Ashley Cain, who has experience in both singles and pairs, and veteran pairs skater Timothy LeDuc announced their partnership last week. The two will compete as a senior pair in the upcoming season, training with Cain’s parents, Peter and Darlene, in Euless, Texas.
They paired their announcement with videos of nicely synchronized side-by-side double axels, triple salchows, triple loops and triple flips, and a nice throw triple salchow.
Cain, 20, competed at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships with Joshua Reagan in 2011 and 2012. Since then, she has focused on singles, most recently finishing 14th at the 2016 U.S. Championships. Leduc, 26, hasn’t competed since finishing seventh at the 2014 U.S. Championships with former partner DeeDee Leng.
“Any time I went to a show or seminar where there was a pair guy, like John Coughlin, we would do some pair elements for fun,” Cain said Sunday. “I always missed the feeling of being lifted.”
Since splitting with Leng, LeDuc has busied himself performing with Willy Bietak Productions and Royal Caribbean cruise lines.
“I’ve spent the last two years amassing funds,” he said.
U.S. Figure Skating played matchmaker, contacting Cain and Leduc and suggesting a tryout.
“Our tryout was a week ago, Thursday, May 19th,” Cain said. “We spent a half day getting used to each other, doing lots of side-by-side jumps. We did some throws and lifts. We skated together all day Friday, talked to U.S. Figure Skating and made it official on Monday.”
LeDuc moved to Texas last Thursday and is looking for a place to live. He plans to coach as well as train. Cain will continue her singles career and start college (online) at Texas Tech University in the fall.
Training singles and pairs is a familiar feeling for her.
“I did both for so long that when I stopped it felt very strange and I had so much time on my hands,” she said. “As soon as Tim came, I went back in the mode of what I used to do.”
On the phone, both skaters were giddy and giggly with excitement over the suddenness of the new partnership, and how well they matched up.
“We have long lines to work with, and flexibility as well, and we have an extensive singles background,” LeDuc said. “We’re both extroverts on the ice; we’re very passionate performers.”
“We really want to thank U.S. Figure Skating, especially Mitch Moyer and Justin Dillon, for everything they did for us,” Cain said. “The feedback we’ve gotten is pretty incredible and made us very excited for this journey we’ll have together.”
Cain plans to compete in singles at the Broadmoor Open next month. She and LeDuc are aiming to make their debut as a pair at the Cranberry Open in Massachusetts, Aug. 10-13.