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Arizona's Griffin and Civiello win U.S. gold medal in intermediate pairs

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Megan Griffin and Andrew Civiello are bringing a national championship home to the Coyotes Skating Club of Arizona after winning the intermediate pairs competition at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Friday in Boston.

Griffin and Civiello, ages 11 and 17, recorded a 62.39 free skate for a total of 93.87, edging Alexandra Schmainda and Matthew Scoralle, of whom they trailed after the short program, by 0.24 points.

“It caught me by surprise a little, but it feels nice,” Civiello said. “There were some bobbles here and there, but it was relatively good. Just because you’re in first after the short doesn’t mean you’re going to win. For us, who weren’t in first, you can be the underdog and come back and win it.”

The champions were the first team to skate of the final rotation, hit a double flip and double Salchow, before under rotating a double Salchow-double loop sequence. After a double loop throw, they concluded with a lift at center ice.

“I felt great, when I fell on the flip, I just tried to ignore it and keep going,” Griffin said. “It’s nice to take away a medal at Nationals.”

Griffin and Civiello began skating with one another about a year and a half ago after his original partner became injured. Their coach Doug Ladret thinks they will now be ready to leap to the novice category for next season.

“I’m proud of these guys,” Ladret said. “Last year they were sixth in juveniles, so to move up a level and in the rankings is great, they have a great future ahead of them, they’re great to work with, and I’m looking forward to a lot of years.”

Sophia Pearson and Keenan Prochnow finished third, and Joanna and William Hubbart were fourth.

Also, of the Coyotes Skating Club, Lynzee Moore and Matthew Rounis placed 11th with a 39.32 long program and 58.90 total.

“I am so proud of my partner, she fought through every single jump and spin,” the 6-foot-5 Rounis said. “I didn’t do all of my job, and I have some regrets there….I love being here, it’s a lot of fun.”

Moore and Rounis, who are 12 and 17, paired up Aug. 31, the day before the sign-up date, and are only in their fourth month together.

“We went for everything,” Moore said. “I learned a lot, and it’s been a really awesome experience for me.”

Following her first competition on a national level, the seventh grader said she grew more in love with figure skating as something she would take away from it.

“They did a great job for the amount of time they’ve been together,” Moore and Rounis’ coach Dawn Piepenbrink-McCosh said. “It was a great experience for all of us.”

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