Junior Worlds: Dance Preview

While North American teams have been dominating at the senior level in ice dance, the Russians have been able to hold on to the Junior ranks, winning the last two Junior World titles and sweeping the last two JGP Finals.  This year, Russia is sending all three of their medal winning Final teams to Junior Worlds.  Stepanova and Bukin have won four JGP gold medals (every event they have entered) in the last two years and won the JGP Final bronze medal twice.  They were left off the Junior Worlds team last season.  Sinitsina and Zhiganshin have two silver and two gold JGP medals as well as 1 silver and 1 gold JGP Final medals.  They were also left off the Junior Worlds team last season.  Yanovskaya and Mozgov are a new team this season and have medaled at every event they have entered including winning the gold at the Youth Olympic Games.  The only team likely to challenge this trio is Aldridge and Eaton who have been showing steady improvement all season and were solid at U.S. nationals.  Overall, this is a fairly inconsistent group of competitors with results all over the board, and the consistency of the top three Russian teams is likely to pay off here.
 
Stepanova/Bukin won two gold medals to qualify for the JGP Final where they won bronze.  They have the best short dance, 2nd best free dance and 2nd best total score of the season.
 
Sinitsina/Zhiganshin have been perfect all season, winning two JGP golds and gold at the JGP Final.  They increased their score by 11 points between their first two events of the season. They have the 2nd best short dance, best free dance and best total score of the season.
 
Yanovskaya/Mozgov collected a gold and a bronze on the JGP before taking home the silver medal from the JGP Final.  Their bronze came at their international debut in Poland and they showed a big improvement in Estonia, taking home the gold with a 21 point improvement in their personal best score.  They have the 3rd best short dance, 3rd best free dance and 3rd best total score of the season.
 
Aldridge/Eaton won silver and bronze medals to qualify for the JGP Final. They improved their personal best by 8 points en route to their first JGP medal in Latvia and had a whopping 18 point improvement to snag the silver medal in Austria.  They have the 5th best short dance, 4th best free dance and 4th best total score of the season.
 
Nosulia/Kholoniuk won a gold and bronze medal on the JGP to qualify for the Final.  After finishing 19th at Junior Worlds last season, they pulled up to take home the gold medal from JGP Latvia, the first event of the season, beating their personal best by 15 points.  They have the 6th best short dance, 10th best free dance and 8th best total score of the season.
 
Bonacorsi/Mager won a silver and bronze medal on the JGP and just missed qualifying for the Final.  They won their silver in Australia with a new personal best score. They have the 9th best short dance, 7th best free dance and 7th best total score of the season.
 
Orford/Williams won gold at JGP Australia with a new personal best score but dropped to a disappointing 10th place at JGP Austria.  They have the 10th best short dance, 6th best free dance and 9th best total score of the season.
 
Shtork/Rand won silver at JGP Estonia after a 19 point improvement over their previous JGP outing. They have the 8th best free dance and 10th best total score of the season.
 
Other teams to watch for are Papadakis/Cizeron, Koch/Nuchtern, Hetman/Allain and  Prochazkova/Ceska.
 
Teams who medaled on the JGP and are not at this event include Russians Kosigina/Moroshkin (2 medals, alternates) and Zenkova/Sinitsin (2 medals, alternates); Ukranians Galyeta/Shumski (2 medals); and Canadians Bent/McKeen (alternates).
 
My podium predictions:
Gold: Sinitsina/Zhiganshin
Silver: Stepanova/Bukin
Bronze: Yanovskaya/Mozgov
 
Bios of the competitors:
Sparke/Doherty, AUS:
 
Kavaliova/Bieliaiev, BLR: They placed 23rd at Junior Worlds.  They finished 8th at JGP Poland.  Their personal best is 111.34.  She is 17 and he is 19. 

 
Orford/Williams, CAN (D): They finished 8th at Junior Worlds.  They won gold at JGP Australia and finished 10th at JGP Austria.  Their personal best is 127.21.  She is 19 and he is 20. 

 
Poulin/Servant, CAN (D): They finished 6th at JGP Latvia.  Their personal best is 118.00.  She is 16 and he is 20. 

 
Zhang/Wu, CHN: They finished 12th at JGP Austria and 10th at JGP Italy.  Their personal best is 110.90.  She is 18 and he is 20. 

 
Prochazkova/Ceska, CZE: They finished 4th at JGP Latvia and 8th at JGP Austria.  Their personal best is 116.81.  She is 17 and he is 19. 

 
Baadsgaard Snider/Dubrovski, DEN: They finished 13th at their international debut in Poland.  Their personal best is 91.95.  She is 19 and he is 21. 

 
Allik/Bellantuono, EST: She is 17 and he is 18.
 
Shtork/Rand, EST (D): They finished 10th at Junior Worlds last year.  They placed 14th at Europeans.  They finished 7th at JGP Romania and won silver at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 126.51.  She is 18 and he is 19. 

 
Aghai/Partanen, FIN: They finished 6th at their international debut in Australia and 9th at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 101.80.  She is 17 and he is 20. 

 
Hetman/Allain, FRA (D): She is 19 and he is 20. 

 
Papadakis/Cizeron, FRA (D): They finished 12th at Junior Worlds last season.  They placed 4th at JGP Poland and JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 122.79.  She is 16 and he is 17. 

 
Koch/Nuchtern, GER: They finished 4th at JGP Austria and Italy.  Their personal best is 124.35.  She is 18 and he is 20. 

 
Smart/Buckland, GBR: They finished 13th at their international debut in Austria and 12th at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 92.64.  She is 14 and he is 19. 

 
Merkwart/Lukacs, HUN: They finished 18th at their international debut in Austria.  Their personal best is 72.35.  She is 14 and he is 15. 
 
Bugrov/Rogov, ISR: They finished 15th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds.  They placed 15th at JGP Latvia and 9th at JGP Latvia.  Their personal best is 98.87.  She is 16 and he is 20.  
 
Sforza/Fioretti, ITA: They finished 20th at Junior Worlds.  They placed 5th at JGP Romania and 7th at JGP Italy.  Their personal best is 109.05.  She is 16 and he is 18.
 
Uzurova/Ali, KAZ: They finished 17th at Junior Worlds last season.  They placed 6th at the Youth Olympic Games.  They placed 7th at JGP Latvia and 15th at JGP Poland.  Their personal best is 102.77.  She is 15 and he is 17.  
 
Pecherkina/Jakushin, LAT: They finished 17th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds.  They placed 8th at JGP Latvia and 7th at JGP Poland.  Their personal best is 113.24.  She is 19 and he is 21.
 
Yigit/Speden, NZL: They finished 19th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds last season.  They placed 9th at JGP Australia.  Their personal best is 67.90.  She is 18 and he is 19.
 
Kaliszek/Kaliszek, POL: They finished 11th at JGP Poland and JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 98.12.  She is 15 and he is 21.
 
Sinitsina/Zhiganshin, RUS (D): They won gold at JGP Poland and JGP Austria to qualify for the JGP Final where they won gold.  Their personal best is 151.10.  She is 16 and he is 19. 

 
Stepanova/Bukin, RUS (D): They won gold at JGP Romania and Italy to qualify for the JGP Final where they won bronze.  Their personal best is 149.98.  She is 16 and he is 18. 

 
Yanovskaya/Mozgov (D), RUS: They won gold at the Youth Olympic Games.  They won bronze in their international debut in Poland and gold at JGP Estonia to qualify for the JGP Final where they won silver.  Their personal best is 142.72.  She is 15 and he is 16.  

 
Robledo/Fenero, ESP (D): She is 17 and he is 19.
 
Bausback/Rokachev, SUI (D): They finished 14th at their international debut in Austria and 13th at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 92.39.  She is 18 and he is 20. 

 
Demirsal/Akalin, TUR: They finished 16th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds last season.  They finished 16th at their JGP debut in Latvia.  Their personal best is 79.78.  She is 17 and he is 17. 

 
Nosulia/Kholoniuk, UKR (D): They finished 19th at Junior Worlds.  They won gold at JGP Latvia and bronze at JGP Austria to qualify for the JGP Final where they finished 6th.  Their personal best is 128.34.  She is 17 and he is 21. 

 
Aldridge/Eaton, USA (D): They won bronze at JGP Latvia and silver at JGP Austria to qualify for the JGP Final where they placed 4th.  Their personal best is 136.85.  She is 17 and he is 19. 

 
Bonacorsi/Mager, USA (D): They finished 11th at Junior Worlds last season.  They won silver at JGP Australia and bronze at JGP Italy.  Their personal best is 129.63.  She is 19 and he is 21. 

 
Parsons/Parsons, USA (D): They placed 4th at the Youth Olympic Games.  They finished 9th at their international debut in Poland.  Their personal best is 114.22.  She is 14 and he is 16. 

Nagornyuk/Kovalenko, UZB: They finished 8th at their international debut in Romania and 6th at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 114.98.  She is 16 and he is 20.