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Carreira, Ponomarenko extend winning run in Minsk

U.S. ice dancers, Russia's Trusova punch tickets to Junior Grand Prix Final
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Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko earned their second gold medal of the season with an impressive performance in Belarus. -Getty Images

Russia's Alexandra Trusova and U.S. ice dancers Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko took the gold medal in their respective disciplines Friday at the Junior Grand Prix in Minsk, Belarus. As a result, they became the first athletes to earn a place at the 2017 Junior Grand Prix Final.

Ladies

Trusova took top honors for the second time in this season's JGP Series, winning by a margin of 13.32 points this week. Skating to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, the 13-year-old Russian opened her program with a triple lutz-triple loop combination and went on to complete six more triple jumps the rest of the way. She amassed 126.60 points on the day, giving her a total score of 196.32.

Japan's Nana Araki overcame a free skate that was rated just the third best of the day to claim the silver medal, earning 183.00 points for the week.

Russian Stanislava Konstantinova improved from third in the short to second in the free, but her score of 181.98 left her just behind Araki and with the bronze medal. The 17-year-old Russian received bonus points for performing five of her jumping passes in the second half of her Anna Karenina program.

American Tessa Hong pushed through a rough free skate, falling to seventh in the final segment and sixth overall. She earned 89.53 points on the day and 149.14 overall.

Ice Dance

With a winning competition total of 150.05, Carreira and Ponomarenko captured their second career JGP title and secured their second JGP Final berth. In Friday's event, the duo earned positive Grades of Execution across the board for their W.E. free dance en route to a segment mark of 86.28.

Russians Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin flip-flopped with teammates Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov in the free dance, but ultimately the short dance standings held. Third in the free dance, Skoptcova and Aleshin took home silver with 143.64 points, less than a point ahead of Ushakova and Nekrasov, who earned 142.94. Skating a fierce tango routine to music by Gotan Project, Skoptcova and Aleshin earned a Level 4 on three of their seven elements on their way to posting a segment score of 81.93. Their teammates earned a Level 4 on four elements and finished the final segment with 83.32 points.

Avonley Nguyen and Vadym Kolesnik finished their JGP debut in fifth place with 114.89 points, after their West Side Story free dance earned the Americans 64.52 points.

Pairs

A pair of Russian teams lead the way after the pairs short program. Less than half a point separates first-place couple Anastasia Polyianova and Dmitry Sopot and their teammates, Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin. In addition to completing a throw triple loop and side-by-side triple lutzes, both teams closed out their programs with a Level 4 pairs spin. The teams earned 56.37 and 56.29 points for the segment, respectively.

Feiyao Tang and Yongchao Yang of China round out the top three with a score of 54.00, followed by Team USA's Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov (52.92).

Lu and Mitrofanov's teammates, Elli Kopmar and Jonah Barrett, sit in seventh place with 43.84 points.