Free Skates of the Top 12:
1. Ashley Wagner - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgsQhWNP2t8
2. Gracie Gold - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU78A1ezsJA (Second highest FS score at Nationals after Sasha Cohen in 2006!)
3. Agnes Zawadzki - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jGvxPJ5kTI
4. Courtney Hicks - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk7VhedT2zk
5. Christina Gao - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dC6TRVzTik (Fifth ... Again.)
6. Yasmin Siraj - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0Rsb6UXIn0
7. Mirai Nagasu - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HeFWQROmYA ( ) -- Thanks for the link, yuki!
8. Samantha Cesario - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPoy2XEGtWQ
9. Angela Wang - No video yet. (Did you see that 3Lz+3T+2T though? Wow! -- Shizuka Arakawa ... come baaaack!)
10. Hannah Miller - No video yet.
11. Caroline Zhang - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl9oqmW7NE4 ()
12. Ashley Cain - No video yet.
Wow, wow, wow. That was UGLY!
In the end, Wagner "defended" her title, but she hardly did so in convincing fashion. I have a hard time saying she was gifted the win, though- because you have to consider the SP as well. Wagner did what she had to do, while Gold had a fall AND a singled axel. in fact, some people were even saying Gold's SP score was generous...
The more accurate thing to say is that Wagner backed into the win - or got TREMENDOUSLY lucky that the two skaters that could have easily passed her also failed to seize the moment. Only Gold did - but then, she was 13 points back in the short, and at the end of the day it was just a WEE BIT too much ground to cover.
My concern with Wagner too, is this is the second disasterous free she's had (straight). And Gold has been hit or miss all season, so giving her such PCS over a Gao... Although I do think Gold has the most potential of the US girls, so I get that they are also thinking long term.
The US system is ridiculous right now because its not even really very honest.
Last edited by bekalc; 01-27-2013 at 04:20 PM.
Caroline just doesn't have the skating skills or technique to compete at the high level. Her PCS have not matured, and she is still skating extremely slowly, even if not quite as slow as a couple of years ago. Add to that the fact that she's lost some of her flexibility, which was her strength, and she's lost grace as she's grown. And add to that the fact that jumps aren't her strong point either, so is it any surprise she comes so low down?
As for the rest, I prefer Mirai to Ashley, but Mirai's performance deserved those scores. It's annoying to read people say "Skater X fell once and came 99743th whereas Skater Y fell three times and won." It doesn't work like that. Perhaps it's time for a skating version of the tennis "Hawkeye", so audiences can be shown underrotations. Or better commentators pointing them out.