Boston skating pair Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir began their quest for individual medals with a bang on Tuesday, competing in the short program of the Olympic pairs competition.
Castelli, a native of Cranston, R.I., and Shnapir, a native of Sudbury, train at the Skating Club of Boston and helped the US to a bronze medal in the team skate competition earlier this week. They rode their momentum into the opening round of pairs competition.
Castelli and Shnapir scored a 67.44, their best score for their short program at an international event, leaving the two visibly excited after receiving the good news from the judges. Castelli and Shnapir were three points out of the lead at the conclusion of their program, ultimately finishing 9th on the day.
The pair is coming off back-to-back US championship titles and hope to continue their strong skating Wednesday, when medals will be awarded following the pairs free skate.
Fellow Americans Felicia Zhang and Nate Bartholomay, who are the 2014 US silver medalists, skated right after Castelli and Shnapir, scoring a 56.90 with their short program, ending the day in 14th place.
Gold medal favorites Tatyana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia scored in impressive 84.17 to lead after the short program, while German pair Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy took second on the day with a 79.64, and Russians Ksenia Stolbova Fedor Klimov finished third heading into the free skate after scoring a 75.21.