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Rippon jumps into men's lead at JGP Romania

Japan owns top two spots after ladies short program

Adam Rippon, only 17, skated to a comfortable lead after the short program.
Adam Rippon, only 17, skated to a comfortable lead after the short program. (Michelle Harvath)

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(09/07/2007) - American Adam Rippon, Japan's Yuka Ishikawa and Canadian ice dancers Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier lead their respective disciplines after the first day of competition at the Junior Grand Prix in Miercurea Ciuc, Romania.

Rippon's lead over Russia's Ivan Bariev, who's in second place, is more than eight points, and he leads the third-place skater, Kazakstan's Denis Ten, by almost 11. Rippon landed a triple flip-triple toe combination and a triple loop, his flying sit spin earned a level four, and his change combination spin, straight line step sequence and circular footwork were all given level threes. He finished with a short program score of 64.61.

The U.S.'s other entrant, Eliot Halverson, didn't fare as well. Though he had great interpretation of the music, "Libertango" by Bond, both the jumps in his combination were downgraded. His change combination and flying sit spins were awarded level threes, but both of his footwork sequences were level ones. Halverson's program component score (26.91) was second only to that of Rippon (28.57).

Ishikawa scored 51.36 for the short program, and countrywoman Rumi Suizu, the fifth-place finisher at last year's World Junior Championships, is in second, 2.5 points back.

The U.S.'s Chrissy Hughes, making her JGP debut, is third with 43.36 points. She landed a triple Salchow-doule toe combination, with nary a negative Grade of Execution. Hughes also landed a double Axel, received level fours for her spirals, and gained a level three for her change combination spin.

American Carolyn-Ann Alba fell on both her combination attempt and her double Axel and, as a result, is in 12th.