U.S. skaters ready for Four Continents
Lysacek, Inoue and Baldwin highlight field
|Evan Lysacek is one of many prominent U.S. skaters that will appear at the Four Continents Championships. (Michelle Harvath)|
Leading the ladies is 2008 U.S. bronze medalist Ashley Wagner. In her first year of senior competition, Wagner finished fifth at Skate Canada and won bronze at Trophée Eric Bompard. Wagner will be joined by Katrina Hacker and Bebe Liang. Liang finished sixth and eighth at the Cup of China and the Cup of Russia, respectively, and followed those showings with a fifth-place finish at the U.S. Championships. Hacker finished sixth at the U.S. Championships.
Making his fifth appearance at the Four Continents Championships is two-time U.S. champion Evan Lysacek, who won gold at last year's event in Colorado Springs, Colo. The two-time World bronze medalist took silver last fall at both Skate America and the Cup of China, and he claimed the bronze at the Grand Prix Final. Lysacek will be joined by 2008 U.S. bronze medalist Steven Carriere. Carriere finished fourth at Skate America and garnered bronze at the NHK Trophy. Rounding out the men's contingent is Jeremy Abbott. Abbot, who finished fourth at the U.S. Championships and third at last year's Four Continents Championships, replaced silver medalist Johnny Weir, who withdrew from the competition to focus on training for next month's World Championships.
Veterans Rena Inoue and John Baldwin are appearing in the Four Continents Championships for the fifth time. The pair, which won bronze at last year's event, made its season debut at the U.S. Championships last month in Saint Paul, Minn., where they won silver. The U.S. bronze medal team of Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski hopes to improve on last year's fifth-place finish at the Four Continents Championships. Like Inoue and Baldwin, Castile and Okolski's first competition this season was the U.S. Championships. Making their debut at the Four Continents Championships are Tiffany Vise and Derek Trent, who placed fourth at the U.S. Championships.
U.S. silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White are making their second appearance at the Four Continents Championships, after a fourth-place finish at last year's event. U.S. bronze medalists Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre finished a spot behind Davis and White at this competition last season. Navarro and Bommentre finished sixth this season at both Skate America and the NHK Trophy. Jennifer Wester and Daniil Barantsev are making their Four Continents debut. They finished fifth at the U.S. Championships.