State of the U.S. Men: Post-GP season
So now that the Grand Prix series is over, time to look back and give lots of data and analysis.
Score tracker (Top 5 in each category gets points: 15/13/11/9/7; See breakdown of scores below)
Average competition score (includes Senior B appearances)
Adam Rippon: 237.48 (Skate America, NHK Trophy)
Jason Brown: 234.18 (Nebelhorn, Skate America, Trophee Eric Bompard)
Max Aaron: 233.64 (U.S. International Classic, Skate America, NHK Trophy)
Jeremy Abbott: 226.68 (Skate Canada, NHK Trophy)
Richard Dornbush: 213.58 (Finlandia Trophy, Cup of China, Rostelecom Cup)
Joshua Farris: 211.64 (U.S. International Classic, Skate Canada)
Ross Miner: 203.88 (Ondrej Nepala Trophy, Skate Canada)
Quad attempts during the GP: Success = No UR, no fall, no negative GOE below -1
Max Aaron: 4S (2/6); 4T (0/2)
Jeremy Abbott: 4T (1/3)
Adam Rippon: 4Z (0/2) 4T (0/2)
Joshua Farris: 4T (0/2)
Ross Miner: 4S (0/2)
Richard Dornbush: 4T (0/1); 4S (0/4)
Adam Rippon: 2nd (Skate America) + 4th (NHK Trophy)
Jason Brown: 3rd (Trophee Eric Bompard) + 5th (Skate America)
Jeremy Abbott: 3rd (NHK Trophy) + 6th (Skate Canada)
Max Aaron: 3rd (Skate America) + 7th ( NHK Trophy)
Richard Dornbush: 5th (Cup of China) + 5th (Rostelecom Cup)
Joshua Farris: 5th (Skate Canada)
Ross Miner: 9th (Skate Canada)
1.) Richard pulls a last minute appearance on the scoreboard with a respectable FS and racked up the third highest TES in the the FS for the GP series, taking away a few points from Jason, Adam and Jeremy. This shows that Richard can pull off decent results, but still a question mark.
2.) No men to the GP final, however Adam and Jason are second and third alternate, respectfully.
3.) U.S. men got some work to do on their quads. The stats show that Max is the only one who has hit multiple quads during the GP but even he is extremely inconsistent, which is odd given the consistency he hit them last season.
4.) Any dark horses outside the GP contestants? Going by senior B results and results so far at sectionals, not really. Tim Dolensky, who is currently leading at Eastern sectionals scored 70.21; Brandon Mroz, who is leading at Midwesterns with 70.76, attempted but UR-ed a 4T in the SP. Douglas Razzano is leading at Pacific Coast Sectionals with 66.84. Stephen Carriere, who was second at the U.S. Skating Classic is currently in 2nd at Eastern sectionals.
1.) Can Jason Brown get on the Olympic team (or even on the podium) without a quad? The strategy from Team Brown has been to get clean programs. He has been successful in the SP. The results have been a bit mixed in the FS. He has yet to successfully execute two 3As in his FS. Skate America was a bit dismal, though not a meltdown. But his relatively clean FS at TEB and its high score sans quad shows the judges like what they see. One thing to consider is that Jason has not had a clean FS at Nationals since his breakout FS in 2011. Of course it only takes one attempt to break a pattern.
2.) Can Max Aaron made a comeback? At the beginning of the season, many though Aaron’s spot on the Olympic team was all but secured given his respectable Worlds finish and what seemed to be consistency on the quad. That consistency has temporarily gone MIA during the GP. Also of concern is really low PCS (which apparently is a concern to Max, per the interview on Ice Network I'm watching right now). However, we know he can skate good programs with quads and he does have the highest FS score among all the men. I think we'll see a better Max at nationals.
3.) Can Adam win nationals? Although he’s behind Jason currently in overall score, he does have a better average score and had the highest placements in the GP. He jumps have improved greatly in the last year and his programs are lovely. He’s also close on the 4T, getting them ratified but with –GOE.
4.) What about Jeremy? Jeremy looked terrible earlier in the season but then went and made a major comeback at NHK, nearly matching his personal best, which is from when he won the GPF in 2008. Jeremy still gets some of the highest PCS, though Jason and Adam are both nipping at the heels at this point and past Nationals shows that it’s not enough if he does poorly on the TES side.
5.) And what about Joshua? He’s a huge question mark for me. I was sad to see him WD because he actually had a decent showing at Skate Canada in the FS (after a dismal SP) and I thought perhaps he could improve on his placement/score. Joshua had quite a bit of momentum being the junior world champ and getting the pewter at Nationals last year. He has a great 3A, but he seems to have struggled to get the 4T consistent.
All bets are off at nationals, which is where the team will be determined. All this work I put in will be moot, so I’m not sure why I bothered to do all this work. I will go on a limb and say Max makes a comeback and makes the team with Adam Rippon. Jason gets on the podium and goes to 4CC. However, given my terrible score in the predictions game, you probably shouldn't listen to me.
****BREAK DOWN OF GP SCORES***
Jason Brown 243.09 (Trophee Eric Bompard)
Adam Rippon 241.24 (Skate America)
Max Aaron 238.36 (Skate America)
Jeremy Abbott 237.41 (NHK Trophy)
Adam Rippon 233.71 (NHK Trophy)
Jason Brown 231.03 (Skate America)
Max Aaron 223.35 (NHK Trophy)
Richard Dornbush 218.57 (Cup of China)
Joshua Farris 216.72 (Skate Canada)
Jeremy Abbott 215.95 (Skate Canada)
Richard Dornbush 215.45 (Rostelecom Cup)
Ross Miner 196.89 (Skate Canada)
Jason Brown 84.77 (TEB)
Jason Brown 83.78 (SA)
Adam Rippon 82.25 (NHK)
Adam Rippon 80.26 (SA)
Jeremy Abbott: 78.78 (NHK)
Max Aaron: 76.21 (NHK)
Max Aaron 75.91 (SA)
Jeremy Abbott 74.58 (SC)
Richard Dornbush 72.58 (COC)
Joshua Farris 69.14 (SC)
Ross Miner 66.71 (SC)
Richard Dornbush 63.23 (COR)
Short Program TES
Jason Brown 45.98 (TEB)
Jason Brown 44.85 (SA)
Adam Rippon 44.80 (NHK)
Adam Rippon 43.23 (SA)
Max Aaron 41.37 (SA)
Max Aaron 40.65 (NHK)
Jeremy Abbott: 38.82 (NHK)
Richard Dornbush 36.47 (COC)
Jeremy Abbott 35.30 (SC)
Josh Farris 33.11 (SC)
Ross Miner 32.15 (SC)
Richard Dornbush: 27.82
Short Program PCS
Jeremy Abbott 39.96 (NHK)
Jeremy Abbott 39.28 (SC)
Jason Brown 38.93 (SA)
Jason Brown 38.79 (TEB)
Adam Rippon 37.85 (NHK)
Adam Rippon 37.03 (SA)
Richard Dornbush 36.92 (COR)
Ross Miner 36.56 (SC)
Richard Dornbush 36.11 (COC)
Max Aaron 36.56 (NHK)
Josh Farris 36.03 (SC)
Max Aaron 34.68 (SA)
Max Aaron: 162.45 (SA)
Adam Rippon: 160.98 (SA)
Jeremy Abbott 158.63 (NHK)
Jason Brown: 158.32 (TEB)
Richard Dornbush: 151.71 (COR)
Adam Rippon: 151.46
Joshua Farris: 147.58 (SC)
Jason Brown: 147.25 (SA)
Max Aaron: 147.14 (NHK)
Richard Dornbush: 145.99 (COC)
Jeremy Abbott: 141.37 (SC)
Ross Miner: 130.18 (SC)
Free Skate TES
Max Aaron: 90.47
Adam Rippon: 83.01
Richard Dornbush 79.85
Jeremy Abbott: 78.25
Jason Brown: 78.20
Max Aaron: 78.20
Richard Dornbush 76.61
Joshua Farris: 74.80
Adam Rippon 73.60
Jason Brown: 68.69
Jeremy Abbott: 65.59
Ross Miner: 60.54
Free Skate PCS
Adam Rippon: 82.08 (SA)
Jeremy Abbott: 80.38 (NHK)
Jason Brown: 80.12 (TEB)
Jason Brown: 79.56 (SA)
Adam Rippon: 77.86 (NHK)
Jeremy Abbott: 77.78 (SC)
Joshua Farris: 73.78 (SC)
Richard Dornbush 72.86 (COR)
Max Aaron: 72.98 (SA)
Richard Dornbush 70.38 (COC)
Ross Miner: 69.64 (SC)
Max Aaron: 68.94 (COR)
**** U.S. SECTIONAL RESULTS******
Timothy Dolensky: 209.85 (E1)
Grant Hochstein: 209.29 (E2)
Stephen Carriere: 209.04 (E3)
Brandon Mroz: 194.68 (M1)
Douglas Razzano: 189.03 (P1)
Sean Rabbit: 184.05 (P2)
Philip Warren: 182.69 (P3)
Keegan Messing: 174.30 (P4)
Lukas Kaugars: 171.22 (M2)
Daniel Raad: 169.85 (E4)
Scott Dyer: 161.57 (M3)
Robert Przepioski: 138.31 (M4)
SP Scores (TES, PCS)
Brandon Mroz 70.76 (36.71, 34.05)
Timothy Dolensky 70.21 (39.06, 32.15 -1)
Stephen Carriere 69.27 (36.07, 33.20)
Grant Hochstein 68.82 (39.02, 30.80 -1)
Lukas Kaugars 66.85 (33.50, 33.35)
Douglas Razzano 66.84 (36.09, 31.75 -1)
Daniel Raad 61.25 (34.00, 27.25)
Philip Warren 60.66 (32.71, 28.95 -1)
Scott Dyer 58.52 (27.92, 30.60)
Sean Rabbitt, 58.01 (28.76, 29.25)
Keegan Messing, 55.93 (27.30; 29.63-1)
Robert Przepioski 47.49 (23.04, 25.45 -1)
Grant Hochstein 140.47 (73.67, 66.80)
Stephen Carriere 139.77 (70.57, 69.20)
Timothy Dolensky 139.64 (73.95, 66.70)
Sean Rabbitt 126.04 (66.04, 60.00)
Brandon Mroz 123.92 (59.02, 64.90)
Douglas Razzano 122.19 (61.81, 60.38)
Philip Warren 122.03 (66.39, 56.64)
Keegan Messing 118.37 (60.49, 59.88)
Daniel Raad 108.60 (57.40, 53.20 -2)
Lukas Kaugars 104.37 (44.17, 61.20 -1)
Scott Dyer 103.05 (45.35, 57.70)
Robert Przepioski 90.82 (45.52,47.30 -2)
Eastern sectionals look interesting. Grant Hochstein did a 4T-2T and six other triples to win the FS, but lost to Timothy Dolensky, who placed 3rd in the FS, overall. Stephen Carriere had a few URs and doubled jumps, placing 3rd overall. Timothy Dolensky (2010, novice bronze medalist, 2012 junior silver medalist) had several errors, including a fall, but nice for him to qualify for his first nationals at the senior level. Rounding out the group of four is Daniel Raad, who used to skate pairs with Haven Denney.
Brandon Mroz won Midwestern sectionals but not with a great score. He missed both his quad attempts as well as his 3A. That said, it is an ambitious program with six jumping passes on the back end. Others qualifying was Lukas Kaugars (2011 Novice Champ), Scott Dyer (2006, 2007 Novice Pewter Medalist; 2010 Junior Pewter Medalist) and Robert Przepoloski.
Due to WD, all four men entered at the Pacific Coast sectionals will go to nationals. The SP results was Douglas Razzano, Phillip Warren, Sean Rabbitt and Keegan Messing.
At this point, I say Mroz, Hochstein and Carriere could shake things up at Nationals, but wouldn't go as far as to call them dark horses for the podium/Olympic team.
Adam Rippon wins US Nationals this season with Jason Brown and Jeremy Abbott making the podium. In fourth, Max with mistakes. Richard Dornbush with a surprising quad may make podium and knock Jeremy or Max off. That's my guess - thanks for the awesome post!
Originally Posted by sweetskates1
Definitely Adam will win, barring an injury, and hopefully he'll do respectably at the Olympics. I think Jeremy will come in 2nd--he always does well at Nationals, and if he skates well, he's the only person the judges would consider for a medal. Jason Brown will continue at 4CC/junior competitions and may be the hope for the future. He is cute. I like Max, but I'm worried he's on the Brandon Mroz path--one year he lands the quad and wins medals, then never quite does it again.
Adam- has momentum, solid coaching, good programs and youth (or at least no known current injuries). Keeps himself out of hot water/political issues.
Max- all he needs is a re-work to remove some of the over-his-head choreo, and put the focus back on his jumps. I don't see him as a Mroz type. There's a great ex hockey player (so macho, you know) story.
Jason- No political downside, has a lot of competition savvy, has youth and health on his side-even with no quad. A great on the way up story line.
Jeremy- could surprise and be on the podium, but struggling this season. Big question- can he train enough to get up on his quad, considering his ongoing back issues? Plus you can bet he sunk his political boat with his interior decorator comments.
I don't see Jason Brown (or Joshua Farris, for that matter) going back to junior worlds. Jason has gone three times, Joshua twice. I'm hoping both will get top 5 so they can go to 4CC, if neither of them get to the top two for Worlds/Olympics. The only reason USFSA will send them to junior worlds if they perceive they are needed to retain the full amount of JGP spots. Nathan Chen, barring injury, should be able to do that quite easily. But given the fact they didn't even use all the spots this year, I'm not sure how motivated USFSA would be to get full spots. Once Jason and Josh moved up to seniors, there's been a bit of a brain drain in the junior men, again aside from Nathan Chen. Shotoro Omori looked good but then he got injured. Vincent Zhou and Tomoki Hiwatashi (2013 Novice champ) also are injured. Jordan Moeller (who is Jason Brown's training mate) did well enough to get two events, but did not medal at either one. The rest of the junior men ranked so poorly in their first event the federation opted to forgo spots rather than give them another event.
Originally Posted by Poodlepal
I have a feeling that the junior world entries will all come from the junior results. Shotoro was the only one in juniors internationally planning to move up to seniors nationally, but he WD from sectionals so he won't be there.
I think Max is better than Brandon, actually, namely lots of speed and decent skating skills.
Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity
Depends on what you mean by "always" and by "well."
Originally Posted by Poodlepal
Over the last five years, Abbott has placed fourth (once), third (once), and first (three times) at Nats.
He has missed the world team twice -- although top four is nothing to sneeze at.
Wicked Yankee Girl
I'm glad Scotty Dyer and Keegan will be back at
Anyone catch Jason Brown's interview with Sarah Hughes and Michael Weiss? Totally missed it. I hope (and I'm sure) it will be posted online later.
Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity
Thanks for the great thread, Mrs. P.
Originally Posted by Mrs. P
I have just posted the link for Max Aaron's interview in his Fan Fests thread. (It can be viewed without an IN subscription.)
Jason Brown Interview (Again, can be viewed without an IN subscription.)
Originally Posted by Mrs. P
And I've added the link for Jason's interview to his Fan Fests thread as well.
First of all, the United States has some really great skaters just to watch, and they are going to get way better, and their scores and placements are going to really improve over the next few years. I really envy you.
Jason Brown can make the Olympic team without a quad. No one else of the big guns, except for Aaron can do a quad so, ceteris paribus, it is a non-issue. (If someone gets a quad, well then, hey, it is an issue. Abbott's at SC doesn't count, btw.) He will not medal at the Olympics without a quad, but jeepers creepers, the kid is 18, and when he skates these incredible ice sculptures and is such fun to watch, really this is a year for him just to develop and not worry about it. I think he was just nervous in his FS at Skate America so that does not really count, but even his FS at Skate America, there was a lot of beauty to it. I can tell you when a skater skates really bad, it has no beauty at all. There was still beauty to that skate. I think we should look outside the score for him in regard to that skate.
I hate to say it, but if you want to see a skate that had no beauty to it at all, Max Aarron's skates seem to be like that this year. It is like he is trying to do something different that he should not be trying to do. During some of his arm movements and gestures at Skate America, I thought he had frozen so still that oxygen had stopped going to his brain. That is not him. He has to keep moving. Last year, he had his bull in the china shop feel to it, but there was also this wonderful energy that kept his skates fresh, moving and his jumps successful. The flow seems gone. He should just forget everything he is trying to learn this year and go back to his bronco buck not thinking knock down the door energy. Then he might get his mojo back. His PCs are always going to be low. Have to live with that. His TES can be extremely high. Take it where you can get it when you can get it. Work from your strengths, not your weaknesses. I think he is making a big mistake trying to skate in a way that he is not made. If he goes back to the path that he was made to take, he will make his comeback. Perhaps the best way for a skater to win is to skate to skate their best, and if they don't win when they skate their best, at least they got the highest score possible and had the best skate. And shouldn't that be enough? But I have to say, I don't feel a lot of hope for Max because he is too obsessed with PCS. Frank Carroll said, "Think to learn. Feel to Skate." Aarron needs to do that again, just like he did last year.
Adam can win nationals. He has those beautiful long skating strokes, his Rippon triple and now he seems to have his confidence back. He can also recover from missing his quad, which he always misses, and may always miss. At least, however, he moves on and still skates beautifully without it affecting him. No matter what happens this year, as long as he keeps his confidence and consistency, U.S. skating will be better for it and next year could be his real break-out year. It should not matter this year whether he gets his quad, but he should pace himself to get it by next year and he will be seriously a podium threat anywhere and everywhere if he does. The only thing kind of worrying about him is that he starting to get on (24?) and does not have a lot of years left.
Whatever happened at Skate Canada for Jeremy happened in one form or another to every male skater at Skate Canada except for Patrick Chan. However, Jeremy has always been inconsistent and even if he skates well at Nationals, I can't help but remember the law of gravity every time I think of him. What goes up must come down. When he did do that quad in the short at Skate Canada, it kind of freaked him out and he cacked the rest of his jumps. I pull my hair out when I watch him skate. High score today means a low score tomorrow. He is 28 though and the real strength of the U.S. skating is in the younger ones (including Rippon). I hope he has a great year this year, but he is not the future, and the recent past really sucks.
I think that Joshua Farris is, with Jason Brown, the other half of the super duper fantastic potential the United States has in male skating. In the short program at Skate Canada, he lost his legs before he did his first jumps due to nervousness. (That is what he said in the kiss and cry to his coach.) Again, everything went wrong for everyone in the men's at Skate Canada. The place just had bad energy. Maybe some voodoo spell or something. The decent showing in the FS is more telling of his ability. It is too bad about the WD. He has good coaches, a good foundation and lots of potential. I would be very excited if we had a skater in Canada like him coming up the ranks.
The bottom line is this: The United States should not expect so much this year. It is an inbetween year, but there is a lot of potential there, in fact more potential than in most other countries (including my country, Canada). You are very lucky. This year, just enjoy them, but don't expect a lot to happen until next year. Next year, start expecting bigger things from Farris, Brown and Rippon. (Not so sure about Aarron.) But the future looks really good.
Wow, thank you for that thoughtful analysis phaeljones! And I am pleasantly surprised by your optimism regarding the U.S. men. After Evan won the Olympics, the men have been in a bit of a funk, losing three spots in 2011 and failing to get them back since then.
I'm being a bit cautiously optimistic regarding the men at this point. I agree with you that this is an in-between year.
Interesting point regarding Max. In a way he's the antithesis of Jason. Jason doesn't have the big quads, but he makes the most out of the strengths in his spins, steps and on the component mark. Perhaps Max should try programs that allow him to jump and jump well. I saw a girl in juniors skate to the Tron soundtrack in the U.S. sectionals coverage and I actually found myself thinking of Tron as "Max's music."
Skating is art, if you let it be.
It's still all about Jason Brown and Richard Dornbush for me. I hope they can peak at Nationals.
I'm confused by Dornbush pushing for a 4Sal over a 4Toe at this point, though. This is the first season he has attempted it in competition and he hasn't even come close on the EIGHT attempts at it he has tried this season. He has had some success with 4Toe the past couple seasons; it would probably be wise to attempt one of those in each program and forget about the Quad Sal for now. It's good that he only attempted one Quad in the LP at Cup of Russia and had a solid result there. With his abysmal rate of hitting them so far this year, that's going to be the best layout for right now (I'd just move the 3Axel+3Toe slightly earlier in the program so he can focus on hitting it clean). He needs to focus on making the team. If the Triples are all there, that should be enough. Wait until the individual event of Olympics + Worlds to add in more than one Quad.
Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity
One of the reasons that I admire Max Aaron is that he has higher standards for himself than "And shouldn't that be enough?" and "Have to live with that."
Originally Posted by phaeljones
His programs this season indicate that making himself into a better and more complete skater is as important a goal to him as winning. (And that is saying a lot about his desire for growth, because Max is competitive by nature -- "too competitive" in some situations, by his own admission.)
Last night via Facebook, his coach Tom Zakrajsek gave some reflections on the GP season. An excerpt about Max:
To witness Max train like a beast at home and take such huge athletic and artistic risks in his Grand Prix debut makes me proud. While I know he carried a lot of expectations on his shoulders and in many people's eyes he did not live up to the hype, he did in mine. Instead of resting on his laurels and falling into the trap many elite skaters do and just trying to "skate clean," he "failed upwards" (see the book, The Talent Code) and in the process showed all the young skaters around the world that it is ok to make mistakes and to never stop reaching until you are the very best. Carry on, Max!
Max himself has said more than once that he is not afraid of failure, because he has failed before. I remain optimistic that Max is experiencing a case of taking one step backward in order to take two steps forward.