HIROSHIMA, Japan — Edmonds native Jean-Luc Baker and his partner, Kaitlin Hawayek, overtook leaders Tiffani Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro of Russia to win the ice dance gold medal Sunday at NHK Trophy.
The American duo won the free dance with 113.92 points for a total of 184.63 to move up to first place and capture the first Grand Prix medal of their careers after a handful of near misses.
The bronze went to Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons of the United States.
“Our main goal was really to try to put out two solid performances, but also to understand our programs,” said Baker, a graduate of Kamiak High School. “It is our first event. We really just wanted to get our feet wet. We’re very happy that we’re walking away with the gold medal.”
The pair will compete again in two weeks in Grenoble, France, at the last event of the Grand Prix series and has a chance to make the Dec. 6-9 Grand Prix Final in Vancouver, British Columbia.