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U.S. Championships

Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier win first U.S. Championship

Last season, Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier watched the U.S. Championships from Frazier’s college dorm room as Denney continued to recover from knee surgery. This year, Denney and Frazier returned to the U.S. Championships and will be leaving  Kansas City with their first senior U.S. Championship.

Denney and Frazier, who were second after the short program, scored a 122.93 in the free skate and earned a total of 188.32 to win the gold.

“We are happy with the way we skated today, ” Frazier said following the free skate.  “We have worked really hard to be back at the U.S. Championships. It was not a perfect skate out there today, but we worked through it and fought through so we are proud of ourselves.”

2016 U.S. bronze medalists Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran, who were in fourth after the short program took home the silver medal, earning a 121.99 in the free skate and a total score of 186.28. In August, Tran suffered a concussion and the two finished 7th (Skate America) and 5th (Trophee de France) at their two Grand Prix events in the fall. 

“Mervin and I are just so excited to be here – we had a roller coaster of a year with a  concussion. Just getting back into the training – we’re just really happy to be here and we really felt that we put everything out there, ” Castell said.
Winners of the short program, Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc, who have only been skating together for seven months, won the bronze medal in their Nationals debut with 115.08 in the free skate and a total score of 184.41.
“We’re so happy to be here, first season together, and to be on the podium is a fantastic accomplishment. We’re very grateful to everyone that’s supported us along the way along the way, our coaches. I think we
have a very bright future and we’re excited to take the experiences we’ve had in these seven months and grow as a team, ” said LeDuc. 

Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Nathan Bartholomay took home the pewter medal in their Nationals debut. At age 33, Stellato last competed in the 2001 U.S. Championships as a single skater. She decided to return to competitive skating in 2016 and paired up with Bartholomay, a 2014 U.S. silver medalist and Olympian with former partner Felicia Zhang, in July.

2016 U.S. Champions Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea, who were in fifth after the short program, withdrew prior to the free skate after Kayne suffered a concussion following a fall in the short program. 

The U.S. will send Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier, along with Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierm, who petitioned to be named to the World Team. Scimeca Knierim had stomach surgery in September, but the team has since resumed full training. Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc have been named first alternates.