Press Release

Nineteen U.S. athletes to compete in two events

Nebelhorn Trophy, JGP Japan to kick off this week

Felicia Zhang and Taylor Toth will try to capture a medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy.
Felicia Zhang and Taylor Toth will try to capture a medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy. (Michelle Harvath )

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By U.S. Figure Skating
(09/22/2010) - Colorado Springs, Colo. -- The United States will send a team of eight skaters to the fourth event of the 2010 International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix (JGP) of Figure Skating Series this week in Karuizawa, Japan, while 11 U.S. skaters will travel to Oberstdorf, Germany, for the Nebelhorn Trophy.

The Junior Grand Prix event begins Friday, Sept. 24, with the short dance and the ladies and men's short programs. A pairs competition will not be held. The Nebelhorn Trophy, taking place at the Eislaufzentrum Oberstdorf, begins Thurs., Sept 23, with the short dance and the men's and pairs short programs.

JGP Japan

LADIES
Kiri Baga, the 2009 U.S. novice champion, looks to add more gold to her trophy case after winning her JGP assignments a year ago in Germany and Turkey. She placed seventh at the 2009 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Angela Wang makes her international debut after most recently placing seventh as a junior at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

MEN
Max Aaron and Jason Brown compete for the second time in this year's JGP Series. Brown and Aaron placed second and third, respectively, at the first JGP event of the season, in France. Brown is the reigning U.S. junior champion, while Aaron took the bronze at last year's U.S. Championships.

ICE DANCING
Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus were also medalists at JGP France, where they earned silver. They placed seventh as juniors as the 2010 U.S. Championships. Joylyn Yang and Jean-Luc Baker, the 2010 U.S. novice bronze medalists, make their debut on the JGP circuit in Japan.

In addition to Karuizawa, Japan, the Junior Grand Prix Series consists of the remaining events (*includes pairs):
• JGP Great Britain: Sheffield, England - Sept. 29-Oct. 3*
• JGP Germany: Dresden, Germany - Oct. 6-10*
• JGP Czech Republic: Ostrava, Czech Republic - Oct. 13-17*
• JGP Final: Beijing, China - Dec. 9-12*

Now in its 14th season, the JGP Series 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 discipline qualify for the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, Dec. 9-12 in Beijing, China.

Nebelhorn Trophy
The 2010 Nebelhorn Trophy is the first international senior competition of the season.

LADIES
Melissa Bulanhagui is the lone U.S. ladies representative after Ashley Wagner's recent withdrawal. Bulanhagui, the 2006 U.S. junior bronze medalist and a two-time medalist in the JGP Series, makes her first appearance at the Nebelhorn Trophy.

MEN
This is the first appearance at the Nebelhorn Trophy for 2007 U.S. novice champion Armin Mahbanoozadeh. His most recent medal at an international event came at the 2008 JGP Final, where he earned the silver. , the 2009 U.S. Collegiate champion, joins Mahbanoozadeh in Germany.

PAIRS
Felicia Zhang and Taylor Toth, the 2010 U.S. junior champions, lead the American pairs delegation in Oberstdorf. Gretchen Donlan and Andrew Speroff will make their international debut together at Nebelhorn.

ICE DANCING
Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmittt look to improve on their eighth-place finish at the 2007 Nebelhorn Trophy. They are the 2009 Ice Challenge silver medalists. Sister-and-brother team Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani make their senior debut after claiming the 2010 U.S. junior title and placing fourth at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

The Nebelhorn Trophy has been held continuously since 1969. In that time, U.S. skaters have won 52 gold medals, including Dorothy Hamill (1971), Todd Eldredge (1987), Michael Weiss (1996), Timothy Goebel (1997), Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto (ice dancing, 2005), Alissa Czisny (2008, 2009), and Meryl Davis and Charlie White (ice dancing, 2009).