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RockTheTassel
03-28-2010, 12:32 AM
After these Olympics and Worlds, the writing's on the wall if she chooses to continue. She should run straight to college full-time. Saying that she's still clearly the #2 American lady going forward is not true; with two spots next year and one ostensibly going to Mirai, I don't see Rachael being gifted the PCS to grab the second one with the junior talent coming up-- Gao, Agnes-- and the more naturally talented and potentially higher-scoring Ashley Wagner.

Sorry to harp on this again, but Rachael still is the most consistent out of the skaters you've mentioned. As far as her scoring, she receives fairly high marks. In fact, she was overscored at nationals, in my opinion. Even though I like Ashley a lot more, Rachael has done much better in competition.

As far as Gao and Agnes, I definitely think they have the potential to overtake her. But at this time, they don't rank higher than Rachael.

judgejudy27
03-28-2010, 12:35 AM
After these Olympics and Worlds, the writing's on the wall if she chooses to continue. She should run straight to college full-time. Saying that she's still clearly the #2 American lady going forward is not true; with two spots next year and one ostensibly going to Mirai, I don't see Rachael being gifted the PCS to grab the second one with the junior talent coming up-- Gao, Agnes-- and the more naturally talented and potentially higher-scoring Ashley Wagner.

I dont think Wagner has yet done anything to prove she is better than Flatt. She could be better than Flatt but hasnt been yet other than the 2008 Nationals where I think Wagner was robbed majorly. Gao is definitely not close to Flatt in ability right now. Agnes has alot of potential but who knows how she will be viewed as a new senior her first year.

Louis
03-28-2010, 12:41 AM
Consistency counts for nothing when you have to be perfect to get even a semi-decent place. Rachael cannot afford even the slightest mistake or reduction in content to stay even top six. She is not a "big GOE" skater, and it's not going to be easy for her to become one.

She skated perfect Olympic programs and ended up 7th. At Worlds, ninth with only one real mistake over both programs. Anyone else with that content in either event would have been on the podium for sure. That's very telling in how the judges perceive her skating overall.

I've been trying to decide for a couple of years if Rachael was a Sarah Hughes in the making or a Tonia Kwiatkowski in the making. This seals the deal for me; she's a Tonia, the nice, smart girl who can be sent to Worlds if there are no better options, but the girl who's never going to win a medal and will be passed over in a second if a skater with a real chance comes along.

I like Rachael's skating but don't see much hope in continuing for any reason other than sheer love of the sport.

RockTheTassel
03-28-2010, 12:48 AM
She skated perfect Olympic programs and ended up 7th. At Worlds, ninth with only one real mistake over both programs. Anyone else with that content in either event would have been on the podium for sure. That's very telling in how the judges perceive her skating overall.

Her Olympic free skate wasn't perfect - two of her jumps were downgraded. At Worlds, she didn't do her planned triple/triple in either program and popped one of her jumps.

BlueRidge
03-28-2010, 12:50 AM
Is Agnes expected to skate senior next season? I thought she'd do a year on the JGP?

Dr.Siouxs
03-28-2010, 02:01 AM
Is Agnes expected to skate senior next season? I thought she'd do a year on the JGP?

I would expect her to go for Senior nationals as she's already won Juniors. IIRC, if she's able to qualify for the JGP Final, she automatically secures a berth at Senior nationals. (That's the way it used to be anyway..:shuffle:)

reese
03-28-2010, 02:05 AM
Sorry to harp on this again, but Rachael still is the most consistent out of the skaters you've mentioned. As far as her scoring, she receives fairly high marks. In fact, she was overscored at nationals, in my opinion. Even though I like Ashley a lot more, Rachael has done much better in competition.

As far as Gao and Agnes, I definitely think they have the potential to overtake her. But at this time, they don't rank higher than Rachael.

Absolutely Rachael is the most consistent, but the USFSA has no reason to hold her up anymore with PCS marks that she doesn't deserve-- i.e. this year's Nationals. Sure, she can stick around as long as she wants and count the points on the triples (spins aren't good) and do moderately well-- hang around 7th or 6th in the World for the next two years, maybe-- but she's not a champion. She's only a default contender-- other people make a lot of mistakes; she sneaks onto the podium. Her skating skills and PCS marks compared to the other top skaters should be a lot lower if we're being honest which, it seems, the judges certainly have started to do at these Olympics and Worlds. She might even get the second spot at Worlds next year if she continues competing, but USFSA should be pushing future contenders over the next two years. Give the kids the opportunities to gain experience and not hold up with PCS someone like Rachael who isn't headed anywhere. USFSA don't want another quadrennium like this past one.

I see Rachael as the Emily Hughes of the next four years. (And I love Emily!) I just think moving on to college full-time and having the whole experience when you're actually college-age is a great opportunity for Rachael compared to what competitive skating most likely holds for her over the next four years.

Yazmeen
03-28-2010, 02:13 AM
If she is going to continue to skate, she needs to commit to working on her skating fulltime and being something other than "automatic/consistent." Her "consistency" helped here nowhere but Nationals this year, and she is now suffering downgrades on top of the fact that she is about as artistic and exciting as watching paint dry.

She also needs to to improve her overall look - no, I'm NOT saying she's fat, but between her current body shape and her godawful costume choices, she needs to make some improvements. I skate and I'm in a skating club and have heard many young skaters I skate with express being perplexed as to how, despite her technical prowess, she appears to have little muscle definition (and yes, some of them think she's "fat," which she's not). Basically, when she doesn't hit dead on jumps, she doesn't look good at all. There is some serious reworking needed here. Despite the problems at Worlds, Mirai has sailed past her with her programs and the judges opinions, and if Ashley and others hit their jumps, Rachael will be left in the dust. If she wants to go to college, then good for her, being a National Champion is a great way to go out, but if she wants to continue on the elite level, she has to make some serious changes to be competitive besides having reasonably consistent triples.

Coco
03-28-2010, 02:33 AM
Isn't it possible in the US to get an "individual schedule" of sorts so that you take less classes and spread them out over more years for example, so that you can still train and compete?

It's almost impossible to do this if you are majoring in a science, because of the labwork and the need to take courses in strict order. A lot of them are only offered in either the fall or winter semester, never both (except at massive) universities.

If she does a liberal art instead, it could work.

But I think she should have the full freshman experience. Skate or train 10 hours a week for kicks and fitness, but don't compete. Live in the dorm, and be a college student 100% of the time. After that year, see how it goes.

Heck, she may still be in the top 75 even if she doesn't compete from now until summer of 2011.

silverstars
03-28-2010, 03:08 AM
If she does a liberal art instead, it could work.

Even with liberal arts, though, it really depends on the school. If she choose a school with a flexible curriculum, then yes. I go to a liberal arts school, though, and we have a very strict set of core requirements that we have to fulfill. A lot of the courses are full-year ones that are taken in a certain order and would be difficult to complete unless you're attending consistently.

I think that it would be in her best interest to either invest herself fully in school or defer her matriculation. Freshman year is hard enough without trying to keep up a competitive international career, and if academics is as important to her as it seems, I think that having at least part of a typical college experience might be really beneficial to her.

bbtano
03-28-2010, 03:50 AM
Rachael is only 17 years old. If she chooses to skate full-time, couldn't she improve and get higher PCS scores?

smarts1
03-28-2010, 03:55 AM
Anyway, I think Rachael should think really hard about what she wants to do. Her performance at Worlds was very poor to her standards. It seems like she is starting to have problems with her jumps, but it's not 100% yet (since I don't think she had another good performance left in her after the Olympics... Same for Mirai)... We'll see next season.

loopey
03-28-2010, 04:22 AM
Rachael is only 17 years old. If she chooses to skate full-time, couldn't she improve and get higher PCS scores?Of course she can! I am not sure why so many seem to have given up on her.

I remember many years ago, many said similar things about Angela Nikodinov. She had bad conditioning, she was not getting the favor of the judges. She needed a new coach, she should retire. She didn't have the consistency of Rachael, but she had great technique and great spins. But many had given up on her. And with the depth of the US ladies at the time many wanted her to go.

But then she went to a woman coach that she bonded with. She toned her body, grew out and colored her hair, got new costuming, improved her conditioning, got new choreography and had one of the biggest transformations I have ever seen. Voila, the judges and the fans loved her! She turned out to be one of the most gorgeous skaters and remains one of my all time favorites.

So yes, Rachael can do anything she wants with her skating and with her education, it's her decision and she has to make the right one for her. She is 17, the future is indeed bright whether it's skating or education or both!

orbitz
03-28-2010, 04:53 AM
She also needs to to improve her overall look - no, I'm NOT saying she's fat, but between her current body shape and her godawful costume choices, she needs to make some improvements.

I do find it strange that while Rachael is obviously an elite level athlete, you couldn't tell that she exercise much at all just from looking at her.

RockTheTassel
03-28-2010, 06:13 AM
I do find it strange that while Rachael is obviously an elite level athlete, you couldn't tell that she exercise much at all just from looking at her.

Unfortunately, I think this is just her body type. Mine is a lot like hers. In addition to eating healthfully, I do several strength training workouts per week, daily cardio, and yoga, but I do not look thin or muscular. Not fat, but just not slim and toned. My sister and some of my friends, however, look a lot better than I do but do less work. Some people are able to tone their bodies much easier than others. It's frustrating and unfair but true.