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Dick Button proved last night in Washington that he was still the country's top figure skater when he won the Men's Figure Skating Championship for the fifth straight year.
Although the Lowell House sophomore did not turn in as high a score as he did in the World Title Meet in London two weeks ago, his performance was good enough to completely overshadow the rest of the field in the finals.
Wins by 60 Points
Button's total score in the two-day meet was 1621.8 points out of a possible 1750. The runner-up was 60 points behind the champion with a score of 1561.5.
Button received a 9.9 rating in the free skating part of the competition from two judges, and scores of 9.8, 9.7, and 9.6 from the other three. In the composition of his material for the free skating the five judges gave him scores of 9.9, 9.8, 9.7, 9.5, and 9.3.
Before a crowd of 4500 people in the Uline Arena, Button put on a remarkable exhibition of his own improvised "free" skating. He executed three consecutive spinning loops in the air in one figure, and a flying leap in another. In this jump he does the splits six feet off the ice, touching his outstretched skate-blade ends with his hands.
The "double-double-axe," Button's favorite routine, was the high point of his performance. This maneuver involves a backward leap, two-and-a-half body spins, and a feather landing ending in a long glide to the left. The whole figure takes 30 feet of ice.
In the first half of the Championships held on Thursday night, the 20-year-old Button scored 942.1 points out of a possible 1050 in the "compulsory" figures. This score, although not up to some of his previous showings, still gave him a substantial lead over his nearest contender, Hayes Jenkins, of Akron, Ohio, who racked up 881.7 points.
Button's victory in the National Championships is the 14th national, world, or Olympic crown that he has won in his seven years of competition.
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