks ago,” said Daleman, 19. “There’s a lot more room for improvement. All I can do is go back home and get ready for Skate America (her next event).”

Alina Zagitova of Russia took the gold, Wakaba Higuchi of Japan was second and Elena Radionova of Russia third.

There was a lot of bouncing around in the men’s standings after the free skate. Mikhail Kolyada of Russia jumped from third to first for the gold. Boyang Jin of China remained second and Max Aaron of the U.S. surged from fifth to third, winning the free skate.

Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., moved from 10th to eighth with the seventh best long.

“The free program was more of an indication of how I’ve been practicing,” said Reynolds. “It’s been going very well in training but just a bit disappointed today with my opening loop attempt in competition.”

The next stop on the circuit is the NHK Trophy November 10-12 in Osaka, Japan.

Full results: ISU GP Audi Cup of China 2017.

Two medals for Canada at U.S. International Figure Skating Classic

SALT LAKE CITY – Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., won the gold medal Friday in pairs at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic.

Liam Firus of North Vancouver, B.C. added a bronze in men’s competition.

The Canadians won the short program Thursday and held on to first with the second best free skate to finish with 188.76 points. Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim of the U.S. were second at 186.08 and their compatriots Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson third at 181.40.

‘’We’re feeling pretty good about our free skate today but we definitely have room for improvement,’’ said Moore-Towers. ‘’We’re taking steps forward little by little and trying to get our season off to a good start.’’

The couple missed the first half of last season due to injury.

‘’It’s definitely just start right now,’’ added Marinaro. ‘’We want to keep building towards our first Grand Prix assignment in six weeks.’’

Sydney Kolodziej of Montreal and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., were seventh.

Nathan Chen led the U.S. to a 1-2 finish in men’s competition with 275.04 followed by Max Aaron at 261.56. Firus earned 248.29. Bennet Toman of Brampton, Ont., was 11th.

‘’I wasn’t expecting too much coming into this event,’’ said Firus, who landed a quad jump and a triple Axel. “I just wanted to stay in the present and do the best I could do. There was no worry about a score of placement.’’

In women’s competition after the short program, Alicia Pineault of Varennes, Que., is sixth and Michelle Long of Newmarket, Ont., ninth.

After the short dance, Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver are seventh.

The free dance and women’s free skate are on Saturday.

Full results: 2017 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic

Weaver and Poje win free dance to move Canada into fourth at ISU World Team Trophy

TOKYO – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., won the free dance on Friday to move Canada from fifth to fourth in the country standings at the ISU World Team Trophy figure skating competition.

Japan gained sole position of top spot with two events remaining with 81 points followed by the U.S., at 78, Russia with 74 and Canada with 67. China is fifth at 59 and France sixth at 46.

In the free dance, Weaver and Poje earned a 113.83 score  with Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. second at 109.96 and Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia third at 104.55.

First place in each event is worth 12 points for the country, second 11 points, third 10 and so on. Canada won the silver in the team event at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

In the men’s free skate, Japan was 1-2 with Yuzuru Hanyu earning 200.49 and Shoma Uno 198.49. Patrick Chan of Toronto was third at 190.74 and Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C. ninth.

The pairs program was won by Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres of France. Cheng Peng and Yang Jin of China were second and Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., third.

Competition ends Saturday with the free skates in women’s and pairs competition.

Full results: ISU World Team Trophy 2017.