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Hochstein wins senior men's title at Collegiates

Bonenfant wins junior ladies; Szabo wins junior men

Grant Hochstein captured the senior men's title with an overall score of 179.38.
Grant Hochstein captured the senior men's title with an overall score of 179.38. (Hoffman Photography)

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By Brenda Gildewell, special to icenetwork.com
(08/16/2010) - On the second day of competition in Lansing, Mich., three new U.S. Collegiate Champions were crowned.

There was quite a bit of movement in the placements overall, with Bethany Bonenfant (third in short program) skating a well executed program en route to capturing the junior ladies title with a total score of 88.54.

Bonenfant completed a downgraded double Lutz-single loop-double toe sequence, double loop, double flip-double loop combination, Level 4 layback, and a Level 3 flying camel spin. In reflection of her performance, Bonenfant was absolutely thrilled with how she skated and felt that she went for every element and all aspects of her choreography. Attending Collegiates for the first time, Bonenfant's main goal was to perform her best and finish her competitive career on a high note. Bethany accomplished this goal with her achievement of a total element score of 24.38 and a 36.71 total for program components.

She will be entering her first year in the Culinary Arts program at Schoolcraft Community College this fall and is not sure how much time she will have to train competitively for the upcoming season. That being said, her performance at Collegiates is especially rewarding for both Bethany and her coach Linda Johns.

Courtney Donovan was in forth place following the short program and skated very well to capture the silver medal. Donovan is graduating from University of California at Irvine with a Biology degree. She will be attending California State at Long Beach for Microbiology and was especially thrilled to score her personal best of 82.68 in the free skate to capture second place. This is Donovan's third time attending Collegiates and is always excited to make new friendships and compete with her peers.

Leah Barsasnti of Washington University St. Louis took home the bronze. Barsanti was in first in the short program, but dropped to sixth in the free skate. Her overall score of 82.12 was good enough to keep her in third.

In the junior men's competition, Zachariah Szabo of University of Akron retained his lead following the short program to capture the junior men's title. Performing to Skulls and "Winds of Change" he earned the title with a combined score of 109.54. He opened his program with a strong triple toe and then went onto complete a triple loop, solid double Salchow-double toe combination, double toe, and double Salchow. Szabo was pleased with his performance, especially since he attempted all of his spins, receiving Level 2 and Level 3. Szabo wishes he would have executed some of his jump elements better than he did, but was pleased with the end result. Zachariah said that "he felt a bit of pressure to win the title following Bethany's solid performance and win earlier in the junior ladies event."

Joey Millet of UCLA finished the event with a total score of 106.85. He felt as if "he skated the best he could in long program, despite feeling a little shaky during the program." Millet skated to "Take Five" and enjoyed the overall experience during his first Collegiates. He remarked as "to how wonderful it was to compete with his peers and form friendships." In his program, he completed a triple Lutz, downgraded triple flip, triple Salchow, double Axel, solid double Lutz and Level 4 combination spin.

The senior men finished out the evening and were not to disappoint. William Brewster skated first and earned a total score was 149.38. Brewster chose to attend the U.S. Collegiate Championships this year since the competition was only an hour from his house and all of the competitors share the same experience of being full time college students. Brewster felt that his skate was okay, but he looks forward to getting back to training and improving his skills further for the remainder of the season.

Curran Oi was in second after the short program and put out a very strong effort for the gold, finishing in second place overall. Oi opened his program with a huge triple Lutz-triple toe combination, followed by a nicely executed double Axel-double toe-double loop combination, triple flip-double toe combination, solo triple flip, triple loop, triple Lutz and solid triple Salchow to earn a total score of 172.60.

Oi performed to On the Waterfront and was one of the crowd favorites in the men's event during his first outing at the Collegiate Championships due to the strength of his jumps and fast spins. The solid performance in the long program was especially significant to Oi as he took last year off from competition to focus on his studies at MIT and is really glad to be back on the ice at a in such a great competition. Oi felt that he performed well considering his limited time spent training for the competition and really enjoyed this opportunity to compete with those that share the demand that comes with being full-time college students and competitive figure skaters.

Skating last and performing a well choreographed free skate to music from Spartacus was Grant Hochstein. Despite struggling with some elements that resulted in falls, he landed a solid triple flip, nice double Axels and a triple flip in combination. His program flowed across the ice and showcased wonderful choreography, strong skating skills and well executed spin combinations.

Hochstein "felt the first half of the program went well, but he remained positive, pushing through to the end and fighting with much determination and was pleased with the end result."

Hochstein was especially proud to share his victory with his coach of eleven years, Lindsay Page-O'Donoghue. O'Donoghue was pleased with the efforts of her athlete saying: "It has been a joy for her to watch him mature into a fine young man as continues his development in becoming a truly great skater!"

Hochstein captured the title with a total score of 179.38 and cannot wait to use his experience here as a stepping block toward the remainder of the competitions this season.