NORWOOD — The result was a lot closer than Alexandra Trusova may have anticipated.
Trusova, the reigning world bronze medalist and one of Russia’s deep roster of jumping talents, attempted five quadruple jumps, the most ever done by a woman, in her winning free skate at Saturday’s 2021 US International Figure Skating Classic at Norwood’s Skating Club of Boston. She only landed one and underrotated two others, edging runner-up Yeonjeong Park by just 4 points overall, 216.80 to 212.40, instead of the landslide that was expected.
With a heavy metal version of “Cruella de Vil” blasting through the arena speakers, Trusova checked off jump attempts like one checks off items on a pre-blizzard grocery list — all business and in a rush. Though the quads weren’t completely successful, the attempts were enough to give her the title, with a 142.05 in the free skate.
Park’s airy and light free skate was stylistically opposite. Despite this being her first senior international event, she landed every jump smoothly, earning a 141.33.
Gabriella Izzo, a Harvard student, won the bronze medal with an overall score of 182.76. Her “Sunset Boulevard” free skate showcased clean triple Lutz and triple flip combinations in the first half of the program.
Izzo, who trains at the Skating Club of Boston, was bolstered by the home crowd. “I could hear certain people with very distinct voices. It felt like a warm hug before I started.”
Fellow Americans Sierra Venetta and Paige Rydberg closed out the top five.
Earlier in the evening, Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue won the ice dance event with almost a 17-point margin over silver medalists Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin. The reigning US champions and world silver medalists debuted their “Drowning” free skate, which was chock full of acrobatic lifts and difficult twizzle sequences, earning a segment score of 123.24 and an overall score of 207.30.
Hubbell and Donohue opened their free dance with a double jab — a dizzying dance spin and then a complicated straight-line lift that saw Donohue lift a somersaulting Hubbell prone above his shoulders, then drop her sideways onto his right shoulder while skating full speed down the rink. The lift took 15 months to work on, and is a huge moment of pride for the couple.
“It’s a bit of an ego boost for me,” said Donohue. “Find me another guy who can do a lift like that, with an amazing partner like that. I find it energizing. It’s a moment of grounding. I can skate up to that moment and maybe not be over my feet or feel a little bit nervous, but I have to be so on to protect her.”
Together for 10 years, the couple is going all out because they have decided it is their last competitive season.
“It feels right,” said Hubbell. “A lot of people have been a little surprised. For me, if I wait until I don’t love the sport anymore, I’ll be in this sport forever.”
A commanding performance using the music of “Moulin Rouge” sealed the silver medal for Russia’s Davis and Smolkin, who had an overall tally of 190.63. They kept the program for a second year, after using it in the limited 2020-21 season.
“We competed just once with this music, so we decided to keep it,” said Smolkin, who trains in Michigan with Davis.
Eva Pate and Logan Bye, in just their third season together, won a surprising bronze medal with a score of 171.70. Their “Hunger Games” free dance captured the audience from the first note, and they received solid execution scores on a difficult lift sequence in the middle of their routine. Pate and Bye even incorporated a costume change mid-program, where Pate’s solid black dress turned completely red.
South Korea’s Yura Min and Daniel Eaton finished fourth, while Americans Lorraine McNamara and Anton Spiridonov rebounded from a disappointing Friday performance to finish fifth.
Prior to the senior events, younger skaters from across the nation had an opportunity to skate in the Novice and Junior Challenge Skate. In the junior women, Charlestown’s Hazel Collier finished second in the short program with a score of 52.54 after landing a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination. Phillip Baker and Jonathan Hildebrandt, also from the Skating Club of Boston, finished fourth and fifth in the junior men’s short program.