No Surprise Here: Junior Dance Title Goes to Carreria & Ponomarenko
by George Rossano
Christina Carreria & Anthony Ponomarenko stole the show in the Junior Dance event, scoring 90.48 points in the free dance for a total score of 159.18 in Thursday morning’s event. The team started the event strong in the short dance, skating a feisty performance to “Conga.” The reigning 2017 U.S. Junior silver medalists won the portion of the event by more than 5 points with a score of 68.70.
The undisputed favorites of the event have had a remarkable showing all season, winning both of their Junior Grand Prix events and placing 2nd in the Junior Grand Prix Final. Carreria and Ponomarenko performed a captivating free dance to the soundtrack from W.E., which was mesmerizing from start to finish. The GOEs on every element they performed were either 2s or 3s, boosting the base value of their elements by 7.57 points. They achieved level 4s on 4 of the 5 elements they completed. Carreria & Ponomarenko are one of the most talented teams in the U.S. right now, and they certainly have a bright future ahead of themselves!
Siblings Caroline & Gordon Green came in second with a free dance score of 83.58 points and a total score of 146.72, improving upon their 5th place showing in the previous year. Their enchanting free dance to Sarah Brightman’s “Strangers in Paradise” included level 4s on their two lifts, twizzles, and combination spin. The team’s twizzles were the best in the event, gaining a huge 8.23 points for the single element. Placing 3rd in both of their Junior Grand Prix events this season, this duo has demonstrated the potential to be a top Senior team in the near future.
Capturing the bronze medal with a score of 143.21 points was the team of Chloe Lewis and Logan Bye. Lewis and Bye won the 2013 U.S. Novice title, and has placed 6th, 7th, 6th, and 4th at Junior in the following years, respectively. It was nice to see them improve upon their placement this year by placing in the top three. Their free dance performed to a “Coeur de Pirate” medley was highlighted by a level 4 straight-line lift and a level 4 twizzle sequence. However, the team lost points in their component score, which was nearly 6 points below the champions of the event.
Eliana Gropman and Ian Somerville placed 5th in the free dance, but their short dance score was enough to help them win the pewter medal. They earned 77.77 points in the free dance with a combined score of 138.90 points. They placed 6th in last year’s event.