2017 JGP Austria Dance Preview

Carreira and Ponomarenko are the first reigning Junior Worlds medalists to compete on the Junior Grand Prix circuit this season.  They won two silver medals last season and finished 4th at the JGP Final.  This will be their fourth season competing on the Junior Grand Prix, and they have three total medals.  They have been and up and coming team over the last few years, waiting for other teams to move up to the senior ranks and open opportunities for them.  However, their results were a bit of a surprise last season, finishing ahead of then reigning World Junior Champions McNamara and Carpenter at both US Nationals and Junior Worlds.  With McNamara and Carpenter and the Parsons both competing as seniors this season, they are the top US team at the junior level, and are expected to continue the strong US ice dance reign.

There really isn’t any other team in this field that can compete with Carreira and Ponomarenko, but there are a few teams battling it out for the last two places on the podium.

Konkina and Yakushev are a relatively new team.  This will be their JGP debut, but they did take home a silver medal from Tallinn Trophy, a B event, last season.

Lagouge and Rahier are heading into their second season, after just missing the top 10 at Junior Worlds.  They got close to the medal stand last year, finishing 4th at JGP Slovenia.  They also have a silver medal from NRW Ice Dance Trophy last season, a B event.

Lopareva and Karpushov have only competed at one international event, last season’s JGP Czech Republic, where they finished just outside the medals in 4th.

Stairs and Royer are going into their 3rd JGP season, and their best finish came last year at JGP Slovenia, where they finished 5th and set a new personal best score.

Konkina and Yakushev set a score in the 144 point range at the Tallinn Trophy, but often times B events can be overscored, and it will be interesting to see what this panel does with this team.  The rest of these teams are all in the 120 point range, but haven’t really competed head to head against each other.  It will come down to who can handle the new pattern for the short dance at this early point in the season and who can put out a clean free dance.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Carreira/Ponomarenko

Silver: Konkina/Yakushev

Bronze: Lagouge/Rahier

 

Bios of the competitors:

Zvezdova/Zaitsau, BLR: They finished 12th at JGP Czech Republic and 12th at JGP Russia last season.  Their personal best is 98.05.  She is 15 and he is 17.

Galiyanova/Tang, CAN: They placed 11th at JGP Estonia last season.  Their personal best is 109.51.  She is 15 and he is 18.

Stairs/Royer, CAN: They placed 14th at Junior Worlds.  They finished 7th at JGP France and 5th at JGP Slovenia last season.  Their personal best is 124.14.  She is 17 and he is 19.

Taschlerova/Taschler, CZE: This is their international debut.  She is 15 and he is 18.

Dupayage/Nabais, FRA: This is their JGP debut.  She is 17 and he is 17.

Lagouge/Rahier, FRA: They placed 11th at Junior Worlds.  They finished 6th at JGP France and 4th at JGP Slovenia last season.  Their personal best is 130.08.  She is 17 and he is 19.

Luft/Kazimov, GER: This is their JGP debut.  She is 16 and he is 17.

Rose Brown/Hernandez, GBR: They finished 15th at JGP Estonia last season.  Their personal best is 96.05.  She is 16 and he is 15.

Marton/Semko, HUN: They finished 13th at JGP France last season.  Their personal best is 94.56.  She is 16 and he is 17.

Ichilov/Davidovich, ISR: They finished 26th at Junior Worlds.  This is their JGP debut.  She is 15 and he is 20.

Borysova/Zawadzki, POL: They finished 29th at Junior Worlds.  They placed 11th at JGP France and 9th at JGP Czech Republic last season.  Their personal best is 103.46.  She is 18 and he is 20.

Konkina/Yakushev, RUS: This is their JGP debut.  She is 16 and he is 19.

Lopareva/Karpushov, RUS: They placed 4th at JGP Czech Republic last season.  Their personal best is 127.22.  She is 17 and he is 20.

Giglava/Yegorov, UKR: This is their international debut.  She is 16 and he is 18.

Amoia/Becker, USA: This is their JGP debut.  She is 16 and he is 17.

Carreira/Ponomarenko, USA: They are the reigning World Junior Bronze Medalists.  They won silver at JGP France and silver at JGP Russia last season to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where they finished 4th.  Their personal best is 157.19.  She is 17 and he is 16.