U.S. Athletes Overseas for Two International Competitions
(3/31/05) — Four U.S. athletes are in Selva Val Gardena, Italy, this week to compete in the 15th annual Gardena Spring Trophy. The competition includes junior ladies and men, and competing for the U.S. are Sandra Jean Rucker, Tenile Victorsen, Craig Ratterree and Austin Kanallakan.
All four U.S. athletes will be competing in their first major international event. Rucker is the 2005 U.S. junior champion, and Victorsen placed fourth as a junior at the 2005 U.S. Championships. Ratterree placed second as a junior at the 2005 U.S. Championships, and Kanallakan is the 2005 U.S. novice champion. They will compete against 17 other skaters from six countries.
At the 2004 event the U.S. skaters won gold and silver in both ladies and men's. Past medalists at the event include two-time World silver medalist Sasha Cohen (1999 Gardena Winter Trophy, first), 2004 U.S. Collegiate champion Alissa Czisny (2002 Gardena Spring Trophy, first), and Olympic bronze medalist Timothy Goebel (1996 Gardena Spring Trophy, second).
The Estonia International Ice Dancing Competition also takes place this weekend as two U.S. teams compete for gold in their first major international event. Competing for the United States are Blake Rosenthal & Calvin Taylor, and Madison Hubbell & Keiffer Hubbell. Rosenthal and Taylor placed third in this novice division at the 2005 U.S. Championships, while Hubbell and Hubbell placed fifth. The U.S. teams placed first and second at the event in 2004.