I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the improvement in Caroline’s jumps. She’s sinking down into her knee on the take-off and getting up into the air instead of barely clearing the ice. She’s even getting some ice coverage although her jumps are still small compared to others. Last but certainly not least, she’s getting both her rotations and + GoE on her jumps. It’s mostly +1’s but in the past she received either 0’s or –GoE on her jumps so this is huge. It’s not easy to completely change your jump technique and kudos to her for doing so.
But her PCS scores are still in the 6’s (except for one 7.0 something) so it’s far to early to declare that she’s back or that she’ll be a factor internationally. Two of the top 3 Japanese ladies were missing from this event, and there are a whole slew of European Ladies who can easily outscore her total competition score.
Time to get to work on that stroking.
Anyway, I wasn't implying there was a conspiracy about her spin/footwork levels at National's. I counted her spin rotations at National's, and she clearly wasn't holding them long enough except for the layback; at 4CC she held each position just long enough. Peter O in an IN interview said that in the past Caroline had used the spins to "rest", but now she realized that she has to attack them too. And Caroline herself said after her 4CC SP that after her step-out on the 3R-3R, she was still really focused on the rest of the program, including getting all the levels up, and she "knew that there were lots of other things to earn points on." So I think after National's, they focused a lot on the spin and step sequence levels.
It's too bad that they didn't do this before National's, or she would have won bronze even with Agnes' PCS inflation in the FS. But I'm sure they were working hard on getting all the jumps solid, especially that 3R-3R. I'm amazed that her 3Z has become consistent again. Earlier in the year, she was only hitting about 60% of them in practice and competitions. Plus her 3Z has not been called 'e' for the last two competitions. Maybe it's the callers' being generous, but if they are going to continue being lenient... Same with 2A, it's obviously bigger and covering more distance. She was still spinning it out in Skate America.
Anyway, it would be great if she could be first alternate to Worlds, but I think this is already a much better ending to her season than she and her team had expected, and I'm sure it gave her a lot of extra motivation/confidence to keep working hard into next season. It must be rewarding to see your hard work finally paying off. And anyway, I cannot really see either Ashley or Alissa pulling out of Worlds, nor USFSA dropping Alissa for anyone given she was the best-performing US lady on the GP's and her stellar season last year. For Caroline, not going to Worlds means she'll have more time to work on the basic technical things and getting programs together for next season.
With her 4CC bronze, I think Caroline is assured of getting 2 Grand Prix events in the fall.
caroline can get back, i think she will improve more for next season, and work on what she needs
There were complaints about Caroline getting the SA GP spot but I figured the usfsa probably knew or saw something most people didn't and still believed in her potential and wanted to keep giving her competition experience and credits. Often some patience extended to real talents can be very worthwhile.
I remember defending Nam Nguyen when he didn't do well at his first JGP event early this season as I could not believe how quick and harsh some people were to charge that he did not deserve the spots, which he earned as Canada's Junior Champion. The kid had been phenomenal and a little patience for his first international outing during a growth spurt was not too much to ask. I felt just as badly as Caroline went through the tough two years with lots of disparaging words against her but it's also heartening to know she still has so many fans who support and believe in her.
She has shown resolve, determination, and results fighting through so many obstacles, physical, mental, and extrinsic. Kudos and I wish her continued success. It's always sweet to prove detractors wrong.
Anyway, this season is really a stepping stone for her. It may be tough to fight your way back to the top but it's nothing compared to trying to stay up there. She may have come a long way but IMO she still has a long way to go.
In other words, next season will really tell the tale as to where she is truly headed.
If she can keep her jumps stable, the remaining improvements she needs are totally doable. Her stroking, choreography, and fitness can all improve with hard work. The big question was whether she could get her jumps back, and it looks like she has.
This question I've been curious about for some time: I remember Caroline saying (just before or around her senior GP debut) that she was training a triple axel. Even back in the JGP days her axel jump was weak....so....huh???
And on a completely unrelated, more recent note: What should she skate to next season? Its early, I know. Indulge me
Last edited by cornell08; 02-15-2012 at 11:08 PM.