Farris, Aldridge & Eaton Medal at JGP Final; Senior Events Under Way Friday

7 Dec

Friday, December 7th – Iceberg Skating Palace – Sochi, Russia

Useful Links

Twitter  #GPF2012 |   icenetwork.com Event Page

Official Event Page   |   icenetwork.com Event Photos

Schedule (PDF)   |   Live Results/Starting Orders

*Coverage of the 2012 Grand Prix Final will air on NBC this Sunday from 1-3 p.m. ET*

Team USA earned a pair of medals today as the junior men’s and ice dancing competitions concluded. Joshua Farris is the 2012 JGP Final silver medalist while Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton took bronze. The senior events also began today. Ashley Wagner is in a very close second place, while Meryl Davis and Charlie White lead the ice dancing event.

Joshua Farris, the reigning World Junior silver medalist, added another JGP Final medal to his collection after winning bronze last season and taking silver today. Despite battling the effects of allergy medicine following a reaction to dairy, Farris turned out a hard-fought free skate to “Piano Concerto no. 2 in C Minor, op. 18: Allegro Scherzando.”

After opening with triple Axel-triple toe combination that received 14.03 points, Farris suffered a fall on his quad toe and struggled with the ensuing triple Lutz. He earned 136.84 points for the segment.

“I hit the boards when I fell on the quad and it bent my hip back,” he explained. “It took a few elements to get back into it. I skated probably a little bit worse than last year and still have improved my placement. I can’t be too disappointed with that.”

Farris began the competition by earning a season-high score of 74.53 points for his short program and totaled 211.37 overall.

Jason Brown, who came into the event as reigning champion, was elated following his yesterday’s short program that featured his first career triple Axel in competition. The element would get away from him in the free skate, but he battled through the rest of the program to finish in a narrow fourth place with a total score of 198.32 points.

“I don’t know what happened (on the Axel),” he said. “I think it’s just new and it’s something I need to learn how to do under pressure and with being off the ice for a while before I skate again.”

The “Liberstraum” program featured triple flip-triple loop combination and a triple Salchow in the second half of the skate. Other features included two level 4 spins and a level 3 step sequence.

Russia’s Maxim Kovtun won the gold, while bronze went to Japan’s Ryuju Hino.

Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton battled back from a disappointing short program in which they placed fourth to secure the bronze medal in their second consecutive trip to the JGP Final. Their score of 83.59 points for the “Fiddler on the Roof” free dance represented a season high.

“This free dance was important because of how disappointed we were after the short dance,” she said. “We wanted to come out today and show the judges, technical panel and crowd that we are a strong team technically and emotionally. We can have strong levels and a high performance. I think we accomplished that today.”

Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin earned Russia’s second gold medal of the day, while France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron earned silver in their JGP Final debut.

Wagner is poised to win her first Grand Prix Final medal after setting a season-best score of 66.44 points for her “Red Violin” short program. She saw level 4 on each of her elements, including her spins, something she looked to do at this competition and hopes to carry into the free skate on Saturday.

“This season, I have had three really solid long programs. If I can continue on that trend, I will be very pleased,” she said. “The last two competitions, I didn’t have my spin levels. I proved to myself that I’m capable of doing it in competition here in the short. Hopefully I can make that happen in the long program.”

Wagner is notes that putting a triple-triple jump combination in her free skate will be a gametime decision.

“Like I’ve said before, I’m taking it day by day. I said earlier this week that I think the one who is going to be on top of the podium is the one who skates the cleanest,” Wagner explained “I have to figure out if that (triple-triple) is what’s going to help me get there. It comes down to if Mr. Nicks thinks it’s going to be clean and solid tomorrow.”

Japan’s Mao Asada carries a narrow lead with 66.96 points, while her teammate Akiko Suzuki is in third with 65.00. Christina Gao, in her Grand Prix Final debut, totaled 48.56 points and is in sixth place.

“I’m just really happy to be here and to get a chance to be at the Grand Prix Final is great. I’d like to skate better in the long and make the most of my time here.”

Davis and White, who are skating for their fourth consecutive Grand Prix Final title, lead with a short dance score of 73.20 points. A goal throughout the season has been to improve the technical mark and the score has progressively improved since Skate America.

The technical mark totaled 35.15 points today thanks to a level 4 lift and level 4 twizzles. Their program components mark of 38.05 points was also the highest of the day.

“It’s an improvement,” Davis said. “We both feel like this program was a big improvement for us over our first two competitions of the season, which is what we are aiming for.”

They lead Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who earned a season-high 71.27 points, and the French team of Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat with 68.70 points.

Competition concludes tomorrow with the both ladies free skates and the free dance. All three American woman skated well in their JGP Final debuts. Hannah Miller sits in second place while Angela Wang is in fourth and Leah Keiser sits in sixth.

Complete coverage of the event is available at icenetwork.com.

Junior Ladies Free Skate – 3:30 a.m.

Keiser – 3:37 a.m.

Wang – 3:51 a.m.

Miller – 4:06 a.m.

Junior Pairs Free Skate – 4:45 a.m.

Senior Ladies Free Skate – 6:15 a.m.

Gao – 6:22 a.m.

Wagner – 6:53 a.m.

Senior Free Dance – 8:15 a.m.

Davis and White – 9:07 a.m.

Senior Men’s Free Skate – 9:40 a.m.

Senior Pairs Free Skate – 11:05 a.m.

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