Madison Chock and Evan Bates won their first Four Continents title Sunday afternoon at the International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2019.
The Montreal-based team received a Level 4 on all but one element in their Michael Buble and Elvis Presley free dance to earn a segment score of 126.25. In their third competition in five weeks for their comeback after Chock’s 10-month recovery from ankle surgery, they topped the podium with 207.42 points. Both scores are the highest internationally by an American team under the new judging system.
“If you had told us that we would win Four Continents when we pulled out of the Grand Prix four months ago, I think we would be very surprised,” Bates said post-performance. “We’re so proud of our performances. We keep building.”
The win marks Chock and Bates’ fifth Four Continents medal in as many trips to the event.
Two-time and reigning U.S. champions Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue finished fourth with 119.71 points for their Romeo and Juliet free dance. The team, who led after the rhythm dance, received the highest program component marks of the day with 57.21. After receiving a base level for their opening stationary lift, Hubbell and Donohue landed less than a point off the podium with 201.66 points overall.
“We would rather it happens here than Worlds, so maybe it’s a good wake-up call to make sure that everything is good for Worlds,” Hubbell said of the technical call. “We will go home and work in the next five weeks to do absolutely our best in Japan.”
Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker set new season’s best scores en route to a fifth-place finish on the final day of the event. With four Level 4 elements and all positive Grades of Execution, the 2019 U.S. bronze medalists tallied a segment score of 115.45 points for their performance to music by The Irrepressibles. They finished the competition with a total score of 189.87.
“It was a season’s best score-wise and performance-wise and we both felt like it was our strongest showing yet,” Hawayek said. “We’re still working on little details and levels and making sure that we’re at the program’s fullest potential by March in Worlds. We’re really happy for this stepping stone.”
Canadian ice dance teams Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje and Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier finished second with 203.93 and third with 202.45, respectively.
The free dance marks the end of competition at the ISU Four Continents Championships. All three teams, coached by Patrice Lauzon, Marie-France Dubreuil and Romain Haguenauer in Montreal, are slated to compete next at the 2019 ISU World Championships next month.