Lisa Hunrichs Silvey and Arthur Coddington, one of 2000’s new mixed pairs teams, won their first tournament together at the Summerfest Open in Milwaukee against a very deep field.
Mixed Pairs is rarely held outside the world championships, so many teams jumped at the opportunity for a pre-worlds competition. Hunrichs Silvey/Coddington, the top seed, qualified first for the finals with an electrifying version of their Goldfinger routine. Also advancing were Cindy and Jeff Kruger, Larry Imperiale/Judy Robbins and Anne Graves/Joel Rogers.
The finals were nearly rained out. A huge downpour that began minutes after the end of the Pairs finals flooded the Summerfest Sports Stage. Luckily, the squall passed. The playing surface was partially dried and the show went on.
Footing was slippery, and play was understandably conservative throughout most of the Mixed Pairs finals. Joel Rogers and Anne Graves opened the show with what turned out to be the cleanest performance of the finals. Graves got on a roll, catching a few big combos right next to the crowd.
Robbins and Imperiale followed. In the prelims, Imperiale was off and made a lot of uncharacteristic errors. In the finals, he was on but Robbins was off. The crowd never really got to experience the impact of both of these top players as many combos was interrupted by drops.
On paper, the strongest challengers to Hunrichs Silvey/Coddington were the Krugers. Cindy Kruger is the two-time and current Women’s World Champion. Jeff is an amazing player, and they have performed together in Mixed Pairs for years. Their routines typically feature risky and difficult combos that are normally not attempted in Mixed Pairs. When they are on, as they were in Boise last week, they win.
At Summerfest, they weren’t on. It’s unclear whether the footing was the problem or whether their timing was off, but their routine never established any momentum. Catches were followed by a drop or a disc deflecting off a finger. The highlight of the routine was a huge standing gitis by Cindy only feet from the crowd. She said with everything else that was going wrong with their routine, there was no way she was going to miss the catch. The crowd loved her intensity.
Hunrichs Silvey/Coddington performed the Goldfinger routine again. Though it didn’t have the spark of their prelims performance, they kept up in Difficulty and Execution and won presentation by a large margin to take the title by 1.2 points.
It was an uneven routine. Hunrichs Silvey dropped some usually solid catches, and the team seemed adrift in the middle of the routine. They hit lots of music cues, and caught enough of the routine to take the title, but they will need a cleaner and more dynamic performance to crush at the worlds.