5 favorites: Men
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 3
Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
Short-program music: “Firebird” by Igor Stravinsky
Free-skate music: “Scheherazade” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Around the rink: Last March, Lysacek became the first American man to win the World Figure Skating Championships since Todd Eldredge took home the gold in 1996. And he enters this week’s competition at the Arena hoping to claim his third title in the U.S. Championships – one of which he earned in 2007 when the event was last held in Spokane. In addition, he has been the most consistent U.S. medal winner on the international scene for the past three years and rates the favorite’s role here.
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 1
Hometown: Aspen, Colo.
Short-program music: “A Day in the Life,” by the Beatles (performed by Jeff Beck)
Free-skate music: “Symphony No. 3 in C minor,” by Camille Saint-Saens
Around the rink: Abbott, who captured gold in the 2009 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland by winning both the short program and free skate, will be defending his title here in the same arena in which he finished fourth in 2007. Last year he also won the Cup of China and qualified for the Grand Prix Final, where he became the first American man to win the event by achieving the highest free skate total ever posted by a male U.S. competitor.
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 5
Hometown: Quarryville, Pa.
Short-program music: “I Love You, I Hate You,” by Raul di Blasio
Free-skate music: “Fallen Angels,” by various artists
Around the rink: One of the most popular male skaters of all time, Weir is a three-time U.S. champion (2004-06), but has not won a major event since capturing gold in both the Cup of China and Cup of Russia events in 2007. The last time the U.S. Championships were held in Spokane, Weir’s three-year title run came to an abrupt end when he finished third behind Evan Lysacek and Ryan Bradley.
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 9
Hometown: Wakefield, Mass.
Short-program music: “Carmina Burana,” by Carl Orff
Free-skate music: “Firebird,” by Igor Stravinsky
Around the rink: Carriere has yet to make the kind of splash on the Senior circuit that he did as a junior skater in 2006-07. Carriere won every important event that year, including the Junior Grand Prix Final. He finished third in the U.S. Championships in 2008, but changed coaches, and now seems poised to take a spot among our nation’s top skaters.
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 4
Age: 26. Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Short-program music: “Dark Eyes,” performed by Nika Leoni and Sergei Trofanov
Free-skate music: “Amadeus,” Mozart Medley
Around the rink: Perhaps the most athletic and intriguing competitor in this year’s event, Bradley is hoping to build on the good memories created during his last stop in Spokane, when he captured silver in the 2007 U.S. Championships. He backed up his crowd-pleasing Arena performance later that year by winning the second of his three consecutive titles in the U.S. Collegiate Championships, and finished second in last year’s Skate Canada International.