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Donohue and Hubbell Win U.S. International Skating Classic Ice Dance Title; Rippon Takes Bronze

Zachary Donohue and partner Madison Hubbell won the ice dancing crown at the U.S. International Classic, while Adam Rippon took home bronze in men’s, one of the first skating competitions of the season in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Donohue (North Madison, Conn.) and Hubbell put together two incredibly strong routines to breeze through the competition, to take home their first gold of the season. A strong short dance put them into first place by a little over three points, in front of a couple from Japan. A spectacular free dance distanced themselves from the pack, giving them the gold medal.
While the field didn’t even include some of the best American ice dancers, it was still a strong showing for the duo. America is looking for the next ice dancing stars following the absence of Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, and Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
Davis and White may return later this season in order to prepare for a 2018 Olympic comeback and they will definitely be near the top upon their return, but if Donohue and Hubbell can establish themselves early this season, it will help set them up for a chance in South Korea in two years.
Rippon (Scranton, PA.) started the competition well, putting together the best score in short program, with an 87.86. As the defending U.S. champion, he was expected to be able to compete for a gold medal, even against 2015 U.S. champion and top-ranked American Jason Brown. Brown hung close to Rippon in the short skate, However, he struggled in the free skate, finishing third, well behind Brown and Takahito Mura of Japan, taking him out of gold medal position.
Again, the field didn’t include the top skaters in the world, but it was most of the top skaters in the United States getting ready for the upcoming season. It was an encouraging showing for them against some other international skaters, as they attempt to make a solid mark in 2016-2017.

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Dan is a Staff Writer here at with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
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