Former U.S. pairs skating champions Tarah Kayne, Danny O’Shea end partnership

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Skate America
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Closing out what was the longest running partnership on the U.S. pairs figure skating scene this season, Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea announced Thursday that they have split ways.

The 2016 national champions teamed up in April 2012, and this marked their ninth consecutive season skating together.

In October, Kayne and O’Shea finished fourth in the virtual ISP Points Challenge and fifth at Skate America. Both skaters plan to continue competing, though neither has announced future plans yet.

“I’m very proud of our partnership and incredibly thankful for Tarah,” O’Shea said in a U.S. Figure Skating release. “I know that she will be successful in everything she sets her mind to. I will always remember fondly our time together and all the hard work that made our partnership successful. I would also like to thank U.S. Figure Skating, our coaches and everyone who supported us along the way.”

“I would like to thank Danny for the dedication he has shown to our partnership, as well as U.S. Figure Skating for their many years of support,” Kayne said. “I look forward to continuing my competitive skating career with the guidance of my coaches, Jim Peterson and Amanda Evora.”

Kayne, 27, and O’Shea, 29, finished on the podium five times at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and twice qualified for the world championship team. They won the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in 2018 and were runners-up in 2014. Their sole Grand Prix medal came at the 2018 Internationaux de France, where they earned silver.

Their career was often marred by injuries Kayne suffered, including a labral tear in her right hip in 2014, a right knee injury in 2015, a concussion during the 2017 U.S. championships short program that caused them to pull out of the free skate a year after winning the title and a stress fracture in her right knee in 2018 that had them withdraw from the world championships after winning Four Continents.

Last season, four past national champion pairs teams contended for the title at the 2020 U.S. championships, and only one of those teams remains intact heading into next month’s event. Married couple and three-time champs Alexa Knierim and Chris Knierim ended their skating partnership in February, followed by 2017 winners Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier the following month. Alexa Knierim and Frazier are now competing together and are off to a strong start, having won this season’s Skate America. Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, the 2018 U.S. champs, will look to improve on their fourth-place finish from last season. Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson, the 2020 silver medalists, are also contenders in their third season together.