It’s official. Molly Cesanek and Yehor Yehorov are ascending stars in the international figure skating orbit.
The Warrenton ice dancing couple are back from an exhilarating week in Las Vegas competing in the 2020 Skate America competition, a nationally televised event that ended Saturday.
In their first performance at the senior level, they took a satisfying fifth place overall, including a third place finish in technical marks at their first senior Grand Prix.
They flew home late Sunday, arriving at midnight, and getting back to Warrenton at 2 a.m. Monday. With the adrenalin still flowing from their intense week, they didn’t get to sleep until 5 a.m., and woke up at 3 p.m.
“We did exactly what we dreamed of doing,” said Cesanek, 19, of the fifth place finish. “The performance went extremely well, it was everything we hoped for.”
“All the athletes, role models, staff were very welcoming to us as the new ice dancing team entering the senior league,” said Yehorov, 21. “People were asking us how our practices went, and we met everyone and became good friends with so many, and were so well taken care of. We’re now friends with people we’ve admired for years.”
The highlight was performing their routines at figure skating’s highest level. Although no fans were allowed in Orleans Arena, “It was very homey,” said Yehorov, citing the cutout fans and crowd noises piped in.
The event is the biggest annual international figure skating competition held in the U.S. It only included American skaters and a few international athletes who train in the U.S.
Both said the safety precautions employed were exceptionally thorough. “We’re so thankful for what U.S. Figure Skating created to have this event,” said Yehorov.
Yehorov said his parents in Ukraine followed his progress via YouTube videos and Molly’s Instagram and Facebook posts.
The couple admitted to being a little starstruck at times, as they mingled and had meals with such superstars Nathan Chen and Mariah Bell, who won the Skate America men’s and women’s titles. Cesanek and Yehorov became good friends with champions Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue and second place finishers Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, who are Cesanek and Yegorov’s role models.
They’ll next compete in a U.S. Figure Skating Championship Series Event in Fort Wayne, Ind. Nov. 17-20.