Tennell back to defend US title after whirlwind Olympic year
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
Tuesday, January 22
The whirlwind rise of Bradie Tennell began at last year’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships, where the sprightly teenager stunned a field of veterans to claim her first national title and with it, a spot on the American team headed to the Winter Olympics.
She proceeded to post her best score of the season in the short program of the team event at the Pyeongchang Games, helping the U.S. to a bronze medal, before finishing ninth as an individual.
After a summer spent catching her breath, Tennell started off this season by winning the Autumn Classic. And after a mediocre showing at Skate America, and taking third place at her other Grand Prix assignment in France, she rebounded to win Golden Spin in December with a season-best short program.
Now the 20-year-old is back to defend her American title this week in Detroit, this time as the favorite.
“You know, honestly that never really crossed my mind,” said Tennell, who added a triple Lutz-triple loop to her program this season. “I don’t think of things like that. I think every time I go out on the ice I want to do the best for myself, and as long as you do that, I’m happy.”
Her best should be good enough for gold.
The women’s field was thinned considerably when Karen Chen, who won the title two years ago, was forced out with a foot injury. Olympic teammate Mirai Nagasu, who was second at nationals last year, is taking a break from the sport, and two-time national champion Gracie Gold announced last week that she was withdrawing as she considers her best path toward the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Tennell’s biggest competition could come from Mariah Bell, a former Skate America runner-up, and 13-year-old Alysa Liu will get plenty of attention as she jumps onto the senior stage.
“I have the highest score of all Grand Prix events of the ladies (at nationals),” Bell said last week. “I look at those things closely. NHK Trophy was a tough competition and I held my own there, so I feel like I’m in a good spot. I proved I could hang with the toughest ladies in the world.”
The women and pairs open nationals on Thursday, followed by rhythm dance and the women’s free skate on Friday night. The pairs free skate, men’s short program and free dance are Saturday, with the men’s free skate concluding the competition Sunday.
Here is a look at the other events:
MEN’S COMPETITION: World champion Nathan Chen is the heavy favorite to win his third straight national title, even though he’s been juggling school work — he is a freshman at Yale — with skating this season. The 19-year-old from Salt Lake City, whose short program at the Olympics was a disappointment, won both of his Grand Prix assignments before repeating as Grand Prix Final champ.
“I didn’t have my coach. I didn’t have the same training ice, times were totally different, but I think I managed well,” Chen said of his first year at college, on the opposite coast from coach Rafael Arutunian and his training base in California. “But I didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity to compete. I still want to do a lot in skating.”
Chen’s closest competition could come from 2015 champion Jason Brown, who moved to Canada to train under Brian Orser and Tracy Wilson, and Vincent Zhou, his teammate on last year’s Olympic team.
“The biggest thing when I came to Toronto, they sat me down and talked to me about this 18-month process and just how long it would take to be comfortable,” Brown said of his move north, “and I was open to that and willing and understanding that change takes time, and I was up for that, up for the challenge, up for whatever that progress looked like.”
PAIRS COMPETITION: Two-time and reigning U.S. champions Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim are fresh off bronze at NHK Trophy, where an offseason of change finally began to bear fruit.
After the Olympics, the pair moved to Germany to train under Aliona Savchenko, only to reverse course in October and return to the U.S. They’ve been training in California the past few months.
“It’s been a crazy season with a lot of change,” Alexa Scimeca-Knierim said, “but there was no moment of panic. We were just accepting of each situation as it came.”
Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea also switched training bases, moving to Colorado to train with Dalilah Sappenfield in a bid to regain the form that won them the 2016 national championship, while Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc will be trying to build on their Skate America bronze.
DANCE COMPETITION: The medals keep getting better for Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue, who helped the U.S. earn bronze at the Winter Games. They proceeded to win silver at the worlds, then won four times this season, including their first Grand Prix Final title.
Their training partners in Montreal, Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, are the biggest threats, with Madison Chock and Evan Bates a question mark following her offseason ankle surgery.
Zagitova wobbles but leads European champs short program
MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova wobbled but still took the lead in Wednesday’s short program at the European Championships.
The defending champion from Russia survived an under-rotated triple loop and a shaky landing on a triple flip to score 75 points — a relatively low score by her standards but still more than second-place teammate Sofia Samodurova with 72.88.
“I was just focused on having a clean skate,” said Zagitova, who was recovering from a disappointing fifth-place finish at last month’s Russian nationals. “I was deliberately trying not to show my emotions and I don’t plan to until the free skate. There were some flaws but they can be fixed. Now I need to get focused as much as possible for the free skate.”
American-born Swiss skater Alexia Paganini is third with 65.64 points, 0.03 ahead of Viveca Lindfors of Finland. Paganini is looking to become Switzerland’s first European medalist since Sarah Meier won the title on home ice in 2011.
Russian hopes of a podium sweep took a hit when Stanislava Konstantinova fell, scoring 56.76 for 11th.
Olympic silver medalist and two-time European champion Evgenia Medvedeva isn’t competing after failing to make the Russian team at nationals.
The women’s free skate is Friday.
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Hafthor Bjornsson, Brian Shaw, Martins Licis Lead Field at 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic
Defending champion Hafthor Bjornsson of Iceland; three-time winner Brian Shaw of Fort Lupton, Colo., and red-hot Martins Licis of Santa Monica, Calif., headline a field of 10 qualifiers for the 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic set for the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio.
Bjornsson broke through to win the 2018 Arnold Strongman Classic in his seventh attempt after finishing second in 2017 and fifth in 2016. Bjornsson, the actor who plays The Mountain on the HBO hit series Game Of Thrones, backed up the victory by winning the 2018 World’s Strongest Man contest. Shaw, winner here in 2011, 2015 and 2017, hopes to reclaim the title after finishing runner-up to Bjornsson a year ago.
Licis is coming off victories at Arnold Pro Strongman Europe in September 2018 and Arnold Strongman USA this past weekend on the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles.
Licis, fourth at 2018 World’s Strongest Man, finished 8th in 2017 in his only appearance in Columbus.
Other qualifiers include Rauno Heinla (Estonia), Mikhail Shivlyakov (Russia), Jean-Francois Caron (Canada), Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland), Matjaz Belsak (Slovenia), Jerry Pritchett (USA) and Olexii Novikov (Ukraine).
The 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic will be dedicated to Dr. Terry Todd, the event founder who was a weightlifting champion and founder and director of the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports at the University of Texas.
The 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic serves as the Arnold Pro Strongman World Series Championship. The qualifiers were determined through a series of pro strongman events held mostly in conjunction with Arnold Sports Festivals in 2018. Novikov earned his spot by winning the Arnold Amateur World Championship at the 2018 Arnold Sports Festival.
Visit www.arnoldprostrongman.com for more information on the Arnold Pro Strongman World Series.
Events at the 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic include: ROGUE Elephant Bar Deadlift (rounds system, with the beginning weight set at 751 pounds/340 kilos); Husafel Stone Carry (409 pounds/189 kilos for distance); Conan’s Wheel of Pain (details to be announced); Austrian Oak (430 pounds/195 kilos overhead press for reps); and the Odd Haugen Stone to Shoulder (natural stone to shoulder for reps, 410 pounds/186 kilos).
The 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic will be held March 1-2, 2019 during the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, with the final event held at 7 p.m., March 2 as part of the Arnold Classic, Arnold Classic Men’s Physique & Bikini International Finals at the Battelle Grand Ballroom.
The Arnold Pro Strongman World Series was founded in 2016 to increase the visibility and prize pursues in professional Strongman and to give the world’s best athletes an opportunity to compete around the world and earn a spot in the Arnold Pro Strongman World Championships.
The Arnold Strongman Classic has been held at the Arnold Sports Festival annually since 2002.
Admission to the Arnold Strongman Classic is included with a daily Arnold Fitness EXPO ticket ($20 each in advance, $25 at the door). Admission to the fifth and final event is included in Arnold Classic, Bikini International and Arnold Classic Men’s Physique Finals show at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2 at Battelle Grand. (tickets are $50-$100)
Visit www.arnoldstrongmanclassic.com and www.arnoldsportsfestival.com for more information.
Brutus wins UCA D1 mascot national championship
By: Phil Harrison | January 20, 2019
Any time Ohio State wins a national championship in anything it’s note-worthy right? Well, then it’s time to share some news.
Folks, the dream is real. Brutus was named the UCA’s D1A mascot national championship.
The Universal Cheerleader’s Association is holding its annual cheerleading competition in Orlando, Florida, with the mascot competition being a part of it. Brutus came in as the No. 1 seed and took it all home for Ohio State’s first — and hopefully not last — national title of 2019.
Minnesota’s Golden Gophy took on the title last year with Brutus placing 3rd. What do they judge on with the sort of things you ask? The UCA looks at creativity, prop usage, crowd appeal and interaction, creativity, and animation and enthusiasm.
Brutus apparently, has it all.
Now we’ll be on the watch to see what the Ohio State cheerleaders do in their portion of the competition.
The Buckeyes Lead The Way Into DlA Pom Finals
Jan 19, 2019
This weekend marks the 10th year the Pom category has been at the championship and everyone is anxiously awaiting to find out who will take home the coveted Div lA title.
Semi-Finals took place this morning and the routines were nothing short of amazing.
Seven teams have advanced on to Finals and will take the stage one final time Sunday starting at 3:22 PM ET.
The reigning champions, The Ohio State University, are back in the top spot after a strong Semi-Finals performance.
This year, the Buckeyes showcase a unique turn sequence that features an axel in the middle. Their routine is full of dynamic visuals that help keep the crowd entertained from start to finish.
Rutgers University X
The Ohio State University X
University of Cincinnati X
University of Iowa X
University of Minnesota X
University of Nevada-Las Vegas X
University of Wisconsin X
January 23, 2019
34 Officers Graduate from Patrol’s Basic Peace Officer Class
Columbus – Members of the 141st Basic Peace Officer Class received training certificates during a graduation ceremony held Wednesday afternoon at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Training Academy. The 34 graduates will assume duties as peace officers for 17 Ohio agencies.
The 23-week basic course began in August. The course was developed by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and offers comprehensive instruction in more than 150 topics, including criminal law, traffic law, community relations, physical training, self-defense, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, standardized field sobriety testing and electronic speed measuring devices.
Agent Sarah E. Gossett, Ohio Investigative Unit, was selected as class speaker by her fellow class members and addressed the assembly.
Class honors went to the following:
Overall Top Performer – Mark J. Martin, Springdale Police Department
Top Academics – Joseph A. Kelly, Upper Arlington Police Division
Top Firearms – Aaron J. Sensenbrenner, Centerville Police Department
Top Physical Fitness – Mark J. Martin, Springdale Police Department
Top Driving – Levi M. Farley, ODNR, Division of Wildlife
Jeffrey K. Scott, Chief of Police, Notre Dame College Police Department, was the featured speaker for the ceremony and addressed an audience of graduates, friends, relatives and law enforcement officers. Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent, provided remarks.
First Name, MI Last Name Agency
David D. Bates Ohio Investigative Unit
Alec J. Berkheimer Mentor Police Department
Ethan J. Bingham ODNR, Division of Wildlife
Emmanuel K. Boamah Upper Arlington Police Division
Michele E. Butler ODNR, Division of Wildlife
Erin N. Durbin Upper Arlington Police Division
Levi M. Farley ODNR, Division of Wildlife
Jordan M. Fisher Bedford Police Department
Sarah E. Gossett Ohio Investigative Unit
Anasia D. Greathouse Ohio Investigative Unit
Deven J. Hall Ohio Investigative Unit
Matthew S. Horvath Bowling Green Police Division
Keith M. Hurst City of Urbana, Police Division
Lloyd D. Jackson London Division of Police
Antoinette M. Jolliff ODNR, Division of Wildlife
Joseph A. Kelly Upper Arlington Police Division
Matthew J. Madgar ODNR, Division of Wildlife
Mark J. Martin Springdale Police Department
Brandon L. Medina Upper Arlington Police Division
Alexa L. Montesano Ohio Investigative Unit
Mostafa D. Musa Worthington Division of Police
Madison A. Orton Ohio Investigative Unit
Duane E. Painter Washington County Sheriff’s Office
Ryan M. Pawlus ODNR, Division of Wildlife
James C. Pelphrey Centerville Police Department
Andrew C. Robinson Avon Lake Police Department
Aaron J. Sensenbrenner Centerville Police Department
Cory M. Smith Mentor Police Department
Daniel J. Thompson Shaker Heights Police Department
Alec M. Traxler Findlay Police Department
Austin T. Whitt Monroe Police Department
Brock P. Williamson ODNR, Division of Wildlife
Thomas R. Wilson II London Division of Police
Jill J. Wyckoff Monroe Police Department