National Figure Skating Championships : Wachsman and Waggoner Fall, but Win Pairs Title

From Times Wire Services

Gillian Wachsman took a bad fall and slid into the boards after a throw by partner Todd Waggoner, but the couple recovered to win the pairs title at the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships Thursday night at Uniondale, N.Y.

After the fall, Wachsman, 19, of Riverside, Conn., rallied to perform perfectly the same move on two more attempts. The final half of their program was spectacular, earning the duo their first national championship. Waggoner is from Wilington, Del.

Defending champions Jill Watson of Bloomington, Ind., and Peter Oppegard of Los Angeles, were second.

Earlier, Mark Mitchell of Hamden, Conn., skated superbly in the freestyle event to move up from third place to win the junior men's title.

Mitchell, 17, upset world champion Erik Larson, who also had an exceptional freestyle performance which included five triple jumps, four in combination.

Renee Roca and Donald Adair remained first in the championship dance even though they were edged by Suzanne Semanick and Scott Gregory in the optional set pattern, a polka.

In men's championship figures, defending champion Brian Boitano staged a gutty performance to take the lead. Boitano, 22, of Sunnyvale, Calif., has had an ankle injury for two months. It was caused, he said, "by overwork."

Boitano had 105.00 points and 10 ordinals, well in front of Christopher Bowman of Van Nuys. Bowman also is skating with an injury to a tendon in his foot.

Scott Williams of Redondo Beach was third.

In another event, Colette Huber of Los Angeles and Ron Kravette of Costa Mesa maintained their lead in the junior dance.

Julie Wasserman, 17, of Yonkers, N.Y., grabbed the lead after the short program in the women's junior competition. Cindy Bortz, 14, of Tarzana moved up to second place overall by winning the short program.

Shelly Propson, 16, of Rochester, Mich., scheduled to skate with Jerod Swallow in the senior pairs finals Thursday night, fell and suffered a concussion in a warmup earlier in the day and was hospitalized. Propson was taken by ambulance to Meadowbrook Hospital in East Meadow, N.Y., where she was reported in stable condition.

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