Halverson wins U.S. Junior Men's Title - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Halverson wins U.S. Junior Men's Title

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Halverson cruised to the U.S. junior men's title Friday, adding it to his novice title of 2006. The last man to pull the out the double victories in consecutive years was two time World bronze medalist Evan Lysacek, who won the novice title in 1999 and followed it up with junior gold in 2000.

"I feel incredible," Halverson said just after stepping off the ice. "That was definitely the program I wanted to do. I wouldn't change anything."

While he was solid in his jumping technique, landing seven clean triples (the back end of a triple Lutz-triple toe combination was downgraded), it was his presentation that set him apart.

American junior men, including Halverson, had extraordinary success on the international circuit this year. The 16-year-old, who was adopted from Bogota, Colombia, as an infant, won two medals in the Junior Grand Prix Series but failed to qualify for the JGP Final.

Brandon Mroz (St. Louis, Mo.) did qualify and finished with the silver medal in Bulgaria. He collected the silver medal Friday as well. His only major error was a bad stumble out of the double Axel, but he had a few bobbles throughout.

Mroz' training mate in Colorado Springs, Austin Kanallakan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), found himself in sixth after the short program. Perhaps it took some pressure off, because he managed to win the free skate by a sliver over Halverson, 122.90-122.67. His element score of 68.04 outpaced the field but the deficit was too much to overcome the leaders. He won the bronze.

He landed seven triples, including an opening triple flip-triple toe combination that received all positive grades of execution. For the first time, he also landed both double Axels in his program.

JUNIOR MEN'S RESULTS - TOP THREE

1.

Eliot Halverson

187.79

2.

Brandon Mroz

178.56

3.

Austin Kanallakan

177.94

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