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Thread: USA ladies SP and LP at nationals

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    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    USA ladies SP and LP at nationals

    Who will win SP? Will Gold take advantage of her usual come from behind attack like last year? Does anyone but me think Samantha has a chance at third over Mirai if she is bubbly and performs well? She has the only experience at OLY except Flatt who I don't think is in it anymore. Can a clean fiery Samantha beat a mistake filled Agnes, who they hold up? Will third place be a surprise? I really do not think 3rd is for Agnes this year unless she finally delivers what she does in practice-beautiful clean big jumps. She has so much potential but will judges patience run out? Practice reports on anyone from Nationals?

    Nationals Week here in the USA. Anyone excited yet for championship here?

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    I'm gonna Customize the CRAP out of this Title!!! Frenchie's Avatar
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    What I'd like to hear before the competition starts is a clear statement from the USFSA on how the 3rd lady to go to Sochi will be chosen. Will it be the 3rd place finisher of these Nationals, no if's and but's?
    I'd hate to see the underdog / long shot / black horse (we had this discussion elsewhere! ) I'm rooting for finish third, and a few hours later, they say they send someone else.
    By the way, the underdog / long shot / black horse I'm rooting for is Christina Gao!

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    Some people on Twitter have been posting photos from Ashley and Gracie's practices. Frank Carroll is present in some of the Gracie shots. What few reports exist are favorable -- both are flying around the rink, appear in top condition, etc. AFAIK, there aren't any videos yet.

    Unfortunately, Samantha didn't stand out enough on the GP to really have a claim on that third spot. She can certainly win a ticket to Sochi if she significantly out-performs her competitors, but I wouldn't count on it. Rachael seems to be finished with competitive skating, and is using Nationals as her final farewell to the sport. TBH, with all of the fresh talent in this year's Nationals, she may not even finish in the top ten.

    I think the fight for the third spot will come down to Mirai, Agnes, and Christina, with Agnes as the front-runner due to the federation's favor. With Olympic hopes on the line, though, the USFSA may decline to hold her up a third time if she has a mediocre skate while the other two are stellar. And of the aforementioned three, Mirai is the only one who managed to win a medal on the GP ... for all we know, that's what it'll come down to.

    None of the ladies are locks for the Olympic team, although I'd say that Ashley and Gracie have significantly better chances than the rest of the field. (They, after all, are the reason why the US has a third ladies' spot in the first place.)

    My Nationals predictions:
    1. Wagner (medaled at all GP events, nearly uncontested)
    2. Gold (decent finishes on the GP, has the power of Frank Carroll behind her, can put pressure on Wagner if she handles her nerves)
    3. Zawadzki (pending how many mistakes she makes, if any)
    4. Gao (a lovely skater, but -- like I've said before -- not particularly outstanding in any area)
    5. Cesario (for a debut senior, her competition results have been good)
    6. Nagasu (a wildcard ... it depends on which Mirai shows up. She'll have to be at her absolute best to challenge for an Olympic spot.)

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post
    My Nationals predictions:
    1. Wagner (medaled at all GP events, nearly uncontested)
    2. Gold (decent finishes on the GP, has the power of Frank Carroll behind her, can put pressure on Wagner if she handles her nerves)
    3. Zawadzki (pending how many mistakes she makes, if any)
    4. Gao (a lovely skater, but -- like I've said before -- not particularly outstanding in any area)
    5. Cesario (for a debut senior, her competition results have been good)
    6. Nagasu (a wildcard ... it depends on which Mirai shows up. She'll have to be at her absolute best to challenge for an Olympic spot.)

    ForeverFish those are my exact placements! I'd love Cesario in 3rd, but conventional wisdom is that Agnes will do just enough. Gao will just miss it. I predict a fast and fun program from Mirai that will get the audience off their feet, but get no credit. I mean, if four years ago she had three UR's that are mind-boggling, you know that with a larger body and lower jumps she's going to get crucified.

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    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    I thought Sam skated beautifully-I loved her Carmen and she stood out to me. I never noticed her before this year. She showed attack, no fear, tries a 3loop/3loop which I guess hurts her if she can't fully rotate the second loop. her performance ability seems through the roof. And she is, like Gao, another beautiful looking skater, which helps. I enjoyed Samantha so much...I confess I cannot see under rotations and the obsession with fractions has ruined skating, I think. It amazes me that a few skaters are so musical they can do a performance amidst the need to do transitions everywhere that look difficult and usually are very hard to do. And to be perpetually in motion -most skaters cannot do a great program with all the requirements and counting they must do.

    I confess I miss spirals like Kwan/Sasha, Bobek's-I miss scratch spins. I miss beautiful laybacks like Angela Nikodinov's, like Sasha, like so many artists of the sport. I love a quad or two like Max can sometimes do, but skating to me is Adam Rippon. Art over sport.

    So, you did not like Samantha's two GP outings? She lacks the rep points, but for me, she is a complete skater. Just a huge 3x3 does not a skater make. But everyone has their taste. I too like Gao. She is very impressive, what she can accomplish. She must be very brainy to do both. Everyone seems to think Agnes has favor for third. I have rooted for her so long now...it isn't happening. I wonder if she can afford a sports psychologist? The talent is there, but she is still nervous. Grace is nervous. Ashley truly seems like she is not going to let her nerves win. I love Rand J. It is more subtle in choreo than last year LP and Swan, but she is a great performer. Her SP was not to my taste but shows how versatile she is to skate to Pink Floyd. It is gutsy. May the ice NOT be slippery just this once. There are many good skaters coming up. And we say goodbye to stars of the past. This is a special year for USFS.

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    Custom Title mirai4life's Avatar
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    Would love Christina Gao's breakthrough

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    I'm gonna Customize the CRAP out of this Title!!! Frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirai4life View Post
    Would love Christina Gao's breakthrough
    Glad to hear it... But you must be filled with inner conflicts about this... Mirai4life!

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    So, you did not like Samantha's two GP outings? She lacks the rep points, but for me, she is a complete skater. Just a huge 3x3 does not a skater make. But everyone has their taste. I too like Gao. She is very impressive, what she can accomplish. She must be very brainy to do both.
    I didn't say that I disliked her GP performances. I think Samantha is second only to Ashley in the sass department, and I really, really enjoy the personality of her Carmen FS. When I say that she didn't stand out, I mean that her GP finishes probably weren't strong enough to convince the USFSA to name her to the Olympic team. If you ask me, I'd say she made quite an impression -- far more than Christina or Agnes. But, alas, I'm not in charge of choosing who goes to Sochi.

    You're correct in saying that 3-3 doesn't make a skater, but a skater without a (clean) 3-3 can possibly be unmade. The Nationals judges are known to crucify skaters who try and fail to execute harder technical elements.

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    Custom Title mirai4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchie View Post
    Glad to hear it... But you must be filled with inner conflicts about this... Mirai4life!
    Lol,Mirai will always be my #1 but if not her, I want Christina <3

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Skateluvr, no, I would have Samantha on the Olympic team if I had my say. I thought she was great on the GP this season. But to most people she's CesariWHO???? Maybe if she had medaled would she be in the running. I'm so frustrated with these URs because her loop/loop looked pretty good. Moral of the story is NO loops on the back end.

    I agree with your second paragraph too. But that's like reminiscing about the good old days when you could let your kids out all day on their bikes and not get worried. Long gone days. And yep, Adam Rippon is the ONLY skater I have some sort of emotional investment to this time. I so want him to win or silver, but I just have this awful feeling. I suspect it's Max and Jason. :...(

    And good thoughts about Ashley. She's my pick this year. GG didn't do anything to show she's at that next level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchie View Post
    What I'd like to hear before the competition starts is a clear statement from the USFSA on how the 3rd lady to go to Sochi will be chosen. Will it be the 3rd place finisher of these Nationals, no if's and but's?
    Not officially, but it will be. The USFSA typically boosts its favorite skates' scores (see: Agnes) to the extent that if they can't manage a high enough rank they haven't earned the spot. There are at least 6 skaters with realistic shots at the bronze, and one of them will most certainly win it and earn the spot. I can't imagine the bronze not coming from one of: Agnes, Christina, Mirai, Samantha, Courtney or Polina.

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchie View Post
    What I'd like to hear before the competition starts is a clear statement from the USFSA on how the 3rd lady to go to Sochi will be chosen. Will it be the 3rd place finisher of these Nationals, no if's and but's?
    Well back in the old days, when USFS was raking in $$$$ for their Nats before the Olympics, they had to make a distinction that it was not an Olympic Trials per se, otherwise USOC would want a piece of the pie. But I can't remember any time where a skater medaled at Nats and was denied making the Olys. Oh wait, how about Zayak in 1980? But other than that it's basically the team, though they officially can't say it. Plus, at least this season no skater besides Ashley has stood out, so if a skater blows it this week they've got nothing to finesse themselves onto a team if they are off the podium.

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    Short clip of Gracie's practice today, which includes some of her FS. No videos of Ashley yet, unfortunately.

    http://framingham.patch.com/groups/s...t-loring-arena

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    Why do people keep talking about the 3rd spot? If Gracie continues to struggle like she has all year she will not be the 2nd place finisher at Nationals. She might make the team but even that is not a given but someone who skates clean will pass her up if she skates like she did in SLC or NHK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Why do people keep talking about the 3rd spot? If Gracie continues to struggle like she has all year she will not be the 2nd place finisher at Nationals. She might make the team but even that is not a given but someone who skates clean will pass her up if she skates like she did in SLC or NHK.
    Who's gonna beat her? Zawadski? Mirai? Cesario? Gao? I just LOL at every one.

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