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High-wire act propels Cooper, Burgess to pairs title

Detroit SC partners run ahead of adult pairs competition in Hyannis
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The adult pairs field was no match for Carol Cooper and Ethan Burgess, who prevailed by nearly nine points. -Jay Adeff

Carol Cooper and Ethan Burgess, both of Detroit SC, put on a high-wire act Saturday to easily win the adult pairs competition at the 2014 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships in Hyannis, Mass. Their 54.53 point total put them well ahead of the rest of the medalists.

Skating to a James Bond-themed program, Cooper spent much of the time suspended in the air as Burgess held fast on each lift. Wearing costumes that resembled stunning evening attire, they flowed into the second half of their program with little sign of fatigue. As the traditional Bond music changed to Adele's "Skyfall," Cooper and Burgess showed little signs of the wear. Near the end, a lift close to the audience looked headed for a dangerous fall, but Burgess was able to protect his partner from what looked like certain disaster and the two continued on undeterred.

The rest of the podium was decided by the slightest of fractions.

Tara Cioppa of North Jersey FSC and Stephen Trzaska of Washington FSC put on a dreamlike performance, showing strong side-by-side spins and great balance to earn the silver medal with 45.63 points.

Kimberly Sailer and David Garber, both of Pittsburgh FSC, combined comedy and athleticism as they skated a Blades of Glory program to the music of Aerosmith. The knowing crowd cheered on "Fire" and "Ice," who took home the bronze medal with 45.22 points.

Jan Calnan, an individual member, and Mark Stanford, SC of New York, opened with a solid lift to the tune of "Unchained Melody" and executed a stunning death spiral. Late in the program, Calnan came close to touching the ice on a throw but fought her way back up. The pair finished with 45.19 points -- 0.03 short of the bronze and just 0.44 points from the silver.

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