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Zhou enjoys sizable lead after short at Collegiates

Morrow, Sperduto round out top three

Karen Zhou won the senior ladies title at the 2010 U.S. Collegiate Championships.
Karen Zhou won the senior ladies title at the 2010 U.S. Collegiate Championships. (Hoffman Photography)

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By Brenda Gildewell, special to icenetwork.com
(08/15/2010) - The 2010 U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships resumed Saturday morning with the start of the senior ladies short program. U.S. Figure Skating is excited to note that this year's Collegiate Championships not only had a record breaking number of competitors, but was also comprised of a senior ladies short program group that included 45 skaters. When this eight hour short program event concluded, those in attendance shared in the common opinion that the event contained a substantial amount of quality skating and a plethora of lovely performances.

Leading the pack with a score of 46.58 and a sizable lead of over seven points is Karen Zhou of the University of California Irvine. Zhou is enjoying her first year at the U.S. Collegiate Championships. Zhou performed her short to the music "Reverie" and took complete command of the ice as she executed a huge triple flip with a back spiral entry edge and double Axel. She completed the rotation on her triple Lutz, but stepped out of the landing, missing her combination. She received a Level 4 on her flying sit spit and Level 2 on her footwork, layback spin, and combination spin. Her program not only contained well executed elements, but was also comprised of beautiful choreography and expressive movements.

Zhou remarked that she wishes "she would have done her combination jump and is looking forward to the long program for a second chance at completing it." She decided to compete this year as she has always wanted to do Collegiates and get the chance to represent her school.

"It is so much fun being here and I am enjoying the friendly atmosphere of this competition so much!" said Zhou. Zhou is only 18 years old and is already entering her junior year in college as a Business Administration major.

Finishing in second place with a total score of 39.34 was the 2009 U.S. Collegiate Champion, Chelsea Morrow of Grand Rapids Community College. Morrow completed a clean triple toe, double Axel and double flip-double toe combination. She performed to the music Elizabeth and executed wonderfully fast spins that received Level 4. Morrow was pleased with her program and is looking forward to the free skate event tomorrow where hopes to skate a solid program. She was excited to return to this year's competition as she "enjoys the fun and relaxed atmosphere of the Collegiate competition."

Christina-Maria Sperduto of Dartmouth College is in third-place with a score of 38.55 following a strong short program in which she completed an awesome triple Salchow. Her program was beautifully choreographed and flowed across the ice, entertaining the audience and judges alike. Sperduto was "pleased with her performance, execution of her program and the levels she received on her spins and footwork." Following the event Sperduto commented on how much she has enjoyed the friendly atmosphere here at Collegiates and how surprised she was by the support of her peers when compared to competitive events such as Regionals.

The senior ladies free skate takes place Sunday.