Release courtesy of U.S. Figure Skating
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States will be represented by 13 skaters at the 2009 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, which will take place Dec. 3-6 in Tokyo, Japan, along with the Grand Prix Final. Kiri Baga, Angela Maxwell, Christina Gao and Ellie Kawamura will vie for the ladies’ title; Ross Miner, Richard Dornbush and Grant Hochstein will compete in the men’s category; and pairs team Britney Simpson and Nathan Miller, and ice dancing teams Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, and Isabella Cannuscio and Ian Lorello, will also compete in the Junior Grand Prix Final.
Baga won gold at both of her JGP assignments, in Germany and Turkey, during her debut season in the series. Maxwell won silver at JGP Hungary and JGP Germany en route to the JGP Final, where she placed fifth in 2008. Gao, the reigning U.S. junior bronze medalist, won bronze at her JGP assignments in Poland and Turkey. Kawamura, the reigning U.S. junior silver medalist, took fourth at JGP Hungary and won bronze at JGP Croatia
Miner topped the podium at JGP Lake Placid and then won silver at JGP Croatia. Dornbush won gold at JGP Hungary and placed fifth in Germany to qualify for the Final, where he won bronze last season. Reigning U.S. junior pewter medalist Hochstein won silver at JGP Hungary and placed fourth at JGP Germany.
Simpson and Miller placed fourth in Lake Placid and won bronze in Germany en route to the Final. The pair won the junior pewter medal at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Shibutani siblings topped the medal platform at both of their JGP assignments, in Lake Placid and Croatia. The reigning U.S. junior and World Junior silver medalists placed fourth at the JGP Final last season. Cannuscio and Lorello won bronze medals at JGP Poland and JGP Turkey. The team placed fifth in the junior category at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Championships.
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.