It wasn't that Agnes wasn't "good enough" to make it to Junior Nationals last year. She was good enough, but she had one bad competition, and it happened at the worst possible time. I saw her skate live in the summer of 2008, and she was simply amazing--but then she grew a lot in a very short time, and it caught up with her at 2009 Nationals. By the summer of 2009, she had adjusted to the growth spurt and was better than ever.
The key word is competent - that is much more than an edge call here or a ur there. It is about having the whole package. I think Gao and and a few of the Russian baby wonder girls were disappointing. Kanako did not change or get that much better in a couple of months, these other girls just are not that good yet.
Kanako just has the best package and these other girls are not only lacking - but they are in no way threats to the top senior skaters for atleast a couple of years. :sheesh:
Last edited by janetfan; 03-15-2010 at 03:08 PM.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddDrtT3qGDA Yuna at 14, she wasn't exactly spectacular at that age either, 51 in the SP and 87 in the FS at the JGPF there, but she kept getting better and she became spectacular which could potentially happen to a lot of these other girls.
By the time Michelle was 21, she was already beginning to feel pain from her failing hip. She gradually cut back on her jump repertoire from that time on. It wasn't age that did her in, it was a hip injury that resulted from all those years of competitions.
I thought Kanako would win if she skated well - and she did. I am not the big critic of her skating here - but reading other posts it makes Kanako sound like a basket case. :sheesh: :sheesh:
I have seen her skate at Japanese Natls and have watched a few clips of the Russian wonder babies. From what i see Kananko may be a force on the senior circuit by next season. All of the Russian babies are just too young to predict yet.
None of them are as good as Caroline was a couple of years ago - but maybe they have better jump technique. But we have to wait and see if they take their jumps with them AFTER they grow.
And once again I was just disagreeing with the concept that Murakami isn't special. And to be quite frank skaters progress at different age levels anyways. So how old someone is doesn't completely matter. Just because you were better than someone when you were 14 doesn't mean you'll eventually be better than them.
Last edited by bekalc; 03-15-2010 at 05:11 PM.
And the Russians actually did send the top 3 finishers at the junior nationals to junior worlds, so I'm not sure if that assertion is valid. Though Elizaveta and Adelina weren't old enough to compete at JW this year, most people considered them to be better skaters than Polina Agafonova and Anna, but at Junior Nationals, they skated poorly and Anna and Polina A skated well, placed in the top 2 and got sent to JW. Polina almost didn't make the JW team because her SP at Jr nationals was really bad but then she came back in the FS and moved up to 3rd overall and was sent. Polina S and Anna are also probably kicking themselves now because if Polina S had done a clean SP up to her ability and Anna had done a clean LP up to her ability, they probably both could have medaled and the podium potentially could have been all Russian. But they each didn't deliver in one part of the competition and resultantly ended up in 4th and 5th and that is their fault, especially because they might not have another chance to go to JW if their teammates skate better than them at Russian Junior Nationals next year and if that happens it's harder for them to get senior GP events.
You misread my post. I said Ellie earned her first spot she didn't earn her second. When Maxwell placed 3rd at her first JGP a couple of years ago, they didn't give her a second spot. So why should Ellie get a second spot for placing 4th? And as for it being "just a bad skate' Its not like in her first event Ellie fell attempting 3lutzs. She didn't attempt anything harder than a 3salchow..... So there was a little more going on at that competition than just "nerves. I'd have been more inclined to cut her a break if she was attemping jump content that was actually competitive.You are forgetting that Ellie was the Junior ladies silver medalist at NATIONALS last year while Agnes didn't make it out of sectionals. Ellie also had most of her triples last year, including a solid triple lutz, and it wasn't until recently when she had a growth spurt that she lost most of her triples and was left with only a shaky 3t and 3sal. She came in 4th at her first JGP so the USFSA probably assumed she was just nervous and had a bad competition and assumed she would do better at the next event, which she did because she earned the bronze medal and that qualified her for the JGPF. Her jumps seem to have gotten less secure over the course of year probably because of growth or injury if I had to guess but the USFSA didn't know that she was going to lose most of her triples this season when they assigned her to JGP and they also didn't know that Agnes was going to improve a lot this year by the time they had to make the assignments.
And what the biggest issue to was that they gave her that assignment early before they could see how the other girls did, even though neither her score nor her placement was that impressive. Gong also placed fourth at her assignment, with a higher scores than Ellie, and attempting the harder jumps. So how was it even fair? If they weren't going to send Agnes, they could have at least waited to assign Ellie, based on her not so great performance.
And as for Agnes, she didn't magically "improve" She had a poor skate at what happened to be a really tough sectionals. It was a fluke. Agnes that summer leading into the JGP was putting up huge scores in the summer camps, higher than anything the other US girls were doing.
Last edited by bekalc; 03-15-2010 at 07:08 PM.
However someone who is really talented can have a hard time qualifying for nationals because they have a difficult qualifier. This happened to Agnes where at least two of the girls who were at her sectionals medaled at Junior Nationals this year. Now yes I know we have the GP events etc but the difference is that the ISU isn't looking to find the best skaters they can find to represent this country. The USFSA is. (Imagine a talented skater gets an injury at sectionals-there are no byes)
This is one area where Marta Karoyli in gymnastics is quite smart. In order to make it to the US Nationals for the ladies you have to reach a certain qualifying score at a competition that year (if you don't have a bye already due to last year's nationals). You can also get a waiver or a bye too if Marta deems you worthy. I.e Rebecca Bross got injured at Classics and got a waiver. While she's not everybody's favorite gymnast, considering she ended up medaling at the All Around at worlds-it was smart).
The point is if there was some kind of qualifying score, Agnes would have been for Nationals that year because that was just a weak/fluke like skate from her. And the thing is a lot of people think she was the best Junior in the US last year.
So seriously the whole system in the US is seriously screwed up, and because of it the most talented US Junior skater, didn't get international experience going into Junior worlds. And they actually knew she was still good because they made her an alternate based on her scores at some summer club competitions.
And Agnes isn't the only case of this one.
Last edited by bekalc; 03-15-2010 at 11:01 PM.