Brezina wins Skate America; Corona's Dornbush does quad
Michal Brezina, a 21-year-old from the Czech Republic, survived a mistake-filled long program to win the men's title at Skate America on Saturday at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.
Brezina, who finished fourth at the world championships last year, had a 10-point lead after the short program and that was enough to keep him ahead even as he turned an attempted quadruple salchow into a single, popped a triple loop, fell on his triple lutz and stumbled during his step sequence.
Still, Brezina finished with 216.00 points to win his first Grand Prix tournament gold medal. Kevin van der Perren, a 29-year-old veteran from Belgium, completed one of only two fully rotated quadruple jumps Saturday in the long program to move up from fourth after the short program, to second with 212.48 points while reigning world silver medalist Takahiko Kozuka of Japan, who fell twice including on his quad attempt, was third with 212.09 points.
Richard Dornbush, 20, of Corona moved up from fifth after the short to fourth place with the help of his completed quadruple jump, only the second time in competition he has landed the quad. Dornbush, who skated a Western-themed program to music from "A Fistful of Dollars," did a solid quadruple toe loop to open his program and followed that with a nicely done triple lutz, but as the program progressed, Dornbush stumbled out of a triple axel and had two falls while scoring 202.27 points.
"Best part of the program was the quad," Dornbush said, "then I made a lot of mistakes which I regret but I'm so happy I landed the quad."
Brezina, who skated last, said it was his coaches who told him not to attempt either of the planned two quadruple jumps he had in his long program performed to music from "The Untouchables." Winning was nice, Brezina said, but next time he competes, in a Grand Prix event in Paris? "I'm going to do the quad no matter what," he said.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Michael Brezina performs during his long program on Saturday at Skate America in Ontario. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press