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U.S. sends 11 athletes to Grand Prix, JGP finals

Davis and White, Wagner highlight senior entries; Brown looks to defend title among juniors

Meryl Davis and Charlie White are going for their fourth Grand Prix Final title in a row.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White are going for their fourth Grand Prix Final title in a row. (Getty Images)

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By U.S. Figure Skating
(12/04/2012) - Eleven U.S. athletes will compete at the 2012 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and Junior Grand Prix (JGP) Final this week in Sochi, Russia.

All competition will take place at the Iceberg Skating Palace, the official competition venue of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Competition begins Thursday, with all four junior disciplines taking the ice, while senior events begin Friday.

NBC will broadcast the Grand Prix Final ladies and men's free skates from 1-3 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Dec. 9. Universal Sports will provide additional coverage of the singles, pairs and dance events throughout the weekend. Terry Gannon, Michael Weiss and Tara Lipinski make up NBC's announcing team.

Icenetwork.com will provide news, photos, blogs and more from the event. On-demand video of the JGP Final and Grand Prix Final will be available to Season Pass subscribers approximately seven days following the conclusion of the event.

Grand Prix Final

Ladies

Ashley Wagner enters the Grand Prix Final as the No. 1-seeded lady after winning titles at 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America and 2012 Trophée Eric Bompard. She is the reigning U.S. and Four Continents champion. Wagner last competed at the Grand Prix Final in 2009 and placed fourth.

Christina Gao accepted an invitation to the Grand Prix Final Thursday after Russia's Julia Lipnitskaia withdrew due to injury. Gao became a first-time Grand Prix medalist when she won silver at Skate America. She also finished fourth at Trophée Bompard.

Ice Dancing

Like Wagner, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who are reigning four-time U.S. champions, enter the event as the top seed. They won their 11th straight Grand Prix Series gold medal, dating back to 2009, at the 2012 NHK Trophy two weeks ago. Davis and White are 2011 world champions, 2010 Olympic silver medalists and reigning three-time Grand Prix Final champions.

Junior Grand Prix Final

Ladies

Leah Keiser qualified for the JGP Final after winning gold at JGP Turkey and placing fourth at JGP Germany. Keiser, who competes domestically as a senior, is the 2010 U.S. novice champion.

Hannah Miller, the 2012 U.S. junior bronze medalist, enjoyed a pair of silver-medal finishes in Croatia and Austria to qualify for the final.

Angela Wang, who also competes as a senior in U.S. qualifying competition, started her season with a third-place finish at JGP Lake Placid before winning gold in Croatia.

Men's

Jason Brown and Joshua Farris return to the JGP Final in defense of their respective gold and bronze medals from the 2011 JGP Final. The 2012 world junior silver medalist, Farris won a pair of gold medals at events earlier this fall, in the United States and Slovenia. Farris makes his third straight appearance at the JGP Final. Brown, the reigning world junior bronze medalist, is a six-time JGP medalist. This season, he won gold in Turkey and silver in France.

Ice Dancing

Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton, the reigning U.S. junior champions and world junior bronze medalists, qualified for their second straight JGP Final after winning a pair of gold medals, in the United States and Slovenia. They will look to improve on a fourth-place showing at this event last year.