Ice Network

Rubke, Galuszka thrive in intermediate-novice tilts

Angeleno standout wins fourth straight; Wyandotte member rocks building
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Michael Rubke and Stephanie Galuszka were the victors in the championship masters intermediate-novice men's and ladies divisions. -Jay Adeff

Championship masters intermediate-novice men's

Calm, steady, and as meticulous as the iconic music ("Bolero") to which he skated, Michael Rubke handily took the gold medal in the championship masters intermediate-novice men's event at the 2014 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships with a score of 38.90.

Rubke eased the crowd and the judges, taking his time through a well-meted out program that Ravel himself would have enjoyed. Opening with a steady Axel, he followed through with a fine repertoire that included a double Salchow and a double loop. His death drop was stupendous, and the crowd agreed with the judges that Rubke deserved his fourth title in as many years.

Looking as if he'd skated straight out of a New Orleans jazz club, longtime crowd favorite Christopher Williams grabbed the silver medal with his unique flexibility and style. With barrel rolls, hydroplanes and feet to the sky, Williams always brings it all to the crowd -- and the ice. His score of 30.98 was enough for second place.

First-time U.S. adult competitor Charles Huang (All Year FSC) earned the bronze medal with his sophisticated program to Romeo and Juliet. After a huge opening Axel, Huang had to think it out, fighting to keep his adreniline in check. He completed two big double Salchows and showed beautiful extension in his moves, settling down as the program progressed. He earned 30.48 points for third place.

Championship masters intermediate-novice ladies

Looking as if she were wearing a million-dollar dress dipped in diamonds, Stephanie Galuszka rocked the building during the championship masters intermediate-novice ladies event.

Skating to selections from 42nd Street, the Wyandotte FSC member opened with a huge double toe loop-single loop combination. She followed with a massive Axel that landed right on the beat of her music. Her gutsy and dynamic program had the audience cheering with every element. She played to both the crowd and the judges, making both sides of the rink happy to watch her bring home the gold with 41.30 points.

Suzanne Himmerich of the Washington FSC, skating first, exhibited a true connection with her music, Celtic Woman's version of "You Raise Me Up." It was clear that Himmerich was happy to be on the ice for her sixth U.S. Adult Championships, landing two Axels and a double Salchow in combination. When she landed a double loop-single loop combination, she nearly rose out of her boots with joy. It was a sweet performance that Himmerich enjoyed as much as the audience did. She scored 40.80 points.

The much-beloved veteran, Beth Delano (Philadelphia SC and Humane Society), gave a solid effort to earn 38.73 points for the bronze medal. While not skating as freely as in her many past performances, Delano was able to think herself through what was a clean performance to "A Day in the Life," by Jeff Beck, and the rousing applause she received was a testament to her power at the U.S. Adult Championships.