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JAY ADEFF/U.S. FIGURE SKATING


JUNIOR


PROMISE REIGNS SURPEME


highlight event BY TROY SCHWINDT


Big-time performances Kaitlyn Nguyen and Starr Andrews proved


that they are right on schedule to represent the United States down the road in the ISU Junior Grand Prix Series with their efforts in Kansas City.


The two skating dynamos finished first


and second, respectively, with impressive technical packages that included triple-triple jumps. They also displayed presentation qual- ities that promise to evolve as they mature. “They brought strong performances,” said Justin Dillon, director of high performance development at U.S. Figure Skating. “Starr did her second triple jump with her arms over her head. That is what we see other countries do- ing, so it was nice to see her taking that risk and it paying off for her.” Nguyen is too young to compete interna- tionally as a junior, but she will once again rep- resent the United States in an advanced novice competition this spring. “She shows a lot of promise,” Dillon said.


“Her technical content is right on par with where we want an athlete at the junior level in- ternationally — she’s right there in terms of the jumps she executes.” Emmy Ma also turned heads, showing the


complete package in winning the short pro- gram.


“She had all the choreography, beauti-


ful spins, great jumps,” Dillon said. “A 60-point short is very good for a junior.” On the men’s side, gold medalist Alex


Krasnozhon and silver medalist Camden Pulk- inen put up big scores thanks to their powerful jumps, which included sound triple Axels. It was Krasnozhon’s third time as a junior


at the U.S. Championships. He came in having competed at the Junior Grand Prix Final in De- cember. “In making the Final (JGP Final), I think he


really upped the game with some of the oth- er competitors,” Dillon said. “Camden’s break-


38 MARCH 2017


Junior ladies (l-r) Starr Andrews, Kaitlyn Nguyen, Ashley Lin, Emmy Ma; Junior men (l-r) Camden Pulkinen, Alex Krasnozhon, Ryan Dunk, Eric Sjoberg; Junior pairs (l-r) Elli Kopmar/ Jonah Barrett, Nica Digerness/Danny Neudecker, Alexandria Yao/Austin Hale, Lindsay Wein- stein/Jacob Simon; Junior ice dance (l-r) Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko, Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons, Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter, Chloe Lewis/Logan Bye


through short program showed that the com- petition was going to be head-to-head and tough. Both have showed a lot of progress over this past season.” All the junior medalists and those seniors


assigned to the World Junior Championships were scheduled to participate in the inaugu- ral Junior Camp in February. Alternates to the World Junior Team were also scheduled to skate at the camp, all performing in front of a judging panel. In ice dance, Rachel and Michael Parsons


enjoyed a breakthrough competition, win- ning the event for the first time in five tries at the junior level. They had finished behind their training mates, Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter, in Wheaton, Maryland, since joining the junior division. “Everyone has had a chance to shine,”


Dillon said. “We are looking forward to next season and the next quad. They’ve all had suc- cess, which builds their confidence level when they move up. Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko have really made great strides, and the teams below these three are ready to come on strong next season.” In junior pairs, teams executed more diffi-


cult elements such as side-by-side jumps, dou- ble Axels and triple twists. Nica Digerness and Danny Neudecker


led the way with a technical and performance package that should serve them well at the World Junior Championships. “They have two throw triples, a split triple


twist and side-by-side double Axels, so they have the arsenal to be competitive as juniors,” Dillon said.


MEDALISTS


LADIES Gold | Kaitlyn Nguyen Silver | Starr Andrews Bronze | Ashley Lin Pewter | Emmy Ma MEN Gold | Alex Krasnozhon Silver | Camden Pulkinen Bronze | Ryan Dunk Pewter | Eric Sjoberg PAIRS Gold | Nica Digerness/ Danny Neudecker Silver | Elli Kopmar/ Jonah Barrett Bronze | Alexandria Yao/ Austin Hale Pewter | Lindsay Weinstein/ Jacob Simon ICE DANCE Gold | Rachel Parsons/ Michael Parsons Silver | Christina Carreira/ Anthony Ponomarenko Bronze | Lorraine McNamara/ Quinn Carpenter Pewter | Chloe Lewis/ Logan Bye


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