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East Aurora's Hawayek wins gold at Four Continents event

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker display their gold medals (Photo courtesy of Hawayek family)

East Aurora's Kaitlin Hawayek and partner Jean-Luc Baker captured the gold medal in resounding fashion Thursday at the ISU Four Continents ice dancing competition in Taipei City, Taipei.

Hawayek and Baker, first alternates on the U.S. ice dancing squad that will compete at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month, totaled 174.29 points. They easily outdistanced runners-up Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus of Canada, who totaled 164.96 points.

This is the first time Hawayek and Baker have placed first at an ISU event. The pair won the 2014 World Junior Championship.

Hawayek and Baker totaled 69.08 points in Wednesday's short dance and followed up with 105.21 points in the free dance, skating to Franz Liszt's "Liebestraum."

The duo skates out of the Detroit Skating Club. They have an active GoFundMe page for those who would like to help offset their expenses.

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