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Kaitlin Hawayek, Jean-Luc Baker out of U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Kaitlin Hawayek, Jean-Luc Baker

TURIN, ITALY - DECEMBER 10: Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker of USA compete in Ice Dance Free Dance during the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2022 on December 10, 2022 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Marco Mantovani/Getty Images)

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Olympians Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, the U.S.’ second-ranked ice dance couple, will miss next week’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

“Over the past 18 months, our team has dealt with significant physical injuries that have led to challenges in our mental health and we feel it is in our best interest to prioritize this currently,” they said in a statement.

Hawayek, 26, and Baker, 29, plan to petition for one of three ice dance spots on the U.S. team for March’s world championships in Japan.

Hawayek and Baker earned bronze at the last four U.S. Championships and were 11th in their Olympic debut last year. That came after a delayed start to their season following Hawayek’s concussion in a July 2021 training fall.

After Olympic bronze medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue retired, Hawayek and Baker ascended this Grand Prix season by ranking second among American couples behind Madison Chock and Evan Bates and placing fifth at December’s Grand Prix Final.

Chock and Bates are favored to win their fourth national title.

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