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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The second event of the 2010 International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating (JGP) Series takes place Sept. 8-11 in Brasov, Romania. The event, which will be held at the Olympic Arena, begins Thursday, Sept. 9 with the ladies and men’s short programs. Official practice takes place Wednesday.
Eight athletes are representing the United States at the event in three disciplines: ladies, men’s and ice dancing. A pairs competition will be held at only four of the seven JGP events this season.
Leading the ladies contingent in Romania is Kristiene Gong, who made her international debut last season at JGP Belarus, where she finished just off the podium in fourth. Her 2009-10 season wrapped with a 16th-place finish at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships, where she competed as a senior. This competition marks the JGP debut for Samantha Cesario, whose most recent competition was the 2010 Gardena Spring Trophy, where she won the gold in junior ladies.
This is the fourth season competing in the JGP Series for Keegan Messing. His sixth-place finish at last season’s JGP Poland was followed by a ninth-place finish at the 2010 U.S. Championships, where he competed as a senior. Messing wrapped last season with a fourth-place finish at the 2010 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in The Hague, Netherlands. Joining Messing is 2009 U.S. novice champion Joshua Farris. His 2009-10 season included a fourth-place finish at the JGP event in Lake Placid and a fifth-place finish at JGP Turkey. Farris’s season concluded with a silver medal at the 2010 U.S. Championships, where he competed as a junior.
This is the second season on the JGP circuit for Lauri Bonacorsi & Travis Mager. The 2009 U.S. novice champions won bronze last season at JGP Lake Placid and finished ninth at JGP Germany. Bonacorsi and Mager are joined by Gabrielle Friedenberg & Benjamin Nykiel, who will make their international debut in Romania. The team completed its 2009-10 season with a sixth-place finish in junior dance at the 2010 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.