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Thread: State of American Ladies: 2013-14 Season

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene View Post
    I think both Gao and Nagasu are liked by the international judges. Gao managed to qualify for the GPF afterall. I think both of those ladies would be worthy of the third spot. But Zawadzki will probably get the third spot, as the USFSA loves her and overscores her at Nationals (compared to how she is scored internationally.) But you're right that none of those ladies have any chance to medal (and will probably finish 10-12th.)
    Gao qualified for the GPF (and placed dead last) only because Lipnitskaia dropped out. She's finally getting some international recognition now, but I wonder if it'll be enough to sway the US judges. Nagasu gets reasonably high international scores. What worries me is her UR problem, which is increasing in severity. Even at NHK, where she won bronze due to poor performances from everyone below her, she had 2 or 3 UR penalties in the FS alone. And the US judges have already shown a zero-tolerance policy for technical weakness--just look at Caroline Zhang.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaylee View Post
    But the only reason Yu-Na won a medal at 2010 Worlds making so many mistakes was because just about everyone made multiple major/minor mistakes--hence why there was so much controversy over 3rd place which could easily have gone to 4 skaters other than Laura Lepisto. Yu-Na wouldn't have won a medal at other competitions with those performances--she lucked out that she had one of her worst at a pretty crappy competition all around.

    I would say that Yu-Na accidentally won the long over Mao due to Mao's downgraded 3A. It's not Yu-Na's fault that Mao's second 3A was downgraded and it lost so many points. Had it not been downgraded, Mao would've won the long easily. Mao had the appearance of having skated a greater performance than was rewarded by the judges since she appeared to have landed everything cleanly, but that downgrade was costly. At least Mao won as she deserved to, and Yu-Na did enough to get the silver.



    Hmm, I think we're pretty lucky to have 2 skaters who can crack the top 10 in Sochi--I'm not sure who the third would be that could crack the top 10. Alissa, Mirai, Agnes, Christina, Courtney Hicks? It would be tough for any of them.
    I was lucky enough to be in Torino in 2010, just for the ladies competition. Yuna had 5 major mistakes over the sp and FS. A lot of people in the audience after the FS were totally shocked at the FS result, Yes, you are correct that Asada's 3A was downgraded and she lost some points there, but few in the audience, or on these boards from what I remember, were happy with the scoring.

    I don't think we are particularly lucky to have 2 potentialy in the top 10 at Sochi. It seems we have had 7 in the season's best top 25 list for the last 3 years (as long as I have been paying attention), so we have been particularly unlucky not having 3 entrants at worlds every year. I think any of Nagasu, Gao, Zawadski, and I guess Czisny could be thrown into the mix, could break the top 10 if they are skating well. It took a 174 to make 10th in London worlds, a score both Nagasu and Gao hit this year internationally, and Zawadski hit at Nationals. I still wonder about Zawadski's international scores though, as in 8 competitions, she has never broken above 166. None of the three are as consistent as Wagner/Gold, but they all have a decent shot of making the top ten.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Who, in your opinion, decides who has a chance and who doesn't? A USFSA committee?
    The USFSA always sends whoever finishes third at Nationals. Whether that third place finisher is influenced in judges meetings/discussions, as well as what happens on the ice, is shrouded in mystery. I along with others, think Wagners score was padded in Omaha to make sure she was on the world team, just in case the last skating Nagasu had a high scoring FS. I don't think the federation will go to that extreme to select the less critical third skater for Sochi, but influence in judges meetings cannot be discounted. I would like to see GP results have some influence, not as much as Nationals, but still some influence in the selection, but I don't see that happening.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-man View Post
    Yes, you are correct that Asada's 3A was downgraded and she lost some points there, but few in the audience, or on these boards from what I remember, were happy with the scoring.
    Yuna was plenty dinged for her mistakes in FP, but she probably scored better than Mao on components that year, given that she just won OGM. Then again current top skaters always get that much padding, and it isn't some exclusive right to Yuna. It happens all the time. I mean, look at the man's this year, with Chan winning over Ten. Carolina, the defending champion, received more components than Yuna in SP this year, even though Yuna was "outwardly" more clean (Yuna did better in technical, though I think Caro deserved all her high component marks, because she really is a fantastic skater overall), and Mao, too, tends to receive high components even when she isn't clean, more than rest of the skaters. I do think at least some of that is justified, because you can just tell from the onset that their skating is better than the rest.

    Czisny is a beautiful skater to look at, but given how things have been, I'm not sure how she would do it this year. I wish Gao could hold herself together, too, but I'm not sure about her either. Mostly I wish one of these girls could surprise me in the upcoming year by skating their best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-man View Post
    I was lucky enough to be in Torino in 2010, just for the ladies competition. Yuna had 5 major mistakes over the sp and FS. A lot of people in the audience after the FS were totally shocked at the FS result, Yes, you are correct that Asada's 3A was downgraded and she lost some points there, but few in the audience, or on these boards from what I remember, were happy with the scoring.
    And I was lucky enough to be at 2013 Worlds for the men's and the ladies. Yes, it happens that members of the audience are confused or unhappy with a particular score or result. Not surprisingly, it frequently has to do with unexplained downgrades/URs or Zayak violations or costly pops of a difficult jump. When Brian Joubert's score flashed up, the audience was extremely unhappy. Most had no idea that he had zayaked himself and lost a significant amount of points. And likely when at 2010 Worlds, most didn't realize that Asada's downgraded 3A was a huge loss of points for her under the current rules of the time since they don't show those on the scoreboard. Like I said--Mao still win overall as she deserved to, so I don't see any debate about whether or not Yu-Na deserved her medal--just her placement in the FS, which is just not as important. This is a competition where the bronze medalist landed three triples in her FS. It was bizarre. There are plenty of results where questionable/debatable scoring and questionable UR/DG calls resulted in the loss of a medal for a skater. But going back to the original point made in this thread, it's usually not in the favor of Yu-Na so that she can medal no matter what she does.

    I don't think we are particularly lucky to have 2 potentialy in the top 10 at Sochi. It seems we have had 7 in the season's best top 25 list for the last 3 years (as long as I have been paying attention), so we have been particularly unlucky not having 3 entrants at worlds every year. I think any of Nagasu, Gao, Zawadski, and I guess Czisny could be thrown into the mix, could break the top 10 if they are skating well. It took a 174 to make 10th in London worlds, a score both Nagasu and Gao hit this year internationally, and Zawadski hit at Nationals. I still wonder about Zawadski's international scores though, as in 8 competitions, she has never broken above 166. None of the three are as consistent as Wagner/Gold, but they all have a decent shot of making the top ten.
    I guess we'll have to see how it shakes down. On paper, sure, Nagasu, Gao, Zawadzki and Czisny, if they were the third member, could possibly have strong back to back performances and break into the top 10 Olympics. Does their recent history make me confident in them? Not especially. However, the next season will be a whole new season.

  6. #51
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind seeing one of the newer girls have a breakout performance and place third next year.

    I realize it's a long shot to send an unknown to the Olympics, which is probably why none of the newbies will make the team, but I do think they have the potential to turn in some great performances at nationals next year. Ashley, Gracie, Agnes, Mirai, Christina and Alissa will all be skating under a ton of pressure b/c they will know this is a last shot for them (well, not for Gracie but everyone else probably). That kind of pressure is tough to handle; therefore, we may see some implosions.

    As for the newbies, it's always easier to skate when you feel like nothing is on the line and you have nothing to lose. I could totally see someone like Angela Wang (who is one of the few who has the goods to compete on the world level) having a major performance and threatening the podium.

    I love all of these Vancouver hold-overs but I'm ready to see the newer girls make some strides...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene View Post
    I think Ashley and Gracie will make the Olympic team, but how has Gracie been a consistent performer? She had so many bad performances last season, and she still has serious meltdown potential - as I'm not yet convinced that she can hold her nerves in check and skate her best when something is on the line (her best performances have come when she was already buried in 9th place in the standings or in cheesefests like WTT.) She also seems to be sticking with the same coach and choreographer who have no clue how to package her. She needs to get a much better choreographer, one who can find a style that suits her. Maybe someone who can loosen her up, as she is very stiff and awkward in her movement when she is presenting her programs.
    Gracie has consistently improved with each performance this season, and that has shown in her placements. She was a disaster at SA, but won a silver medal at CoR, even though she made several mistakes in her FS. What she has shown at Nationals, 4CC and Worlds is that she will not let mistakes in the SP keep her down, and they only spur her on to deliver a strong FS. Her performances have gradually improved as well. She showed more character in her Worlds and WTT performances than she had earlier in the season, and got higher PCS scores as well. I expect more improvement in the coming season.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    Gracie has consistently improved with each performance this season, and that has shown in her placements. She was a disaster at SA, but won a silver medal at CoR, even though she made several mistakes in her FS. What she has shown at Nationals, 4CC and Worlds is that she will not let mistakes in the SP keep her down, and they only spur her on to deliver a strong FS. Her performances have gradually improved as well. She showed more character in her Worlds and WTT performances than she had earlier in the season, and got higher PCS scores as well. I expect more improvement in the coming season.
    So far Gracie has been a hot and cold skater and her placements reflect that (three times in the top 3 but also three times out of the top 5). You're never sure what you're going to get: focused Gracie or spacey Gracie. She handled herself well at worlds (Thank you Jebus). That was her most even competition of the season, but in every other competition she's been up in one program and down in the other. I do think politics play a role in her scoring to a certain extent (some of her PCS are totally unjustified IMO) but I have seen some improvement over the course of the season.

    I wouldn't call her consistent though...at least not in a good way. She consistently flubs her SP and consistently makes mistakes in the FS too. It's tough to find a skater who can get through a FS cleanly so I'll forgive her that, but she really needs to work on getting over her SP jitters. The pre-2012 Ashley Wagner method is not a good one to follow (mess up the SP and then knock the FS out the park)...she'll always come up short.

    Gracie is still getting her bearings as a senior skater so I don't think it's that big of a deal. Next season will be the real test though. She'll have a lot more pressure and expectation to deal with. Her ticket to Sochi is pretty much stamped but she still has to walk to the silver platter and pick up without tripping and knocking it over...

  9. #54
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    Gold also has the hardest technical content of any American lady. Her SP had some changes to it as the season went on, as I believe the e calls on the 3F were messing with her mind which made sense to swap the combo to the Lutz.

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    First off, the OP stole my thread!

    Anyway, I will be VERY curious to see how Gold handles the pressure in the SP at Nationals/Oly Trials. If she thinks this year was bad, she ain't seen nothin' yet. One thing she does have going for her though is that she is showing more confidence and more drive. She knows now that she is competitive with the best, and is starting to skate accordingly. But- she will continue to get mixed results if the spotlight keeps overwhelming her. She needs to stay in the moment, something much easier said than done.

    As for Wagner she seems to be dealing with change in her coaching situation. The main challenge for her is to increase her technical difficulty while remaining healthy. If she is physically unable to do so, she must figure out how to maximize points with what she CAN do. This might require some clever planning, choreo and strategy. Technically she is still the "almost" girl on the world stage. If she is to meet her goal(s)...she needs to step it up...fast.

    It will be a Gao/Zawadzki battle - I think it's basically a draw at this point, but let's see who pulls ahead ultimately.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    I wouldn't mind seeing one of the newer girls have a breakout performance and place third next year.

    I realize it's a long shot to send an unknown to the Olympics, which is probably why none of the newbies will make the team, but I do think they have the potential to turn in some great performances at nationals next year. Ashley, Gracie, Agnes, Mirai, Christina and Alissa will all be skating under a ton of pressure b/c they will know this is a last shot for them (well, not for Gracie but everyone else probably). That kind of pressure is tough to handle; therefore, we may see some implosions.

    As for the newbies, it's always easier to skate when you feel like nothing is on the line and you have nothing to lose. I could totally see someone like Angela Wang (who is one of the few who has the goods to compete on the world level) having a major performance and threatening the podium.

    I love all of these Vancouver hold-overs but I'm ready to see the newer girls make some strides...
    And it's up to those girls to make those strides.

    I too love Angela Wang and thing she has a lot of potential, but like many other girls she needs to stop blowing it in the SP as well. She can score big in the FS, but her SP scores are downright scary when she does poorly. Even at her best, she has yet to break 60+. If we're going to pick on Gracie for her SP shortfalls, then the fact Angela is messing up SPs as a junior should be a concern.

    She has the goods, for sure, but it hasn't all come together yet. I think it's smart she's staying junior internationally. That said, if she makes a huge splash at Nationals and gets in the top three, I'm all for sending her to the Olympics.


    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    So far Gracie has been a hot and cold skater and her placements reflect that (three times in the top 3 but also three times out of the top 5). You're never sure what you're going to get: focused Gracie or spacey Gracie. She handled herself well at worlds (Thank you Jebus). That was her most even competition of the season, but in every other competition she's been up in one program and down in the other. I do think politics play a role in her scoring to a certain extent (some of her PCS are totally unjustified IMO) but I have seen some improvement over the course of the season.

    I wouldn't call her consistent though...at least not in a good way. She consistently flubs her SP and consistently makes mistakes in the FS too. It's tough to find a skater who can get through a FS cleanly so I'll forgive her that, but she really needs to work on getting over her SP jitters. The pre-2012 Ashley Wagner method is not a good one to follow (mess up the SP and then knock the FS out the park)...she'll always come up short.

    Gracie is still getting her bearings as a senior skater so I don't think it's that big of a deal. Next season will be the real test though. She'll have a lot more pressure and expectation to deal with. Her ticket to Sochi is pretty much stamped but she still has to walk to the silver platter and pick up without tripping and knocking it over...
    I agree she wasn't the most consistent skater this season, but she should be given credit for the improvements she made throughout the season. Let's face it some skaters never get a handle on their nerves. If this upward pattern continues (and I say Worlds and WTT should be considered both good competitions for her) than I think most will look back at this period as a slow start rather than an example of inconsistency.

    When you think about it Agnes has yet to do two consistent programs in one competition and it took her three GP seasons before she got a medal, as Gracie got hers on the first season.

    I also don't think 4CC is a great example of pointing at Gracie's problems. Let's face it, from a peaking perspective, 4CC was too soon and Gracie had first peaked at Nationals, I wasn't surprised she did poorly at 4CC.

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    First off, the OP stole my thread!

    Anyway, I will be VERY curious to see how Gold handles the pressure in the SP at Nationals/Oly Trials. If she thinks this year was bad, she ain't seen nothin' yet. One thing she does have going for her though is that she is showing more confidence and more drive. She knows now that she is competitive with the best, and is starting to skate accordingly. But- she will continue to get mixed results if the spotlight keeps overwhelming her. She needs to stay in the moment, something much easier said than done.

    As for Wagner she seems to be dealing with change in her coaching situation. The main challenge for her is to increase her technical difficulty while remaining healthy. If she is physically unable to do so, she must figure out how to maximize points with what she CAN do. This might require some clever planning, choreo and strategy. Technically she is still the "almost" girl on the world stage. If she is to meet her goal(s)...she needs to step it up...fast.

    It will be a Gao/Zawadzki battle - I think it's basically a draw at this point, but let's see who pulls ahead ultimately.
    I would agree RE: Gao/Zawadzki. I think judges are more than willing to give her high scores when she does well because she has great speed and big jumps (her lutz in particular is a beaut). However she has yet to put two great programs together so that is what is holding her back.

    Gao has been a lot more consistent but she is almost too subtle in her choreography and she doesn't have the big jumps or spins to stand out. So her challenge will be to do programs that make her shine, shine, shine. (And get the levels on her spins)

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    And it's up to those girls to make those strides.

    I too love Angela Wang and thing she has a lot of potential, but like many other girls she needs to stop blowing it in the SP as well. She can score big in the FS, but her SP scores are downright scary when she does poorly. Even at her best, she has yet to break 60+. If we're going to pick on Gracie for her SP shortfalls, then the fact Angela is messing up SPs as a junior should be a concern.

    She has the goods, for sure, but it hasn't all come together yet. I think it's smart she's staying junior internationally. That said, if she makes a huge splash at Nationals and gets in the top three, I'm all for sending her to the Olympics.
    That's been Angela's biggest hurdle...that darn SP! She's a somewhat solid FS skater but she'll never get the recognition she deserves until she gets over that SP hump. I don't think she'd gain anything by being a senior next year. No one will be paying attention to the fresh-off-the-junior-level skaters next year; the lines for Sochi are pretty much drawn at this point. For that reason I'm happy she's staying junior.

    Angela has the goods to reach the podium at nationals this year if she can get herself together. Her technical content is equal to Gracie's (actually it's better b/c her lutz and flip both go off the correct edges) and, unlike Gracie, she has a better grasp on interpreting music and delivering choreography. Angela has a gorgeous and smooth flow to her movements. She doesn't have the USFSA's backing like Gracie does so even if she's perfect she won't beat Gracie or Ashley unless one of the two implode, but she does have a chance to sneak into that third spot ahead of the other more established ladies if she can produce.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    I agree she wasn't the most consistent skater this season, but she should be given credit for the improvements she made throughout the season. Let's face it some skaters never get a handle on their nerves. If this upward pattern continues (and I say Worlds and WTT should be considered both good competitions for her) than I think most will look back at this period as a slow start rather than an example of inconsistency.
    I actually don't think her start was that slow...I just think people had this idea about how she was going to come in and wipe the floor with everyone based purely on her technical abilities but they forgot to take into account that no matter how great her jumps are there is a major difference between a junior level competition and a senior level competition. It's a major adjustment...she's still adjusting to it. She'll have to hurry up and get her head right b/c next season is going to be 10 times worse.

    I just want her to work on her weaker areas (presentation, connecting to the music and choreography, softening her arms so she doesn't look so stiff, etc.). She has all the goods to be amazing but I do think she still needs time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    I would agree RE: Gao/Zawadzki. I think judges are more than willing to give her high scores when she does well because she has great speed and big jumps (her lutz in particular is a beaut). However she has yet to put two great programs together so that is what is holding her back.

    Gao has been a lot more consistent but she is almost too subtle in her choreography and she doesn't have the big jumps or spins to stand out. So her challenge will be to do programs that make her shine, shine, shine. (And get the levels on her spins)
    Agnes has been coasting based purely on the USFSA's hope that one day she'll get her crap together. Her jumps are massive and she's pretty solid everywhere else too but her consistency is terrible. I'd hate to see Christina get passed over for Agnes just b/c Christina has proven that she is capable of delivering solid performances with a level of consistency (especially this season). I think Christina got hosed at nationals this year and that she should have been on the podium...not 5th again.

    I agree that Christina and her team need to dig deep and find something to bring some fire or power out of her. She's a gorgeous skater but she's easy to forget at times...they need to find something that will leave a big impression on the judges well after she's left the ice.

  13. #58
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Anyway, I will be VERY curious to see how Gold handles the pressure in the SP at Nationals/Oly Trials. If she thinks this year was bad, she ain't seen nothin' yet. One thing she does have going for her though is that she is showing more confidence and more drive. She knows now that she is competitive with the best, and is starting to skate accordingly. But- she will continue to get mixed results if the spotlight keeps overwhelming her. She needs to stay in the moment, something much easier said than done.
    From what I have heard, she's already WELL aware of the increase in pressure for this coming season as it's already started from the time Worlds was over. I suspect she's going to stick with a "conservative" layout of elements (ie the one that was most consistent this year for the LP) and not add anything new into the mix so she can skate clean and confident. I also am pretty sure that her SP will contain the 3Lz+3T right from the get go and not try the 3F+3T (which, as I said, getting an "e" call probably was messing with her head on the combo) this season. Making changes late in the game doesn't help consistency or attempting to fix the e call on the flip probably didn't help the combo either. I have little concerns about Gold because her demeanor since she's been back from Worlds and WTT has been totally different than before (in a good way).

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    Angela has the goods to reach the podium at nationals this year if she can get herself together. Her technical content is equal to Gracie's (actually it's better b/c her lutz and flip both go off the correct edges) and, unlike Gracie, she has a better grasp on interpreting music and delivering choreography. Angela has a gorgeous and smooth flow to her movements. She doesn't have the USFSA's backing like Gracie does so even if she's perfect she won't beat Gracie or Ashley unless one of the two implode, but she does have a chance to sneak into that third spot ahead of the other more established ladies if she can produce.
    I'm kind of iffy about Angela. I really wasn't that impressed with her at Nationals and personally don't find her all that musical. She does, however, have excellent flow and impressive jumps. I think the USFSA's preference of Gracie over Angela is because Gracie has earned it. Yes, Gracie has weaknesses too but she gets the marks because she has built a reputation for being solid by skating several good competitions in a row. Angela is hit-or-miss, and her marks reflect that.

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    I agree, I find her rather overrated by several posters on the forums.

    At least Gold is showing signs of potentially living up to the hype (don't speak too soon).

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