2021 US Nationals: Ladies' FS - Thoughts and Observations

R.D.

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
I did catch last night's coverage and thought I'd drop in with a couple thoughts...I don't really watch or follow skating outside of the Nationals these days so make of it what you will...

First, the names I'm already acquainted with. Gold - Good to see her back, and honestly the main reason I tuned in. Comebacks are always challenging undertakings, and doubly so under our current state of affairs. Clearly, last night was not the skate she wanted. I think she'd benefit from viewing this from a "glass half full" perspective and look how far she has come as opposed to how far she has to go. That 3-3 is ALMOST back! Once she has that down, I think the only remaining piece of the puzzle is consistency. 2022 Olys are just over a year away. She may ultimately have to reach a level beyond where she was in her 2014-2016 prime, which could be a monumental challenge. Tennell - pretty much the same skater as when I saw her 3 years ago. To be honest, I'm surprised she has stuck around at that level for as long as she has so far. I do remember her winning Nationals some years back, and her faltering under pressure in trying to defend, but this time around she held her own and was the clear winner last night. I sensed a sort of mechanical determination in her during her skate, so by the time she was halfway through I had little doubt she would pull it off. Chen - I think she did pretty well here. I can't speak in relation to how she's done in other events in recent history, but as usual, I think she was given the BOTD by the National judges on some of those jump calls. Bell - the commentators really seemed to peg her as the event favorite. But she didn't skate like it at all....or.....perhaps, maybe she did? Clearly, if she came into the event FEELING as if it was hers to lose, the skates reflected that. Very tentative throughout both programs and it just wasn't her night last night. The Mariah Bell I remember watching in 2018 was not present.

Names I'm less familiar with. Liu - I remember she made a splash a couple of years ago hitting 3As left and right en route to an easy national title at 13/14. Of course, as we all know, growing up happens. And she looked totally different this time around. The fancy jumps are gone - perhaps, for the moment, we shall see - but I saw something that I don't see very often, and I think this will bode well for her moving forward. There was a mental toughness, a fortitude in her skates and she did not let adversity get the better of her. The freeskate score was a bit lower than I thought it would be - they got her on the jumps - but most importantly, she held it together. With work, the jumps should return. Glenn - not sure where she came from, she was the surprise of the night to me. Can't say much more than that.
 
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alexocfp

Final Flight
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Nov 28, 2020
Country
United-States
Also 2 more credits:

To group 3 for making us forget that mess that was group 2. Haha

And to the federation and organizers that was able to organize the event with no (or maybe a few small) hitches.
 
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ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
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Feb 27, 2012
Good for Bradie. .... Tonight she delivered one of the best, most passionate performances I've seen from a US lady in a long time. Actually, her artistic improvement over the last couple of years has been quite astonishing. Her SP last year is still one of my favourites. Shame that we never got to see it at Worlds cause of the stupid pandemic. I wonder who's behind her growth, cause as far as I know, it seems like she's had the same coach for a while. What led to the breakthrough?

Benoit Richaud her choreographer. Also, I think the multiple shows/tours she was doing with Stars on Ice and the other skaters who can move and the choreographers that forced her to grow are the ones responsible even to a smaller degree. But definitely Benoit. She's also moved coaches to Tom Z in Colorado.

ETA: Bradie has become quite the entertainer in show programs.

Re Bradie's move to Colorado, she also is working with Katherine Hill and Ben Agosto there.
To what extent exactly, I do not know (they obviously are not her primary coaches) -- but I would bet that they have been helpful in Bradie's growth in performance and artistry.

I am not trying to diminish the important role of Benoit or anyone else.
I do think it is worth mentioning in-person work with Katherine and Ben. They were away for Battle of the Blades, but usually are based in Colorado, AFAIK.

Anyway, I am very happy for Bradie and for Amber -- individually as well as together (IIRC, they are good friends, and I imagine that each is excited for the other as well as for herself).

I like Mariah a lot, and I admire her maturity and healthy sense of perspective as evident in her message on Instagram:

 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
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Canada
Re Bradie's move to Colorado, she also is working with Katherine Hill and Ben Agosto there.
To what extent exactly, I do not know (they obviously are not her primary coaches) -- but I would bet that they have been helpful in Bradie's growth in performance and artistry.

I am not trying to diminish the important role of Benoit or anyone else.
I do think it is worth mentioning in-person work with Katherine and Ben. They were away for Battle of the Blades, but usually are based in Colorado, AFAIK.

Anyway, I am very happy for Bradie and for Amber -- individually as well as together (IIRC, they are good friends, and I imagine that each is excited for the other as well as for herself).

I like Mariah a lot, and I admire her maturity and healthy sense of perspective as evident in her message on Instagram:

Yes I know she is working with Ben, but I mentioned it was mostly Benoit because that is when her artistry came out and became better and more apparent. She continues to work with him and he's a genius with movement, and that is not taking anything away from Ben.
 

Amei

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Joined
Nov 11, 2013
You can, just go re-read the Russian Nationals thread over and over again about every week or 2 and you're good.

Again, back to talking about the US LADIES please...

Well part of talking about US ladies is talking about how they stack up to the international competition; while the US ladies were enjoyable to watch, some of us can't ignore the fact that the programs seen at US nationals this year are similar to what we'd see competed in the early 2000s and haven't grown like the international competition, mainly the Russian and Japanese skaters.
 

Ic3Rabbit

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Well part of talking about US ladies is talking about how they stack up to the international competition; while the US ladies were enjoyable to watch, some of us can't ignore the fact that the programs seen at US nationals this year are similar to what we'd see competed in the early 2000s and haven't grown like the international competition, mainly the Russian and Japanese skaters.
That is fine, but when it becomes troll-like behaviour from one or two of the same posters who never post about US skaters except to enter a thread during an American competition to start stuff, then that's when it becomes a problem and things are said.
 

Skater Boy

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
There are a lot of positives. Bradie is solid as a rock. Solid technicallya nd artistially. Not overly special artistically Again she reminds me of the solid bu not spectacular - Rachel Flatt, kimmie Meisner, Polina Edmunds. Amber is cmoing into her ownhough I think we all want to see her a few more times. Mariah had a bad skate but you sense she can do it. Alysa looks like she is rebuilding herself and her ech is coming back. Gracie looks miserable forget placement. She really looked sad in so many ways. For those of us who have seen the power, speed, confidence of the the golden girl will undoubedly feel seeing Gracie in Las Vegas was very very sad.

I wish Bradie and Karen well - come worlds. Karen really needs to ensure she ges all her levels and lands those jumps. The US is on the verge of regaining three spots.
 

Paulipau

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Guys, I just watched Bradie's FS as it wasn't available before and is it me or is there 3 UR's?

Definitely the first 3T in the combination and then from the last combination the 1st and 3rd jump?
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Guys, I just watched Bradie's FS as it wasn't available before and is it me or is there 3 UR's?

Definitely the first 3T in the combination and then from the last combination the 1st and 3rd jump?
I think her first combination was definitely a bit under and she got a q, but I thought the second 3Lz+3T looked a lot stronger. However, if you are talking about her 3 jump combo... it is very possible the double jump was under-rotating. Most skaters underrotate their doubles in 3 jump combinations, but they almost never get called on it.

Anyway, Bradie is having a few UR issues but she is much improved since SA. I think by Worlds she should be okay. It isn't a chronic problem, and it likely related to her coming back from injury.
 

Lzbee

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 25, 2016
Gracie looks miserable forget placement. She really looked sad in so many ways. For those of us who have seen the power, speed, confidence of the the golden girl will undoubedly feel seeing Gracie in Las Vegas was very very sad.
I don't think this sort of rhetoric helps... I just hope Gracie can eventually see how far she's come and be proud it.
 

samkrut@mail.ru

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Mar 26, 2014
That is fine, but when it becomes troll-like behaviour from one or two of the same posters who never post about US skaters except to enter a thread during an American competition to start stuff, then that's when it becomes a problem and things are said.
Likewise, I wish that same posters would appear in the Russian threads only during competions not marring those with non-stop trolling.
 

Dawn825

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Thanks for this! It's not news but IJS judging could not be more complicated or inconsistent. Amber's triple loop gets a +1 and a +5, Karen's triple loop-double toe gets a -1 and a +3, etc. Don't get me started on PCS. What on earth is supposed to be the difference between a 9.25 and a 9.5? Anyways...
she, along with many other skaters is helped greatly by the crowd imho
This is a great point, the lack of audience support probably really affected Gracie. I think she also gets really discouraged when the first combo isn't perfect, I suspect she either hits it most of the time at home, or starts the program again if she misses it.
I think Bradie could benefit from an edgier hairstyle. Not having the bun could make a world of difference because her costumes and programs are fantastic but the bun’s a little too restrained for them.
I'm never inclined to say that a skater's biggest problem is what they're wearing but with Bradie it's been off a lot recently. It seems silly, but when I rewatched her short I thought this programs NEEDS a long straight ponytail to whip around with her. And I personally thought the costumes were a miss again. I like her in a jumpsuit but I thought that one looked like a cool practice outfit w/o any sequins. The long dress would have been great in a different color, the off-white was a big no from me on her skin tone.
Mariah had a bad skate but you sense she can do it.
I didn't watch the practice sessions, people said she looked good there, but to me she seems undertrained. Which would be understandable I guess, but I hope she spends from now till next season really working with Raf - not Adam - on her technique. I still think that with good programs she can blow most of the other top girls out of the water in performance.
In general, I'm now really hoping the US gets 3 ladies spots back, and that all 5 of the top girls show up to next season ready to fight, with triple-triples and triple axels and great programs.
 

Jeanie19

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Oct 20, 2017
Country
United-States
Thanks for this! It's not news but IJS judging could not be more complicated or inconsistent. Amber's triple loop gets a +1 and a +5, Karen's triple loop-double toe gets a -1 and a +3, etc. Don't get me started on PCS. What on earth is supposed to be the difference between a 9.25 and a 9.5? Anyways...

This is a great point, the lack of audience support probably really affected Gracie. I think she also gets really discouraged when the first combo isn't perfect, I suspect she either hits it most of the time at home, or starts the program again if she misses it.

I'm never inclined to say that a skater's biggest problem is what they're wearing but with Bradie it's been off a lot recently. It seems silly, but when I rewatched her short I thought this programs NEEDS a long straight ponytail to whip around with her. And I personally thought the costumes were a miss again. I like her in a jumpsuit but I thought that one looked like a cool practice outfit w/o any sequins. The long dress would have been great in a different color, the off-white was a big no from me on her skin tone.

I didn't watch the practice sessions, people said she looked good there, but to me she seems undertrained. Which would be understandable I guess, but I hope she spends from now till next season really working with Raf - not Adam - on her technique. I still think that with good programs she can blow most of the other top girls out of the water in performance.
In general, I'm now really hoping the US gets 3 ladies spots back, and that all 5 of the top girls show up to next season ready to fight, with triple-triples and triple axels and great programs.
Welcome to Golden Skate. Post often. :)
 

Skater Boy

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Well I guess we have to wait and see about worlds. I suppose Bradie could be as high as third or fourth? Chen as high as fourth. So three spots not impossible. But you have 3 Japanese ladies, 3 Russians and realistically 5 of the could beat Bradie and Karen - assuming 1 has a bad skate. They are more than capable of beating the Koreans, Chinese, Kaz. et al.
 

katymay

Medalist
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Thanks for this! It's not news but IJS judging could not be more complicated or inconsistent. Amber's triple loop gets a +1 and a +5, Karen's triple loop-double toe gets a -1 and a +3, etc. Don't get me started on PCS. What on earth is supposed to be the difference between a 9.25 and a 9.5? Anyways...

This is a great point, the lack of audience support probably really affected Gracie. I think she also gets really discouraged when the first combo isn't perfect, I suspect she either hits it most of the time at home, or starts the program again if she misses it.

I'm never inclined to say that a skater's biggest problem is what they're wearing but with Bradie it's been off a lot recently. It seems silly, but when I rewatched her short I thought this programs NEEDS a long straight ponytail to whip around with her. And I personally thought the costumes were a miss again. I like her in a jumpsuit but I thought that one looked like a cool practice outfit w/o any sequins. The long dress would have been great in a different color, the off-white was a big no from me on her skin tone.

I didn't watch the practice sessions, people said she looked good there, but to me she seems undertrained. Which would be understandable I guess, but I hope she spends from now till next season really working with Raf - not Adam - on her technique. I still think that with good programs she can blow most of the other top girls out of the water in performance.
In general, I'm now really hoping the US gets 3 ladies spots back, and that all 5 of the top girls show up to next season ready to fight, with triple-triples and triple axels and great programs.
Mariah was rock solid during the practices. I thought-she's got this. She's gonna go out and kill this thing. Really was shocked that it fell apart.
 
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