Updated: Sunday, 12 January 2014 05:53 | By Agence France-Presse

Castelli, Shnapir win US pairs crown

Hometown favorites Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir won their second consecutive pairs title despite only managing a third-place finish in Saturday's free skate at the US Figure Skating Championships.


Castelli, Shnapir win US pairs crown

Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnpair skate in the pairs free skate during the 2014 Prudential US Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden on January 11, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts

Shnapir, a tall Moscow-born skater whose parents emigrated to the United States when he was a baby, and Castelli took the overall crown with 205.71 points.

"It was just amazing," Castelli said of the cheers after their performance. "The crowd was spectacular. It was such a magical moment."

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, the 2012 US champions, won the free skate with 136.03 but finished third overall on 201.43 points.

Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay finished second in the free skate with 135.22 points, edging Denny and Coughlin for second overall on 201.72.

"We left our hearts out there," Zhang said. "We did the best that we could."

The mixed bag of results threw into doubt exactly which two of the top three couples would be named by US Figure Skating on Sunday to compete in next month's Sochi Winter Olympics, as the results were not binding for selection to the squad.

Castelli fell on a quad salchow throw landing in the free skate routine, performed to music from James Bond movies, and she and Shnapir were third in the free skate after dominating the short program Thursday.

Shnapir had no regrets about trying the difficult quad move.

"We've been doing it all year, and we're going to continue to do it, hopefully in Russia," he said. "We've nailed it in practice, and we're not going to give up on it."

Competition was set to continue later Saturday with the women's and ice dance free skates. The men's free skate is set for Sunday.

Three women and ice dance duos and two men and pairs couples will represent the United States at Sochi.

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