Thirteen U.S. Skaters to Compete in Finland and Slovenia This Week

(10/2/18) — The 2018 International Skating Union (ISU) Challenger Series continues this week with Finlandia Trophy, while the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating (JGP) Series continues in Slovenia. Seven athletes will take the ice for the United States at Finlandia Trophy in Espoo, Finland, while six Americans will compete at JGP Slovenia in Ljubljana.

Finlandia Trophy

In the ladies field, Pooja Kalyan will make her senior international debut in Finland. The U.S. junior runner-up claimed the bronze medal in the junior competition at the Bavarian Open earlier this year. Angela Wang will make her season debut after finishing seventh at the U.S. Championships in 2018.

Alexander Johnson will also make his season debut at Finlandia Trophy. Last season, Johnson claimed his first Challenger Series medal at Nebelhorn Trophy.

Two pairs teams will represent the United States at Finlandia Trophy. Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea will look to collect more hardware on the Challenger Series circuit this season after winning the bronze medal at the Golden Spin of Zagreb last year. Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan will open their season in Finland after finishing eighth at the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

The event will start with the pairs, men’s and ladies short programs on Friday, Oct. 5. On Saturday, Oct. 6, the ice dance competition will begin along with the conclusion of the men’s and pairs competition. The competition will wrap up on Sunday, Oct. 7 with the ladies free skate and free dance.

JGP Slovenia

Gabriella Izzo will compete in her second JGP event of the season after placing sixth at JGP Canada earlier this fall.

In the men’s competition, Tomoki Hiwatashi will look to win his second consecutive JGP medal after taking silver in Canada. He looks to punch his ticket to his first Junior Grand Prix Final this December.

In the ice dance competition, Alina Efimova and Alexander Petrov will make their JGP debut in Slovenia. The duo finished sixth at the Lake Placid Ice Dance competition this summer. Avonley Nguyen and Vadym Kolesnik will look to expand their medal collection and book a trip to the JGP Final after capturing the silver medal at JGP Lithuania. The couple finished fifth in the junior competition at last season’s U.S. Championships.

The ladies and men’s short programs will start Thursday, Oct. 4, and the ice dance competition will get underway on Friday.

Entering its 22nd season, the JGP Series consists of seven international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the seven scheduled events (pairs can compete in two of four designated events). The top six point-earners in each discipline qualify for the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, Dec. 6-9 in Vancouver. The ISU will stream the event live on its YouTube page.







Pooja Kalyan

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Springdale, Arkansas
and Chicago

Angela Wang

Salt Lake City

Edmonton, Alberta


Alexander Johnson

Minnetonka, Minnesota



Tarah Kayne
Danny O’Shea

Bradenton, Florida
Gurnee, Illinois

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Jessica Pfund
Joshua Santillan

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Huntington Beach, California

Ellenton, Florida







Gabriella Izzo

Brighton, Massachusetts

Revere, Massachusetts


Tomoki Hiwatashi

Hoffman Estes, Illinois

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Ice Dance

Alina Efimova
Alexander Petrov

Raleigh, North Carolina
Hershey, Pennsylvania

Raleigh, North Carolina


Avonley Nguyen
Vadym Kolesnik

Washington D.C.
Novi, Michigan

Novi, Michigan