LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — American ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani skated into the Grand Prix Final with ease, winning Skate America on Sunday for their second victory in the series.

The two-time U.S. champions were a hit with fans and judges all weekend, twizzling and spinning their way to wins in the short and free dance programs. They won the free skate Sunday with a 115.07 and finished with 194.25 overall.

The siblings also won the Grand Prix event in Russia this year. They took bronze at last season’s Final, and they’ll try to do better next month in Japan.

Italy’s Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte also qualified for the Final with a score of 181.63. The duo was upset with the judges’ scores on the short program Saturday and then struggled in the free dance, with Cappellini’s skate getting caught on Lanotte’s pants during a lift.

Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov were third at 176.53. Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier were fourth at 166.54, and Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker of the U.S. next at 163.53. The other American pair, Rachel and Michael Parsons, was ninth out of nine teams.

Author photo
JAKE SEINER
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.