Ice Network

Mihara in front behind impressive triple jumps

Loboda, Drozd take slim lead over Team USA's Biechler, Dodge
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Japan's Mai Mihara came away with a personal-best 63.55 points for her short program. -Getty Images

Japan's Mai Mihara took charge in ladies, while Russia's Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd grabbed a slim lead in ice dance Thursday at the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) in Linz, Austria.

Ladies

Skating to "Rondo Capriccioso" by Camille Saint-Saëns, Mihara turned in a personal-best short program behind an excellent opening triple lutz-triple toe combination. The JGP Bratislava silver medalist came away with 63.55 points, earning positive Grades of Execution (GOEs) on each of her elements.

Russia's Maria Sotskova took a big step toward clinching her third straight appearance at the JGP Final. The JGP Latvia champion scored 62.97 points for her "Black Magic Woman" short program, which featured three triple jumps, including a triple-lutz-triple toe combination, and three Level 4 spins.  

Sotskova's teammate, Diana Pervushkina, is in third place with 58.26 points. Her performance included a sound triple lutz-triple toe combination..

Team USA's Bradie Tennell struggled out of the gate, under-rotating her opening triple toe-triple toe combination and falling on her triple flip. She sits in ninth place with 46.35 points.

Tennell's teammate, Anna Grace Davidson, is 14th with a score of 41.53.

Ice dance

Looking to clinch their second straight appearance at the JGP Final, Loboda and Drozd were technically sound in their short dance, garnering positive GOEs on each of their five elements. The JGP Slovakia silver medalists earned Level 4s for both of their Starlight Waltz patterns, as well as their twizzles and lift, helping the duo come away with a personal-best 61.73 points and a 2.14-point lead.

Julia Biechler and Damian Dodge are in good position to win their first career JGP medal after their short earned 59.59 points, a new personal best. The U.S. skaters performed a superlative no touching diagonal step sequence (1.73 GOE), and their twizzles and lift each earned Level 4.

French silver medalists Marie-Jade Lauriault and Romain Le Gac registered a score of 59.50, putting them in a virtual tie for second place.

Sitting in fourth with 58.56 points, Team USA's Elliana Pogrebinsky and Alex Benoit are in contention to make the podium.