Anastasiia Smirnova and Danil Siianytsia (Yarmouth Ice Club/All Year FSC) lead in the junior pairs event following the short program. With 59.07 points, a new personal best, the Minnesota-based team executed three Level 4 elements and scored the highest components mark by two points.
"We stayed on our feet, didn't have falls, so that's an improvement from last year I think,” Siianytsia said.
Isabelle Martins and Ryan Bedard (Chicago FSC/Northern Ice SC) finished second with 52.14 points. The Illinois-based team ended their James Bond program with a Level 4 combination spin. Sydney Cooke and Keyton Bearinger (Elite Edge SC/Detroit SC) earned the third-place spot following the short program with 48.61 points. Skating to “Fall on Me” by Christina Aguilera, they opened with a Level 4 double twist.
Valentina Plazas and Maximiliano Fernandez (Panthers FSC/Arctic FSC) sit in fourth with 47.04 points.
Isabeau Levito (SC of Southern New Jersey) leads the junior ladies with 65.66 after the short program. The 13-year-old opened with a strong triple flip-triple toe loop combination and earned Level 4s on all three spins.
"Obviously I still think I can do better because there's always room for improvement, but I think it was pretty good," Levito said.
Kanon Smith (All Year FSC) finished second with 62.52 points. In her Mary Poppins-themed program, she earned two Level 4 spins. Making her U.S. Championships debut, Clare Seo (Broadmoor SC) sits in third place with 60.27 points. The 14-year-old opened with a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination and earned Level 4s on all three spins and her step sequence.
Kate Wang (SC of San Francisco) currently sits fourth with 58.28 points.
In the junior rhythm dance, Katarina Wolfkostin and Jeffrey Chen (Peninsula SC) lead the field by over two points. The 2020 Youth Olympians earned Level 4 on four of their five elements and all positive grades of execution to earn 68.81 points.
"We were both happy with our performance, and the score was the highest we've ever gotten," Wolfkostin said. "It shows improvement, which is always great. It's a great encouragement to keep slowly getting better and better, and know that all of the hard work and preparation you put into something pays off."
Sibling team Oona Brown and Gage Brown (SC of New York) scored 66.20 points to finish second. In their program set to music from A Boy From Oz, the team earned all positive grades of execution and four Level 4 elements. Katarina DelCamp and Ian Somerville (Dallas FSC/Washington FSC) sit third after the rhythm dance with 60.26 points. The Virginia-based team earned a Level 4 on their opening curve lift and their twizzle sequence.
Isabella Flores and Dimitry Tsarevski (Broadmoor SC/All Year FSC) are in fourth place with 59.98 points.
The men’s short program closed out the first night of junior competition. Jacob Sanchez (Hudson Valley FSC) leads the field with 66.91 points. The 13-year-old opened with a triple flip-triple toe loop combination and earned all positive grades of execution on his elements.
"I felt really good," Sanchez said. "That was one of the best short programs I've done in a while ... I've been working really hard."
Maxim Zharkov (Dallas FSC) earned the second-place spot with 65.51 points. In his program set to “Blues for Klook” by Eddy Louiss, the 16-year-old opened with a strong triple Axel. Eric Prober (Panthers FSC) sits third with 65.04 points. Opening with a triple Axel, the 18-year-old earned a Level 4 on two elements.
Joseph Klein (Skokie Valley SC) currently sits fourth with 63.60 points.
The junior competition will conclude on Thursday, Jan. 21 with the free skates and free dance. Fans can watch live and on-demand on Peacock Premium.