Press Release

U.S. sends 18 athletes to two international events

JGP Czech Republic and Coupe de Nice

A medal of any color will guarantee Keegan Messing a spot in the Junior Grand Prix Final.
A medal of any color will guarantee Keegan Messing a spot in the Junior Grand Prix Final. (Suzanne Schlecht)


Press Releases
By U.S. Figure Skating
(10/12/2010) - Colorado Springs, Colo. - The United States sends a team of 13 skaters to Ostrava, Czech Republic, this week to compete in the seventh and final qualifying event of the 2010 International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix (JGP) of Figure Skating Series, while five U.S. skaters travel to Nice, France, for the Coupe de Nice.

The Junior Grand Prix event, held at CEZ Arena, begins Thursday with the ladies, men's and pairs short programs. Coupe de Nice, taking place at the Sports Palace Jean Bouin, begins Wednesday with the junior ladies and men's short programs. Senior competition begins Friday.

JGP Czech Republic

Kiri Baga, the 2009 U.S. novice champion, has three JGP medals to her credit, including silver this season in Japan. If she claims a medal in Czech Republic, Baga will earn enough points to join Christina Gao and Yasmin Siraj in Beijing for December's Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Vanessa Lam makes her international debut in Ostrava. She finished eighth as a junior at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Keegan Messing, who won gold at JGP Romania, could become the only American man to win both of his assignments in this year's series. Messing, the 2009 U.S. junior silver medalist, is aiming for his first appearance in the JGP Final.

Kylie Duarte and Colin Grafton, the 2010 U.S. novice pewter medalists, and Ashley Cain and Joshua Reagan, the 2010 U.S. novice champions, skated to fifth- and sixth-place finishes, respectively, two weeks ago at JGP Great Britain. Jessica Calalang and Zack Sidhu compete for the first time together in Ostrava.

Anastasia Olson and Jordan Cowan look to improve on their sixth-place finish at JGP Austria. They're joined by Joylyn Yang and Jean-Luc Baker, the 2010 U.S. novice bronze medalists, who finished in seventh at JGP Japan.

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.

Ladies: Kiri Baga, Vanessa Lam

Men's: Keegan Messing

Pairs: Ashley Cain and Joshua Reagan, Jessica Calalang and Zack Sidhu, Kylie Duarte and Colin Grafton

Ice Dancing: Anastasia Olson and Jordan Cowan, Joylyn Yang and Jean-Luc Baker

Coupe de Nice

The 2010 Coupe de Nice features both junior and senior competitions. (All the U.S. skaters will compete as seniors.) The U.S. ladies and men's contingents were selected based on their performances at the 2010 U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships in East Lansing, Mich.

Karen Zhou, who attends the University of California, Irvine, won the U.S. Collegiate title by more than 17 points. Dartmouth student Christina-Maria Sperduto placed fourth.

William Brewster earned the bronze in East Lansing, which is located about an hour from where he attends the University of Michigan. He last competed at the U.S. Championships in 2009, when he finished 15th.

Katherine Zeigler and Baxter Burbank finished 10th as juniors at the 2010 U.S. Championships. Coupe de Nice represents their international debut.

Coupe de Nice has been held every year since 1995. In 2008, pairs team Chloe Katz and Joseph Lynch claimed the silver, the only medal won by a U.S. entrant in the event's history.

Ladies: Christina-Maria Sperduto, Karen Zhou

Men's: William Brewster

Ice Dancing: Katherine Zeigler and Baxter Burbank