KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea’s defense of their pairs title got off to a crushing start Thursday in the U.S. figure skating championships when a rough fall derailed their routine.
Kayne did not complete her throw triple lutz rotation and crashed face first on the ice when O’Shea tossed her during the short program. Kayne and O’Shea, back to defend the title they won in St. Paul, Minnesota, sit in fifth place and will need plenty of help and a flawless performance in the free skate on Saturday.
Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc topped the board with 69.33 points in the first day of competition at the Sprint Center. Cain and LeDuc nailed their split triple twist, solo triple loops and throw triple flip to take the top spot.
Cain has not competed in pairs in nearly 4 1/2 years before she teamed with LeDuc in a May 2016 tryout. Not even a year later, the pair were in the thick of contention for their first U.S. national championship.
“The moment I took his hand, I didn’t realize how much I missed pairs skating,” Cain said.
Haven Denny and Brandon Frazier were second with 65.39 points and Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Nathan Bartholomay were third with 65.39 points.