by Anne Calder

Torun, Poland held the fifth Junior Grand Prix event September 23-26. The Copernicus Stars competition included 18 ice dance teams representing 12 countries.

SHORT DANCE

Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter (USA) danced into first place with an animated interpretation of selections from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg. The lift, twizzles and both pattern sections earned level 4. The team received a one-point deduction for an extended lift. Their score was 65.42.

In a post short dance interview with the ISU Reporter, Ted Barton, McNamara shared what the team had worked on since the Colorado Springs JGP event.

“We did a lot of fine tuning to make sure everything was crisp and solid,” McNamara said.

Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko (USA) followed with a Fabian Bourzat choreographed program to the Charlie Chaplin movie soundtrack, City Lights. The spin, twizzles, and second pattern received level 4. The score was a personal best 61.13.

Anastasia Skoptcova & Kirill Aleshin (RUS) were third in their JGP debut. The team danced to a selection from Cirque du Soleil and “Algo Pequenito” sung by Daniel Duges. The lift and twizzles earned level 4. The score was a personal best 57.98.

Sofia Polishchuck & Alexander Vakhnov (RUS) placed fourth skating to the recordings: “Les Feuilles Mortes” (“Autumn Leaves”) by Yves Montand and “J”envoie valser” by Zazie. The team earned a level 4 for their lift and level 3 for the twizzles, footwork and first pattern. The score was a personal best 57.65.

Megan Meng & Andrew Meng (CAN) performed to Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens and The Bolt by Dmitri Shostakovich. The siblings earned level 4 for the lift, twizzles and both pattern dances. The score was a personal best 57.61 and was just .04 out of fourth place.

FREE DANCE

Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter (USA) earned the highest JGP technical free dance score of the 2015 season. (47.40) Four of their six elements were level 4. The Maryland-based duo’s mature interpretation of selections from the classic opera, Carmen, was rewarded with all but four 8.00 and above component marks. The program used less of the familiar music cuts and omitted the popular Entrance of Carmen aria. The free dance (97.21) and total (162.63) scores were personal bests.

Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko (USA) remained in second place with an 11-point higher free dance score than their first JGP event at the Riga Cup in Latvia. The team used the gypsy rhythms of Goran Bregovich to earn level 4 for the lifts and twizzles. The free dance (85.02) and total (146.15) were personal best scores.

Anastasia Skoptcova & Kirill Aleshin (RUS) won the bronze medal skating to “Iko Iko” by Club des Belugas and featuring Brenda Boynton. Their spin, twizzles and straight-line lift earned level 4. The Moscow-trained team received personal best free dance (83.63) and total (141.61) scores in their only appearance at the 2015 JGP.

Megan Meng & Andrew Meng (CAN) moved up a notch with their interpretation of Nocturne from Bohemian Rhapsody played by American-born violinist, Lucia Micarelli. The lifts and spin earned level 4, but several unfortunate mistakes on the twizzles lost them points. The 2015 Canadian junior bronze medalists improved their free dance mark by almost four points over their Riga Cup JGP competition. The free dance (83.19) and total (140.80) scores were personal best scores.

Sofia Polishchuk & Alexander Vakhnov (RUS) slipped to fifth place after unfortunate errors on the twizzles proved costly. They skated to violinist Vanessa Mae’s Sabre Dance and singer Lara Fabian’s “Ascolat La Voce”. The score was still five points higher than they had earned at the Colorado Springs JGP. The free dance (81.58) and total (139.23) were personal best scores.

The World Junior silver medalists, Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter, are the second ice dance team to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final to be held in Barcelona, Spain – December 10-13.  Alla Loboda & Pavel Drozd (RUS) qualified at the Cup of Austria.