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

Kaitlin Hawayek, Jean-Luc Baker
Kaitlin Hawayek, Jean-Luc Baker

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. After Olympic bronze medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue retired, they 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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Kaitlin Hawayek, Jean-Luc Baker out of U.S. Figure Skating Championships originally appeared on NBCSports.com