Hochstein among 14 head to Germany

Release courtesy of U.S. Figure Skating

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Fourteen skaters from the United States will compete in the fifth event of the 2009 International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix (JGP) of Figure Skating Series Sept. 30-Oct. 4 in Dresden, Germany.

The JGP event, which will be held at the Freiberger Arena, begins Thurs., Oct. 1, with the ladies and men’s short programs and the compulsory dance. Official practice will take place Wed., Sept. 30.

The JGP Series, now in its 13th season, consists of eight international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Approximately 400 athletes representing more than 35 countries are expected to participate in the series. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the eight scheduled events (pairs can compete in two of four designated events). The top eight point-earners in each of the disciplines qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final Dec. 3-6 in Tokyo, Japan.

Ladies

This is the first JGP event for Kiri Baga, who won novice gold at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Joining Baga is 2008 U.S. junior silver medalist Angela Maxwell, who is in her third season on the JGP circuit. She competed at JGP Hungary last month, winning the silver medal. In 2008, Maxwell placed second at her JGP stops in Czech Republic and Great Britain. Maxwell is also the 2007 U.S. novice champion.

Men

Richard Dornbush is competing in the JGP Series for the third season, having earned three gold medals to date. He won bronze at the 2008 JGP Final in Goyang City, Republic of Korea. Dornbush will be joined by Grant Hochstein, who won silver at JGP Hungary last month in his first-ever JGP appearance. He finished fourth as a junior at the 2009 U.S. Championships.

Pairs

The reigning U.S. novice champions, Cassie Andrews and Nicholas Anderson, are competing in their first JGP Series event. The couple is the 2006 U.S. juvenile and 2007 U.S. intermediate champions. Joining them are 2009 U.S. junior pewter medalists Britney Simpson and Nathan Miller. The two finished fourth at JGP Lake Placid last month. Also competing are Felicia Zhang and Taylor Toth, who came in fifth place at JGP Poland earlier this month.

Ice dancing

Lauri Bonacorsi and Travis Mager are the reigning U.S. novice champions. The pair won bronze in its first-ever JGP event in Lake Placid, N.Y., last month. This is the fourth JGP event for U.S. junior bronze medalists Piper Gilles and Zach Donohue, who came in fourth place at their JGP stop in Hungary last month. In its first season together, the team won gold at last year’s JGP Czech Republic and silver at JGP South Africa.

In addition to Dresden, Germany the Junior Grand Prix Series consists of the following events:

JGP Croatia: Zagreb, Croatia – Oct. 7-11

JGP Turkey: Istanbul, Turkey – Oct. 14-18

JGP Final: Tokyo, Japan – Dec. 3-6

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U.S. Figure Skating is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union. U.S. Figure Skating is comprised of more than 763 member clubs and Basic Skills Programs representing approximately 179,000 members. U.S. Figure Skating is charged with the development of the sport on all levels within the United States including athletes, officials, sanctioning of events and exhibitions, and establishing the rules and guidelines by which the sport is governed.