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16 Americans set to compete in Junior Grand Prix event

LAKE PLACID — The 2019 International Skating Union Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series continues this week in Lake Placid. The field includes 16 Americans, 11 of which are making their JGP debut at Herb Brooks Arena.

Competition opens on Thursday, with the men’s and pairs short programs. The rhythm dance, ladies short program and men’s free skate will take place on Friday. The event will conclude with the free dance and pairs and ladies free skates on Saturday. An official practice took place Wednesday.

All three ladies competitors will skate in their first JGP event. Alysa Liu. the 2019 U.S. champion, will make her junior international debut in Lake Placid. The recently turned 14-year-old is the youngest woman to win a U.S. title. Emilia Murdock also kicks off her season this week in New York. She was the 2019 U.S. junior bronze medalist and earned the silver medal at her international debut at 2018 Golden Bear last season. Jessica Lin also joins the U.S. contingent will make her international debut.

In the men’s competition, 2019 U.S. junior champion Ryan Dunk will represent the U.S. on home ice to start his season. This is his third season on the JGP circuit. Dunk will be joined by Ilia Malinin and Joseph Klein who are both making their JGP debut. 2019 U.S. novice bronze medalist Malinin claimed the junior title at 2019 Philadelphia Summer International earlier this month. Klein is the 2019 U.S. novice pewter medalist and is competing in his first international event. 

Kate Finster and Balazs Nagy lead the pairs contingent into Lake Placid. In their first season as a team, the duo won the junior silver medal at 2019 U.S. Championships and finished 11th at the ISU World Junior Championships 2019. Isabelle Martins and Ryan Bedard make their JGP and international debut this week. The couple were the 2019 U.S. junior bronze medalists.

In the ice dance field, Avonley Nguyen and Vadym Kolesnik headline the U.S. contingent. Last season, the team qualified for the JGP Final, won the junior silver medal at U.S. Championships and finished fourth at World Junior Championships. This is their third JGP season. Ella Ales and Daniel Tsarik will make their JGP and international debut in Lake Placid. Additionally, Anna Lavrova and Maxwell Gart will compete in their first competition as a couple.

Entering its 23rd season, the JGP Series consists of seven international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the seven scheduled events (pairs can compete in two of four designated events). The top six point-earners in each discipline qualify for the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2019, Dec. 5-8 in Torino, Italy. The ISU will stream the event live on its YouTube page. You can also follow along with Team USA on the U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone.