Team USA Wins Two Medals, Secures Three JGP Final Spots in Slovenia

(10/7/2018) —Team USA clinched two medals and three Junior Grand Prix Final spots this weekend at the Junior Grand Prix in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Avonley Nguyen and Vadym Kolesnik took the top step of the ice dance podium to follow up their silver medal in Lithuania earlier on the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) Series with 165.63 points. Setting new personal bests with all positive Grades of Execution (GOEs) in both segments, Nguyen and Kolesnik were the only team to break 100 points in the free dance in Slovenia. The win marks the team’s first JGP title. They will make their first trip to the JGP Final in December.

The duo of Alina Efimova and Alexander Petrov tallied a total of 131.50 points and moved up one spot from their rhythm dance placement to finish sixth overall in their JGP debut.

Two Russian teams joined Nguyen and Kolesnik on the podium with Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko in second and Polina Ivanenko and Daniil Karpov in third.

In the men’s competition, Tomoki Hiwatashi won his second consecutive silver medal on this year’s circuit, securing his spot at the JGP Final. He earned a Level 4 for every element in his “Cry Me a River” short program, scoring 74.17 points. The Colorado Springs, Colorado-based skater opened his free skate with a strong quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination. With three jumps receiving a bonus, Hiwatashi tallied 140.99 points in the free skate and a total of 215.16 for his fifth career JGP medal.

Russia’s Petr Gumennik won the event and Koshiro Shimada of Japan finished with the bronze medal.

Following the men’s results in Slovenia, Andrew Torgashev became the third U.S. man, alongside Hiwatashi and Camden Pulkinen, to make the JGP Final.

Gabriella Izzo notched her second top 10 finish on this series, finishing ninth with 148.89 points in the ladies field.

Russian Anastasia Tarakanova topped the ladies competition with countrywoman Anna Tarusina coming in second. Haein Lee of the Republic of Korea rounded out the podium in third.

In Espoo, Finland, senior Team USA athletes took the ice at Finlandia Trophy, the latest in the ISU Challenger Series.

Angela Wang rebounded from a disappointing short program to have the sixth-best free skate of the night that opened with a triple flip-triple toe loop combination in the ladies event. She ended up in eighth place with 160.99 points after both segments. Pooja Kalyan was in the top five after the short program in her senior international debut. She struggled in the free skate and finished ninth overall with 156.05 points.

The podium was made up of Russian Elizaveta Tuktamysheva in first, Kazakhstan’s Elizabet Tursynbaeva in second and Viveca Lindfors of Finland in third.

Alexander Johnson made his season debut in the men’s competition to finish 15th overall in Finland. Returning to competition after a full-time summer internship at Lazard, he scored 178.03 points. He will make his Grand Prix Series debut at NHK Trophy in November.

Mikhail Kolyada of Russia won the event, with Junhwan Cha, representing the Republic of Korea, winning silver and Georgia’s Morisi Kvitelashvili in third.

Two pairs represented the United States and finished in the top 10. 2018 U.S. silver medalists Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea came in seventh place overall in their season debut with 162.03 points. Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan finished ninth with 136.91 total.

Two Russian teams landed on the podium. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, and Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii finished first and third respectively. The Canadian team of Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro took silver.

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Junior Grand Prix Slovenia
Finlandia Trophy