Press Release

United States sends 10 athletes to JGP Poland

American skaters to compete in all four disciplines

Keegan Messing is among the favorites to medal at the JGP Romania.
Keegan Messing is among the favorites to medal at the JGP Romania. (Michelle Harvath)

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(09/08/2009) - The third event of the 2009 International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix (JGP) of Figure Skating Series takes place Sept. 9-13 in Torun, Poland. The event, which will be held at the Tor-Tor ice rink, begins Thursday, Sept. 10 with the compulsory dance and the ladies and pairs short programs. Official practice will take place Wednesday.

Ten athletes will represent the United States at the event in all four disciplines: ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing.

The JGP Series, now in its 13th season, consists of seven international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Approximately 400 athletes representing more than 35 countries are expected to participate in the series. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the seven scheduled events (pairs can compete in two of four designated events). The top eight point-earners in each of the disciplines qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final Dec. 3-6 in Tokyo, Japan.

LADIES
This is the first appearance in the JGP Series for Christina Gao and Karen Zhou. Last season, Gao won junior bronze at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Zhou took home gold from the 2008 Gardena Spring Trophy, where she competed as a junior.

MEN
Austin Kanallakan, the 2005 U.S. novice champion, is competing in the JGP Series for the fifth time. He has won three JGP gold medals -- two in 2006 (France, Norway) and one in 2007 (Croatia). This will be the third JGP Series for 2009 U.S. junior silver medalist Keegan Messing. He finished fourth last season at JGP Czech Republic and won silver at JGP Great Britain.

PAIRS
Both U.S. pairs teams in Torun are making their first appearance in the JGP Series. Tori Vollmer and Zack Sidhu finished fifth in the novice division at the 2009 U.S. Championships. This will be the first competition for the newly formed team of Felicia Zhang and Taylor Toth. Zhang is the 2008 U.S. novice ladies bronze medalist. Toth has competed with several partners, including Molly Aaron, with whom he won the 2005 U.S. novice pewter medal and competed in two JGP events.

ICE DANCING
Isabella Cannuscio and Ian Lorello are back for a third season in the JGP Series. They finished fifth last year at JGP Italy and fourth at JGP Belarus.

In addition to Torun, Poland the Junior Grand Prix Series consists of the following events:
• 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
• JGP Final: Tokyo, Japan - Dec. 3-6