I think a lot of people figure even if they struggle Ashley and Gracie will qualify even if it is a disappointing third. As hard as Gracie has had it Gao, Nagasu, Agnes, Hicks, Zhang, Flatt, Wang et al haven't exactly shaken the world skating order.
If I had to predict I'd put it at Wagner/Gold/Nagasu. To me, Gao just doesn't have it. I wouldn't put much money on my prediction, though. Too many consistent skaters, and that includes Wagner.
Hi Robin A did you mean too many consistent or inconsistent skaters or is this like a double entendre the skaters are so inconsistent they are consistently inconsistent
There well could be some upsets in placement.
If she just crumbles under pressure and/or injury, bombs one or both programs, and finishes 4th or 5th or lower, then she wouldn't make the team. E.g., Czisny in 2010.
In practice, I think there is no chance that the national champions will not be named to the Olympic team. Unless they're not eligible: too young, not US citizens, haven't earned the required ISU minimum tech score at an international competition since last year.
Zayak was 4th at 1980 Nationals. The third Olympic/Worlds slots were split between her and bronze medalist Sandy Lenz, similar to the split between Paul Wylie to Olympics and Mark Mitchell to Worlds in 1992.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?
I'd also like to point out that, in 2011, Ashley Wagner -- who had just started working with John Nicks -- had the EXACT SAME finishes at her GP events as Gracie did this season (3rd at SC, 4th at NHK), though with considerably lower scores.
Right now, Ashley is still my pick for US champion, but I have a hard time imagining a scenario in which Gracie places lower than 2nd.
Well, for her it was craptacular. Or craptastic. Other people would kill for those scores.
I think Ashley will repeat for sure. But Gracie's a little hard to gauge since this will be the first we've seen her after the changes. For some reason, my gut feels Polina will be third. I think maybe just to leave us all in suspense with how it will play out with the Olympic Team. I may eat those words, but's it's my current gut feeling.
Gracie's bad skate will score better than other ladies' good skates except Ashley lol
I predict a strong SP from Gracie who will skate clean, but I think nerves will get to her in the free with the added pressure if having the title hers to lose and that Ashley will skate clean and triumph.
Well someone did a tweet to The Skating Lesson that Christina Gao did a clean run through of her long including a triple flip/triple toe. If these reports are true and that kind of skating is able to get translated to competition we're going to have quite the nationals.
With US ladies these days I feel like the only stable prediction is to bet on Ashley. Gracie likely second unless she really falters and another woman delivers, and third will hopefully go to whoever brings it this year.
Especially in an Olympic year you really want your team to be the three ladies to deliver two performances on the night of, and hopefully that's what we'll see!!
(I can't deny though, I HOPE that that girl is Nagasu)