By Colton Wood
DETROIT – Deanna Stellato walked into the mixed zone following her free skate with Nate Bartholomay on Saturday visibly upset over her performance.
“Probably the worst throw Salchow I’ve done all week,” she said. “It was a cruddy version of a run-through we do at home. We typically do sharper run-throughs at home on a daily basis.”
But through the disappointment, Stellato, 35, found light at the end of the tunnel, believing their bronze-medal performance would send her and Bartholomay to the Four Continents Championships (beginning Feb. 5 in Anaheim, Calif.).
“We wanted to go to Four Continents because we desperately need points, so I’ll take the win,” she said. “It’s not the placement I was looking for.”
Or so she thought.
On Sunday, it was announced that the top two pairs from U.S. Championships would be going to Four Continents.
Stellato and Bartholomay were left out, as the U.S. Figure Skating International Selection Committee chose Saturday’s fourth-place finishers, Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea, over them for the third and final pair slot.
During his free skate with Kanye on Saturday, O’Shea missed his final lift. O’Shea thought his season was over.
“Sometimes you mess up when it counts most,” he said. “It’s hard. … I lost us 8.5 points-ish; cost us a trip anywhere else this season.”
Kayne and O’Shea received 126.81 points in the free skate, combining for a total score of 198.64, just 1.28 points from a spot on the podium.
But their performance was enough to send them to Anaheim.
“We skated our hearts out this week and performed our best two programs of the year,” said Jim Peterson, who coaches Stellato and Bartholomay, to NBCSports.com/figure-skating. “We are disappointed, what can I say? We are the U.S. bronze medalists. We defeated Kayne and O’Shea at nationals.”
Per U.S. Figure Skating, this is the selection criteria the committee votes on:
To create a pool of athletes to be considered for selection to the Four Continents Team, the International Committee will take into consideration placement, performance (which can include performance data) and the competitive field of the events listed below in priority order:
The events have been stratified into tiers from the highest value events in Tier 1 through the lowest value events in Tier 3. Events within each tier shall be evaluated at equal weight.
- 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships
- 2018 ISU Grand Prix Final
- 2018 ISU World Figure Skating Championships
- 2018 Grand Prix Series Competitions
- 2018 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships
- 2018 Challenger Series Events and other senior international competitions after September 1, 2018
- 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships
- 2018 World Junior Figure Skating Championships
- 2018 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final
— additional reporting by Lynn Rutherford
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