The reigning U.S. junior ice dance champions announced their presence on the senior grand prix stage on Saturday at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow.
Christina Carreira, 18, and Anthony Ponomarenko, 17, won their first senior grand prix medal with a third-place finish and total score of 174.21. Russia’s Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, now seven-time grand prix medalists, won gold with 199.43. Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin of Spain, who scored 108.02, were second.
Carreira and Ponomarenko were in second place following the rhythm dance with a score of 69.01. The duo performed their free dance to “Bloodstream” and “Angel” by Tokio Myers.
In addition to winning the 2018 U.S. junior title, the duo also won silver at the 2018 world junior championships and bronze at the 2017 world junior championships. Earlier this season, their first as seniors, they medaled at both Challenger Series assignments with silver at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic and bronze at Nebelhorn Trophy. They were fifth at their senior grand prix debut in Helsinki earlier this month.
If Ponomarenko’s name sounds familiar, there’s a good reason. He is the son of Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko, the 1992 Olympic ice dance gold medalists, 1988 Olympic silver medalists and 1984 Olympic bronze medalists who competed for the Soviet Union and are in the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
Carreira and Ponomarenko’s medal marks the fifth U.S. ice dance team that has medaled in the 2018-19 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, the first time that has happened. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue won gold at both Skate America and Skate Canada, Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker won NHK Trophy, where Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons took bronze, and Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter earned bronze at Grand Prix of Helsinki.
Four U.S. ice dance teams medaled in both 2013-14 and 2014-15.