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Sterlace, Durango's journey ends in dance gold

Duo claims victory by more than 20 points; Silver goes to Nielson, Sasmore
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Shay Sterlace (University of Delaware FSC) and Yovanny Durango (Liberty FSC Of Philadelphia) didn't exactly have to hang on to earn their victory in championship adult dance; they lapped the field by more than 20 points. -Jay Adeff

In a free dance heralded for its dramatic power and beauty, Shay Sterlace and Yovanny Durango were in a class by themselves, winning the championship adult dance at the 2014 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships by more than 20 points.

The duo entered Saturday's free dance just 4.06 points ahead of the team of Sandra Nielson and Peter Sasmore, but they pulled away with a memorable performance to Journey's "Open Arms." The judges rewarded Sterlace (Liberty FSC of Philadelphia) and Durango (University of Delaware FSC) for their speed and artistry with a huge score of 42.61. Their 78.87-point total put a little extra shine on their gold medal.

Nielson, a first-year ice dancer, and Sasmore, a professional choreographer and dance instructor, showed off a dramatic and athletic style to earn 26.11 points in the free dance. Their 58.31 total earned the first-year team from the Peninsula SC the silver medal.

Josephine Lee and Jim Kamin, both of the Starlight Ice Dance Club, heated up the ice with a romantic flamenco dance. The routine was deemed the second best of the day and earned the team 27.87 points. The crowd-pleasing performance helped lift them from fifth place to the podium, where they received the bronze medal. Their total score was 49.89.

The veteran team of Amy Engeler and Robert Engle, both of the SC of New York, took home the pewter medal with a total score of 44.15.

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