Eight returning ISU Junior Grand Prix Series competitors will skate this year at the U.S. Junior Grand Prix event in Long Beach, Calif., Sept. 9-12. Southern California skaters Dennis Phan (18 of Indio and trains at Riverside Icetown) and Danielle Kahle (15 and trains in El Segundo) are just a couple of the returning favorites, along with Kimmie Meissner, who recently excited crowds at the Liberty Summer Competition by attempting a triple Axel.

The Glacier Falls Figure Skating Club will work in conjunction with the ISU and U.S. Figure Skating to put on this event at the Glacial Garden arena.

"Glacier Falls Figure Skating Club is both thrilled and honored to have this opportunity, as is the management of our host facility, Glacial Garden of Lakewood," said Don Rabbitt, competition chair and board director of the GFFSC. "We are a young, growing club. Coming off our most recent hosting of the Southwest Pacific regionals, we know that our volunteers are pros at putting on great competitions. They are excited to see some of the world's top skaters.”

The Junior Grand Prix Series consists of eight international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Athletes are eligible to score points in two of the eight scheduled events. Athletes will be vying for a total of $22,500 for each of the eight events with a total purse of $105,000 available in prize money at the JGP Final.

The top eight point-earners in each of the disciplines will then qualify for the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final in Helsinki, Finland, Dec. 2-5, 2004.

JGP Long Beach will feature approximately 60 junior-level competitors from ISU member countries. U.S. skaters currently scheduled to attend are Phan, Kahle, Meissner, Brianna Perry, Charlie White and Princeton Kwong. Also participating will be the dance team of Morgan Matthews & Maxim Zavozin, along with pairs teams Brittany Vise & Nicholas Kole, and Mariel Miller & Rockne Brubaker.

But the competitors are not the only important component of the event. As in any figure skating competition, the volunteers help make it all happen.

“Our club volunteers are great and have been giving it their all,” Rabbitt said. “They are working their hearts out making sure we give a sunny Southern California welcome to our competitors, officials and skating fans. But there is always a need for more. ... Sometimes it seems like we could use more hours in the day,” Rabbitt said. “But, as we get closer I see that things are coming together beautifully.”

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting www.skatelongbeach2004.com.  “The Glacier Falls board of directors wanted this event to be an opportunity for all figure skating fans to see up-and-coming competitors, some of which may be at the 2006 Olympics,” Rabbitt said. “All event tickets are $40, including the exhibition. That's only $10 a day; you could spend more going to the movies.”

A three-day competition pass is $30, and single-day tickets are $12.50 per day. There is a $1.50 charge per ticket for buying tickets online; however, you print your own ticket (there is a barcode system to verify tickets upon presentation). Tickets can be mailed directly to the customer, but the charge is $3.50 per ticket. Additionally, there is a 5% credit card handling charge. Online self-printed tickets can be purchased until 6:00 a.m. the day of the event. Mailed tickets can only be ordered up to 72 hours before the event. Will call is available at the same price as mailed tickets. Tickets will also be available at the door, however, the price will be more.

The event begins on Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. and concludes on Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. with the exhibition.

ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series Calendar

Courchevel, France, Aug. 26-29, 2004
Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 2-5, 2004
Long Beach, Calif., USA, Sept. 9-12, 2004
Beijing, China, Sept. 16-19, 2004
Kiev, Ukraine, Sept. 23-26, 2004
Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro, Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2004
Chemnitz, Germany, Oct. 7-10, 2004
Bucharest, Romania, Oct. 14-17, 2004
ISU Junior Grand Prix Final: Helsinki, Finland, Dec. 2-5, 2004

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