U.S. Ladies [#5]: All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Vagabond, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,237
    Another thing to note, Wagner has convincingly beaten almost all the top Russian ladies in her 2 GPs (Sot and Leonova in USA and Tuk, Lip and Polina K in FRA) whom she is likely to compete against at the GPF and Worlds this season and in Sochi next season, without landing a 3/3 or even 2/3.
  2. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,115

    :respec::encore:CONGRATULATIONS, ASHLEY, ON ANOTHER GOLD MEDAL AND A NEW PERSONAL BEST SCORE!:cheer::cheer2:

    After reading this thread, I just now watched the aforementioned program and was blown away by another perfect program from Ashley. Not surprised though. She's always had it in her, always, from the beginning. She has what cannot be taught - the heart of a champion, passion, *fight*, and consistency. :cool:




    Thanks for the stats, well deserved, and correct imho. Ashley still has a ways to go to match Sasha's performance ability and artistry. However, she's getting there. Imho her "Black Swan" is almost on par with Sasha's "Romeo & Juliet". In fact she's always reminded me of Sasha in terms of fight & passion. However, oddly enough she reminded me of Michelle Kwan in this "Samson & Delilah" program. It's all good. :)
  3. johndockley92

    johndockley92 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Messages:
    474
    Based on all those great scores, if these ladies keep their heads together and perform their best, Nationals will be a great event that I'm really excited for!
  4. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,013
    The level three on the flying sit spin makes sense. Since they got rid of the 8 revolution feature for sit spins, she only has 3 features (the death drop, the first position, and the tuck under the spinning leg).
  5. sk8ingcoach

    sk8ingcoach Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    457
    I just dont like Ashleys programs. They are all the same too me. She just reuses the same stiff arm movements and boring choreography. Her jumps are good, her spins are ok but the program is boring
  6. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,064
  7. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    6,958
    So, if Wagner gets the levels down pat on her spins, and adds a 3-3 to the SP and 2x-3t to the LP, we could see her close to 200 pts., no?

    As a strategy, she may want to stand firm with her programs as they are now for the GPF since it's just a couple of weeks away. Maybe, she should just work on those spins. Then, with all the time between the GPF and Nationals in January, work on the 3-3 and/or at least the 2x-3t to add those combos to her programs. I think Ashley could risk a fall in her performances at Nationals on such difficult elements but still make the team. She will need the more difficult combos by Worlds against world champ Kostner, a returning Kim, and perhaps head-to-head all at once against Asada, Suzuki and the Russian babies (even if she's beaten those last few skaters, they will probably be bringing it by Worlds).

    BTW, watching Gao, she is becoming more a pleasure to watch each time. Does she have just as much of a legitimate shot as the rest at a Worlds spot?

    ETA - I was looking at the roster for ladies at NHK. The advantage probably goes to the Japanese ladies (Asada, Suzuki) but Nagasu or Zawadzki could sneak in there for a medal
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  8. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,775
    I think Gao is ready to be US #2, imho. She's been skating senior at nationals for a few years and she's done gp for 2 seasons already, and 4 years of international experience together. Plus her basics is sound. The big question is her Harvard schedule next semester
  9. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,838
    I think missing the Olympic and world teams in 2009, 2010, and 2011 were the best things that could have happened to Ashley. She has just totally stepped it up and is showing that she is a champion. I know its not the same type of "transformation" we saw from Michelle Kwan from 1995 to 1996 however it is similar in that she has made huge changes to make sure she is a World Champion contender. Although she did not go through the "little girl jumping bean to "artistic genius" in one year-she has gone from a second tier skater to possibly the one to beat at nationals and possibly worlds. She was NOT happy with all those third places at Nationals and it shows. In my mind she has gone from Emily Hughes status to-maybe not Kwan or Cohen yet but somewhere in between Sarah Hughes and Sasha Cohen lol.
  10. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,939
    If we MUST compare Wagner that way, I'd say she's more of a Hughes than a Cohen. It's really the consistency that's keeping her in the mix...not sure if she could afford mistakes and still finish on the podium (like Cohen could do). But she's not yet on Hughes' level in terms of jump content...
  11. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,944
    I tend to agree that Nationals is Ashley's to lose. Gracie may not yet have the mental game to successfully wind up in the #2 spot, or for that matter, Sochi. The jury is still out on the degree to which/speed she may or may not progress. Christina appears to have gone through that transition based on her Grand Prix performance, impact of Harvard responsibilities not withstanding.
  12. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,237
    Well she is getting Asada-level PCS now as well as very solid GOEs and just beat a clean Tuk with 7 triples and 2 2axels by 6 points in the free. I think she can definitely afford a mistake or two.

    Comparing her to Hughes just reminds me of Hughes' jumping technique and it just hurts my soul. :drama: Wagner's jumps were never that ugly no matter how much she flutzed, UR-ed or 2-footed them.
  13. Jenna

    Jenna Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,139
    Thanks, was not even aware of this. Okay, so now everything makes sense.
  14. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,718
    I've said it before Gracie will most likely peak after Sochi. Question is if it will be to soon for her to make the Olympic team in 2014. Just look how long it's took Ashley to get to this level of skating. In 2018 Gracie will be Ashley's age in Sochi.
  15. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,736
    It's the Renaissance of American Ladies. Good to see! Seems that Wagner, Gold, Gao and Zawadski ( and maybe Nagasu) are ready to compete and win over anybody. So excited for Nationals, Worlds etc.
  16. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,784
    Hate comparing skaters, but something about the hype on Gracie reminds me of Kimmie.
  17. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,775
    US ladies have been due for a rebound since 2010. They showed some signs of success the last two seasons, but misfortune and other factors ground their momentum to a halt at worlds the last two seasons. It's just a matter of time they are back for an upswing. So glad it happens this season and not after Sochi! :)
  18. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,784
  19. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    6,965
    ^^ Thanks for posting. That was great!
  20. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    29,978
    Tomas Verner (in the black wig) skated in the chorus with Gilles/Poirier.

    It's great seeing this less reserved public side of Christina! ;) I heard she changed her original exhibition program to this one rather last-minute and Zach Donohue helped her out with the choreography. #gaonamstyle is becoming a popular hash tag on Twitter! :cool:
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  21. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,906
    I think she'd be more in the Cohen than Hughes territory. She used to be in the Hughes territory: Sarah was a third tier skater during her career. Aside from her OGM, she won one other competition as a senior. The rest of her medals were mostly bronze and silver. That's what Ashley's been up to this point: lots of bronze and a few silver.

    Since nationals Ashley's jumped tiers, from third level to top tier. Depending on the competition, I think she could afford a mistake...maybe two at the national level. I take that back: I don't think there's any way in hell she'll be left off that world team this year, especially after what she's done so far. She's bound to have an off night eventually, and if that happens at nationals I don't doubt she'll get the nod from the judges, as she should. She's proven herself...
  22. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,939
    let's just hope that off-night doesn't occur during...worlds :scream:


    ______

    Wagner may have the same coach that Cohen had, but I don't think the two skaters could be any more different. Wagner is making her mark mainly due to her amazing consistency. Cohen made hers through her bendy, point-getting moves...

    If anything, I think Wagner is trying a little TOO hard to become that "artistic" skater. She's more of the athletic type- she should embrace that! Last year was a perfect mix I think.

    ETA: Wagner almost reminds me of MK actually in terms of how consistent she's been getting. You rarely saw MK fall or make major mistakes- that's why she racked up so many titles. I don't think Wagner can be compared to any of these three skaters, really- she'll stamp her own unique footprint on American skating.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  23. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,718
    One good thing about Ashley is she doesn't have that terrified look that we see so often from skaters like Alissa and Mirai. She looks confident. She's always been good in the FP but i think at times she wanted it to much and never took the her time out on the ice and instead was always rushing. It's strange getting used to a US Lady again who you know isn't going to melt down or fall apart.
  24. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    6,958
    ^ I find comparisons of Ashley to previous skating greats interesting.

    IMO, she has different attributes of both Michelle and Sasha (I don't see any comparison to Sarah at all. Sarah was incredibly consistent, but her technique was in retrospect pretty mediocre. She never would've survived IJS wheras Ashley seems to be thriving in it)

    I think this year, for the first time, I see Ashley's jumps becoming similar to Michelle's in her heyday - strong, yet not necessarily explosive, rotated w/ good tight technique ... except for the flutz. I guess the spins could be categorized as Kwanesque as well - strong and steady. Her sit spin REALLY reminds me of Kwan's! Kwan got a 3t-3t, so let's see if Ashley can get a 3-3 and 2x-3t as well.

    But, I think she wears her ambition on her sleeve and flirts w/ the audience in a more overt way that is reminiscent of Sasha. Of course, she isn't nearly as bendy as Sasha

    So, I guess I would say that she's more like Kwan in body and technique, but has Sasha's more overtly ambitious personality
  25. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,648
    Why does Ashley even need a 3/3? She beat the Russians by over 10 points without one.

    At this point in the season, how can you just add it? Shouldn't it be something she's been competing already, not just something you throw in? Seems like this would be an unneccessary risk.

    I think she is only talking about adding it because she wants to avoid the grief people dumped on Evan for not doing a quad.
  26. dawnie

    dawnie Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    344
    I've never been a fan but I'm extremely impressed with Ashley's progress the past year. Even though Samson & Delilah is overused, I like her program and her performances at SA and especially TEB won me over.
    Well, now that we know she has one of the Worlds spots locked up, the battle for the other spot should be fierce with Gao, Gold, Nagasu, and Agnes all fighting for it.
  27. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,906
    ITA for the most part. It's obvious from her scores that a clean program from her with the technical content she has now is a safe and smart bet. I'm not one who thinks difficulty should be added just for difficulty's sake. The way to win under this system is to play to your strengths and skate smartly. Adding a bunch of technical content just to add it will only increase the risk of making a mistake and as of right now, it's unnecessary. The only time Ashley will need to up the ante technically is when she's competing against skaters who can challenge her on the PCS level (ie. Asada, Suzuki, Kostner, Kim).

    I think a 3-3 in the SP and the 2a-3t in the LP is all she needs...but I say she should aim to have these changes ready by worlds. She hasn't needed it so far b/c she's been the clear front-runner at all of her competitions this year. I think the GPF will be a good indicator of whether the additional content is necessary, especially if everyone skates their best. But with her content she's hit 127+ twice, so it's obvious the formula is working well.
  28. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    6,958
    While Ashley is doing an amazing job thus far, there are 2 ladies who will definitely give her stiffer competition and have not yet debuted - Olympic Champ Yu Na Kim and World Champ Carolina Kostner. Plus, it's possible that Asada and Sotnikova could be in much better shape by Worlds. So, I think Ashley would do well to plan on adding a 3-3 in the SP and the 2x-3t in the LP later in the season. And I don't think she would be 'just adding' these jumps. I assume she is practicing them and has been for quite some time. Remember, that she eventually got the 3-3 by WTT.

    Adding them would comport with her strategy last season where she was began going for the 2x-3t at Nationals and the 3-3 by WTT. Of course, adding the 3-3 in time for Worlds would be more optimal than in time for WTT! Interestingly, this is the strategy that FC and Kwan used to implement ... adding 3-3s by Worlds.
  29. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,838
    IMO she does not need a 3/3 at Nats at all and she should just add it for worlds. Although she could probably do a 3/3 at nationals, miss it, and still make the world team.
  30. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    10,579
    If they are going to rest her at 4ccs so that others can have a chance to earn ranking points, etc., she should try a 3-3 at Nationals in the sp.

    At some point, the russian ladies are going to stop falling. I would not be surprised if at least 4 or 5 of the final LP group in Sochi have a 3-3 in the sp.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  31. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    629
    I will go out and say that Ashley needs a triple-triple in the short in order to not end up 4th-5th after the short at worlds. She'll want to be 1-2 after the short and she does need the flip-toe for that. 2x-3T isn't necessary for her I'd say, but it helps. Especially against Kim.

    She was trying axel-toe in practice at TEB, it's not as though she doesn't work on it but she's stated that the big tricks aren't going in unless she has them easily consistent.
  32. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,775
    I think Ashley should try a harder combo at gpf to see how it goes first. There's very little at stake there so it is a good place to try out a harder jump.
  33. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,237
    Others who can place ahead of her even if she goes conservatively clean: Kostner, Kim, Asada, Suzuki, Sot, Tuk, and possibly Korpi on a very good day. However, given the likelihood of everyone skating well, I would say she is looking very good at winning GPF and finally medalling at Worlds.
  34. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    6,958
    No jinxing, Marco :p

    Of all the skaters who I think could beat Ashley: It will be interesting to see where Kostner and Kim are - Kim hasn't competed competitively since '11 Worlds, and before that '10 Worlds. At '11 Worlds, she was beaten by Ando w/o a 3-3. Kostner has conquered many demons, but can she take the pressure of defending her crown? Also, will she add a Lutz back to her reportoire and how would she handle that w/ hardly any comps leading up to Worlds? Asada can be magical but she doesn't seem to do the 3x or a 3-3, either. Plus, she got nailed w/ UR's at CoC. I think NHK might tell us a little more.

    I don't think Tuktamysheva, Korpi or Suzuki can beat Ashley in the short-term. Tuk skated lights out in Paris and was still nearly 11 pts. adrift of Ashley. Suzuki is in the twilight of her career. She's doing well for herself, is a great package of artistry, but I personally don't think she will keep up the intensity for much longer. Korpi is beloved by the judges but technically doesn't have the chops to beat Ashley IMO.

    Sotnikova is a question mark. Ashley beat her, but she's been spectacularly bad this season. I can't compare her potential to Ashley yet.
  35. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,064
    I think if she had one consistently she would have thrown it in already. and it's not that simple to obtain a "harder jump" combination.
  36. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,906
    I do think she's been working on it but you know that old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"...that applies to Ashley right now. She's scoring very well with her current content. Given her scoring trend in the SP right now, I don't think she'd be that far behind as long as she skates cleanly. Julia hit all of her tricks and Ashley was less than a point behind her. I see the SP scores at the GPF being very crowded if everyone skates cleanly. That means it will come down to the LP and Ashley is the standard for clean LPs right now. She's always been a strong LP skater so this isn't new, but given that so many usually have problems in the LP this is yet another advantage for Ashley.

    In short, at least for the Final, as long as she keeps doing what she's doing she'll be fine. But I do think we'll see some tougher content for worlds...
  37. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,775
    No, but nothing at stake at GPF, other than mental factors. She doesn't need to win the gpf to be taken seriously at nationals or later competitions. Why not try one?

    re: triple triple. Too early to say whether she needs it for worlds. Too often what happens earlier in the season doesn't predict what happens later.

    But Ashley could try a triple triple or 2a-3t once in an international with low stakes, like the gpf. That way if she needs it later she has it.
  38. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    629
    Two thumbs up for you :D
  39. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    2,779
    She has tried it several times over the past two and a half seasons and I'm sure she does spend time practicing it. She's only done it cleanly without a 2ft and/or > once (CoR 2010) so she's getting better points by doing a 2a/2t with good GOE. I wonder if she would consider doing a 3t+2a+SEQ...it may be more feasible. Though, in the grand scheme of things it isn't going to boost her score more than a point or two. Then again, she may get another PCS bump for doing 7 triples instead of 6.
  40. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    6,958
    Good point about the 3t - 2x seq. I'm of the mind set that anything helps - if she squeezes another couple of points out of a 3t over a 2t, then that will only help her in a tight competition. The 2x sequences are easy for Ashley. After all, she does the 3l - 2x seq. just fine late in her LP. But, maybe that 2x-3t will eventually happen.

    BTW, I'm curious as to why she switched around the 3sal and the 3flutz from her 'Black Swan' LP layout': The 3sal comes earlier and the 3flutz later. Considering she flutzes, the change-up doesn't seem to give her a scoring edge (normally, a 3z in the 2d half of the program would be beneficial cuz it's worth more...