Press Release

JGP Series kicks off 2011-12 season in Latvia

Fourteen athletes to represent United States at event

Emmanuel Savary is one of two U.S. men that will compete at the Junior Grand Prix Latvia.
Emmanuel Savary is one of two U.S. men that will compete at the Junior Grand Prix Latvia. (Michelle Harvath)

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By U.S. Figure Skating
(08/30/2011) - Colorado Springs, Colo. -- The 2011-12 competitive season begins this week with the International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix (JGP) of Figure Skating Series. JGP Latvia gets under way Thursday, Sept. 1, at the Volvo Ice Arena in Riga, Latvia, with the ladies, men's and pairs short programs. Official practice will take place Wednesday.

Fourteen athletes will represent the United States at the event in four disciplines: ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing. Icenetwork.com will provide complete event coverage including results, photos and blogs.

LADIES
Yasmin Siraj, the 2010 U.S. junior silver medalist, begins her second season on the JGP circuit. A year ago, she qualified for the 2010 Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, placing seventh, by winning a pair of silver medals at her assignments in France and Great Britain. Siraj made her senior debut domestically last season and capped the year with an eighth-place finish at the 2011 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, N.C. Ashley Cain, who is the 2011 U.S. junior pairs champion with partner Joshua Reagan, makes her international singles debut in Riga. After earning silver as a novice at the 2010 U.S. Championships, Cain moved to the junior level a year ago and placed sixth in Greensboro.

MEN
Emmanuel Savary made his international debut at Gardena Spring Trophy last spring and won the novice competition. Savary, the 2009 U.S. intermediate titlist, placed fifth as a junior at the most recent U.S. Championships. Timothy Dolensky is the 2010 U.S. novice bronze medalist and placed fourth in his previous JGP assignment in Great Britain last fall.

PAIRS
Kylie Duarte and Colin Grafton will compete for a third season in the JGP Series. Their best finish came a season ago when they finished fourth in Great Britain. Olivia Oltmanns and Josh Santillian finished 11th at 2010 JGP Austria, the competition that marked their international debut, and saw the same placement as juniors at the U.S. Championships. Rounding out the pairs contingent are Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier, who are partnering for the second time in their careers. Denney and Frazier won bronze as intermediates at the 2008 U.S. Junior Championships before parting ways to compete with other partners. Denney and former partner, Daniel Raad, placed sixth as juniors in Greensboro, while Frazier and Mandy Garza enjoyed their best finish, third, as novices at the 2010 U.S. Championships.

ICE DANCING
Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton look to break onto the podium in their second international season. Last year, the 2010 U.S. novice champions finished fourth and sixth, respectively, at their JGP assignments in Great Britain and France. Danielle Gamelin and Alexander Gamelin, who won the U.S. intermediate title in 2009, compete for the first time since placing seventh as juniors in Greensboro.

Now in its 15th season, the JGP Series 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 discipline qualify for the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, Dec. 8-122 in Quebec City, Quebec.

In addition to Latvia, the Junior Grand Prix Series consists of the following events:
• JGP Australia: Brisbane, Australia - Sept. 7-11
• JGP Poland: Gdansk, Poland - Sept. 14-18
• JGP Romania: Brasov, Romania - Sept. 21-25
• JGP Austria: Innsbruck, Austria - Sept. 28-Oct. 2
• JGP Italy: Milano, Italy - Oct. 5-9
• JGP Estonia: Tallinn, Estonia - Oct. 12-16
• JGP Final: Quebec City, Quebec - Dec. 8-11