Russian pair Tarasova, Morozov jump out to big lead at Skate America

Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia won the pairs short program by a wide margin Friday night at Skate America.

Performing to "I Got You" by James Brown, the Russian pair earned 71.24 points. That was nearly nine points better than Russian teammates Alisa Efimova and Alexander Korovin, who totalled 62.38 points.

Germany's Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nolan Segert, the final pair in the first group, were third with 60.04.

Tarasova, Morozov off to hot start:

The Russian pair posted a strong short skate score of 71.24 and lead by nearly 9 points at Skate America from Everett, Washington. 6:06

All three American pairs had deductions for falls. Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc were fourth, the husband-wife combo of Chris Knierim and Alexa Scimeca Knierim were fifth, and the duo of Nica Digerness and Danny Neudecker were seventh.

Canada's Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud sit in eighth. 

The pair struggled to get back into a rhythm after an early fall, as they received a score of 44.71 to sit in 8th-place at Skate America from Everett, Washington. 5:49

Tarasova and Morozov are coming off a strong season in which they won the European Championships, finished second at the Worlds and fourth at the Olympics. Two weeks ago, they won the ISU Challenger Series Finlandia Trophy.

Explainer: Figure skating rule changes

The International Skating Union has made some rule changes to reflect the evolution of the sport, making sure no one else will turn a jumping loophole into an Olympic gold medal. 2:18

The pairs free skate is set for Saturday.

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