SAN JOSE, Calif. — Meryl Davis and Charlie White spent years chasing Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto. Now Davis and White are the ones being chased.
Not that anyone has a chance of catching them.
The world champions showed once again why they’re the gold standard in ice dance these days, routing the competition on their way to a fourth consecutive title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Saturday. Their final score of 191.54 points was nearly 13 points ahead of siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani, who aren’t exactly slouches as the reigning world bronze medalists.
Davis and White were so dominant, their free dance score – 114.65 points – was higher than the total scores for the bottom three couples.
“I would say both are difficult,” White said when asked if it was harder to be the hunter or the hunted. “Of course when we were coming up, Ben and Tanith set the standard for American ice dance and we were chasing them. That really helped push us. Now we’ve got the Shibutanis behind us and they also really help push us. In some ways it’s different but in some way it’s the same.”
Davis and White haven’t lost a competition since finishing second to Vancouver Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir at the 2010 world championships, upstaging their Canadian rivals at both last year’s worlds and again at the Grand Prix final in December.
Keep skating this way, and Virtue and Moir are going to have to do something pretty spectacular to catch the Americans, their training partners and close friends.
“Charlie and I feel really great about both of our performances here at nationals,” Davis said. “We felt like we accomplished our goal for this competition, which was leaving it all out on the ice and feeling like we achieved a new comfort level with both programs as well as a higher level of performance.”