Press Release

U.S. athletes announced for 2009 Junior Grand Prix

U.S. junior champs Leng, Miner among initial Americans selected

An ankle injury to Ross Miner has forced him to withdraw from the 2010 U.S. Championships.
An ankle injury to Ross Miner has forced him to withdraw from the 2010 U.S. Championships. (Paul Harvath)


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(06/09/2009) - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Figure Skating has announced the initial athlete selections for the 2009 ISU Junior Grand Prix (JGP) of Figure Skating Series, which will begin Aug. 26-30 in Budapest, Hungary. The series incorporates seven prestigious international figure skating competitions in a unified, point-scoring series that awards prize money to eligible skaters.

The Junior Grand Prix Series consists of the following events:
• JGP Hungary -- Budapest, Hungary, Aug. 26-30
• JGP United States -- Lake Placid, N.Y., Sept. 2-5
• JGP Poland -- Torun, Poland, Sept. 9-13
• JGP Belarus -- Minsk, Belarus, Sept. 23-27
• JGP Germany -- Dresden, Germany, Sept. 30-Oct. 4
• JGP Croatia -- Zagreb, Croatia, Oct. 7-11
• JGP Turkey -- Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 14-18

At the conclusion of the seven events, athletes' points are totaled, and the top eight ladies, men, pairs and ice dancing teams are invited to compete at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. This year the Junior Grand Prix Final will be held Dec. 3-6 in Tokyo, Japan, in combination with the senior Grand Prix Final.

The following U.S. athletes have been selected to participate in a JGP event. This is a preliminary listing of participants and is subject to change. Additional skaters may be added before the start of and during the JGP Series. Official assignments will be named no later than 30 days prior to each competition.

Name (Hometown) / Training Town

• Laney Diggs (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) / El Segundo, Calif.
• Taylor Firth (Grand Island, N.Y.) / Jamestown, N.Y.
• Ellie Kawamura (Hacienda Heights, Calif.) / Riverside, Calif.
• DeeDee Leng (Naperville, Ill.) / Glen Ellyn, Ill.
• Angela Maxwell (Hurst, Texas) / Euless, Texas
• Kristine Musademba (Silver Spring, Md.) / Rockville, Md.
• Karen Zhou (Mission Viejo, Calif.) / Lake Arrowhead, Calif.

Name (Hometown) / Training Town

• Richard Dornbush (Corona, Calif.) / Riverside, Calif.
• Joshua Farris (Colorado Springs, Colo.) / Colorado Springs, Colo.
• Andrew Gonzales (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) / Aliso Viejo, Calif.
• Eliot Halverson (Saint Paul, Minn.) / Saint Paul, Minn.
• Grant Hochstein (Allentown, Mich.) / St. Clair Shores, Mich.
• Austin Kanallakan (Colorado Springs, Colo.) / Artesia, Calif.
• Keegan Messing (Girdwood, Alaska) / Anchorage, Alaska
• Ross Miner (Watertown, Vt.) / Boston, Mass.

Name (Hometown) & Name (Hometown) / Training Town

• Cassie Andrews (Mays, Ind.) & Nicholas Anderson (Franklin, Tenn.) / Indianapolis, Ind.
• Kylie Duarte (Cumberland, Mass.) & Colin Grafton (Attleboro, Mass.) / Acton, Mass.
• Meredith Pipkin (Elkton, Md.) & Brett Dunie-Neustadt (Potomac, Md.) / Newark, Del.
• Britney Simpson (Golden, Colo.) & Nathan Miller (Colorado Springs, Colo.) / Colorado Springs, Colo.
• Tori Vollmer (Corona, Calif.) & Zack Sidhu (Las Vegas, Nev.) / Riverside, Calif.

Ice Dancing
Name (Hometown) & Name (Hometown) / Training Town

• Isabella Cannuscio (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) & Ian Lorello (Gambrills, Md.) / Newark, Del.
• Piper Gilles (Colorado Springs, Colo.) & Zach Donohue (Hartford, Conn.) / Colorado Springs, Colo.
• Charlotte Lichtman (Northville, Mich.) & Dean Copely (Newark, Del.) / Canton, Mich.
• Maia Shibutani (Ann Arbor, Mich.) & Alex Shibutani (Ann Arbor, Mich.) / Canton, Mich.
• Rachel Tibbetts (Colorado Springs, Colo.) & Collin Brubaker (Algonquin, Ill.) / Colorado Springs, Colo.

U.S. Figure Skating

U.S. Figure Skating is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States, as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union. U.S. Figure Skating is comprised of more than 763 member clubs and Basic Skills Programs representing approximately 179,000 members. U.S. Figure Skating is charged with the development of the sport on all levels within the United States, including athletes, officials, sanctioning of events and exhibitions, and establishing the rules and guidelines by which the sport is governed.