(Rohene Ward) He's, okay. Well better than okay but just not really my cup of tea.
He's got a beautiful COE spiral like MK's and gets his free leg up at a really good position, esp for a guy and better than a lot of senior ladies as well.
He's like a Sandu/rudi galindo. hear he's inconsistent though, I saw him at regionals and he won there, but then he lost to Ben Miller at Sectionals. Kinda of funny because he beat Ben at Regionals. Don't think he's up there with the top of the pack yet, but who knows, with all the splat fests we've been seeing, anything can happen.
I'm more of Todd Eder. type of skater or a Victor P. or a Brian B.
Goebel : I think he'll try to get a feel for the ice on a 3/3 in the LP, and then decide whether to throw in the quad. He may also change his program, depending on whether he skates before or after Weiss. I think his boot problems will be somewhat alleviated, but he's been compensating all year for balance, and I don't know if he'll have his legs back by Nationals. Nonetheless I expect him to do a series of very fine elements to a well-choreographed LP, even if some of his jumps are dodgy.
Weiss : It's hard for me to imagine that he'll do anything differently than he's been doing all year: falling on or double-footing the quad (probably the latter), and mislanding several jumps (tight, extra turn). I don't think this will be good enough for the title this year, but I think he'll skate good enough, with very fine spins, and that patriotic (gag) character.
Savoie : He's also been compensating, but this time for the injury. I think he'd need a breakout skate, which he's capable of, but I expect him to be creative as always, but too tentative.
Weir : I think he needs to prove to Tarasova that he's strong mentally, but it may be too soon for her "attitude adjustment training" to have jelled completely. I think he'll do okay, but not the fantastic skates he'll need for the third spot.
Jahnke : I think after last year he's been trying to make big strides, and it may have been too ambitious. I think he's the best full-body skater among the US Men, with terrific posture and style, and fine use of his arms and upper body. He's capable of landing the 3A, but I'm not sure he'll land it with confidence at Nationals. On the other hand, he's old enough to treat this as a last chance, and maybe that will give him a "go for it" push, because if he's off the podium this year, I don't think he has that much of a chance to regain it next year.
Smith : I'm not sure he has two very clean programs in him. His style is a double-edged sword: it's beautiful to watch, but it's very exposed, and any bobbles are amplified.
Lysacek : He may be able to pull off a Lipinski, especially with a JGP title behind him, and a close second at last year's Jr. World Championships. What does he have to lose at Senior Nationals?
Pennington : I heard from people who went to last year's Nationals that his LP performance was one of the highlights. If he can skate with the same freshness for two programs, he should do just fine. It would be quite an accomplishment for Heiss Jenkins to produce a podium skater.
Delmore : I love his skating, but I think that no matter how well he skates, he'll never get credit for it.
I think the USFSA is going to go with Goebel, Weiss, and if they can justify it in any way, youth that has been successful in the international arena.
Crazy Armchair Fan/Resident Nerd
Goebel: Can still land the jumps despite equipment problems. Seems to have struggled with triple axel, but that may not mean anything. His skating has really improved, and despite illness, he's definitely a podium contender
Weiss: Will probably be a podium contender, though he's been all over the place with his jumps in the GP and needs to stay on his feet. Of course, no one stayed on their feet in last year's FP at Nationals, so who knows?
Lysacek: Seems to be really making waves on the JGP; had two great programs at the JGP final. He was 7th last year (I believe, check me on that) so he may do some damage. I would peg him as the one to watch
Weir: One of my favorites; I really want to see him do well because he's deserving of it. Only one season event at Finlandia (it was a silver, though), but he'll probably be there.
Smith: Another one of my favorites. Had a great Nationals last year, problems with the quad salchow this year (finished 10th in his GP event), but he's a strong skater, can land the triples and has nice spins
Jahnke: Very erratic in GP, has had problems with the triple axel all year (and no quad)
I regret I haven't heard of this Rohene Ward, but I'll keep an eye out for him; he sounds interesting.