SOFIA, Bulgaria — All that Kaitlin Hawayek of East Aurora and Jean-Luc Baker of Edmonds, Wash., needed was to produce their best score of the season in the free dance to maintain their lead and win the ice dance gold medal at the World Junior Figure Skating Champions in Sofia, Bulgaria, last week.
To add to the drama they were last on the program.
They came through.
Skating to music from the Amelie soundtrack by Yann Tiersen, Hawayek and Baker scored an eight – two more than they needed – to take home the title with an overall total of 157.12 points.
Hawayek and Baker had finished first in the short dance with a personal best score of 66.73 points but the Russian pair of Anna Yanovskaya and Sergey Mozgov had posted a huge score in their free dance, putting in jeopardy the chances of the Americans winning the gold.
Yanovskaya and Mozgov ended up with the silver.
Hawayek, 17, represents the Detroit Skating Club and Baker, 20, represents the Seattle S.C. They train in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., with coaches Angelika Krylova, Massimo Scali, Liz Swallow, Natalia Deller and Pasquale Camerelengo.