LAST MINUTE Thoughts on Ladies
So, with half of Nationals complete, the faves in Pairs did not win their respective competition and missed out on Olys. No big surprises in the Men's event. The judging has been surprisingly fair so far. Will this carry over into next weekend? That is yet to be seen.
With only 4 days until the ladies' SP, competitors are either in Spokane or are on their way. The big thing, though, is that Cohen has yet to WD. Nicks claims he's going back to get her, and FSO retweeted a Hersh tweet that said he texted Cohen to confirm her plans and she said everything's a go. So all indicators point to her being a show after all. As to whether she will compete, or WD before or after the SP is anyone's guess, but it's looking more like we have to start assuming that she's part of the equation. So with that said:
- The SP is critical. If everyone brings it, I say it's going to be close (within ~6 points) among the contenders. But realistically, some are going to bring it while others will likely fall short. The question, though, is whether this will be a competition decided in the SP or FS? I say the latter, unless someone skates a blinder while everyone else struggles.
So here's my sheet for the short program:
Cohen- This is her forte. This is where she needs to make her mark, make it known to the world that she is BACK. If she cannot deliver her SP, she may as well head on out of the arena, because she needs a buffer in case she falters in the FS, which is basically a given based on her competitive history. She cannot afford mistakes in both phases of the competition, particularly if the other ladies bring it in the SP.
Flatt- She just needs to stay upright here, although she might be able to get away with a stumble on that second triple like at SA- while that will keep her way behind the top international ladies, at Nationals it should be good enough to hang in there.
Wagner- Just avoid a repeat of last year...please. But she also must stop being tentative, something she admitted herself after the SP at the GPF. Just focus, go out and attack.
Czisny- I'd have her as the second strongest SP skater, behind Cohen. If she hits her SP she's in contention, no questions asked. She is that good. On the other hand, if she slips up, she will take herself OUT of contention because her FS simply is not strong enough to bump her up, particularly if everyone else brings it in the SP (or even two others- that will be enough to keep her off the Team)
Nagasu/Zhang- it's basically the same story for these two. Better watch those jumps.
There could be other ladies right in the mix after the SP. I would not be surprised to see some unfamiliar names sprinkled in there. The pressure is on The Big Six, and others could sneak right in and take advantage of that.
Last edited by R.D.; 01-18-2010 at 02:42 AM.
Reason: clear up the confusion; also, minor wording changes
um, Jeremy and Evan were equally favored to win...
Originally Posted by R.D.
see, you should really pay attention to the other disiplines (which are far more interesting than the ladies... no matter the competition). Jeremy was the reigning National champion, and was (obviously) just as capable to take it... he's a much cleaner skater, and his programs are more CoP friendly.
the men's even pretty much went on like it should have.
but that's how you opened your post... it's all in the first couple of lines...(journalism major coming out)
Fixed. Thus, all my OT posts have been removed.
Anyway, forgetting this, what are your last-minute thoughts on the ladies' competition? Do you agree with what I said above, or do you have different thoughts? Sound off here.
Last edited by R.D.; 01-18-2010 at 02:35 AM.
such a cheater
ETA - anyway
Yes, I think the judging will continue in this strain. Where I'd be worried most is Ice Dance, but then again... who knows. It could turn out very fair and my emotions will just be too tied into the event to see it.
I will agree that if Cohen lays down a solid SP she'll be rewarded for it. So long as the tech caller is fair (aka nails her as hard as they nail the other ladies) then I think the chips will fall where they will and I'll be fine with it.
Ashley Wagner has the right mentality when it comes to the event, and Sasha's return, but she has to nail everything perfectly. None of this UR crap she keeps fighting.
Caroline and Mirai still look like little girls trying to get teh bigger girls to play with them. Mirai needs to calm down and focus and not worry about what we're all thinking. Trust her body and muscle memory and find the joy she had in 2008. Caroline, like Wagner, needs to get past the URs... and speed it up a bit... she's skating against Sasha Cohen, her flexibility won't impress as much this time around...
Last edited by Tonichelle; 01-18-2010 at 02:30 AM.
Nice post! Couldn't have written it better myself. My thoughts:
Originally Posted by R.D.
We know that Nagasu can whip out an amazing SP (see COC), same with Alissa (see SC), same with Ashley (see NHK).
We also know that Flatt can whip out those triples during the LP (see SA). And we know that even with a mistake (especially with a 3-3) she can still stay in the mix.
Zhang has not shown a lot of power and confidence (she just seems really mad at herself all the time). But perhaps she's using that energy to train harder and we could be surprise on Thursday.
What we know from Cohen's came is that her coach has said that "we'll be surprised" and that she's had "good practices." Not sure how any of that will translate, and I agree RD, the SP will tell the tale.
Rooting for the divas with Kwanford
From what we've seen so far, I expect decent judging. Besides, I don't see what the US has to gain by sending out a weaker skater (ie an overscored Sasha) to the Olympics. They need to and will send the best two at Nats.
The crazy thing about Sasha is that we have absolutely no idea how she's skating or what her programs are like! She needs two really good programs with powerful music, exciting footwork sections, and interpretive dynamics. I am really hoping Lori Nichols has been able to help her turn that Moonlight Sonata program into champion material. I'm not worried about Espana Cani - that kind of thing is her bread and butter!
The lovely but erratic Czisny is the one I just can't see going to the Olympics, and Caroline seems to be going downhill. Emily is great -- funny how much better she looks to me now than 4 years ago (the competition is that much weaker) -- but still probably not Olympic-ready.
Thus the team and alternate(s) will, IMO, be composed of the steady Rachael plus Sasha, Ashley or Mirai.
Rachael needs more than to stay upright, though. Competent but boring is not going to get her on the Olympic podium (I hope!!). She's gotta *perform* and get the audience on her side. I have zero interest in that cutesy juniory stuff she does in her Take 5 or 6 (or however many it is ) SP, but her FP has possibilities if she can show she's a complete skater and not just a technician.
I do agree that energy is one of Ashley's strongest assets. So go for it, Ashley, and claim your place.
Last, Mirai certainly has to rotate and land her jumps, but also grow into her Carmen a little bit. She's so young - she doesn't have to interpret like a Sasha or Michelle, all she needs to do is command her long legs and show a little age-appropriate emotion (a little joy, a little Carmenesque tragedy or sauciness).
She and Sasha are the two biggest talents at Nats, IMO, so I'm praying for them to get 1st and 2nd. But I'll be OK with any combo of these four as long as the judging puts them in the right order.
GO, SASHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!
Go, Mirai!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I agree with what you posted, R.D. I think after the SP, if all skate as they have in the past, Sasha, Alissa and Mirai could find themselves in the top 1-2-3.
Rachael has the potential to be up there if she nails her 3/3 (and solo 3 and 2ax). But as we've seen in the past, she can fumble the 3/3 and that is a big no-no in the SP. I think Rachael is a very talented young woman, and while I want to love her, her overall skating really isn't my cup of tea. However, I would be thrilled to see her as the 2010 National Champion.
Ashley can also play spoiler to my top 3 SP prediction if she just skates cleanly and with confidence. I think her programs are beautifully choreographed and COP friendly. It would be lovely to see her skate them to full potential!
As I've said before (and I think everyone agrees with me!), Sasha is such a wild card-if she's anywhere near 2006 form, she will be a force to be reckoned with, so it's hard to predict any outcome for Ladies until the reports of her at practice trickle in.
Mirai and Alissa are mini-Sasha's IMO. I don't think either are as particularly strong overall as Sasha (at least old Sasha was), but they are strong in similar ways-non jump elements, presentation. Mirai has speed and consistency in her corner, but both Mirai and Alissa struggle with U/R with has never been a Sasha issue.
I do think the above 5 skaters and either Caroline or Alexe will be the top 6. I really am rooting for Caroline...I hope she has rebounded from SC and skates lights out. I think we have SO many Ladies to watch to make the top 10, but several with their own question marks...Emily, Bebe, Brittney, Christina Gao...
I have to add...not sure I agree that the judging at Nationals has been 100% accurate. E/L getting a total score of 173.78? The top 3 men LP PCS marks weren't inflated? I adore Ryan and thought Jeremy hit the most amazing LP, but would either have received those PCS internationally? Evan definitely did get bonus PCS points for skating while WC/GPF Champ. BUT I do feel all in all, the order of podiums were correct, so that's all I care about (although I may have switched E/L and I/B...but I am so happy for E/L!).
Last edited by MKFSfan; 01-18-2010 at 12:57 PM.
all i am saying-i am reserving my jcomments.
i basically agree a little but disagree more.
Mirai is not a mini-Sasha, CAROLINE is a mini-Sasha. Mirai is fast and athletic and even though her jumps aren't always fully rotated they are always big. She is flexibly but it's mostly in her back versus Sasha's which is mostly in her legs (Mirai's beilman is much better than Sasha's but Sasha's regular spirals are much better than Mirai's). Sasha, Alissa, and Caroline all have similar builds which probably contributes to why they skate similarly but Mirai is a very different build, she has very broad shoulders and is more muscular (at least visibly) than the other three.
Originally Posted by MKFSfan
I think Mirai and Ashley have the most similar style of skating if we are going to compare amongst the competitors.
Also, I heard someone say they still think that Caroline and Mirai look and skate like little girls now. Does anyone else feel that way? I feel like this year they actually do look like they are 16 and not 12 and their skating has consequently become more sophisticated (definitely Mirai's).
I actually agree that Mirai and Alissa are like Sasha (more so than the rest of the field) because of their fluid, in-character performance style. They skate WITH the music and really put in alot of difficult details in choreography that make them seem like they're not just ticking off element after element (ahem, Ashley and Caroline) on a checklist. They show way more emotion and both have excellent spins, great footwork and extention like Sasha. Alot of people go gaga over Caroline's pearl but no one seems to notice that her classic layback is not really something to write home about. Sasha, Mirai and Alissa's classic laybacks are breathtaking.
Last edited by cornell08; 01-18-2010 at 03:50 PM.
Originally Posted by cornell08
Interesting points, I guess I see the similarities now. Mirai has always reminded me of Yukari, but now that Akiko's on the scene I see resemblances to her too. They both always have footwork with a lot of energy and flair!
Oh! And I think Christina Gao will really rock the long program and earn the highest TES.