Canadian ice dancers lead after short, Chartrand fourth at Junior Grand Prix

RIGA, Latvia – Ice dancers MacKenzie Bent of Uxbridge, Ont., and Garrett MacKeen of Oshawa, Ont., are first after Friday’s short program while Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., was fourth in the women’s final at the season’s first stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit in figure skating.

In women’s competition, Chartand posted a personal best international score of 146.95 points. She competed at two junior Grand Prix last season before winning the bronze medal at the senior nationals and placing eighth at the world juniors.

‘’I gained quite a bit in the performance department of the program today,’’ said Chartrand, 17. ‘’It’s a more mature routine this year so that’s an aspect I’ve put a lot of focus on for this season. I also feel a lot more confident after my success last year.  Today I had the kind of start I wanted with a new program.’’

Evgenia Medvedeva led Russia to a 1-2 finish with 169.52 while Maria Sotskova was second at 166.49. Karen Chen of the U.S. was third at 154.26.

Bent and MacKeen, fifth at the world junior championships last year, earned 55.21 points for their short dance score only 0.67 off their personal best.  Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter of the U.S., are second at 52.40 and Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd of Russia third at 50.93.

The pairs competition wrapped up as well with both Canadian entries completing their international debuts. Dylan Conway of Toronto and Dustin Sheriff-Clayton of Newmarket, Ont., were sixth with a personal best 116.05 points. Mary Orr of Brantford, Ont., and Phelan Simpson of Lunenburg, N.S., followed in seventh at 110.77.

‘’This was an amazing opportunity for us and it was such an honour to represent Canada,’’ said Conway, 15, in her fourth season with her 20-year-old partner. ‘’We were pleased with our performance. Our throw Salchow and side-by-side spins were definitely the highlights.’’

Orr and Simpson joined forces only five months ago.

‘’It was definitely a challenge getting ready for this event,’’ said Orr, 16. ‘’The biggest issue in training was getting our timing down.  For our first competition we were happy with both our programs especially the twists and lifts.’’

Competition ends Saturday with the ice dance and men’s finals.  Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., was 16th after Thursday’s men’s short program.

Full results:

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