2022-23 US Pairs Figure Skating | Golden Skate

2022-23 US Pairs Figure Skating

haribobo

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Figured its time to get organized/get a status update/list of US pairs since the offseason has been a little rocky already.

I think this is roughly where we are at for now but there are surely many things I don't know...


SENIOR PAIRS
Knierim/Frazier
Cain/LeDuc
Chan/Howe
McBeath/Bartholomay
Plazas/Fernandez
Smirnova/Siianytsia
Mokhova/Mokhov
Fakhroutdinov/Neudecker
—-----
Collier/Mitrofanov?
?/O’Shea?
Calalang/?
Serafini/?

JUNIOR PAIRS (some may move up)
Baram/Tioumentsev
Wessenberg/Eisenach
Smith/Deng
Wong/Weirens
Barrett/Davis
Romero/Ogren
Kam/Meyh
Rivers/Rensing
 

moonvine

All Hail Queen Gracie
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Country
United-States
Figured its time to get organized/get a status update/list of US pairs since the offseason has been a little rocky already.

I think this is roughly where we are at for now but there are surely many things I don't know...


SENIOR PAIRS
Knierim/Frazier
Cain/LeDuc
Chan/Howe
McBeath/Bartholomay
Plazas/Fernandez
Smirnova/Siianytsia
Mokhova/Mokhov
Fakhroutdinov/Neudecker
—-----
Collier/Mitrofanov?
?/O’Shea?
Calalang/?
Serafini/?

JUNIOR PAIRS (some may move up)
Baram/Tioumentsev
Wessenberg/Eisenach
Smith/Deng
Wong/Weirens
Barrett/Davis
Romero/Ogren
Kam/Meyh
Rivers/Rensing
Winter Deardorff/Jake Pagano seem to still be skating together from what I can tell. Burden/Rounis? Did not make Nationals last year, not sure their status.
Digerness/Sadusky training in Colorado
Brynne McIsaac is on Ice Partner Search, training with Meno/Sands




Also Megan Wessenberg is 23. I can’t imagine she’d be competing as a junior.
 
Last edited:

moonvine

All Hail Queen Gracie
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Country
United-States
Have we talked about Cooke and Bearinger? Because I have completely lost track.
 

BlissfulSynergy

Medalist
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Country
Olympics
Have we talked about Cooke and Bearinger? Because I have completely lost track.
Yes, I came to ask too about whether or not Sydney Cooke/ Keyton Bearinger are still together. I would think so. I imagine they were overlooked on the OP's list. Cooke/Bearinger competed as seniors at 2022 Nationals, placing 8th overall and 7th in the free skate.

Tai Babilonia makes a good point, as always. I'm not sure that U.S. fed ever listens to unsolicited advice from past champions. I believe Tai & Randy would love to assist the U.S. pairs program in any way they could, if asked.


Still waiting to hear whether or not the top two pairs will be returning or not. I suppose decisions will be made or announced after shows this spring and early summer. At this point, both teams are definitely needed to have any chance of the U.S. holding onto three spots, so that an additional team (likely Chan/Howe or McBeath/Bartholomay) can gain experience together at Worlds. I wonder how long M/B are planning to continue, since they are an older team.

Meanwhile, it's nice seeing this group photo posted by Ash on her Instagram. Looks like the entire U.S. Olympic and World team (sans vacationing Jason Brown, and sans Timothy LeDuc) got together to give Ash a lift. That's lovely!

 

moonvine

All Hail Queen Gracie
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Country
United-States
Yes, I came to ask too about whether or not Sydney Cooke/ Keyton Bearinger are still together. I would think so. I imagine they were overlooked on the OP's list. Cooke/Bearinger competed as seniors at 2022 Nationals, placing 8th overall and 7th in the free skate.

Tai Babilonia makes a good point, as always. I'm not sure that U.S. fed ever listens to unsolicited advice from past champions. I believe Tai & Randy would love to assist the U.S. pairs program in any way they could, if asked.


Still waiting to hear whether or not the top two pairs will be returning or not. I suppose decisions will be made or announced after shows this spring and early summer. At this point, both teams are definitely needed to have any chance of the U.S. holding onto three spots, so that an additional team (likely Chan/Howe or McBeath/Bartholomay) can gain experience together at Worlds. I wonder how long M/B are planning to continue, since they are an older team.

Meanwhile, it's nice seeing this group photo posted by Ash on her Instagram. Looks like the entire U.S. Olympic and World team (sans vacationing Jason Brown, and sans Timothy LeDuc) got together to give Ash a lift. That's lovely!

Sydney Cooke is on IPS.

 

BlissfulSynergy

Medalist
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Country
Olympics
Sydney Cooke is on IPS.

Thank you. So, another split. I thought Sydney & Keyton were a good partnership, in the development stage. If Sydney is looking, I suppose she has a deep passion for skating. I wonder why the split happened, and whether Keyton wants to continue or not.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Country
United-States
Still waiting to hear whether or not the top two pairs will be returning or not. I suppose decisions will be made or announced after shows this spring and early summer.

If I were Alexa, Brandon, Ashley or Timothy, I'd want to revel in the pure joy of skating in shows for adoring audiences (health permitting) and not think at all about whether to continue competing, just yet. Give them all plenty of time to let emotions settle a bit.

Meanwhile, it's nice seeing this group photo posted by Ash on her Instagram. Looks like the entire U.S. Olympic and World team (sans vacationing Jason Brown, and sans Timothy LeDuc) got together to give Ash a lift. That's lovely!


I love this photo. It makes me so happy to see how the team rallied around her. Timothy had already left with family for a vacation, but plenty of friendship and support.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Country
United-States
Good advice from Tai.


What "quick fix" is she referring to? Any ideas? Sometimes the figure skating 'shorthand' perplexes me. She's responding to Claire Cloutier's twitter about Brian Johnson's retirement. It seems like a non-sequitur to me. I'd really like to know what people think.
 

moonvine

All Hail Queen Gracie
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Country
United-States
What "quick fix" is she referring to? Any ideas? Sometimes the figure skating 'shorthand' perplexes me. She's responding to Claire Cloutier's twitter about Brian Johnson's retirement. It seems like a non-sequitur to me. I'd really like to know what people think.
I’ve followed Tai for some time and while I can tell you she’s very unhappy with the state of US pairs. She also doesn’t feel young pairs are properly supported by USFS. I don’t know exactly what form she thinks the support should take.
I know this is a post Olympic season, but many of these pairs weren’t going to go to the Olympics and some weren’t even age eligible. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a mass exodus in my life, though I have only recently started following juniors.
For some reason, pairs seem to be much more volatile than ice dance. We’ve seen a few dance breakups, but nothing like this that I know of. I wonder why.
 

GoneWithTheWind

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Country
United-Kingdom
What "quick fix" is she referring to? Any ideas? Sometimes the figure skating 'shorthand' perplexes me. She's responding to Claire Cloutier's twitter about Brian Johnson's retirement. It seems like a non-sequitur to me. I'd really like to know what people think.
Pure speculation on my part, but I wonder if she means the rush to pair up to senior (and junior) skaters just because they're both available? (Rather than working to develop long term partnerships from novice/junior onwards, which I appreciate isn't always possible.)

You take 2 skaters who both have pairs experience and look roughly suited, bung them together and see what happens. Sometimes it works immediately (K/F), sometimes it takes a bit longer to gel (J/R) and sometimes it never really has the success you'd expect (Castelli/Tran spring to mind). Then, if you don't get the quick success you want, they split up and you rinse and repeat the steps above.

I appreciate that creating new pairs is more nuanced than my description, but I think some federations (and some fans) think they'll get great results much quicker from the above approach, rather than from the slow build of a long-term team.
 

moonvine

All Hail Queen Gracie
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Country
United-States
Pure speculation on my part, but I wonder if she means the rush to pair up to senior (and junior) skaters just because they're both available? (Rather than working to develop long term partnerships from novice/junior onwards, which I appreciate isn't always possible.)

You take 2 skaters who both have pairs experience and look roughly suited, bung them together and see what happens. Sometimes it works immediately (K/F), sometimes it takes a bit longer to gel (J/R) and sometimes it never really has the success you'd expect (Castelli/Tran spring to mind). Then, if you don't get the quick success you want, they split up and you rinse and repeat the steps above.

I appreciate that creating new pairs is more nuanced than my description, but I think some federations (and some fans) think they'll get great results much quicker from the above approach, rather than from the slow build of a long-term team.
But aren’t these pairs deciding themselves to break up for various reasons? For instance Jessica and Brian? Although Jessica and Brian got absolutely shafted this year.
 

GoneWithTheWind

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Country
United-Kingdom
But aren’t these pairs deciding themselves to break up for various reasons?
Yes, they are deciding themselves (although rereading my post it does read like I'm suggesting they're being forced to split!), but I wonder if the pressure to successfully re-partner quickly is still there.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Country
United-States
But aren’t these pairs deciding themselves to break up for various reasons? For instance Jessica and Brian? Although Jessica and Brian got absolutely shafted this year.
I need to say that I don't think that any treatment from USFS has caused Brian to retire. I don't see how Jessica and Brian could have been given either of the 2 spots at Worlds; that would have been grossly unfair, especially given the large gap between 1st and 2nd place at Nationals. I think that, given Brandon Frazier's illness during Nationals, it was judged too risky to send Jessica/Brian to 4CC, when they were first alternates to the Olympics. (Green/Parsons in ID had a completely different situation, starting with 3 solid, healthy ID teams already going to the Olympics.) Even the tragic circumstance with Jessica's drug reaction was a result of USADA being very conscientious ... which I can sadly appreciate, especially after this Olympics.

Among other thanks, beginning with thanks to his parents, Brian said in his IG:
I realize that many people will be shocked by this, but I feel the need to move on with life. ....
[to Jessica] I apologize that I can not go on. I hope our friendship will last long into the future. ....
To Calvin Lefebvre, without whom I physically would not be skating. Thank you for the countless hours you have spent fixing any manner of ailments ...

On FSU a few months ago, a former male ballet dancer said he had the same lower back body type as Brian. The dancer's career was cut short because after a certain number of years, he couldn't safely lift female partners as much and often as was needed. This is only speculation, but it could have been similar for Brian. Or, Brian could have been alluding to something else entirely, or the normal wear and tear on the body.

And, to re-emphasize, Brian wrote:
I feel the need to move on with life. ....

He's engaged! He wants and needs to create something brand new in his life, probably have more time with his fiancee, look to the passions and work he will do moving forward. This is something to celebrate. Jessica and Brian gave us so much beauty; well done.❤️

 
Last edited:

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Country
United-States
I’ve followed Tai for some time and while I can tell you she’s very unhappy with the state of US pairs. She also doesn’t feel young pairs are properly supported by USFS. I don’t know exactly what form she thinks the support should take.

Yes, I think you're right, it's better to focus on the first part of her tweet. Thanks. :)
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Country
United-States
Pure speculation on my part, but I wonder if she means the rush to pair up to senior (and junior) skaters just because they're both available? (Rather than working to develop long term partnerships from novice/junior onwards, which I appreciate isn't always possible.)

You take 2 skaters who both have pairs experience and look roughly suited, bung them together and see what happens. Sometimes it works immediately (K/F), sometimes it takes a bit longer to gel (J/R) and sometimes it never really has the success you'd expect (Castelli/Tran spring to mind).
That's the truth! You never can tell, it's a gamble. But the alternative is to not take the risk of the new pair. I'm awfully glad, for instance, that Ashley and Timothy took the risky joy of partnering, even after both of them had been away from pairs skating for years: Ashley for four, and Timothy for two.

Then, if you don't get the quick success you want, they split up and you rinse and repeat the steps above.

I appreciate that creating new pairs is more nuanced than my description, but I think some federations (and some fans) think they'll get great results much quicker from the above approach, rather than from the slow build of a long-term team.

You've used a key term: "quick success." In fact, I think that the excitement of a new team often takes over. When Jessica/Brian first competed together, they were billed as "the next" yadayadayada. The same thing happened with Ashley/Timothy. And certainly, with Marissa/Mervin.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Country
United-States
One more thing: I now think that one interpretation of the "quick fix" is not to think that way with novice and junior teams, but to instead actually support them in working through issues that come up. I'm glad, though, that our pairs coaches don't do what some other pairs coaches around the world do -- just split, mix and match according to the ideas of the coach. Having a few years of a great partnership that you've come to willingly, as Jessica and Brian both said, is a wonderful thing.

It does take me a while, but I'll hopefully get there in the end ... thanks to y'all my friends. ❤️
 

moonvine

All Hail Queen Gracie
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Country
United-States
One more thing: I now think that one interpretation of the "quick fix" is not to think that way with novice and junior teams, but to instead actually support them in working through issues that come up. I'm glad, though, that our pairs coaches don't do what some other pairs coaches around the world do -- just split, mix and match according to the ideas of the coach. Having a few years of a great partnership that you've come to willingly, as Jessica and Brian both said, is a wonderful thing.

It does take me a while, but I'll hopefully get there in the end ... thanks to y'all my friends. ❤️
I don’t know though because IIRC, Tai and Randy were paired up at the whim of a coach. I may be thinking of a different pair but I thought they were at the stage where holding a girl/boy’s hand was “ewwww.” She’s also looking through the lens of a what, 40 year career? For various reasons I’d think that wouldn’t be possible for most people.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Country
United-States
I don’t know though because IIRC, Tai and Randy were paired up at the whim of a coach. I may be thinking of a different pair but I thought they were at the stage where holding a girl/boy’s hand was “ewwww.”

LOL. Yeah, so were Meryl and Charlie. And I think every young pair or dance team almost has to be teamed at the suggestion of a coach. Re-thinking this whole question, I'm not sure what USFS could really do. The way the system is in North America, if any team wants to split, there's not much any coach, parent, or outside party can do. It's a voluntary sport, not a job.

The flip side of this is that my new absolutely loved loved ID team, Bratti/Somerville, came after the end of former partnerships. They're just brilliant, and their unison makes them seem as if they've skated together forever, not less than a year. Sometimes you just have to find something that works better. (Not such a bad motto for life in general.) And I'm so happy for Ashley and Tim's journey together.

"You got to ... know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." 🎸
 

moonvine

All Hail Queen Gracie
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Country
United-States
LOL. Yeah, so were Meryl and Charlie. And I think every young pair or dance team almost has to be teamed at the suggestion of a coach. Re-thinking this whole question, I'm not sure what USFS could really do. The way the system is in North America, if any team wants to split, there's not much any coach, parent, or outside party can do. It's a voluntary sport, not a job.

The flip side of this is that my new absolutely loved loved ID team, Bratti/Somerville, came after the end of former partnerships. They're just brilliant, and their unison makes them seem as if they've skated together forever, not less than a year. Sometimes you just have to find something that works better. (Not such a bad motto for life in general.) And I'm so happy for Ashley and Tim's journey together.

"You got to ... know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." 🎸
I was just thinking of how much more stable ID is than are pairs, at least in the US. Although there are some splits, there are far fewer and it’s much more normal for teams to be together for many years.
 
Top