U.S. sends skaters to two international events
JGP Austria and Nepela Memorial kick off this week
|Grant Hochstein blogs from the Ondrej Nepala Memorial in Bratislava, Slovakia. (Michelle Harvath)|
Both JGP Austria and Ondrej Nepela Memorial begin Thursday with ladies, pairs and men's short programs.
Katarina Kulgeyko makes her JGP debut after withdrawing from JGP Latvia due to injury. Kulgeyko followed her bronze medal win as a junior at the 2011 U.S. Championships with a junior silver medal at 2011 Gardena Spring Trophy. Two-time JGP medalist Vanessa Lam looks to earn her second medal of the season after winning bronze at JGP Australia in early September.
History repeats itself as the U.S. pairs contingent from JGP Latvia, Olivia Oltmanns and Josh Santillian, Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier and Kylie Duarte and Colin Grafton, will all be competing again in Austria.
The 2010 U.S. novice champions Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton earned their first international medal, a bronze, in Latvia earlier this month.
In addition Austria, the Junior Grand Prix Series consists of the remaining events (*includes pairs):
JGP Italy: Milan, Italy - Oct. 5-9
JGP Estonia: Tallinn, Estonia - Oct. 12-16*
JGP Final: Quebec City, Canada - Dec. 8-11*
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 six point-earners in each discipline qualify for the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, Dec. 8-11 in Quebec City, Quebec.
Ondrej Nepela Memorial
Ondrej Nepela Memorial is a senior-level competition for all ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing organized by the Slovak Figure Skating Association.
Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, who placed fifth at the 2011 U.S. Championships, make their season debut in Slovakia. The duo is also set to compete at 2011 NHK Trophy in Sapporo, Japan, later this fall.
Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus, the 2011 U.S. junior bronze medalists, make their senior international debut at Ondrej Nepela Memorial. They placed second and fourth, respectively, at 2010 JGP France and 2010 JGP Japan.