Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau won the pairs event at Skate America on Saturday night, claiming their first career ISU Grand Prix victory.
In just their second full season of senior competition, the former world junior medallists rose from third place after the short program to take the gold medal with a final score of 197.31. Americans Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier (192.65) were the runners-up ahead of Russians Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (185.94) who had led after the short program but were only fifth-best in the free skate.
“We are really happy with what we did today. We have been able to focus on the long program even with the mistake we did in the short program so we’re happy with that. We got the gold so it’s amazing,” said Bilodeau, who had doubled their planned side-by-side triple loops in the short. That ended up being their only error of the entire competition.
“We are always working the same way. We keep in our mind that we are not focusing on any place, any podium or anything. We are just working hard, do our job, do our best, skate with our heart and that’s what we were able to do tonight,” added Seguin.
The young Canadians (Seguin is not yet 20 while Bilodeau just turned 23) have been enjoying a quick rise on the international scene since debuting together in the fall of 2013. After winning the Junior Grand Prix Final in December 2014, they competed at both the 2015 junior and senior world championships just a few months later, winning silver at the former and finishing an impressive eighth at the latter.
It was at Skate America last fall where they finished third for their first senior Grand Prix podium, kicking off a great season before an injury to Seguin forced them to withdraw from the 2016 world championships.
Their second Grand Prix event will be Rostelecom Cup in Moscow the first weekend of November. With a win under their belts, another podium performance would put them in good position to qualify for their second straight ISU Grand Prix Final where they finished fourth last year.
In other events, Gabrielle Daleman finished fourth in the ladies’ event for her best ever Grand Prix result. The former national champion was Canada’s top woman at last year’s worlds, placing ninth. Another former national champion, Nam Nguyen, was in fourth place after the men’s short program with the free skate scheduled for Sunday.