Senior Skaters in Germany for 2006 Nebelhorn Trophy

Katy Taylor
Photo by Paul Harvath

(9/27/06) - Twelve U.S. skaters will compete in the 38th Nebelhorn Trophy, the first official international senior-level event of the 2006-07 season, Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Oberstdorf, Germany. The event, which will be held at the Eislaufzentrum/BLZ Obertsdorf ice rink, begins with the compulsory dance competition on Thursday at 2 p.m.

Twelve athletes are representing the United States at the event in four disciplines: ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing. The U.S. team hails from 10 states: California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The Nebelhorn Trophy began in Germany in 1969. Since then, U.S. skaters have won 45 gold medals across all four disciplines. At the 2005 event, Tanith Belbin &Ben Agosto won the ice dancing gold medal, while Bebe Liang and the pairs team of Marcy Hinzmann & Aaron Parchem took home bronzes.

Team USA's Katy Taylor will make her first appearance at the Nebelhorn Trophy this year. She won gold at the 2006 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, her first senior-level international event. She took fourth place at the 2006 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships and won the bronze medal at the 2004 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Liang returns to the Nebelhorn Trophy after earning a bronze at the 2005 event. She placed third at the 2006 Four Continents Championships and fifth at the 2006 U.S. Championships.

Derrick Delmore returns for his fifth Nebelhorn Trophy. He first competed in the event in 1998 and has earned second-, fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-place finishes. Delmore placed 12th at the 2006 U.S. Championships and fifth at both the 2005 Golden Spin of Zagreb and the 2005 Marshalls U.S. Figure Skating Challenge. In Germany, Delmore will be joined by Parker Pennington, who placed ninth at the 2006 U.S. Championships and eighth at the 2004 Finlandia Trophy.

Brooke Castile & Ben Okolski will be making their first appearance at the Nebelhorn Trophy. The pair, which has been skating competitively since 2002, took eighth at the 2006 U.S. Championships. They last were in Europe at the 2005 Cup of Russia, where they also placed eighth. Julia Vlassov & Drew Meekins are beginning their season in Germany, after finishing the 2005-2006 season with a win at the 2006 World Junior Championships. They placed third at the 2006 U.S. Championships in the junior division and took home silver at the 2005 Junior Grand Prix Final.

Ice Dancing
Morgan Matthews & Max Zavozin are veterans on the international scene. They placed 16th at the 2006 World Championships, after claiming fourth place at the 2006 U.S. Championships. The skaters also took silver at the 2006 Four Continents Championships and were the 2005 World Junior champions. The team of Kate Slattery & C.G. Lee also will compete in Germany. The team took seventh place at the 2005 U.S. Championships, but had to withdraw from the 2006 event due to injury.

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