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Thread: 2018-19 U.S. Ladies' figure skating

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    #СердцемСЗагитовой / #TeamTutberidze Spirals for Miles's Avatar
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    2018-19 U.S. Ladies' figure skating

    For the first time since 2013, the US ladies only have 2 spots for Worlds next year...

    Big questions:
    1. Is Ashley Wagner retiring? UNSURE -- she's at least sitting out the GP.
    2. Is Mirai Nagasu retiring? UNSURE -- she's at least sitting out the GP.
    3. What's up with Karen's boots? No news...
    4. How is Polina's recovery from injury looking? No news... but she was just in Russia sightseeing where her mother grew up! Haven't heard about training.
    5. Does Starr have her Lutz back? Sort of? It was 3Lze< at Asian Open
    6. Will there be any coaching changes? Ting Cui has left Vincent, currently coachless / has a coach but hasn't announced who it is? Karen Chen might be with Alex...

    New questions:
    1. How will Gracie look?
    2. How will Ting and Karen look with new coaches?
    3. Are there any dark horses?

    GP assignments:
    Bradie Tennell: Skate America, Internationaux de France
    Mariah Bell: NHK Trophy, Skate Canada
    Karen Chen: Grand Prix Finland, Rostelecom Cup
    Courtney Hicks: NHK Trophy
    Angela Wang: UDPATED: Grand Prix Finland, NHK Trophy
    Gracie Gold: Rostelecom Cup
    Starr Andrews: Skate America, UPDATED: Skate America
    Megan Wessenberg: UDPATED: Skate America

    JGP Assignments and Results:
    Week 1: Bratislava: Pooja Kalyan (8, 160.60)
    Week 2: Linz: Ting Cui (5, 156.04)
    Week 3: Kaunas: Audrey Shin (11, 134.19)
    Week 4: Richmond: UPDATED: Gabriella Izzo (6, 159.86)
    Week 5: Ostrava: Ting Cui (7, 172.74)
    Week 6: Ljubljana: UPDATED: Gabriella Izzo (9, 148.89)
    Week 7: Yerevan: UPDATED: Hanna Harrell (7, 157.08)

    Main Contenders:

    1. Bradie Tennell: Bradie's the US national champion who put out consistent performances this year to finish 3rd at a GP (with over 200 points) 1st at Nationals, 9th at the Olympics, and 6th at Worlds. Quite consistent with good jumps, but many point out her need for better packaging. How will she be packaged this year? And how will her season go? NEW WITH HER: 3Lz-3Lo combination

    2. Mirai Nagasu: If she doesn't retire, Mirai with a more consistent 3A could do well, if she works on getting her URs under control. They were a lot better this year, but once you have that reputation, it's really hard to get questionable ones called and even fully-rotated ones are often called.

    3. Karen Chen: Karen has all of it, except for the jumps. Her jumps are huge but her delayed rotation is a problem and she gets a lot of UR calls, even at home. If she can get that fixed, she'll be good, but first she needs to sort out her boot issues.

    4. Mariah Bell: Mariah finished 12th at Worlds, just as she did last year, but with 13 less points than last year. She's a well-rounded skater but quite inconsistent, and with only two spots, I think it's doubtful she'll end up at Worlds again unless both Nagasu and Wagner retire. However, if Wagner and Rippon retire, she could become Raf's number two behind Nathan Chen, and that could help her a lot.

    Other contenders:

    1. Ashley Wagner: If she doesn't retire, Ashley needs to fix her jumps. Chronically URed, her jumps also don't have the quality that gets great GOE. Competing internationally only once this season, she earned a 183, which might have been enough for a GP podium in the weakest field last season but won't cut it for this. She's guaranteed a GP spot by being 15th on the WS list, but that was with this season's WS calculations. Once they switch, she might move out of the top 24 considering that her best season, 2015-2016, won't count for anything, and her worst season, 2017-2018, counts for 100%. Her lower domestic PCS points to the USFSA being kind of tired with her, and her PCS was always her moneymaker once others caught up with the tech.

    2. Starr Andrews: Starr's a good skater with a competitive mindset, but she's coming back from injury and doesn't have her Lutz back yet. Without it, she can't really be competitive among the top ladies, but she's a good middle-ranked skater currently, placing 6th at 4CC in 2018 and at Nationals in 2018. I see a lot of room for her to move up. NEW FOR HER: a sort-of lutz and a good short at Asian Open, but a disastrous free. Still going for the 3A though.

    3. Ting Cui: We don't know if Ting's moving up yet, so that's why she's here. If she does, I can see her being a top challenger for the second spot at Worlds. Her junior worlds score, even with her fluke fall in the free, was only 3pts less than what Wagner as a seasoned veteran, got at a senior competition. We don't know how she'll deal with the media pressure, but she seems to be a sensible girl, and I see a lot of promise in her.

    Juniors:

    1. Emmy Ma: Emmy needs to move up, but it's hard when she still doesn't have all her triples (missing the 3T) Everything else is divine, but it's hard to be competitive without all the triples or a 3-3. Plus, the jumps she does have are often URed. I don't see much of a future for her without the key jumps, especially considering she placed 19th at JWC.

    2. Pooja Kalyan: I think Pooja's often underappreciated. She won the silver medal at the junior nationals behind Alysa Liu, but wasn't sent to JWC because she didn't have the minimums at the time. She later earned them at the Bavarian Open. Her goal should be to make it to the JGP and to skate respectably there, which she's definitely capable of.

    3. Hanna Harrell: Hanna didn't have the best nationals, and so wasn't sent to JWC, but she's one of the most talented juniors we have, as she's got a 3-3 and skates with several rippon-ed jumps. She needs a better competitive mindset, but she's got all of the goods to be successful, especially if Ting moves up. NEW WITH HER: She's posted some 3-3-3-3 combos

    Novices:

    1. Alysa Liu: This girl has a bright future! She's not eligible for the JGP until 2019-2020 but has already won junior nationals, and there's a video of her working on a 3A. She's got an almost-fully backloaded free and definitely has the technical goods to compete with the Japanese and Russian girls. Next season, she could technically compete as a senior at Nationals but I don't think she will considering she'll be just 13 then. Still, she's one of our top talents, and we need to nurture it, not squander it the way we did with others... NEW WITH HER: Youngest lady to land the 3A in international competition! And I've heard she's been working on the 4Lz

    Anyone I missed? thoughts for next season?

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    “I solemnly swear I’m up to no good” Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    The year of Mariah Bell is upon us

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Oh and Alysa Liu! quarter off 3a I saw! Amazing. Hope she's sent to Asian Trophy again. We have to wait one more year to see her on JGP

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    #Bless this mess likevelvet's Avatar
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    I’m excited about Pooja. In fact, does she have a fan fest yet....? I should make her one.

  5. #5
    Can I give you some advice? Skate better. AshWagsFan's Avatar
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    My thoughts on US ladies:

    I think unless Ashley makes a big change (such as coach or diet/training routine) she may be a goner. She could go to Tom Z for jump help, and stick with Raf for packaging and Shae-Lynn for choreo, but that seems complicated. If Adam were to retire and she kept going, she may get more attention from Raf, but will it help her?

    I think Mirai should stick around. She’s finally starting to get her jumps a litttle cleaner (although not consistent) so I think If she can stick things out like she did over the last cycle, she can become a contender once again with the axel.

    Bradie seems to be our biggest hope. Nice jumps, not the choreo maturity yet, but it will come. I just hope she mentally is as strong as she says she is throughout the rest of her career.

    Karen needs to leave Tammy. I know that will be hard for her, but sometimes in order to succeed people need to make difficult decisions. She needs a jump specialist because she has the artistry, so I would suggest a Audrey Wesigier or Frank Carroll to help with the urs.

    Mariah needs a new sports psychologist. She has EVERYTHING she needs to succeed, just more consistency and fighting spirit. I think Ashley sticking around In the rink can help her competitive mindset, but that may not happen. She also needs to focus on artistry full time with a choreographer on site.

    Alysia Liu! Amazing jumps, I just hope she can keep them as she matures.

    That’s about it, i hope it didn’t rant for too long!

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    I opened this thread thinking it was last year’s... and was like l, “what happened to all the posts?”. Cannot believe the season is over and we are getting ready to talk about the next!

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    Gotta keep Polina and her health question mark in there until we hear otherwise. The last time she was interviewed about it, her plan was to keep going to college and train full-time afterwards if her foot allowed it. So she hasn't said she's retiring, but Polina doesn't say much. Remember, she's only 19.

    Starr Andrews has star quality and poise, but it's not just the lutz that's missing--her edges aren't very edgy. Also, she's only 4'8"--I wouldn't rule out a late growth spurt doing the things growth spurts do. That said, if everything falls into place, Starr has charisma to be, yes, a star.

    Pooja's lovely, fingers crossed for her and Ting (love Ting's jumps--it's like she's floating).

    I know they're ranked differently, but I put Amber and Mariah in the same category--loads of talent, but consistent in an inability to deliver when under pressure.

    As for Karen Chen: Quit looking for things to blame and just focus on fixing what needs fixing. Go after those under-rotations with a jump coach. Apologize to your crazy skate maker if he makes the only skates that work for you. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet. Quit second-guessing everything--if the choreography seems like a misfire, don't wait until two weeks before competition to change it. That's what the summer is for. Develop a trusting relationship with a choreographer who gets that you need to bring your own ideas to the table, but can work with you and build your vocabulary. Make sure that you respect your coach and then make sure you're listening to him or her.

    Mirai: Hey, the 3-A is awesome, but remember when you skated with joy and expression? You've shown the world that you're an awesome jumper, now bring back the artistry you once had. And stop dumping choreography.

    Bradie: you have your own thread. Congratulations.

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    #СердцемСЗагитовой / #TeamTutberidze Spirals for Miles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by likevelvet View Post
    I’m excited about Pooja. In fact, does she have a fan fest yet....? I should make her one.
    PLEASE do!! 🤩🤩

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    I'm looking mostly at the under 16 ladies as the ones that will need to step up if the US is to start moving up again unless Karen gets it together since she does have everything else to be a top 5 skater in the world. Mariah Bell isn't the answer and Mirai has about hit her limits to what she can do and lets face it besides the 3axel she doesn't have much else to her skating to make her a contender as for Bradie i find her to be a placeholder for the US Ladies until someone more talented comes along who can take over. The key is finding someone who can move up like Ashley did then someone like Bradie could be that solid 2nd skater good enough to help bring back that 3rd spot. Bradie did all she could but the other two US ladies weren't good enough.

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    I think Wagner will retire? Or maybe take a hiatus and comeback later? Mirai will stick around and i hope she can work on her 3A again this summer (its not good as seen in Worlds practice) her UR is less chronic now and i hope she will lost that UR reputation that she have. Tennell will be #1 US lady for awhile? Unless Mirai get consistent 3A and not popping/falling too much. Mariah Bell and Karen i see not going anywhere but not regressing too. More like staying there. Mariah Bell need consistency and better programs and Karen need rework on her jumps and getting consistency to land it. Actually at start of 17/18 season she seemed more consistent than ever tbh, she land all her jumps in her summer comp but when CS start she messed up and continue throughout the season.... Starr has big potential since she's not often bombing even though not thes most consistent skater. I hope she get her lutz back and had decent showing in summer comps. Ting i hope stay in JGP and getting to JGPF (tough but do-able). Pooja also can get JGP podium like Emmy did. I hope our junior can get more consistent and delivers in JGP, like Hanna Harell, the other Hanna(?) also Kaitlyn, Emmy, etc are good skaters but often failed to deliver

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    I don't think Ashley or Mirai will retire, but I don't think either will be at the next Olympics. I don't know what is up with Karen's boots, but they've been problematic for too long with no resolution. Mariah needs more consistency. Her jumps are great when they're on, but when they aren't it isn't pretty. I'm excited to see what this quad will bring, especially with the juniors and novices coming up. I'm also still not ready to give up on Gracie and will be keeping her on my radar.

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    If Bradie can pull a 95-96 Michelle Kwan-like transformation, she will have real potential for int’l podiums.
    I love Karen’s skating, but girl needs to get boots in order and fix jumps.
    Mariah needs some mental gymnastics training.
    Starr needs a couple years and she could be something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brianne627 View Post
    If Bradie can pull a 95-96 Michelle Kwan-like transformation, she will have real potential for int’l podiums.
    This is what I'm hoping for. Of all the top US women, I feel like we've seen the least from Bradie as far as maximizing her artistic potential. Two great programs should help her close the PCS gap with some of the stronger women internationally.

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    Tripping on the Podium princessalica's Avatar
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    I haven’t given up on gracie yet either. In the grand scheme of things it’s only been a few months since she was tweeting about wanting to compete. I was to see the up and comers fighting and proving their mettle, but I don’t think Gracie’s story is over. Not until she says she’s retired.

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    Bona Fide Member yoloaxel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by princessalica View Post
    I haven’t given up on gracie yet either. In the grand scheme of things it’s only been a few months since she was tweeting about wanting to compete. I was to see the up and comers fighting and proving their mettle, but I don’t think Gracie’s story is over. Not until she says she’s retired.
    Idk, if Gracie were to make a comeback, it would have to be in the 2019-2020 season, which would put her in the position of having to fight against skaters like Kostornaia on top of Zagitova, Medvedeva, Osmond, ecc ecc. Gracie was such a powerhouse, but I think coming back now would be sooooo difficult. I hope she gives it a try though!

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Ashley, as much as I adore her and would love to see new programs one last time from her I couldn’t even blame her if she didn’t come back. Her own federation clearly will favor Karen over her every time, fans treat her like a untalented hack and unless you are Carolina, older skaters will have to work five times as hard as the young teens. We’ll see I guess but I’m bracing myself for a retirement.

    Karen and Mariah, I don’t even know what to say. They both have such potential but it just never seems to come together. I hope to see at least one amazing skate from each of them this upcoming season but honestly at this point even that seems like too much to ask.

    Bradie I definitely don’t see the potential in her that others do. I think to get on the podium she will always need to rely on the backing of her fed and less then perfect skates from the top women. Even this weekend she skated what I’m assuming was not her very best but still solid and still came behind sloppy skates. With the rest of the us ladies so vulnerable seeming she might have An easy ride to the top at home tho.

    Mirai, obviously I have no way of proving this but the vibe she gives out is done. It’s amazing what she was able to do with the triple axel at her age. It wouldn’t be bad timing to go out now.

    Gracie, Polina, I’m assuming we will never see these women on competitive ice again. Before Gracie left she could barely hit a double and knowing now how many issues skating gave her its probably for the best that she focuses on coaching. I’ve never been a polina fan so I’m not sure of the details of her injury but it’s still the reason why she dropped out of nationals right?

    I know nothing about juniors so maybe we have some promising girls coming up but honestly from our already established women I don’t feel too much excitement. Hoping for some surprises!

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    Medalist Sasha'sSpins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadebraham View Post
    I don't think Ashley or Mirai will retire, but I don't think either will be at the next Olympics. I don't know what is up with Karen's boots, but they've been problematic for too long with no resolution. Mariah needs more consistency. Her jumps are great when they're on, but when they aren't it isn't pretty. I'm excited to see what this quad will bring, especially with the juniors and novices coming up. I'm also still not ready to give up on Gracie and will be keeping her on my radar.
    Mirai has said in interviews she wants to stick around for a couple of more seasons, that she won't be at the next Olympics. But more recently she seemed unsure if she'd be back next season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha'sSpins View Post
    Mirai has said in interviews she wants to stick around for a couple of more seasons, that she won't be at the next Olympics. But more recently she seemed unsure if she'd be back next season.
    I would love to see Mirai stick around, but I think now that she had redemption from 2014 and got her Olympic medal she may not have the motivation to keep going. The only thing I could see driving her is going for a second national title.

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    Medalist Sasha'sSpins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadebraham View Post
    I would love to see Mirai stick around, but I think now that she had redemption from 2014 and got her Olympic medal she may not have the motivation to keep going. The only thing I could see driving her is going for a second national title.
    True! And maybe winning a GP medal. I don't think she has in several years.

  20. #20
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    Bradie: Not a fan of her skating now but not opposed to her in the future. I said this in another thread but she needs programs with a new style because her current ones don't suit her. Something more mature and haunting potential? Think something like Cersei instead of Cinderella. She can show her strength and power rather than trying to show some delicacy and hyperfemininity that she doesn't have. She has all of the tools to go forward and do well she just needs a new style and new packaging. Stars on Ice could be good for her to feel out audiences and obtain more star power.

    Mirai: Please don't go Mirai! This year she really focused on her technical elements instead of her artistry and I think that she's made some progress technically by doing so. Next season I'd like to see her keep up her current technical elements (with more improvement) and also add back in that artistry and charisma too. Her PCS could be much higher if she made them a priority. I'd like to see her do programs that are more playful and womanly perhaps? I really enjoyed her exhibition after nationals and if she could do a whole program in that kind of style, it'd really fit her and work well, I think. I hope she doesn't retire. She could have at least another season or possibly 2 being one of the top US ladies. She should another least try.

    Karen: I don't really know what to say. She has all of the goods and good programs but she can't get it together in competitions. A coach change could help her, I think she's become complacent with her current coach. A different (and more competitive) environment could be beneficial to her as well. I know she's talked a lot about her financial issues and how she has to spend more time coaching than training just to be able to afford training, so I know it's unlikely, but working with Raf or Orser could help her get it together. She has to figure out her jumps too. I'd like to see her doing more jumps with her arm/s up. That'd be a new challenge for her and maybe the changes she'd have to make could end up helping her rotation issues (wishful thinking). I still think she's the most complete US skater and in an ideal world, she'd be able to be competitive with the top ladies but she's got to work out her jump issues and her competitive mindset.

    Ashley: I think her taking a season off I'd the best decision. She's become complacent and needs to be reinspired IMO.

    Mariah: I like her skating but I don't know how far I see her going. I'd like for her to work out her issues, I think it's possible, but I don't know if it's realistic.

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