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Wagner Changes Figure Skating Coach

Ashley Wagner, a rising senior at West Potomac high school and the 2008 U.S. figure skating bronze medalist has recently changed coaches. According to reports, Wagner will now skate under Priscilla Hill, a Wilmington, Del.-based coach who is a former two-time medalist at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Hill coached Johnny Weir to the gold medal at the 2001 World Junior Figure Skating Championships and three consecutive U.S. National Championships, before the two parted ways last summer. Hill, who also coaches four-time U.S. silver medalist ice dancers Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov, was named the 2004 U.S. Figure Skating Association Coach of the Year.

Wagner, a 2010 Olympic hopeful, announced on June 23 that she ended her six-year relationship with coach Shirley Hughes. After starting skating at 5-years-old, Wagner started training competitively with Hughes in 2002. She was successful at both the juvenile and intermediate levels, eventually rising to the junior level for the 2005-2006 season.

At the junior level, she skated in international competitions in Slovenia, France, The Netherlands and Bulgaria. She earned a bronze medal at the 2007 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany, and thus turned her focus on the senior circuit. She came in fifth at the 2007 Skate Canada and earned the bronze medal at Trophée Eric Bompard in Paris.

Wagner won the bronze at the 2008 U.S. Championships, which earned her a berth to the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and 2008 World Figure Skating Championships, where she placed eighth and 16th, respectively.

Wagner was born on the U.S. Army Base in Heidelberg, Germany, and has lived in four states before settling in Alexandria. Her younger brother Austin is also a skater and currently competes nationally at the intermediate level.