BEIJING — Prior to the Winter Olympics, Jean-Luc Baker targeted a top-10 finish in the ice dancing competition. Halfway through the competition the Kamiak High School graduate and his partner Kaitlin Hawayek are in a solid position to accomplish that goal.
Hawayek and Baker finished in 11th place in Saturday’s Olympic rhythm dance. The duo struggled during the rhythm dance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January. However, they turned in a clean performance in their disco-themed free dance to earn a score of 74.58. They head into the free dance needing to make up 1.87 points on Great Britain’s Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson to crack the top 10.
France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, the are four-time world champions who came in as favorites to win the gold medal, set a new world record by posting a score of 90.53. Hawayek and Baker’s U.S. teammates, Madison Bates and Zachary Donohue (87.13) and Madison Chock and Evan Bates (84.14) sit in third and fourth places, respectively.
The free dance begins at 5:15 p.m. (Pacific Time) Sunday and is being braodcast live on USA and NBC. Hawayek and Baker are scheduled to skate in the second of four groups. They skate last in their group of five and therefore will begin at approximately 6:39 p.m.