Team USA Finishes Strong at Three International Competitions

Autumn Classic International

Karen Chen and Camden Pulkinen represented Team USA at the 2019 Autumn Classic International this weekend in Oakville, Ontario.

Chen, who had missed most of last season due to injury, headed into the free skate in third place after posting a score of 60.89 in her short program set to "You Say" by Lauren Daigle. In her 112.77-point free skate, the California native opened with a triple Lutz and completed three Level 4 elements to notch a total score 173.66 and earn fourth place overall.

Japan's Rika Kihira (224.16) won the ladies event. Russia's Evgenia Medvedeva (217.43) took the silver, and Korea's Young You (184.38) finished third.

Hailing from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Pulkinen opened his 81.34-point short program with a quadruple toe loop and a triple Axel, heading into the free skate in fifth place. The 19-year-old scored 134.91 in his free skate to notch a total score of 216.25 and earn fifth overall.

Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu (279.05) took home the gold, and France's Kevin Aymoz (262.47) grabbed the silver. Canadian skater Keegan Messing (256.02) took the bronze medal.

Lombardia Trophy

Two American ladies and one dance team made the trek to Bergamo, Italy, for the 2019 Lombardia Trophy this weekend.

Starr Andrews and Megan Wessenberg both made their season debut in Bergamo. Andrews opened her short program with a triple toe loop-triple toe loop and earned positive grades of execution on all of her elements, posting a score of 66.38. Heading into the free skate in fourth place, the Los Angeles skater notched a score of 114.80 and placed fifth overall with a total score of 181.18.

Wessenberg finished the short program in 14th place with 44.76 points. Skating to "The Friends of Mr. Cairo" by Jon and Vangelis for her free skate, she posted a score of 90.96 to earn 135.72 and 11th place overall.

Russia's Anna Shcherbakova (218.20) won the ladies event, and her teammate, Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (214.38), took the silver medal. South Korea's Young You (200.89) rounded out the podium in third place.

Caroline Green and Michael Parsons made their debut as a new partnership in Bergamo this weekend. The duo, who both previously skated with their siblings, finished the rhythm dance in seventh place with 65.11 after a fall on the opening element. The team, who trains in Maryland, rallied in the free dance to score 105.42, finishing third in the segment. They earned 170.53 and fifth place overall.

Italy's Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbrin (202.10) won the dance event. Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen (189.36) from Canada finished second and Ukraine's Alexandra Nazarova and Maxim Nikitin (172.98) secured the bronze medal.

Junior Grand Prix Russia

Four singles skaters and three teams represented Team USA this weekend at the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) Russia, the fourth stop of the International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix, in Chelyabinsk.

Newly formed dance team Katarina Wolfkostin and Jeffrey Chen finished the highest among the U.S. contingent across all three international competitions this weekend, earning fourth in the ice dance event.

The couple, who train in Novi, Michigan, went into the free dance after finishing sixth in the rhythm dance with 54.91 points. The team rallied to execute four Level 4 elements to score 93.90 in the free dance and earn second, boosting them to fourth overall with 148.81 points.

New York natives Oona Brown and Gage Brown also competed in the dance event. After posting a score of 52.45 points in the rhythm dance, the team went into the free dance to perform three Level 4 elements in their program set to "Bloodstream" by Tokio Myers and "Air" by Jan Werner. They scored 88.88 points, earning 141.33 and eighth place overall.

Two Russian teams took home gold and silver – Elizaveta Shanaeva and Devid Naryzhnyy (171.07) and Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin (158.24). Canadian team Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont grabbed the bronze medal (149.05).

In the ladies event, San Francisco native Kate Wang made her JGP debut and New York native Audrey Shin made her second Junior Grand Prix season appearance. Wang opened her 55.25-point short program with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop, helping her head into the free skate in sixth place. In her free skate set to Music from the Dr. Zhivago soundtrack, the 14-year-old executed two Level 4 elements to score 109.34 and earn 164.59 and sixth place overall.

Shin headed into the free skate in 19th place with 44.36, but the 15-year-old executed three Level 4 elements in her free skate to score 98.93. Shin finished eighth in the free skate, boosting her total score to 143.29, and earning 12th place overall.

Russia took the ladies event, with all of its skaters at the event finishing in the top three. Kamila Valieva took home the gold (221.95), while teammates Kseniia Sinitsyna (204.25) and Viktoria Vasilieva (198.79) grabbed silver and bronze.

Hailing from Massachusetts, William Annis made his JGP debut by opening his short program with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop and an explosive triple Axel. Heading into the free skate with a posted score of 62.09 and in seventh place, the 14-year-old finished his free skate with 105.45 points. His total score of 167.54 earned him 12th place overall.

Returning for his third JGP season, Eric Sjoberg went into the free skate with 48.57 points. His 104.69-point free skate featured three Level 4 elements, leading him to post an overall score of 153.26 points and 13th place.

Russia also took the men's event, with Petr Gumennik finishing first (222.14). His teammates, Artur Danielian (221.93) and Ilya Yablokov (207.68) took home silver and bronze.

Also making their JGP debut was pairs team Anastasiia Smirnova and Daniil Siianytsia. The team, who trains with Trudy Oltmanns in Minnesota, notched a short program score of 45.69. Heading into the free skate in seventh place, the duo completed two Level 4 elements in their free skate to earn 81.20 and 126.89 overall, finishing seventh.

Russia's Kseniia Akhanteva and Valerii Kolesov (185.05) took home the gold, while teammates Iuliia Artemeva and Mikhail Nazarychev (178.31) secured the silver. Diana Mukhametzianova and Ilya Mironov (171.88), also from Russia, finished third.