Release courtesy of U.S. Figure Skating
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The United States will send six skaters to compete at the Finlandia Trophy, Oct. 8-11 in Vantaa, Finland. The event will be held at Valtti Arena. Competition begins Friday with the compulsory dance and men’s short program.
The Finlandia Trophy has been held continuously since 1995. In that time, three U.S. skaters have won gold medals — Jeremy Abbott in 2006, Sasha Cohen in 2001 and Shepherd Clark (men’s) in 1996. Last season Shaun Rogers brought home the silver medal.
Becky Bereswill will be competing in her first international event of the season. She won the 2008 Junior Grand Prix Final after placing second at her Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series events in France and Spain. She also captured bronze at the 2008 AEGON Challenge Cup. Joining Bereswill will be Molly Oberstar, who placed sixth last year at the Karl Schafer Memorial. Oberstar finished 15th at the each of the last two U.S. Championships and spent two seasons competing in the Junior Grand Prix Series, with a best finish of fifth at JGP Croatia in 2005.
Leading the U.S. men will be 2007 World Junior champion and 2008 U.S. bronze medalist Stephen Carriere. Carriere won the 2007 JGP Final after claiming gold at his JGP stops in the Netherlands and Hungary. He also placed fourth last year at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and won silver at the Cup of China. Alexander Johnson, the reigning U.S. junior bronze medalist, will make his international senior debut. Johnson is the 2007 U.S. novice silver medalist and placed sixth at the 2008 JGP Final after medaling at both his JGP assignments, in Czech Republic (gold) and Great Britain (bronze).
This will be the first international event of the season for Jane Summersett and Todd Gilles. The couple competed in the Grand Prix Series for the first time last season, placing seventh at Skate America. They were sixth at each of the last two U.S. Championships and won bronze at the 2008 Nebelhorn Trophy.
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.