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Chen, three others to compete for U.S. at Gardena

Three-time U.S. titlist to make international debut in Italy

Nathan Chen will put his six-competition win streak on the line at the Gardena Spring Trophy.
Nathan Chen will put his six-competition win streak on the line at the Gardena Spring Trophy. (Paul Harvath)

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By icenetwork.com
(04/11/2012) - Nathan Chen, winner of the U.S. junior title this season and the U.S. novice crown in 2010 and 2011, will make his international debut this week at the 2012 Gardena Spring Trophy in Val Gardena, Italy. He will be joined at the competition by fellow Americans Mariah Bell, Barbie Long and Lukas Kaugars. All four are making their international debuts.

Competition begins Friday, April 13, with the novice ladies and men's short programs and concludes Sunday with the junior and senior ladies and men's free skates.

Icenetwork.com will provide behind-the-scenes photos as well as a recap of the competition.

Chen captured the 2010 U.S. novice title in Spokane, Wash., as a 10-year-old, and then defended his title the following year in Greensboro, N.C., defeating his closest challenger by more than 35 points. This past season, he moved up to the junior level, where he earned his third straight national title. Chen will be competing as a novice at Gardena; at just 12, he is not old enough to compete as a junior internationally.

Bell and Long will be competing in junior ladies. Long is the 2011 U.S. novice silver medalist, and she most recently placed fourth as a junior at the 2012 U.S. Championships. Bell finished one spot behind Long at both the 2011 and 2012 U.S. Championships.

Kaugars most recently placed fifth as a junior at the 2012 U.S. Championships, and he will compete as a junior in Italy as well.

The Gardena Spring Trophy has been held annually since 1990.

Information from U.S. Figure Skating was used in this report.