Bona Fide Member
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?
I'm gonna Customize the CRAP out of this Title!!!
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.)
Sometimes bad skating happens to good people...
Originally Posted by ForeverFish
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.
Bona Fide Member
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.