Press Release

Team USA sends 18 athletes to Lake Placid

Second JGP event kicks off this weekend

Ross Miner, the reigning U.S. junior men's champions, will compete in Lake Placid.
Ross Miner, the reigning U.S. junior men's champions, will compete in Lake Placid. (Michelle Harvath)

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(09/01/2009) - The second event of the 2009 International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating (JGP) Series takes place Sept. 2-6 in Lake Placid, N.Y. The event will be held at the 1980 Rink -- Herb Brooks Arena, beginning Thursday, Sept. 3, with the compulsory dance and the men's and pairs short programs. Official practice will take place Wednesday.

Eighteen athletes will represent the United States at the event in four disciplines: ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing.

The JGP Series, now in its 13th season, 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 eight point-earners in each of the disciplines qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final Dec. 3-6 in Tokyo, Japan.

Icenetwork.com, a joint venture between U.S. Figure Skating and MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, will present free live and on-demand video coverage of JGP Lake Placid. Coverage begins Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET with the compulsory dance.

LADIES
Leading the ladies in Lake Placid is Kristine Musademba. This is Musademba's third go-around on the JGP circuit. She won gold last year in Spain and France and finished sixth at the Junior Grand Prix Final in Goyang City, Republic of Korea. This will be the first JGP competition for 2009 U.S. junior champion DeeDee Leng and Taylor Firth. Firth finished 13th at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships, where she competed as a senior.

MEN
Ross Miner, the 2009 U.S. junior champion, is competing for the first time on the JGP circuit. Miner won silver at the 2008 Gardena Spring Trophy, where he competed as a junior. Miner will be joined by Andrew Gonzales, Jr. and Joshua Farris. This is Gonzales' second year competing in the JGP Series. Last season, he finished fourth at JGP Mexico and sixth at JGP South Africa. Farris, the 2009 U.S. novice champion, won silver at the 2009 AEGON Challenge Cup, where he competed as a junior.

PAIRS
This will be the first time competing in the JGP series for all three U.S. pairs teams. Britney Simpson and Nathan Miller are the 2009 U.S. junior pewter medalists. Meredith Pipkin and Meredith Pipkin and Brett Dunie-Neustadt finished eighth as novices at the 2009 U.S. Championships, one spot ahead of Kylie Duarte and Colin Grafton.

ICE DANCING
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, the 2009 World Junior and U.S. junior silver medalists, are competing on the JGP circuit for the second year. Last season the team won gold at JGP France, silver in Spain, and finished fourth at the JGP Final. This will be the third season in the JGP Series for Rachel Tibbetts and Collin Brubaker, who finished sixth at JGP Spain and fifth at JGP Great Britain last season. The U.S. ice dancing contingent is rounded out by 2009 U.S. novice champions Lauri Bonacorsi and Travis Mager.

In addition to Lake Placid, the Junior Grand Prix Series consists of the following events:

• JGP Poland: Torun, Poland - Sept. 9-13
• JGP Belarus: Minsk, Belarus - Sept. 23-27
• JGP Germany: Dresden, Germany - Sept. 30-Oct. 4
• JGP Croatia: Zagreb, Croatia - Oct. 7-11
• JGP Turkey: Istanbul, Turkey - Oct. 14-18
• JGP Final: Tokyo, Japan - Dec. 3-6