Team USA closed a strong week at the Grand Prix Final and Junior Grand Prix Final by adding a pair of medals Sunday in the junior dance event. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker earned silver as their training mate Kaitlyn Weaver cheered them from the stands. Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter took home the bronze.
Hawayek and Baker’s goal was to skate with as much heart and soul as possible, and that accomplishment was reflected Sunday in their PCS mark. The “second mark” totaled 44.86 of their 81.37 points. Their total score was 139.42.
Said Baker, “We try to put as much heart and soul into the programs as we can. It’s thrilling to know the hard work pays off and we are really happy to put out performances we are proud of.”
The couple acknowledged their levels were lower than they want them to be so that will be a point of emphasis going into their next events.
“We are happy with the scores for the levels we got this week,” Hawayek explained. “Levels are something we’re going to be pushing toward for our next competitions, nationals and hopefully junior worlds. We’re not going to give up the fight. We are going to really work on drilling those levels.”
McNamara and Carpenter delivered an intense and powerful program to the music of Sherlock Holmes and earned 80.75 points.
“I think we did a clean skate today,” Carpenter said. “Of course there are always little things. By the end we’re worn down a little. It’s a very intense program and sometimes it takes a minute to come out of character and back to ourselves.”
Their total score was 135.89 points. Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons finished sixth, while the gold medal went to Russia’s Anna Yanovskaya and Sergey Mozgov with 152.48 points.
In all, the Americans captured five medals including ice dance gold and ladies bronze. Meryl Davis and Charlie White extended their historical streak to five consecutive Grand Prix Final titles and they did so in world record fashion, setting world marks in short dance, free dance and overall. Capturing bronze, Ashley Wagner became the first U.S. lady to win medals at back-to-back Grand Prix Finals since Sasha Cohen did so in 2002 and ’03.
Nathan Chen won bronze in the junior men’s event, while Polina Edmunds and Angela Wang finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in the junior ladies event.
We now look forward to the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, at the conclusion of which we will nominate the 2014 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team. The U.S. Championships are set for Jan. 5-12, in Boston, with the big announcement to be made Jan. 12. For more information, please visit www.boston2014.com.