Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another Week on the JGP Circuit, Another Round of U.S. Gold Medals

Gdansk brought more hardware to the U.S. juniors… 2 gold and 1 bronze, to be precise. Here’s a little of how it shook out:

GOLD: Joshua Farris, USA
SILVER: Artur Dmitriev (Jr.), RUS
BRONZE: Ryuichi Kihara, JPN

If your last image of Farris is of a young man struggling to muscle through his fall-plagued Nationals free skate—only to discover later on that he’d been skating with a fractured ankle—get ready for a much better picture of the 16 year-old. His free skate was far from perfect, and in fact he lost that portion to 19 year-old Artur Dmitriev Jr. (who skated clean but whose style is a little too herky-jerky for my taste). But Farris’ SP still gave him a 5 point edge when all was said and done. 17 year-old David Wang (also from the U.S.) finished a strong 5th, showing some nice style and polish if lacking some of the jump content of the medalists.

GOLD:Julia Lipnitskaia, RUS
SILVER: Satoko Miyahara, JPN
BRONZE: Samantha Cesario, USA

After watching the then 17 year-old Cesario’s impressive Sectionals performances last year, I was disappointed to learn that a back injury would keep her out of Nationals. But she’s back—in the JGP, anyway—and brought back a bronze medal this time with performances that included a Black Swan free skate—one of many we’ll see this year, I suspect. She was bested by a couple of teens just barely old enough for the JGP circuit—Miyahara, 13, who’s clearly hoping to get an early leg up on the deep pool of homeland talent, and Lipnitskaia, also 13, who may already have the upper hand with her Gumby-diculous flexibility and solid jumping technique. 15 year-old Lauren Dinh of the U.S. managed a 6th place finish.

GOLD: Simpson/Blackmer, USA
SILVER: Bobak/Beharry, CAN
BRONZE: Tudvaseva/Lisiev, RUS

To be fair, Simpson/Blackmer (or at least Simpson) had something of an unfair advantage in that she competed on the senior GP last season with former partner Nathan Miller… but rules are rules, and here they are in juniors. I look forward to their free skate to the Titanic soundtrack in the future. Also there for the U.S. were Calalang/Sidhu (finishing 4th), and Aaron/Settlage (finishing 5th).

GOLD: Sinitsina/Zhiganshin, RUS
SILVER: Galyeta/Shumski, UKR
BRONZE: Yanovskaia/Mozgov, RUS

As you can see, Eastern Europe was well represented in ice dance, led by Sinitsina/Zhiganshin… who brought back some Davis/White cuts from their 2010 Phantom of the Opera free dance. (They hit some really nice positions on their lifts, but as with most of the juniors they need more extension and duration on their moves.) Keep an eye on the Canadian team of Bruser/Lum, who skated only the 8th best SD but presented the 2nd best FD (leaping up to sixth place in the process). Parsons/Parsons and Mancini/Brooks, both of the U.S., finished 9th and 10th respectively.

An even fuller plate awaits over the next few days for skating fans, as both Nebelhorn Trophy and JGP Romania will take place over the next several days! Stay tuned… we’re one month away from Skate America now and the pace keeps on a-quickening…

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