Team USA Adds Two Medals Saturday in Quebec

10 Dec

icenetwork.com (LIVE streaming of the GP Final)

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Team USA added a pair of medals today as Jason Brown and Joshua Farris both took home soft hardware. For complete event coverage, please visit icenetwork.com. The free dance is set for Sunday afternoon.

Brown, in his second season on the JGP circuit, placed second in both segments of competition and won the gold medal over silver medalist Han Yan of China and teammate Farris, who won bronze in his second trip to this event. Brown set international best scores throughout the competition.

The ladies crown belongs to Italy’s Carolina Kostner. She has medaled at each of her four trips to the Final, but this year’s is her first gold. She was joined on the podium by Japan’s Akiko Suzuki and Russia’s Alena Leonova. Alissa Czisny, competing on a sore left leg, finished fifth in the ladies field.

Canada’s Patrick Chan skated to an easy 11-point victory over Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi, who battled from a fifth-place showing in the short program to win silver. Javier Fernandez of Spain won bronze in his first trip to the Grand Prix Final. American Jeremy Abbott skated his best free skate of the season, landing a quad in competition for the first time since the 2010 U.S. Championships, but finished fifth overall.

By a slim margin, senior pairs gold went to Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy of Germany. They edged Russia’s Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov by 0.18 points. Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov, also of Russia, took bronze.

Like the junior ladies podium, the junior ice dancing podium also belonged to Russia. Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhigansin led the way followed by Anna Yanovskaia & Sergei Mozgov and Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin. In their JGP Final debut Team USA’s Alexandra Aldridge & Daniel Eaton finished fourth.

Junior Grand Prix quotes

Alexandra Aldridge (Birmingham, Mich./Detroit SC) & Daniel Eaton (Bloomfield, Mich./Detroit SC) – (training town: Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)

5th overall (5 SD, 4 FD) – Total: 129.01 points; FD: 77.42 points; SD: 51.59 points

(on free dance) Aldridge – “The free dance went well. We went into it thinking that placement doesn’t matter, we just want to skate the way we know we can skate and show people why we love this sport. This program really portrays that. We just had fun with it.”

(on crowd support) Eaton – “Our intention, our goal, at the start of the season was to express what we want out of the program and get the crowd really involved in our program. I think we accomplished it really well. Everybody seems to really enjoy the program. It went great.”

(on what they will take out of JGP Final) Eaton – “The whole environment of the Grand Prix Final is something we haven’t experienced before and it definitely gives us something to bounce back on going into U.S. Championships. This is such a big competition with the top competitors in the world here.”

(on close twizzles) Eaton – “Our goal this season with our twizzles was to pull off ‘Charlie and Meryl’ twizzles. We try to push it to the max every single time and get as close as possible and get in unison.”

Jason Brown (Highland Park, Ill./trains in Highland Park and Northbrook, Ill./Skokie Valley FSC) – 1st overall (2 SP, 2 FS) – Total: 208.41; FS: 139.64; SP: 68.77 points (All represent international PBs)

(on free skate) “It felt really good. The crowd was amazing. I felt like I had a lot of support out there and I tried my hardest to stay in the moment and do what I’ve been practicing.”

(on evolution of program) “We changed around a couple of elements where they are placed. The rearrangement helped a lot. We moved a lot of things so they would be in the second half. A lot of those jumps. We also added the Lutz with the hand over the head.”

(on what he takes from this competition) “The confidence of being here. To have a chance of competing at an arena. The only times I have skated in an arena is at nationals and Junior Worlds. To get another chance to do something like this before nationals is amazing.”

(on winning gold medal) “To be honest, I don’t even know. Ever since my first time being on the JGP circuit last season, it’s been my goal to make it to the Final. To get this far, I’m speechless, it’s a dream come true. It’s so exciting to be around these unbelievable skaters. Watching the senior men right before us was very inspiring.”

(on what’s next) “I hope to get my triple Axel. I would love to put that in for nationals and to keep going up from here.”

Joshua Farris (Colorado Springs, Colo./trains in Colorado Springs, Colo./Broadmoor SC) – 3rd overall (1 SP, 3 FS) – Total: 203.98; FS: 130.99; SP: 72.99 points

(on free skate) “I was kind of nervous going into the long. A little bit more calm than I have been in the past though. After that fall on the footwork, it hurt a little bit. I mean it was funny, but I had to get my legs underneath me again and I couldn’t do it soon enough. I did the best I could.”

(on medaling here) “I am happy that I medaled. I’m a little disappointed how I skated but it can’t all be perfect. I was good enough to medal for sure. I’m going to train harder and do better in the future.”

(on what’s next) “I’m going to rest for a bit and enjoy the holidays. I will keep the stamina up. After Christmas I’m going to work really, really hard.”

Jeremy Abbott (Aspen, Colo./trains in Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Detroit SC)

5th overall (2SP, 5 FS)

Total: 238.82; FS: 156.16; SP: 82.66 points

(on free skate) “It was the season’s best by far. Tying my skates, I could hear how the other boys did. I knew I had to throw it down to really keep my position or keep a medal. I started off the program really strong. I got a little off focus before the second Axel and then didn’t the Lutz-loop and was really happy because I was struggling with that in practice. Then going into the second Lutz, which is a new addition, my legs got tired and I gave it too much. I haven’t quite had the practice with it. I felt like I gave a strong performance. I had two mistakes, but I felt for the most part that I was focused through the majority of the program. I want each competition to get better and better. I did the quad here and I definitely gave a much better performance technically than I did in China or Russia. I got off the ice feeling much happier today than I did at either of those competitions.”

(on preparing for U.S. Championships) “Train. I feel like I’m on the right track. Maybe not perfect now, not a medal here. The whole goal was to continue improving and getting better through the season. I’ve more than stuck to that. I want to be one more step better at U.S. Championships, Four Continents and Words.”

Alissa Czisny (Auburn Hills, Mich./trains in Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Detroit SC)

5th overall (4 SP, 5 FS)

Total: 156.97; FS: 96.67; SP: 60.30 points

(on free skate) “Obviously, today was not my best and I’m disappointed in that. I learned to be tough and push through some pain.”

(on sore left leg) “It will be fine. It’s something I did in practice here. It’s something that it couldn’t be made worse skating on but it certainly wasn’t easy to skate on.”

(on the rest of the season) “It’s still early in the season. I’m going to go home, take a little time and rest. Then get ready for our U.S. Championships next month.”

Note: Czisny tweaked her left lower leg practicing a triple flip. Though sore, the injury is not serious and was not further affected by skating on it.

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