It bugs me that a novice/junior is viewed in terms of being a senior champion and has no worth if we can't picture a World medal around their neck in 4 years.
It sounds like several of the ladies had nice skates and I hope to see/appreciate their programs soon.
Just watched some of the skates. Gracie Gold is very impressive, but Ashley Cain is a goddess. And Polina Edmunds is irresistible. I hope Sr. Ladies are this much fun.
I really like Gracie. I understand a lot of the criticisms but, as others have said, she is a JUNIOR skater. She competes in the junior category and skates like a junior. Guess what? Every great senior skated like a junior at some point. There are only so many hours in the day to improve every aspect of your skating; she has wisely chosen to focus on developing strong jumps for now. If she skates like this in 3 years then, yeah, it might be disappointing but she should certainly improve by leaps and bounds in the next few years.
Her coaches have played it smart. If you can't land jumps you're going nowhere in competition. It looks like it's paid off since she has better technique then 99% of the Senior ladies some of who are a mess. I actually don't close my eyes when Gracie jumps because i know she has a great chance of landing them. Now on Thursday it will be a different story with the the Senior girls. I don't know what to expect when they launch themselves into the air.
Sad to say, that is true.
Gracie's jump technique is a joy, precisely because so many US girls over the years have had crappy jump technique.
I watched the SP for the junior ladies and a number of them have better technique than some of the senior ladies.
As of now, I'm not that impressed with Gracie. IDK why, but I'm not. She's a strong jumper but so was Agnes Zawadski and we see where she is right now. Good jumps don't impress me as much as they used to b/c so many junior skaters have good jumps. I'm looking for that something extra on top of the jumps that makes them stand out: Liza T's performance ability, Adelina's long lines, extension and speed, Zijun Li's lyrical presentation, Julia L.'s freakish flexibility...
At 16 years old, I'm sure Gracie will continue to grow and develop into her own, but as of right now she's just another ball of potential. We've seen a butt-load of junior phenoms turn into mediocre senior skaters; I just can't get that excited this early. Hopefully by this time next year I'll be singing a different tune. I do like her a lot better than last year's buzzed-about junior, Courtney Hicks.
I will say this year's junior worlds will be like last year (more entertaining than senior worlds). The competition will be really stiff there...
Just finished watching the Jr. Ladies SPs on IN (i.e. replay), and honestly the only one that I watched twice (three times already) was Hannah Miller.
Hannah does everything ~ Mazurka Jump, Stag Leap, Besti Squat, Russian Splits, et al ~ and she does it with style, class, sharpness, quickness, flow, so that everything is seamless. She has passion, verve, joie de vivre, and above all musicality. The program was perfect for her; signature piece already at the young age of 15. Her jumps were good, but nowhere close to Gracie Gold's of course, nobody was, lol. But what I like about Hannah is that she has both, one cannot say she's only about jumps, or only about artistry. She has it all.
Here's to seeing more of Hannah Miller in the future, starting with her FS. (:^)
p.s. when she first came out I thought she was a Russian skater due to the unusual and beautiful costume she wore. Btw, Gracie Gold's jumps are on par with the Russian ladies imho, even a tad better, not because she jumps higher than them, no, it's the beautiful & unusual way she holds her body when she does her jumps. Jmho. One more thing, these two are the only ones I did not fastforward, the others were too boring...
Eh...I was hearing all this talk about Gracie so I decided to watch. I hear she's grown a lot since she impressed everyone so maybe things have changed. She has great jump tech but I guess I was expecting that to be coupled with some Sasha/Michelle presentation in there.
I think of Yuna and Mao who kept my attention when they were even juniors but Gracie has a lot room for growth so who knows.
Last edited by lavender; 01-25-2012 at 12:10 PM.
Hannah needs to fix her Lutz entry, but for only having 3S and 3T last year at this time (Novice National Champion), it's amazing her progress in 12 months time (actually, most from Feb-July from a tech standpoint - I saw her compete w/all through 3Lz e in July).
What impressed me was the quality of the elements all the way down. The Tech Panel is very strict and there were very few > and >> elements in Juniors.
No one who has said anything prior to Nationals about Gracie has said anything about her presentation skills other than to say they will need work as she continues to progress. Everyone who has seen her has mentioned technical skills (and that includes those of us who skate with her regularly). I can definitely say that her outing at Nationals was no where near her best, she definitely seemed a little cautious and appeared nervous (versus sending us all to the boards while she skates her program because 1) she's all over the rink at brek-neck speed and 2) she can be riveting when she's really super-on). She has focused on technique, stamina, consistency and skating skills this year (which is what you SHOULD be focusing on as a Junior). No matter how great an artist you are, if you don't have good technique (especially falling or under-rotating), you are going to get buried at Sectionals.
Mariah Bell really caught my eye last year when she skated in Novice. She's fast as lightning has great personality and has that "watch me' gene. She was having a great time on the ice in the SP.
Last edited by Jammers; 01-25-2012 at 05:23 PM.
It was my own expectations based on an article written by Phil Hersh on Gracie.