The 2012-13 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating concluded this week with the seventh and final qualifying event. The competition was held in Chemnitz, Germany, with approximately 108 skaters/teams representing 32 countries competing in the Men, Ladies, Pairs, and Ice Dance disciplines. The athletes competed to earn points towards qualification for the ISU Junior Grand Prix (JGP) of Figure Skating Final which will be held in Sochi, Russia in December.
Anna Pogorilaya of Russia came from third place to capture the gold in her second JGP event, while Japan’s Miyabi Oba moved up to second to win the silver. Russia’s Maria Stavitskaia slipped from first to settle for bronze.
Stavitskaia opened her lyrical routine to Ave Maria with a solid triple Lutz-triple toe, followed by a triple flip and double Axel. Two of her spins were awarded a level four, however, it was her level three fast Flying Camel spin which evolved from a donut into a variation of a half Biellmann that impressed the judges and earned positive Grades of Execution (GOE). She also showed good level three footwork, and placed first with 57.07 (34.46/22.61) points.
USA’s Leah Keiser finished a close second with 55.14 (31.97/ 23.17) points after her dynamic routine to Saint-Saëns’ Rondo Capriccioso, showing a slight improvement over her short program a few weeks ago in Turkey. Once again, the JGP Bosphorus champion underrotated the second jump in her opening triple Lutz-triple toe and received an edge call on her triple flip, but landed a solid double Axel. The 15-year-old also earned a level four on two of her spins, and her level three layback earned no less than +2 GOEs across the board.
Pogorilaya showed exotic character in her Middle Eastern routine, which featured a triple toe-triple toe, triple flip (edge call), and double Axel. The JGP Croatia bronze medalist earned a level four on all three spins, with the layback spin showing many interesting changes of positions and earning mostly +2 GOEs from the judges. She finished third with 53.81 (32.03/21.78), earning the second highest total element score (TES) of the event.
Gabrielle Daleman placed fourth with 52.00 (30.37/22.63) points for her routine to music from the Avatar soundtrack. The Canadian junior champion landed a triple toe-triple toe and double Axel, but fell on the triple flip. Despite the error, she displayed very good spins, two of which earned a level four.
Oba finished a close fifth (51.49) after a turbulent routine to Tempest by Gaetano Pugnami and Fritz Kreisler. The student from Seto City underrotated the second jump of a triple loop-triple toe combo, but landed a triple flip and double Axel.
Lenaelle Gilleron-Gorry of France finished sixth (44.63), followed by Estonia’s Gerli Liinamaë (43.51).
Performing to Walpurgis Night from the Faust opera by Gounod, Pogorilaya opened with a double Axel-triple toe-double toe, followed by a double Axel-triple toe, triple Lutz-double toe, and triple Lutz. The Russian landed three more jumps, however, she put a hand down on the Salchow and received an edge call on the flip. Despite the two mistakes, the 14-year-old was solid in her routine, earning a level four on two of her spins and many positive GOEs for her level two footwork. She scored 106.71 (60.53/46.18) points for a first place finish in the long and overall (160.52).
Oba placed second with 93.02 (50.14/43.88) points for her long program to Stravinski’s Firebird. The 17-year-old Japanese skater fell on an underrotated triple Salchow and received an edge call on her triple Lutz, but otherwise landed five clean triple jumps. She also earned a level four for the combination spin, but no points for her flying sit spin. With 144.51 points total, she moved up to second place overall.
Teammate Miu Sato, who stood in 13th place after the short, finished a close third with her long program to Prokofiev’s Cinderella with 91.74 (50.89/41.85) points. The 15-year-old from Nagoya took a fall on an underrotated triple Salchow, received an edge call on her triple flip, and underrotated a triple toe (in combination with a double toe). In the end, she only landed a total of three clean triple jumps, but impressed with two level four spins, one of which earned eight out of nine +2 GOES. With a total score of 130.01, she moved up to sixth place overall.
Slovakia’s Monika Simancikova, who stood in 12th after the short, placed fourth in the long with 87.36 (46.84/40.52) points and seventh overall (126.44). The 17-year-old from Piestany landed four clean triple jumps in her routine to Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah, and also earned a level four on all three spins.
Stavitskaia fell on a triple loop and underrotated a triple toe (in combination with a triple Lutz). The 15-year-old also underrotated her second triple Lutz and received a one point deduction for a time violation to come in fifth (86.45 (45.25/43.20). With 143.52 points, however, she was able to maintain third place overall.
Keiser also did not fare well. The teen from Orange County, Calif. fell on two jumps and underrotated two more to finish seventh in the long (86.01). However, she was able to maintain fourth overall with 141.15 points.
Daleman, 14, suffered three falls in her long program (86.33), dropping to fifth overall (138.33).
Gilleron-Gorry and Liinamaë finished eighth and ninth, respectively.
Both Pogorilaya and Keiser qualified for the JGP Final, and are slated to compete against Elena Radionova (RUS), Angela Wang (USA), Satoko Miyahara (JPN), and Hannah Miller (USA).
South Korea’s Hae Jin Kim is the current first alternate.
Russia’s Lina Fedorova and Maxim Miroshkin won the gold in the pairs event, while teammates Maria Vigalova and Ego Zakroev rose from second to capture the silver. Canada’s Brittany Jones and Ian Beharry placed third overall to win their second consecutive JGP medal as a team – the bronze.
Fedorova and Miroshkin opened their beguiling routine to Singin’ in the Rain with a very high level four double twist, which they entered from a pair cantilever position, and a huge throw triple Salchow— both of which earned many positive GOEs. The team also produced side by side double Axels, as well as a level four lift, straight line footwork sequence, and combination spin to place a comfortable first with 53.26 (30.58/22.68) points.
Annabelle Prölss and Ruben Blommaert of Germany performed a playful and lively number to the Neapolitan music of O Sole Mio and Funiculì, Funiculà. The team opened with side by side double Axels and a level three double twist, but Prölss slightly two-footed the landing of the throw triple Salchow. Nevertheless, the team from Oberstdorf earned a level four on their footwork and lift, placing second with 47.84 (26.98/20.86) points.
Jones and Beharry finished a close third with 46.90 (25.30/22.60) points, earning the second highest TES of the teams in their routine to music from Bombay Dreams. They produced a good throw triple Salchow, which had an interesting entrance and good distance, as well as a level four lift and spin—all of which earned positive GOEs. However, the team, who appeared a bit nervous, only earned a base level for their double twist and Jones went down on the side by side double Axels.
Vigalova and Zakroev impressed with their opening level four double twist, in their program to Stray Cat Strut, however, Vigalova struggled on the landing on the side by side double Axels and also labored a bit in attaining a low position in the back outside death spiral. The team otherwise showed a good throw triple Salchow and level four lift to place fourth with 45.77 (25.62/20.15) points for their saucy routine.
USA’s Britney Simpson and Matthew Blackmer placed fifth with 45.64 (24.58/21.06) points. Their flamenco style routine to music from “The Mask of Zorro” featured an impressive throw triple Salchow and level four lift.
Natasha Purich and Sebastien Arcieri of Canada placed sixth (42.07), followed by USA’s Jessica Pfund and AJ Reiss (40.97).
Vigalova and Zakroev opened their dramatic routine to Symphony on a Battle Lost with a good triple twist, a throw triple loop, and throw triple Lutz, however, Zakroev put his hand down on the second jump of the side by side double Axel-double Axel sequence. The JGP Austria bronze medalists also earned a level three on their forward inside death spiral and a level four on their final combination spin, but only earned a level four on one of their lifts and also received a one point deduction for a time violation. The team, who stood in fourth after the short, placed first in the long with 92.41 (49.93/43.48) points, and moved up to second overall with a total score of 138.18 points.
Jones and Beharry suffered two falls in their long program after Jones fell on the side by side triple toes and throw triple Salchow. The Canadians also had a crashy landing on the triple twist, which only earned the base value, but produced a solid throw triple Salchow. They otherwise showed good lifts and earned a level four and positive GOEs on both spins to score 87.16 (44.02/45.14) points in their ethereal routine to Vilvaldi’s Winter and Summer from Four Seasons. With 134.06 points in total, the JGP Austria champions maintained third place overall.
Fedorova and Miroshkin finished third in the long with 86.77 (45.17/44.60) points, but managed to hang onto first overall with a total score of 140.03. Fedorova took a fall on their opening side by side jumps, and later struggled with both throw triple jumps, falling on the throw triple Salchow. The JGP Austria silver medalists, who also lost a point on a time violation, otherwise produced what was arguably the best triple twist of the event. They also showed good spins and displayed two good level four lifts.
Prölss and Blommaert, who sat in third after the short, finished fifth in the long (85.64). The current German Junior champions also struggled with their jumps, including both throws, and slipped to fourth overall with 133.48 points.
Natasha Purich and Sebastien Arcieri of Canada placed a close fourth in the long with 86.14 (43.34/42.80) points. The highlights of their routine were the throw triple loop and throw triple Salchow. The newly formed team finished sixth overall with 128.21 points.
Simpson and Blackmer placed fifth (131.13) overall, while teammates Pfund and Reiss finished seventh (123.07).
All three medal winners qualified for the JGP Final. They will compete against Margaret Purdy and Michael Marinaro (CAN), Vasilisa Davankova and Andrei Deputat (RUS), and Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin (CHN).
USA’s Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage are currently the first alternates.
Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin of Russia won their sixth consecutive JGP title, while USA’s Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker captured the silver in their second event. Russia’s Daria Morozova and Mikhail Zhirnov rose from fourth to capture the bronze.
Stepanova and Bukin won the short dance with 60.28 (31.00/29.28) points after a sure and confident Blues and Swing routine which featured a good level three circular step sequence and level four lift. However, the reigning World Junior silver medalists only met four of the six of the key points in their Blues patterns, and Stepanova appeared to touch down a bit early in the second set of twizzles, which earned a level three.
Hawayek and Baker performed perhaps the most entertaining and crowd pleasing program of the evening. The fourth place finishers at JGP Bosphorus have shown improvement in the short period of time since their last event, displaying a level of ease and connection with each other, as well as the music. They received credit for all six key points in the Blues despite a slight form break in their second Blues pattern, and their level four twizzles were very fast. The newly formed team placed second with 58.66 (31.82/26.84) points.
Canada’s Noa Bruser and Timothy Lum finished third with 50.84 (27.09/23.75) points after their upbeat and high energy routine to music from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The Canadian junior bronze medalists displayed good level four twizzles and a level four curve lift which earned many positive GOEs. However, the team showed some weakness in edging, particularly in the midline footwork sequence, which only achieved a level one.
Morozova and Zhirnov, who placed fourth at JGP Lake Placid, continued to have difficulties with the Blues Pattern dance, only hitting three of the six key points. Zhirnov had a visible stumble in the footwork, which earned level two and resulted in negative GOEs, but the team otherwise earned a level four on their twizzles and straight line lift. The finished fourth with 50.33 (26.41/23.92) points
Cagla Demirsal and Berk Akalin of Turkey showed particularly impressive form in the Blues Pattern Dance, placing fifth 49.64 (28.59/21.05) points. The students of Natalia Dubova met five of the six key points, and earned a level four on their twizzles and rotational lift. While they are slower than the top two teams, their routine is young and fresh, and they earned the second highest PCS score of the event.
Canada’s Marieve Cyr and Benjamin Brisebois Gaudreau placed sixth (43.40), followed by Germany’s Lisa Enderlein and Hendrik Hilpert (41.86).
Stepanova and Bukin’s routine to a modern arrangement of Bolero was highlighted by their striking and theatrical level four lifts. Their level four combination dance spin also had some unique positions, and was executed with good speed. However, their one weakness was in their level two circular and diagonal steps in which their edges could have been deeper and their turns a bit sharper. The Russian Junior silver medalists also showed good level four twizzles, and placed first in the free dance with 86.82 (40.07/46.75), and overall (147.10).
Hawayek and Baker impressed with a light, exuberant, and playful routine to Singin’ in the Rain, in which they displayed crisp timing and deep edges. They only earned a level one for their spin due to problems with their entry, however, the highlight of the dance was the level four curve-rotational combination lift. The new team from Auburn Hills, Mich., also displayed good level four twizzles, and earned a level three on their circular and diagonal steps to place second with 79.95 (37.92/42.03) points, and overall (138.61).
Morozova and Zhirnov finished third with 74.08 (36.16/37.92) points after an emotional and thrilling program to Tristan & Isolde. The team from Moscow received a level four for their rotational and straight line lift, but on a two for the curve lift. They also produced good level four twizzles and a dance spin, and moved up to third overall with 124.41 points.
Bruser fell out of a rotational lift, causing Lum to stumble and fall during their swashbuckling and daring pirate-themed dance. As result, they were hit with a two point deduction. They became so disoriented that they were penalized an additional point for the “excess interruption” in the program. The team from Vancouver otherwise earned a level four on their straight line and curve lift, as well as their twizzles and dance spin. They finished fourth in the free dance with 66.55 (30.75/38.80) points, and overall (117.39).
Demirsal and Akalin had problems on their lifts and dance spin, finishing eighth (57.80) in the free dance. However, with a total score of 107.44, the Turkish team was able to maintain fifth overall.
Ukrainians Anastasia Chiriyatyeva and Sergei Shevchenko moved up from ninth to sixth overall, while Cyr and Gaudreau finished seventh.
Stepanova and Bukin qualified for the JGP Final and will compete in December against Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton (USA), Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (FRA), Valeria Zenkova and Valerie Sinitsin (RUS), Evgenia Kosigina and Nikolai Moroshkin (RUS), and Anna Yanovskaya and Sergey Mozgov (RUS).
Whlle Hawayek/Baker and Morozova/Zhirnov had good showings at this event, neither team’s total points from both events were enough for them to qualify as competitors or alternates for the Final. Germany’s Shari Koch and Christian Nüchtern of Germany are the current first alternates.
Russia’s Maxim Kovtun won his second consecutive JGP gold medal at this event, while Shoma Uno of Japan pocketed his first JGP silver. Alexander Samarin of Russia rose from fourth place to capture his second JGP bronze.
Kovtun opened his dashing routine to music from the Lawrence of Arabia soundtrack with a triple Lutz-triple toe, but then put his hand down on the landing of a triple Axel. The JGP Croatia champion also received an edge call on his triple flip, but otherwise showed good footwork and earned a level four on his final spin to place first with 68.13 (36.81/31.32) points.
Uno placed second with 63.48 (33.62/29.86) points for his intensely emotional program to the music from Tanguera, despite lacking a triple Axel. The student from Nagoya landed a triple toe-triple toe, a triple flip (edge call), and a double Axel in his tango routine. He also earned a level four on two of his spins and earned positive GOEs on his level three footwork.
USA’s Jay Yostanto stylish routine to Setzer’s Hollywood Nocturne and Caravan featured a triple Axel, triple Lutz-double toe, and triple flip. The 14-year-old also earned a level four on two his spins and a level three on his bluesy footwork to place third with 61.04 (33.14/27.90) points.
Samarin placed fourth with 59.09 (31.09/28.00) points. The 14-year-old landed a solid triple Lutz-triple toe and triple flip, but popped his Axel. He otherwise showed good spins and fluid footwork in his jazzy interpretation to music from the Mahogany Suite soundtrack and an orchestral version of The Beatles’ Come Together.
USA’s Shotaro Omori fell on an underrotated double Axel, but otherwise landed a triple Lutz-triple toe (edge call on Lutz), and a triple flip. The teen from La Mirada, Calif., who displayed good spins and footwork throughout his routine, placed fifth in his program to Miss Tango, scoring 58.70 (30.84/28.86) points.
Spain’s Victor Bustamante finished sixth (54.22), followed by Martin Rappe of Germany (52.98).
Uno underrotated and fell on the back end of a double Axel-triple toe near the end of his program, and also received an edge call on a triple flip, but managed to place first with 125.00 (60.76/65.24) points in his melodious routine to Steps by Secret Garden. The 14-year-old was otherwise solid, landing a total of five clean triple jumps and two double Axels. The Japanese skater also showed good level three footwork and earned a level four on two of his spins in his Celtic themed program, and maintained second place overall with a total score of 188.48 points.
Kovtun missed his opening quad combination, only landing a double toe instead, and later singled a triple loop. He also received an edge call on a triple flip, but otherwise landed five solid triples, including two triple Axels. The 17-year-old also showed good spins and footwork in his powerful routine to Casablanca, and placed a very close second with 124.91 (61.13/63.78) points. With 193.04 points total, the 2012 Russian Junior bronze medalist was able to maintain first overall to win his second consecutive JGP title.
Samarin placed third with 120.(74 61.74/59.00) points for his compelling routine to music from the Admiral soundtrack. The only errors were an edge call on both his triple flips, one of which was in combination with a double toe. The 2012 JGP Slovenia bronze medalist landed five clean triple jumps, including a triple Lutz-triple toe, and displayed good spins and footwork throughout. He rose from fourth to third overall with a total score of 179.83 points.
Omoro struggled with several of his jumps to finish fourth in the long (113.86) and overall (172.56). The 16-year-old student of Tammy Gambill only landed three solid triples, including a triple Axel, but earned a level four on two of his spins and showed good level three footwork.
Rappe placed fifth (108.87) in the long and overall (161.85). The German bronze medalist doubled a Lutz and loop, but otherwise landed six triple jumps in a fine performance in front of his home town crowd.
Yostanto, who stood in third after the short, placed seventh (100.32) in the long. The teen from Yorba Linda, Calif., fell on a triple Lutz and doubled two other jumps. He also popped an Axel, and slipped to sixth (161.36) overall.
Bustamante finished seventh overall, followed by Japan’s Shu Nakamura.
Kovtun qualified for the JGP Final, and will compete alongside Joshua Farris (USA), Jason Brown (USA), Boyang Jin (CHN), Ryuju Hino (JPN), and Keiji Tanaka (JPN). Samarin missed qualifying by four tenths of a point, and is currently listed as the first alternate.