Just a few hours after Ashley Wagner and Mariah Bell finished one-two in the ladies' final at Skate America 2016, the action continued from Hoffman Estates, Illinois with the short dance portion of the ice dancing competition. By evening's end, siblings and reigning world silver medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani held a substantial lead over the rest of their competitors, including fellow Team USA representatives Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who rank third heading into tomorrow's long dance.

Shibutanis dancefirst, hold the lead at Skate America 2016

The Shibutanis were first up to hit the ice, and their segment score of 73.04 --which is more than a point and a half lower than the ISU personal best mark they set at this year's world championships-- remained unmatched by any of the couples who followed.

Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia, who won the 2016 Nepela Memorial title over Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates a few weeks back, came closest to hitting the markwith a second-best score of68.92. Americans Hubbell and Donohue finished just slightly behind Bobrova and Soloviev with a 68.78 and are in good position to snag a medal during tomorrow's final.

Full Skate America ice dancing results

The complete short dance results from Skate America 2016 are as follows:

  • 1. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, USA, 73.04
  • 2. Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, Russia, 68.92
  • 3. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, USA, 68.78
  • 4. Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin, Russia, 66.60
  • 5. Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri, Italy, 64.79
  • 6. Isabella Tobias and Ilia Tkachenko, Russia, 63.33
  • 7. Alisa Agofonova and Alper Ucar, Turkey, 58.98
  • 8. Elliana Pogrebinsky and Alex Benoit, USA, 58.18
  • 9. Yura Min and Alexander Gamelin, Korea, 56.25
  • 10. Kana Muramoto and Chris Reed, Japan, 56.19

A first place finish at Skate America 2016 would be the first step in the Shibutanis' journey to obtaining a return ticket to the Grand Prix Final, which will take place this year in December in Marseille, France.

The duo just missed medaling at last year's event when they placed fourth behind winners Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada.

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