(January 27, 2010 - JEONJU CITY, South Korea) – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., grabbed an early lead in the ice dance event with the best score in Wednesday’s compulsory dance at the ISU Four Continents figure skating competition.

Weaver and Poje provided a confident performance to garner 32.67 points.  Xintong Huang and Xun Zheng of China follow at 30.12 and Allie Hann-McCurdy of Nanaimo, B.C., and Michael Coreno of Delhi, Ont., stand third at 29.89.  Both Canadian couples posted season best scores.

“It felt pretty comfortable and it was an improvement technically from our compulsory at nationals,” said Weaver, who placed third with her partner at the Canadian championships earlier this month in London, Ont.  “I don’t think we were the strongest with our expression but it was definitely a solid start.”

Poje says that it is important for the couple to finish the season on a positive note.

“We’ve improved with every competition this season,” said Poje.  “Today our patterns were much more consistent throughout the program.  The compulsory was usually one our weaker events but this year we’ve seen it improve a lot.”

Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill, both of Toronto, stand seventh out of 12 couples at 26.57.

In pairs, Olympic silver medallists Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang lead the 11-team field after the short program with 65.86 points.  Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker of the U.S., are second at 64.56 and Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Craig Buntin of Kelowna, B.C., stand third at 56.90.

“We are really pleased with our performance and we’ve set ourselves up well for the long program,” said Buntin, a six-time world championship team member.

Mylène Brodeur of Stanbridge-Station, Que., and John Mattatall of Wallace, N.S., are fifth and Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto eighth.

In women’s singles, Akiko Suzuki of Japan is first, Amanda Dobbs of the U.S., second and Mao Asada of Japan third.

Amélie Lacoste of Delson, Que., is sixth out of 38 entries.  She landed a double Axel and a triple-double loop combination and hung on to her triple flip jump in addition to executing strong spins until the finish.

‘’I had trouble with my triple flip and that cost me points,’’ said Lacoste, 21, 10th at these championships last year. ‘’It’s been an inconsistent jump for me this season and one of my goals here was to land it cleanly.  I came very close to that.  Otherwise I felt the program was very solid.’’

Myriane Samson of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., who also put her hand down on her triple flip after clean landings on her double Axel and combination jump is eighth and Diane Szmiett of Watford, Ont., is 10th.

Competition continues through to Saturday.

The competition is being carried live at www.skatebuzz.comwww.cbc.ca  and CBC Bold.

For more information visit: www.isu.org

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