Eighteen U.S. skaters in Minsk for junior worlds
Event taking place Feb. 27-March 4 at Belarus' Minsk Arena
|Jason Brown is looking to improve on his seventh-place finish at this event a year ago. (Tom Briglia)|
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Gracie Gold, the 2012 U.S. junior champion, will compete in her second international competition, having won a Junior Grand Prix event in Estonia last fall. Joining Gold are Vanessa Lam, who won two medals on the JGP circuit and qualified for the Junior Grand Prix Final, and Christina Gao, who placed fifth as a senior at the 2012 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January.
Jason Brown, the 2011 JGP Final champion, leads Team USA into Minsk. He most recently placed ninth as a senior at the U.S. championships. Also competing for Team USA are Timothy Dolensky and Joshua Farris. Dolensky is the 2012 U.S. junior silver medalist. Farris, who competed at the U.S. championships as senior, placed third at the 2011 JGP Final.
The top three teams from the 2012 U.S. junior podium will compete in Belarus. Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier are the newly crowned U.S. junior champions. Britney Simpson and Matthew Blackmer, who placed second at the U.S. championships, enjoyed a successful fall season and won bronze at the JGP Final. Kylie Duarte and Colin Grafton are the 2012 U.S. junior bronze medalists. All three U.S. teams train in Colorado Springs, Colo., under coaches Dalilah Sappenfield and Larry Ibarra.
Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton, the 2012 U.S. junior champions, lead the U.S. contingent in ice dancing. The team qualified for the JGP Final in December after winning silver at JGP Austria and bronze at JGP Latvia. Also vying for a medal are two-time U.S. junior ice dancing silver medalists Lauri Bonacorsi and Travis Mager, and Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons, who placed fourth as juniors at both the 2012 U.S. Championships and the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games.