Monday, August 31, 2009

Junior Grand Prix: Hungary

The season got underway this past weekend in Budapest and Team USA did pretty well.

We were strongest in the Men's where American Richard Dornbush took the title (video below) with teammate Grant Hochstein right behind winning the silver. Richard told Ice Network, "You don't want to put out your best now and not do as well later; I'm happy with how I did, but I have room to improve." It was a bit of clammer to get to the bronze but it eventually fell into the hands of Russian Zhan Bush.

In Ice Dance, Team USA was unable to get on the podium with Gilles and Donohue surprisingly finishing fourth. They had some problems with their twizzles in the free skate and didn't get the levels they expected for their step sequences. "It's still a much higher-level program that it was given credit for," Donohue told Ice Network. Russians Ilinykh and Katsalapov skated to a convincing victory with Canadians Routhier and Saucke-Lacelle earning the silver, Italians Alessandrini and Vaturi the bronze.

In the ladies field, Russian Polina Shelepen won convincingly with a free skate that included seven triple jumps! American Angela Maxwell, who had a rough short program and found herself in fifth place, regrouped in the free skate and surged up to take the silver. Despite earning another Junior Grand Prix medal, she told Ice Network she wasn't happy with her performance. "My nerves got the better of me. I was trying to pull myself together the whole program." Japan's Haruka Imai took the bronze medal. American Ellie Kawamura who was second after the short program finished fourth after a tough free skate.

Here are the complete results.

Next weekend, the Junior Grand Prix comes home and will take place in Lake Placid (same site as the Senior Grand Prix Event, Skate America). A large contingency of Americans will be competing including: Bonacorsi and Mager, Duarte and Grafton, Joshua Farris, Taylor Firth, Andrew Gonzales, DeeDee Leng, Ross Miner, Kristine Musademba, Pipkin and Dunne-Neustadt, Maia and Alex Shibutani, Simpson and Miller, and Tibbetts and Brubaker. Lake Placid is one of only a few JGP events to have a pairs field so it should be an exciting competition.

Also of note, Ice Network will be airing Junior Grand Prix Lake Placid live and free so be sure to tune in.

Don't forget I'm compiling a list of the Greatest 1000 Moments on Ice. Be sure to let me know what should go on that list!

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