Gold for Canadian ice dancers at Junior Grand Prix

RIGA, Latvia – Ice dancers MacKenzie Bent of Uxbridge, Ont., and Garrett MacKeen of Oshawa, Ont., earned their first international victory on Saturday to conclude the first stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

The Canadians totalled 127.93 points to edge Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter of the U.S. second at 127.43 and Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd of Russia third at 126.43.  It’s a second career junior Grand Prix medal for Bent and MacKeen, also fifth at the world juniors last season.

“It was really something special to hear our national anthem,” said MacKeen, 19, three years older than his partner.  “It certainly will be one of the biggest memories for us from this competition.

Bent and MacKeen were first after the short program Friday then delivered the third best free dance of the day but it was still enough to retain the overall lead.

“One of our lifts was downgraded and that affected our score,” said MacKeen.  “It’s something we’ve been working really hard on in training.  We came here with a short dance similar to last year because it was very successful for us.  We changed our free dance and we are delighted to get off to such a great start with it.”

In men’s competition, Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., climbed from 16th to 14th overall.  Boyang Jin of China won the gold.

On Friday, Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., was fourth in women’s competition while in pairs Dylan Conway of Toronto and Dustin Sheriff-Clayton of Newmarket, Ont., were sixth and Mary Orr of Brantford, Ont., and Phelan Simpson of Lunenburg, N.S., seventh.


Louis Daignault

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