5 favorites: Ice dancing
Meryl Davis/Charlie White
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 1
Ages: Davis 23; White 22
Hometowns: West Bloomfield, Mich./Bloomfield, Mich.
Original-dance music: Selections from Devdas
Free-dance music: “Music of the Night” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera
Around the rink: Davis and White are arguably the favorites going into the championships. Among their victories in 2009 were firsts at the Four Continents and Grand Prix Final. They were second at the 2008 U.S. Championships and took bronze in 2007 in Spokane. In 2006 they were the U.S. junior champions and the 2006 World Junior bronze medalists. They missed the bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships by .04 points.
Tanith Belbin/Ben Agosto
2009 U.S. Championship finish: Injured, did not compete
Ages: Belbin 25; Agosto 27
Hometowns: Kirkland, Quebec/ Chicago
Original- dance music: Moldavian folk dance
Free-dance music: Giulio Caccini’s “Ave Maria” performed by Sumi Jo and “Amen” from Gioachino Rossini’s “Stabat Mater”
Around the rink: The road to the top of U.S. championship still runs through Belbin and Agosto. They had to withdraw from the Grand Prix Final last month when Belbin had to have emergency oral surgery. They won the 2009 Skate America. The 2006 Olympic silver medalists have captured four World medals including second in 2009.
Kimberly Navarro/ Brent Bommentre
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 3
Ages: Navarro 28; Bommentre 25
Hometowns: Santa Rosa, Calif./Chestnut Hill, Pa.
Original- dance music: “Quero Voltar Pra Angola” by Alex Shaw
Free-dance music: “One” by Mary J. Blige featuring U2
Around the rink: Finished third the past two years at nationals.
They took the bronze medal at the 2008 Four Continents. Navarro graduated cum laude from Columbia University in 2004 with a major in English and a minor in dance.
Emily Samuelson/ Evan Bates
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 2
Ages: Samuelson 19; Bates 20
Hometowns: Novi, Mich./Ann Arbor, Mich.
Original-dance music: Dixie Chicks medley
Free-dance music: Francesco Sartori’s “Canto Della Terra” performed by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
Around the rink: Samuelson and Bates were the 2009 U.S. silver medalists and 2008 World Junior champions. They also won silver medals at the 2007 and 2008 Junior Grand Prix finals. Samuelson fell at the 2007 World Junior Championships and was stepped on by Bates, severing the tendon in her middle finger. It forced the team to withdraw from the competition.
Madison Chock/ Greg Zuerlein
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 1, Juniors
Ages: Chock 17; Zuerlein 21
Hometowns: Redondo Beach, Calif./ Northville, Mich.
Original- dance music: Afro Cuban folk
Free-dance music: Classical waltz
Around the rink: They were the 2009 World Junior, U.S. Junior and Junior Grand Prix Final champions after capturing bronze as juniors at the 2008 U.S. Championships. Zuerlein previously skated with Anastasia Olson and was coached by Tatiana Gladkova (2002-05).