US Men: Nationals and Beyond
Seeing similar posts in the ladies, thread, I thought I'd compile a list of the average scores of the internationally competitive American men competing in the senior field at Nationals from this season. Please note, the scores used in the average calculations are from international events (GPs, Senior Bs, and JGPs) and qualifying events (in this case just sectionals, as none of the men who competed internationally this season skated at Regionals). The number in parentheses represents the number of events that were taken to obtain the average listed. I haven't looked at the scores of the domestic skaters who did not have any internationals this season, but if someone else wants to do that and update the list, feel free! I figured those men with internationals are likely to be the top 12 men at Nationals in theory though, which is why I did this. I was interested to see the breakdown and think Nationals could really be wide open this season!
Average International Scores of Senior Men at Nationals:
1.) 228.16 Max Aaron (3)
2.) 222.81 Richard Dornbush (3)
3.) 220.80 Ross Miner (3)
4.) 219.49 Jeremy Abbott (2)
5.) 213.76 Joshua Farris (3)*
6.) 212.40 Keegan Messing (3)
7.) 207.98 Adam Rippon (2)
8.) 207.02 Stephen Carriere (3)
9.) 207.24 Armin Mahbanoozadeh (3)
10.) 196.18 Douglas Razzano (2)
11.) 194.10 Jason Brown (3)*
12.) 181.98 Harrison Choate (3)*
* these skaters average scores were compiled partly/entirely from junior events (3 out of 3 for Farris and Brown, 2 out of 3 for Choate) which are 30 seconds shorter and do not contain a choreographic step sequence, which has a base value of 2.00 points.
I think looking at the averages is pretty exciting. It would appear Max Aaron is definitely a contender for the podium, that "the big 3" (Abbott, Miner, Dornbush) are pretty neck-in-neck in terms of average international scores right now, and that Farris and Messing may pull upsets by beating out some of the guys who did well last year like Rippon, Mahbanoozadeh, and Razzano. Messing's scores had a very wide variance, especially the FS scores, so he's harder to predict, but Farris has scored above 211 points at all of his internationals this fall, and considering those were junior events, in senior score equivalents that's more like around 215 points, and that was with giving away quite a few points at all 3 of those competitions. A little surprising is Jason Brown's failure to break 200 points yet internationally this season. Obviously, it's due to his making mistakes, as when he skates cleanly he is capable of much higher scores, and usually he skates well at Nationals, but it is a little surprising to see him so far down this list.
So at this point I would say, main contenders for the podium are:
Most threatening/likely darkhorses to wind up on the podium should the above men falter, make the final warmup group/top 6 regardless of what they do:
Likely to finish in the top 10, but could place higher or even podium should they skate better than they have this fall/others struggle, etc:
(NOTE: Razzano's average score is higher than Brown's but Brown seems to be on the upswing and usually skates well at Nationals whereas I was kind of shocked by Razzano's 5th place at Nationals last year and think his international scores indicate he is a 2nd or 3rd tier American, thus why I left him out of the top 10).
Likely to wind out the penultimate group?
Feel free to share your thoughts!
Last edited by silverlake22; 12-13-2012 at 02:55 PM.
I was surprised at Max Aaron's scores. Still I doubt if he can make the Worlds team.
Maybe because of PCS. But again I realized I don't know about his consistency well. anyway..
Jeremy is the most talented and artistic skater. of course.
But My favorite US skaters are Ross,Keegan,Armin.
I really hope Ross makes the Worlds team and I believe he can do it !
Jeremy & Ross
Jeremy & Ross
( I revised my post )
Last edited by seele; 12-13-2012 at 08:19 PM.
(oh come on, like you didn't see me saying that at least once lol)
I'd love Keegan and Josh to both podium, they don't have to go to Worlds, but if they could be 3rd and 4th or something, I would be THRILLED! I think it's possible too, depending on which Ricky (or Jeremy...) shows up, and if Aaron is "off", then he PCS won't do him any favors as we saw by his FS score last year when he was having an off night.
I like Richard better than Ross but I don't see Ross off the podium/
What about Evan and Johnny????
Tripping on the Podium
Johnny has already withdrawn; news was at Ice Network this week :-(
I haven't heard anything about Evan lately.
Well i am a bit concerned how competitive ready he is. Putting on a Vera Wang doesn't mean you are ready to compete. And one wonders about the quad. Abbott is a well rounded skater; EVan is not really known for having the quality of Dai, Hanyu or Chan he is not technically superior in the jumps like Javier and he does not spin like Lambiel or have the presence of Plushenko. He is a competitor and arguably lucky so far but that luck could run out. Soon...
Even if Evan skates I dont expect him to do well. Had he been competing and healthy earlier in the season, while I still rate his international prospects mediocre (like all current U.S men until post Sochi probably), I would have given him a good shot at 1st or 2nd at his own Nationals, but that now is not the case. Most likely case if he somehow compets now is he rushes to get ready, and injures himself again, and tries to skate injured, and has a really abysmal showing.
Whatever happened to Brandon Mroz? Retired? Injured?
Wicked Yankee Girl
Mroz skated in Midwestern sectionals, finished third, & qualified for nationals in January.
Like subtlety in ice dancing
I am so not feeling the current crop of US men. Max Aaron may have the jumps, but artistically, musically and even with some of the non-jumping nuances of skating, he's a dud. Ross Miner is the closest we have to a complete skater. He has the drive, the jumps, the technique and the artistry to be pretty good. But it seems like pretty good is where he stays. And most of all, both Aaron and Miner lack star quality. Just that bit of showmanship, that swagger, that ineffable trait necessary to command the audience and the judges (who are part of the audience).
Then so many of the other skaters we have that do have the star quality are not there with the jumps and/or consistency.
And overall, there just seems to be a palpable lack of ambition I sense in most of the skaters besides Aaron and Miner. Where is the drive? The killer instinct? That steely edge the top skaters internationally and the top skaters the US has had in the past had. The kind of determination where a skater lands the jump he missed in warm-ups because he needs to crush the competition and strike fear into the heart of his enemies. This spiritual anemia among the US men has got to end.
Alas, I don't see anything to give me hope for this season either. I found Jeremy especially heartbreaking this year for that reason. He does have that something extra, but with his temperament and injuries, he hasn't been able to deliver.
Last edited by Olympia; 02-03-2013 at 08:20 AM.
What about Josh Farris? He's a pretty complete skater and I would assume he has to be pretty driven given his JW silver right after the disappointing 16th place finish at Nationals a few months prior, then to follow that up this year shooting all the way up to 4th place at Nationals, skating so well despite having to go last and falling on his quad. He seems quite driven and willing to put in the hard work to keep moving up the ranks. Sure, he might not be the most interesting skater right now, but he has plenty of time to improve his artistry and refine his image, and already he has all the tricks and is learning how to be a good competitor. I think he might be the one to watch in coming years. This may upset people because he's more of a Lysacek or Miner type skater in that he works very hard and is maybe a bit white bread in terms of style and program music choices, but get him to a reknown choreographer and who knows, maybe we'd see a very different side to him. At barely 18, style is probably something difficult for guys to portray out there, as they are likely very self-conscious.
Originally Posted by Serious Business
Also, I think Max Aaron's drive and competitive spirit can take him far. He's aware of his weaknesses, but he's not afraid to work hard and now knows that his hard work and big jumps can pay off. It's pretty obvious he wants to prove the naysayers wrong and get to the top of this sport despite not fitting the ideal image of a men's figure skating champion. He must also be a workhorse considering his FS program layout and success with it. I think he'll continue to be in the mix for the next quadrennial, and may surprise some people in what he can accomplish.
Finally, I think Adam Rippon definitely has the drive/killer instinct because he keeps switching coaches. It's obvious he wants to win/be a top US man so badly that he's willing to try different coaches to have the best chance of getting to the top. Raphael seems to be a good fit and Adam seems to be improving. Certainly, he has been working hard off the ice looking at how muscular he is now compared to a few years ago. The technique on the 3a is vastly improved after just a few months with Raphael, so I don't doubt that by next season, he may have a pretty consistent quad in his arsenal and be ready to contend for a Sochi Olympic spot. If anything, I almost get the sense Adam wants it too badly, which may not be a good thing, but certainly he's far from anemic in his approach.
Like subtlety in ice dancing
Josh Farris was actually the one I was thinking of a lot when I wrote that. Yes, he has all the basic capabilities: the jumps (or at least the seeming capacity for them), the technique, the artistry, the sense of music. But in terms of that killer instinct? It's not quite there yet. He didn't wilt completely at the recent nationals like he did the last few. But in terms of his demeanor and actual skating achievement, I am not feeling that last innate push, that fight. Maybe he'll prove me wrong. But not this season.
I think Adam Rippon has shown occasional flashes of the killer instinct. It's just at this point, I think it's safe to say he doesn't have the actual ability to deliver on the jumps or the skating skills. I ain't holding my breath for Rippon to get anywhere.
Jason Brown is another I feel who has the killer instinct, but not quite the ability, yet. He might get there, or he might never. But again, not this season.
Now Max Aaron and Ross Miner I think are two killers of varying ability levels. Strategically, I think they're the best choice to send to Worlds. As someone who wants to watch good skating and find US skaters to root for, though, they don't measure up.