Keauna McLaughlin

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Keauna McLaughlin
McLaughlin Brubaker Death Spiral.jpg
McLaughlin / Brubaker in 2008.
Personal information
Full name Keauna Inaba McLaughlin
Country represented United States
Born (1992-09-25) September 25, 1992 (age 24)
Tarzana, California
Home town Los Angeles, California
Residence Colorado Springs, Colorado
Height 4 ft 11 in (1.50 m)
Former partner Rockne Brubaker
Ethan Burgess
Coach John Nicks
Former coach Dalilah Sappenfield
Lei Ina McLaughlin
Tom Zakrajsek
Choreographer Sarah Kawahara
Former choreographer Dalilah Sappenfield
Lea Ann Miller
Skating club Los Angeles FSC
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 172.69
2008 Skate America
Short program 64.56
2010 Four Continents
Free skate 115.67
2008 Skate America

Keauna Inaba[1] McLaughlin (born September 25, 1992) is an American pair skater. With former partner Rockne Brubaker, she is the 2008 & 2009 U.S. National Champion, the 2010 Four Continents silver medalist, and the 2007 World Junior Champion.

Personal life[edit]

Keauna McLaughlin was born in Tarzana, California. She moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado to train and attends Cheyenne Mountain High School. Her name is based on a Hawaiian word for "feminine wind running through the forest".[2]

Her mother, Lei Ina, was a senior-level pair skater[3] and skated professionally as a show skater with Disney on Ice.[4] Her father left the family when she was a toddler.[2]


McLaughlin began skating at the age of four.[3][5] She originally competed in single skating. As a singles skater, she is the 2006 U.S. Juvenile silver medalist.[6] She began pair skating at age 10[3] and focused entirely on pair skating when she teamed up with Brubaker.

With partner Ethan Burgess, McLaughlin won two consecutive medals at the U.S. Championships: the bronze medal at the novice level at the 2004 U.S. Championships and the pewter medal at the junior level at the 2005 U.S. Championships. Her partner was too old for the Junior Grand Prix circuit so they split and she skated on her own for a while.[7]

When Rockne Brubaker's previous partnership ended due to a lack of height difference, his coach Dalilah Sappenfield called McLaughlin, whom she had seen competing at other events, and arranged a try-out.[3] McLaughlin and Brubaker teamed up in May 2006.[8] McLaughlin relocated from California to Colorado Springs.[5]

The pair went undefeated in their first competitive season together (2006–2007). In that season, they competed on the 2006–2007 ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit and won both their events and the Junior Grand Prix Final. They went on to win the Junior title at both the 2007 U.S. Championships and the 2007 World Junior Championships. McLaughlin and Brubaker were the fourth American pair team in history to win the World Junior title.[9][10] Because of the age difference between McLaughlin and Brubaker, this was their only junior-age-eligible season.

McLaughlin and Brubaker began the 2007–2008 season on the Grand Prix circuit at the 2007 Cup of China, where they won the silver medal. They won a second silver medal at the 2007 NHK Trophy. Their success at these two competitions qualified them for the 2007–2008 Grand Prix Final, but they withdrew after the short program due to an injury to Brubaker.

Later that season, they competed at the 2008 U.S. Championships and won the senior national title, becoming the first U.S. pairs team in 51 years to win consecutive junior and senior national titles.[11] Despite winning the U.S. Championships, McLaughlin and Brubaker were not assigned to the World Championship team or the World Junior Championship team due to ISU age restrictions. McLaughlin was too young for senior ISU championships and Brubaker was too old for the World Junior Championships. McLaughlin and Brubaker's win, combined with the wins of Jessica Rose Paetsch / Jon Nuss on the junior level, and Brynn Carman / Christopher Knierim on the novice level, gave their coach Dalilah Sappenfield a sweep of national pair champions for 2008, an accomplishment which led to Sappenfield being named Coach of the Year.[12]

McLaughlin and Brubaker began the 2008–2009 season at the 2008 Skate America, where they won the silver medal. A week later they competed at the 2008 Skate Canada International, where they won the bronze medal. At the 2009 U.S. Championships, McLaughlin and Brubaker successfully defended their national title, which resulted in them being selected to compete at the 2009 Four Continents and the 2009 Worlds. They placed 5th at Four Continents and 11th at the World Championships.

In May 2009, McLaughlin and Brubaker changed coaches to John Nicks[13] and relocated to California.[14]

McLaughlin and Brubaker began the 2009–2010 season at the 2009 Cup of Russia, where they won the bronze medal. They continued their season at the 2009 Skate America, where they placed 4th. As the top American pair team on the international circuit, McLaughlin and Brubaker entered the 2010 U.S. Championships as the favorites to win their third consecutive national title and secure one of the two pair skating berths on the U.S. Olympic team. Despite several days of strong practices, they delivered an uncharacteristically rough short program, including falls on a triple salchow and a freak fall on a death spiral, leaving them in 7th place.[14] The pair was able to move up to 5th place after the long program but it was not enough to win a place on the Olympic team.[15]

Determined to rebound from their National Championship result, McLaughlin and Brubaker competed at the 2010 Four Continents less than ten days later. There, they recorded a personal best score in the short program and ultimately won the silver medal.

On June 22, 2010, McLaughlin announced the end of her partnership with Brubaker.[16]

Post-eligible career[edit]

In 2010, she was cast on Skating with the Stars as a skating pro. Her partner was Brandon Mychal Smith. [17]


(with Brubaker)

Season Short program Free skating Exhibition

  • Romeo and Juliet
    by Sergei Prokofiev
  • Romeo and Juliet
    by Nino Rota
    choreo. by Dalilah Sappenfield

Competitive highlights[edit]

With Brubaker[edit]

Event 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10
Worlds 11th
Four Continents 5th 2nd
Grand Prix Final WD
GP Cup of China 2nd
GP Cup of Russia 3rd
GP NHK Trophy 2nd
GP Skate America 2nd 4th
GP Skate Canada 3rd
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 1st
JGP Final 1st
JGP Hungary 1st
JGP Taipei 1st
U.S. Champ. 1st J. 1st 1st 5th
GP = Grand Prix; JGP = Junior Grand Prix
J. = Junior level; WD = Withdrew

With Burgess[edit]

Event 2003–2004 2004–2005
U.S. Championships 3rd N. 4th J.
Levels: N. = Novice; J. = Junior


  1. ^ "Gold/Senior Pair Test" (PDF). U.S. Figure Skating. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Hersh, Philip (21 January 2009). "Keauna McLaughlin, Rockne Brubaker have come a long way". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 March 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d Mittan, Barry (January 3, 2007). "Brubaker Back on Top with New Partner". SkateToday. 
  4. ^ Schwindt, Troy (23 January 2007). "Brubaker and McLaughlin Continue Impressive Inaugural Season". U.S. Figure Skating. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Shinn, Peggy (January 14, 2010). "Making Team USA: Rockne Brubaker and Keauna McLaughlin". Retrieved June 8, 2011. 
  6. ^ Schwindt, Troy (5 December 2005). "Dreams Come True for U.S. Juvenile and Intermediate Champions". U.S. Figure Skating. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  7. ^ "Meet Olympic Ice Skating Pair Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker". Seventeen (magazine). November 15, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2011. 
  8. ^ Mittan, Barry (April 20, 2009). "Health Problems Don't Hamper U.S. Pairs Champs". Golden Skate. Retrieved June 8, 2011. 
  9. ^ "World Junior Figure Skating Championships: ISU Results: Pairs" (PDF). International Skating Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-04. 
  10. ^ Zanca, Salvatore (28 February 2007). "McLaughlin and Brubaker Skate Away with World Junior Pairs Title". U.S. Figure Skating. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  11. ^ Schneider Farris, Jo Ann (16 February 2008). "McLaughlin, Brubaker believe in themselves". IceNetwork. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Figure Skating and PSA Announce Coaches of the Year". U.S. Figure Skating. 4 June 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  13. ^ "Two-time U.S. Pairs Champions McLaughlin and Brubaker Announce Coaching Change". U.S. Figure Skating. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  14. ^ a b Hanel, Marnie (January 20, 2010). "Psyched Out: Pairs Skaters Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker's Disastrous Olympic Trials". Vanity Fair (magazine). Retrieved June 8, 2011. 
  15. ^ Blanchette, John; Trimmer, Dave (January 17, 2010). "Brubaker, McLaughlin left off team". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved June 8, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Two-Time U.S. Pairs Champions Keauna McLaughlin And Rockne Brubaker Announce End Of Partnership". U.S. Figure Skating. June 22, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Breaking News - Pro Skater Pairings, Host and Color Commentator for ABC's "Skating With the Stars" Announced". 2005-02-22. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  18. ^ "Keauna MCLAUGHLIN / Rockne BRUBAKER: 2009/2010". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on September 14, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Keauna MCLAUGHLIN / Rockne BRUBAKER: 2008/2009". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 1, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Keauna MCLAUGHLIN / Rockne BRUBAKER: 2007/2008". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on January 29, 2008. 
  21. ^ "Keauna MCLAUGHLIN / Rockne BRUBAKER: 2006/2007". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on April 29, 2007. 
  22. ^ "Competition Results: Keauna MCLAUGHLIN / Rockne BRUBAKER". International Skating Union. 

External links[edit]