Baker wins ice dance gold medal at world junior championships

  • Mon Mar 17th, 2014 9:10pm
  • Sports

Herald staff

Jean-Luc Baker of Edmonds, a 2012 graduate of Kamiak High School, and partner Kaitlin Hawayek, a native of East Aurora, N.Y., won the gold medal in ice dancing Friday at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Baker and Hawayek built a sizable lead in the short dance and had enough of a margin to hold on despite finishing second by a slight margin in the free dance to Sergey Mozgov and Anna Yanovskaya of Russia. Baker and Hawayek had a combined score of 157.12, with Mozgov and Yanovskaya totaling 155.16 to finish with the silver medal.

Zhao KaiPang and Madeline Edwards of Canada were awarded the bronze medal (139.65), with Quinn Carpenter and Lorraine McNamara of the United States finishing fourth (138.53).

Baker and Hawayek, who preceded their world title by winning the U.S. junior championship in January, were two of only three medalists for the United States. Nathan Chen, who is originally from Salt Lake City, was the bronze medalist in the men’s competition.

Baker was born in Great Britain, but moved with his parents Steve and Sharon Jones Baker (both former international figure skaters) to the United States when he was 4. He took up skating as a young boy and started in ice dancing in 2006, first with Joylyn Yang of Mukilteo and later with Hawayek when Yang was forced to quit competitive skating because of a back injury.

Baker and Hawayek live in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where they train at the Detroit Skating Club under several world-class coaches with an eye toward the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.