well i think ashley and gracie will easily take the top 2 spots no matter how they skate. as others have said, ashley has earned it, she has the reputation, and she is the US's best hope for a medal. gracie is second most competitive in the US internationally so i think she should be on the team and i think USFSA will take her anyway. the third spot i think is A LOT of skaters' game...
think i got everyone...of course some have bigger chances than others such as the top 5 i listed. as much i would love to see mirai make the team, i would rather see someone else get the olympic experience instead. but i want mirai to skate great at nationals...but the chances of this happening? probably not big, because of the pressure to make the team. and the chances of her placing well, probably not big either, although i would love to see her do both. i hate to sound like a debbie downer, because i am a fan of mirai...but that's just my opinion of what i think will happen. but if she makes the team, i will be extremely happy for her.
they will probably hold up agnes either way, but as for if it will be enough, who knows. i just want it to be fair...if she skates well enough then put her on the team, if not then put someone deserving on there. the girl has so much talent that she hasn't put to use because of her head, i just hope the judges make a wise decision with her depending how she skates.
if she skates clean, courtney has a shot, but i think others will have to falter. she has A LOT of room for improvement. all i see with her are jumps and fast skating. and that's literally it. she gets gobbled up on the international stage.
christina needs to prove herself after placing 5th at nats for so many years and her bad outing at her last GP. i feel like she hasn't really improved at all in the last year or two, but she does have a greater chance to make the team than others because she has experience and a reputation.
i will say right now i am a HUGE samantha fan...i have been watching her for about 4 years now and the improvement has been so impressive. i love her artistry and the package has and is coming together very nicely. she has work to do on things like speed and spins but she can compete with some of the international senior ladies and almost all of the US ladies and i love her choreo for her carmen LP this year, especially the ending. i think she is a big condender for the 3rd spot.
i think ashley cain can squeeze in with a shot, along with hannah. this is also if others falter. they are both newbies but are both impressive and have a year skating as a senior already, as well as a couple years competing internationally as a junior (ashley had the one comp as a senior this year). i think both are capable of scoring up to 120 in the LP at nats when clean (hannah scored 115 with a couple errors at sectionals) both can do all triples, ashley can do a 3+3, and they are both artistic and mature skaters.
i read earlier in the season polina had a goal of making the olympic team this year. i don't think it's impossible, but i definitely think it's a long shot for her being that she has absolutely no senior experience at all. again, many have to falter for her to make it i think. she does skate well most of the time, but does look coltish still. i don't think it's her time at all.
angela has not been skating well this season so i do feel she has to prove herself at nats if she wants to make the team. i do really like her programs this season and she falls in the same category for me as ashley cain and hannah.
I think Agnes has a great shot at the team. I haven't liked her skating much in the past and always thought she was overrated by the USFSA, but watching her GP programs over, she is much more refined now than she has been in the past. Her choreography and costumes are far better and if everyone skated clean I'd have her solidly in 3rd.
I think Edmunds will be sent to Junior Worlds. Someone has got to go. Karen may not even be at Nationals. Angela Wang has not proven to be a steady competitor. I think She will go to junior worlds also. I'm hoping Hannah Miller and Ashley Cain will be on the four continents team. They need more senior experience. For me the front runners to join Ashley and Gracie are Mari, Samantha and Gao.
I like Agnes but if she falters in the SP and they hold her up for third over much cleaner skates I will not be a happy camper.
As for her overall skating and packaging, I would have to say I have arrived at a different conclusion than drivingmissdaisy. I dont like her programs this year, especialy her LP. I especialy dont like the costuming, overly heavy makeup, and how it goes with the music and choreography, and the effect it creates. I find her gaudy and garish in her approach this year. I was dissapointed in her skating at Cup of Russia. Even the jumps she landed were mostly two footed and got -GOE. Agnes's strength is her jumps, so if she is going to have some big misses and continue to fail to do clean programs, she atleast needs to complete outstanding jumps on the ones she lands that get large GOE. If she cant atleast do that, then she is toast.
I remember her tremendous improvement in 2010 from Cup of China (I think it was) to Nationals. I thought, what on Earth did Frank put in her water? She looked so somber at Cup of China that it was stunning to watch her so joyous and at ease at nationals. I suppose that 1. She was just so trained up that she couldn't help but feel confident. 2. Frank somehow figured out how to trigger that trust in her level of training.
This year, assuming the training is there, I just hope she figures out how to trust it.
Mirai should have been 2nd not 3rd going into the FS.
Imo Agnes has been held up and favored by the USFS and Nationals judges these past couple of seasons over skaters like Nagasu, Gao, and Cesario.
Beautiful jumps, seemingly sweet girl but I have zero faith in her being able to execute under Olympic lights when she's flubbed on the GP circuit over and over.
It's very simple: the ladies who deserve Sochi are the ones who bring it at Nationals.
It doesn't matter how Christina or Mirai or Agnes or Gracie or Samantha or Polina skated in the JGP/GP. It's what they do in Boston when the pressure is on that counts.