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Mexico City Junior Grand Prix - Day 3

U.S. Team Claims All Three Golds, Dominating Mexico City Event

by Alexandra Stevenson

Edmonds Shows Great Promise While Seguin Misses Silver by Sliver, Ice Dancers Show Their Promise

1.171.21: The Ladies Free brought the event to a great finish. Skating her very well created Free last of the 30 entrants (two of whom withdrew before the event and one after the SP), the current U.S. Junior Champion, Polina Edmunds, took command of the ice right from the start, gaining a total of 11.10, a full point over the base value, for her opening move, a triple Lutz to triple toe loop.

The tall, graceful Edmunds showed she certainly knows the way to San Jose, where she trains with David Glynn and her mother, Nina, and Frank Carroll. She had already won an international gold in Italy earlier this year in the Gardena Trophy. She had a little trouble with the landing of the first jump in her combination of triple flip-loop-triple Salchow, but powerfully rescued the jump and completed the move. Although -1.20 was removed from the element’s base value, she still banked 8.80 points. It is more difficult for taller competitors to land jumps because their center of gravity is further from the ice.

The following combination spin was the top Level 4 with +0.57 added, showing her prowess doesn’t stop with the jumps. A double Axel, which gained an extra +0.36 and her Level flying sit spin earned an extra +0.71. The straight line step sequence received the Level 3 with +0.57. That brought her to the half-way point where jumps get a bonus of 10%.

A triple flip was good enough for an extra +0.40 but then the altitude got to her and her triple Lutz, though fully rotated lost 0.60 from its base value plus 10% of 6.60. The triple loop to double toe loop also lost a little -0.20 but her final jump gained +0.21. She concluded with a marvelous Level 4 lay back combination spin which finished with a superb Biellmann, which was accentuated because of her height and the judges gave her a full point for Grade of Execution. That point was the average of the GoE each of the nine judges fed into the computer, and included one of the maximum +3, and one +1, with the rest +2. Could it be that the judge giving the lowest felt that on this move, her great physique, tall and thin, making the move spectacular but giving her an advantage over some of the smaller competitors?

The 15-year-old Edmunds, who was born in Santa Clara, and represents the Peninsula SC, was gorgeously attired in a shimmering pale blue outfit, and her lightness perfectly suited her Edvard Grieg music which the Norwegian composed for his famous Peer Gynt Suite. Marina Klimova, the Russian Olympic gold ice dance medalist, created her choreography.

The 45 component marks ranged from a high of one 7.75 down to five lows of 6.0. This was definitely a performance of huge future potential and would have done well in the world senior championship. There was no American judge on the panel which included former Russian singles skater, Marina Sanaya and Canadian, Lorna Schroder. The referee was American Robert Rosenbluth.

2.153.73 Russian Natalia Ogoreltseva, held on to second place by a narrow margin (0.56), with a Free which was ranked fourth best. The 13-year-old, who trains in St. Petersburg, was competing in her first international. Skated to “Night and Day”, she fell on her first element, a combination of two triple loops was saddled with an arrow for under-rotation on the second jump, and she gained no points for her eighth element, a flying sit spin.

3.153.73 Climbing into third place from fourth was Mariah Bell, who was born in Tulsa and now trains in Westminster (near Denver) used music from the movie “Titanic”. The 17-year old was second (to Edmunds) in the U.S. Junior championship last January; second again behind Edmunds in the Gardena Trophy in Italy earlier this year; and with another 0.57 of a point would have had another silver medal here behind Edmunds.

She interpreted music from the movie “Titanic” producing a routine only one error, on her triple Lutz to single toe loop at the point where the bonus marks click in. She received two Level 4s and the other two Levels were 3.

4.147.02 Japan’s Rika Hongo, who was born in Sendai, the site of the terrible earthquake but now lives in Nagoya. The 16-year-old climbed from sixth to fourth overall with a third place in the FS which she performed to “Miss Saigon”. She is the third ranked junior in her country.

5.142.23 South Korea’s Da Bin Choi, 13, was competing in her first international, she rose from seventh to fifth with fifth place in the FS. She interpreted music from the ballet, Coppelia, by Delibes.

6.140.51 Canadian entrant Julianne Sequin, a 17-year-old from Montreal was third after the SP, 1.7 points ahead of Bell, but sixth place in the Free dropped her to that position overall.

7. 127.56 Alsu Kaiumova, a 14-year-old, who was 9th in the Russian championships, skated a Tango for her Free, but made substantial mistakes. Her 8th ranked Free dropped her from 5th. This was in her first international.

8. 119.98 Brooklee Han, who was born in the U.S. but represents Australia, climbed from 16th all the way up to 8th with a 7th-ranked Free set to “Secret” by Jay Chou. She trains in Newington and Simsbury.

9. 119.83 Sandrine Martin, 15, who is also from Quebec, lay 11th but ninth in the Free pulled her up to ninth overall, and with only 0.20 she could have been 8th. She performed to Liszt’s Liebestraum dressed in bright yellow.


1.Overall 136.45; 2.FD 80.34 (38.00+42.34) Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker, who were runners-up for the U.S. national Junior title this past season, gave an emotional showing, with a brilliant routine set to a four pieces from the 2001 French movie, “Amelie”. Although they were only second in this section to the Canadians Madeline Edwards & Zhao Kai Pang, they held the lead.

They opened with a curve lift in which he leaned backwards in an impossibly deep outside spread eagle. She was standing on his boots leaning backwards. This death-defying move not only wowed this writer, but also the five-membered panel of judges who rewarded them with four of the maximum +3 Grades of Execution. The other judge punched into the computer, the still extremely good +2. No other couple received a +3. All three of their lifts received the maximum Level 4.

Hawayek & Baker earned their first place overall, by a significant 2.43 points, with superior components scores, 1.78 ahead of the Canadians, but they lost ground on their elements score. In the Free, their twizzles were only Level 2 as were their diagonal steps. The combination spin was unsteady which resulted in a mere Level 1.

Hawayek explained, “We knew right away, there was a problem with the spin.” They scored only 2.33 on this element, while their Canadian rivals received the maximum Level 4 with a total score for that move of 5.5.

“It was hard. We know we didn’t have to cope with jet lag on this trip, but jet lag can be managed. There’s no way to get around altitude.” Her mother skated, and her dad was a fledging ice hockey player but after an accident that needed six stitches put in his forehead, he opted out!

2.Overall 134.02; 1.FD 80.56 (41.00+40.56 -1) Madeline& Zhao, Canada, won the Free by a sliver, 0.22, mainly due to their excellent twizzles and combination spin which both received the maximum Level of 4, as did their lifts. Both couples had only Level 2 for their diagonal steps. Madeline & Zhao were punished for an extended lift, which lost them a full point.

3.Overall 112.78; 3.FD 70.07 (37.17+32.90) Sofia Evdokimova & Egor Bazin, Russia, rose from fourth to snatch bronze.

4.Overall 108.40; 4.FD 64.43 (30.29+34.14) Sofia Sforza& Francesco Fioretti, Italy, were very disappointed to drop a place. They had been lying 1.26 points ahead of the Russians. But their Free wasn’t in the same league and they were a very significant 5.64 lower than the Russians in the Free.

5.Overall 104.32; 5.FD 61.82 (31.25+31.25 -1) Chloe Lewis& Logan Bye, U.S.A, were the only couple in addition to the winners to inspire a judge to award a maximum +3, which they received for their first lift. The rest of the panel gave +2s and one a +1. They were the also the only couple to choose to execute one short and one long lift. All the others did three short lifts. However, they lost a point for a lift not being completed in the regulation time. Their twizzles were only the basic Level 1 and they lost -0.43 from that base value which is only 2.5.

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