Dubreuil, Lauzon strut their stuff

RYAN PYETTE, Free Press Sports Reporter

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

While a snowstorm raged outside the John Labatt Centre yesterday, Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon were Singin' in the Rain inside. The defending champion dance duo dominated the original dance segment with their interpretation of Gene Kelly's raindrop-inspired ditty and are waltzing their way to a third senior national title.

The Montreal couple racked up a personal best 65.51 points and have 106.47 points heading into today's free dance, which wraps up the competitive portion of the Canadian figure skating championships.

Longtime bridesmaids Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe of Vancouver are more than 11 points back of the leaders but just 0.67 of a point ahead of third-place Chantal Lefebvre pf Lasalle, Que., and Arseniy Markov of Moscow.

London's 15-year-old Tessa Virtue and 17-year-old Scott Moir of Ilderton, whose upbeat skate ended in a standing ovation from the home crowd, are again in fourth spot with 88.68 points.

The kids got a good look at what it takes to be world-class in Dubreuil and Lauzon.

"We're happy with this skate. The marks would probably put us on the podium at worlds," said Lauzon, who is 29.

"The compulsories (40.96) need to be higher -- around 42 or 43. At the end, you'll need between 200 and 220 for a medal (at worlds)."

How good will they have to be for the podium in Moscow in March?

"It'll have to be like this, or better," the 30-year-old Dubreuil said.

For Lauzon and Dubreuil, it was Kelly's voice on the loudspeaker but it was Kurt Browning's soul in their program. The former Canadian singles star's memorable rendition of Singin' in the Rain during a TV special 10 years ago inspired the Montreal dance pair to adopt the tune to their own designs.

"I think Kurt is the best skater ever," Dubreuil said. "Even if he never did one jump, he still would have been amazing."

"We told him about (the program) and he sent his video and told us to use it how we wanted."

Could Kurt have been an outstanding ice dancer?

"If he could find a girl to follow him around," Lauzon quipped.

Although snow would be the obvious choice, rain and water seem to be good themes for Canadian ice dancers.

Riverdance, of course, belonged to Shae-Lynn Bourne of Chatham and Victor Kraatz, from Victoria, B.C.

Finding the toughness to fight through pain is another beloved Canadian trait. Dubreuil is competing in London this week with a torn left pectoral muscle, an injury that makes the already difficult one-armed lifts blindingly painful.

"It wasn't a complete tear. The doctors found four holes in it," she said. "After the Cup of China (late last year), I couldn't feel anything on my left side.

"I thought it was a neck or back injury."

She was hurting after yesterday's skate, which required her partner to lift her by the left arm several times.

But she'll soldier on. There's another national title to be won today and a potential world championship medal in their future.

There's no time to be hurt so Dubreuil will be blocking out the pain for as long as possible.

TODAY AT A GLANCE

At the John Labatt Centre

- Senior free dance, noon. Parade of champions, 3 p.m.

On televsion (CTV)

- 1-2 p.m., senior free dance

- 7-9 p.m., parade of champions


Videos

Photos