SALT LAKE CITY – Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., won the gold medal Friday in pairs at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic.
Liam Firus of North Vancouver, B.C. added a bronze in men’s competition.
The Canadians won the short program Thursday and held on to first with the second best free skate to finish with 188.76 points. Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim of the U.S. were second at 186.08 and their compatriots Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson third at 181.40.
‘’We’re feeling pretty good about our free skate today but we definitely have room for improvement,’’ said Moore-Towers. ‘’We’re taking steps forward little by little and trying to get our season off to a good start.’’
The couple missed the first half of last season due to injury.
‘’It’s definitely just start right now,’’ added Marinaro. ‘’We want to keep building towards our first Grand Prix assignment in six weeks.’’
Sydney Kolodziej of Montreal and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., were seventh.
Nathan Chen led the U.S. to a 1-2 finish in men’s competition with 275.04 followed by Max Aaron at 261.56. Firus earned 248.29. Bennet Toman of Brampton, Ont., was 11th.
‘’I wasn’t expecting too much coming into this event,’’ said Firus, who landed a quad jump and a triple Axel. “I just wanted to stay in the present and do the best I could do. There was no worry about a score of placement.’’
In women’s competition after the short program, Alicia Pineault of Varennes, Que., is sixth and Michelle Long of Newmarket, Ont., ninth.
After the short dance, Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver are seventh.
The free dance and women’s free skate are on Saturday.