U.S. Ladies [#6]: "Swaggering with the S'Wagner" et al. into 2013

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Sylvia, Nov 25, 2012.

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  1. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Lol! Say what you will about Miki but she was able to capitalize on other skaters' mistakes which is what you have to do to beat someone who is more talented than you are...just so happens she's done that more than anyone else in recent memory. :lol:

    I agree with point #2. After the SP, it was down to Miki and Yu-Na and the luck went in Miki's favor b/c of Yu-Na's mistakes...still that less than two point difference shows that had Yu-Na managed to complete that damn 2T on the end of her 3S, she'd have won.

    It's a lot less likely that the top 4 contenders will make mistakes this year (Mao, Carolina, Yu-Na and Akiko) but I think it's likely at least two of them will. To be honest, I think the judges might favor Ashley over Akiko. I don't know how I'd feel about that b/c I adore Akiko and I adore Ashley, but Akiko so often gets the short end of the stick. You'd have to start breaking the score down bit by bit to determine who would deserve the upper hand. Both have strong LPs and decent SPs but if Ashley can add that 3-3 to her FS (likely a 3F-3T), I think that would give her the upper hand...aslo Ashley's spins are better than Akiko's...but while I love Ashley's SP, I think I like Akiko's SP more. *sigh*

    It's going to be a tough call. IDK what's going to happen but this is shaping up to be a much better worlds than last year, that's for sure...
     
  2. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    No, I would not say that...as long as she is on the world team, she has a chance.

    That chance is probably not very high, but it is there.
     
  3. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. To be honest, I can't see Ashley not making the team this year. I just think back to last year and how the scores were finagled in both the SP and LP to get Alissa into that 2nd spot despite the mistakes she made in both programs. Alissa should have been 3rd or possibly even 4th BUT b/c she was the top US lady from the previous year and GP series, she got that ticket. Given Alissa's performances last year, Ashley would have to go into full zamboni-mode not to make it this year.

    I'm not trying to tempt TPTB or the skate gods, but I honestly can't see her not making the team...
     
  4. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Actually after coming 4th at Nationals the Japense federation are probably going to give Suzuki even less support now, so come to think of it even a clean Suzuki probably wont beat a pretty good Ashley. Losing Nationals past was not a big deal for a U.S lady since they had many that were considered amongst the best. However for Wagner to lose Nationals somehow and go to the Worlds as the #2 American would be a death knall for her, for this year anyway IMO, as none of the other U.S ladies is remotedly considered a contender at the World level right now besides her. She absolutely has to win Nationals to be taken seriously come Worlds.
     
  5. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    To clarify, I meant that it really doesn't (shouldn't) make a difference whether Wagner gets on the team in 1st or 2nd, as long as she is on the team. Wagner already made her statement to be taken seriously last year at 4CCs and worlds, and this season on the GP.

    And yes, assuming Wagner's good health, it is difficult to envision a scenario where she misses out on worlds. But- remember, it's not impossible.

    Actually I think Czisny's score was ok last year. Not like Zawadzki lit things up in her FS...and Zhang, even in her improved state, was not on Czisny's level. The real issue I had was what happened afterwards, but no need to beat that dead horse again.
     
  6. Jarrett

    Jarrett Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it would be that bad for Ashley if Mirai and/or Gracie beat her. Mirai is #8 and Gracie #10 on the best overall scores this season and each of those scores they both have several mistakes. Christina would be a shock of course just because she was pretty much perfect and only #11. If Gracie and Mirai were clean I don't see why they wouldn't both have been around 180-185 and that is not far off Ashley and the top three scores this season. Yes Ashley is in top shape right now and has skated well this season but it has been very within her comfort zone. We will see what happens when the pressure comes and has to go for more if others are clean.
     
  7. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    I think that's being a bit harsh on Miki. She is a very strong jumper who knew how to work CoP, which, combined with her consistency under pressure, allowed her to win all those medals. Sure, she didn't have the most interesting programs or the best spins in the world, but she had good basics, her jumps were big and clean with nice technique, and her spins were certainly adequate. I don't think most people give her the credit she deserves for the transformation she underwent between the 2006 Olympics and 2007 Worlds. She worked her butt off and earned that World title. So what if she watered down her content afterwards because she didn't need it to win? She was just being strategic, why risk injuring herself, making mistakes, or getting downgrades and/or negative GOEs trying high risk elements if they weren't necessary to win?

    Miki was a consistent jumper, her jumps racked up good GOE, and she backloaded her programs to give her BV a boost - she and Morozov knew that she could hit the triples and hit them well even putting them so late in the program, and based on that, she could get away without trying a 3-3, or even sometimes without the 2a-3t, and still win/medal at most events due to the strength and consistency of her other jumps and high component scores. Everyone knows reputation plays a role in determining PCS, and Miki to her credit did have a World title, another world medal, a GPF silver, a few trips to the GPF, and several GP medals to her name when she won Worlds in 2011, and out of fairness to her, she did really deserve that title because no one else skated better.

    Ashley is pretty much doing what Miki did from 2007-2011 and her results are similarly skyrocketing. I find Ashley a more interesting and dynamic skater, sure, but in terms of basics she's about the same and the content she's trying is similar to Miki's "watered down" content, it's more the consistency that is making the difference. It's nice to see ladies going for hard 3-3s and 7 triple FS programs, sure, but if they don't execute the jumps cleanly or are prone to making several errors like Liza, Gracie, etc. have been doing, then a clean but conservative performance from a more polished and mature skater like Ashley or Miki that includes 5 or 6 well-executed triple jumps should deserve to come out on top IMO.

    Another thing is Miki seems to get crap for watering down her content but at least when she won stuff it was with 5 or so triples and no visible errors...the likes of Korpi and Lepisto, even Kostner, have won many a medal with about 3 triples in the FS, meaning 2 or 3 of the jumping passes were clearly aborted into doubles, which was never really the case with Miki, who would sometimes downgrade a 2a-3t to a 2a-2t, which isn't even an obvious or disruptive error. And she at least could be counted on to hit 3 3lutzes between her two programs without fail, which can't be said for the Euro ladies...
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  8. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Miki won Worlds with basically the same content as Kostner last year so if people are going to give Kostner, a way higher quality skater in between the jumps than Miki ever could be, so much flak for winning with watered down content, then Miki certainly deserves the same. As for 2011 Worlds like I said the way I see it is Kim and Ando had similar mistakes and content in the LP, and Kim is a better skater than Ando in everyway, even her jumps which are Miki's main asset generally get bested in GOEs by Kim, so how on earth Ando came out ahead I have no idea. We all know an on fire Kim with 7 triples would crush an on fire Ando with 7 triples by atleast 20 points, so why would an average Ando ever come out ahead of an average Kim.

    I do agree on her improvement from 2006 to 2007, and while she needed Asada and Kim to make major errors I was impressed with her win in 2007, she did 2 very difficult programs with a triple lutz-triple loop in both, and landed 10 total triples, while showing much improved presentation. Her win in 2011 is probably the most bleh World win since Trenary at the 1990 Worlds however, and 2 World titles is too much for someone of Miki's level. She is definitely the weakest 2 time (note I said 2 time, so dont start comparing her to some of the weaker 1 time only winners) World Champion in the history of the sport by far.

    I agree Wagner is basically doing what Ando was doing in 2010/2011 now, just with lower quality jumps and IMO much better presentation basically. However Wagner has to do 6 or 7 triples just to win a grand prix event, she would never be awarded a World gold even in a lackluster event with only 5 triples and making a major mistake as Ando was, so that isnt really a fair comparision, and was my point basically, Wagner will definitely not be given a World title for doing as little as Ando did.

    Anyway no more comments about Miki Ando as this is off topic to the thread.
     
  9. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    Mirai OR Gracie perhaps...but if they BOTH beat her?

    I dunno. I don't see Wagner in 3rd getting preferential treatment and being chosen over Nagasu or Gold for the world team. It didn't happen in 2010. If anything, though, the judges will probably do what they can (short of a scandal) to keep Wagner in the 2nd spot. I don't think that sort of activity is fair and it compromises the integrity of the event, but hey, that's what happens when you make Nationals the one-all competition.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  10. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I agree the judges would not override National results and place someone on the team who didnt make it. If you arent in the shape due to injury or time off from injury to skate at the level to be safe to make the team, but are someone who is fairly safe to get a bye, you are best to just not show up at Nationals, like Kwan in 2006. Bobek assumed the same in 1996 when she withdrew before the long program, but overrated the USFSA's faith in her after a poor season. Now if Wagner pulled out with injury (which seems unlikely) she would be given a bye IMO, but not if she shows up and is beaten into 3rd or worse.
     
  11. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

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    If Wagner places 3rd I would bet $20 that she's on the world team. At very least they would send her to 4CC and make a decision after that. USFSA knows Ashley is a medal threat on an average day for her (keeping in mind that Ashley's average is very stellar), the same can't be said about the other American ladies. IMO Ashley could scoop up a world Bronze with an "average" long program, any other American lady would have to go lights out skate-of-the-year to grab that Bronze. The odds are in her favour.

    Pointless to discuss this anyways, Ashley is a cut above, she'll do just fine at Nationals.
     
  12. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    I think you guys are thinking too much into this. I'm 99% certain that Ashley will defend her title. Her "bombing" still ended up with a 115+ and Gracie/Mirai didn't bomb on the grand prix and still didn't beat that. I think though that Ashley is possibly beatable in the SP by any of the top U.S. ladies (if she decideds to play it safe in the SP and doesn't include a triple-triple), but she is pretty much untouchable in the LP considering her consistency (and she should have a major PCS advantage also).
     
  13. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    It may very well be likely - and I agree that Wagner is the favorite, perhaps even the overwhelming favorite- but if 10 years of following skating has taught me anything, it's that nothing- NOTHING is certain in skating.

    Throw in the fact that Wagner is the defending champ and the pressure on her just got turned up a notch. GPs had little if any pressure. Plus, she showed recent vulnerability at GPF (this happens to every skater, Yuna Kim included)

    I don't think I'm "thinking too much" if I consider the possibility that Wagner may not successfully defend her US title.
     
  14. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    ^Just my $.02.

    A wild card for Wagner is the 3-3 in the SP. I think if she hits a 3f-3t in the SP and rocks the rest of the elements, she could be 2nd behind a clean Yu Na and ahead of even a clean Kostner and Asada. I also think it's more likely that Wagner has a 3-3 than Asada has a 3x or Kostner a 3z-3t / 3f-3t. (Although I do think Kostner will easily do a 3t-3t). That scenario might give her some point cushion going into the LP and a better chance of a medal. Who knows. But I agree Ashley on a typical day is probably just on the outside looking in on Asada, Kostner and Kim. But, I love that position for her because she's good at attacking from behind.
     
  15. mgobluegirl

    mgobluegirl Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree, I don't think Asada has anything that really puts her above Wagner, except maybe footwork, and that's only 1 element in each program. She hasn't been completing 3-3s or 3A and she's prone to under-rotations on her jumps.
     
  16. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

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    Mao clean has the edge over Ashley clean. Mao is much more fluent and balletic. She would score huge points with a clean program.

    I'd also wager that Mao won't go clean all season, she UR's at least a jump or two in every lp, and she has a pop or two (or like 4 in NHK). Clean Ashley (which is very likely from her) beats a flawed Mao.

    I think the poster who you quoted was assuming Asada, Kostner, and Kim went clean. None of the three have that consistency yet, we'll see by worlds.
     
  17. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

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    Cross-posting this from the Fun with Numbers thread...

     
  18. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    At this stage, I think Wagner would have to be pretty awful to lose Nationals, or next to being a human zamboni to come below 2nd and have her world spot in jeopardy. She won the free skate at Japan Open, both of her GPs and got the silver at GPF despite falling twice and be beaten by Asada whom she beat earlier this season at Japan Open and on home soil. Traditionally the lady who placed well enough at Worlds the previous season gets some cushion at the next Nationals (Flatt in 2010, Czisny at 2012 etc).

    While it is entirely possible that one or more of Asada, Kim and Kostner could falter at Worlds, it is also possible that one of the Russian girls or Suzuki or Korpi could pull it all together. Wagner is an unknown at Worlds without a 3/3 in the short and 2/3 in the free. If she skated at Worlds exactly like how she skated at the French GP she could secure a top 5 without question, but I doubt a medal is ensured. Not to mention that she has had spin level issues so far this season.
     
  19. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    You may think that but it is clear the judges dont think that. The protocals show even had Wagner gone clean at the GP final she probably would have lost to Asada who wasnt clean, and really had only 3 clean triples. Asada's advantages over Wagner seem to be higher levels in spins and non jump elements (Asada has been doing all level 3s and 4s in her programs, Wagner has not been getting her spins and other elements graded as such), higher PCS, and sometimes higher GOEs. I think Asada has been overmarked all year but that is the reality of things, being Japanese #1 lady is a powerful thing these days.
     
  20. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Well Kim definitely doesnt have to skate cleanly to beat Ashley. She just needs to avoid disaester to be frank. I am not even sure if Kim would need to skate cleanly to beat a clean Asada or Kostner either, I dont think so with their current jump content in fact (nor do I think either Asada or Kostner will skate totally clean anyway). I know it isnt the Kim of Vancouver, and we wont see that until next season (if ever again) but Asada couldnt come close to that Kim even with clean performances with 3/3s and the triple axel, so I think Mao is making a huge mistake in thinking just because Kim is probably weaker now she can suddenly lay way off the jump content as she is doing now, also seemingly now be prone to URs to boot, and beat Kim; or perhaps even Kostner who suddenly isnt really doing much or any less than Mao is attempting now and is beloved by the European judging community and is the reigning World Champion. I am pretty sure Kim and Kostner at their most recent outings would have beaten Mao from the GP final, and both Kim and Kostner have a long way to potentially grow from that, so Mao had best reconsider her current plan if she wants the gold at Worlds.

    How much margin Kostner and Asada have over Wagner, and how they are likely to skate (how close to clean they are likely to skate), is a bigger question when it comes to Wagner and her chance though. Along with if Wagner can regain her early season momentum and consistency, and build on some aspects of her performances, adding a 3/3 or 2/3 in one or both programs, upping her spin and footwork levels, polishing some of the little things of her program which still could be better, etc..
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  21. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    Total hyperbole, I don't agree with that statement at all.

    *History* has proven that anything is possible, and the international judges will pick whomever they want, despite whom the national judges consider #1. Case in point, Sarah Hughes, she was only #3, but ended up winning the Olympics. Same thing goes for Evan Lysacek. Mirai over Rachael, and on and on and on ad infinitum.

    It's anybody's game, on any given day, I sincerely believe that.

    LET THE GAMES BEGIN! :kickass:

    ps: for all we know Agnes can end up kicking a** and taking names, not to mention Caroline Zhang with that 3R/3R combo. ;) :hat1:
     
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  22. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Mirai did not medal at the Games, and the only reason she wasnt atleast closer to Rochette (a whopping 13 points back, when some felt she even deserved the bronze) is that the U.S foolishly hedged their bets on Flatt when many felt Nagasu should have won Nationals. So she is hardly a good example. In fact she is only an indirect example of my point, the U.S could have easily given Nagasu the U.S title in 2010, they seemed to actually think Flatt was their big hopeful for Vancouver though, but they were wrong and payed the price.

    As for Hughes, I already noted in the days of the U.S strength when they had many recognized elite contenders, it was fine for someone not to win Nationals and win the big event. Losing Nationals to Michelle Kwan, Tara Lipinski, Kristi Yamaguchi, Debi Thomas, or even Sasha Cohen, Nancy Kerrigan, Jill Trenary, Tonya Harding, did not mean you were out of the game. Those days are long gone. International judges do not view Nagasu, Gold, Gao, or anyone else as amongst the elite now, that is plainly evident by their scoring on the grand prix series even for their better efforts. So if Wagner loses at Nationals to one of them, that is pretty much it for her medal chances at Worlds this year. Lysacek losing Nationals to Abbott wasnt even a big deal since Abbott was the GP final Champion in 2009 and considered a gold medal contender for both the 2009 Worlds and 2010 Olympics.
     
  23. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    BS, b.s., bs :rolleyes:

    And that's all I have to say about that. :p
     
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  24. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    True, I don't buy it for a second either.
     
  25. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

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    The world level judges dgaf about who places where at Nationals. Some people on this site seem to think there are a lot more politics involved in skating than there really is... If the judges prop someone up it's because they like that skater, not because someone is X country's #1 girl that year at nats.

    Mao didn't get a healthy boost last year at worlds after winning nationals....oh wait she had a meh season and then a meh worlds. That would be why she scored how she did. Then Akiko skated just fine and walked all over Mao at worlds last year, even though she was JPN #2. Just a random example.

    ps. Mirai didn't lose the bronze medal at the Olympics because she lost nationals....she placed in the position that she earned when she skated well enough for 4th; a respectable finish. Joannie was better and earned her position.
     
  26. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    ^^ IA and Mirai skating so damn early in the SP and not doing a 3-3 did not help her case either. Her SP was why she was not closer to Rochette, their FS scores were close as they deserved to be, Mirai easily could have been 5 or more points higher in the SP just by skating in a later warmup than she did, we saw that at Worlds when her score jumped from 62 to 70 (granted she did try the 3-3 at Worlds, but not the Olympics, but she didn't get credit for it anyways so it's a bit of a moot point). Rachael beat Mirai in the SP at the Olympics remember, and I'm sure that was mostly due to start order. Anyways that was old Mirai, I don't think the international judges like her as much anymore, but I think they could if she pulls an Ashley and has a comeback, but hard to say when/if that will happen.

    I, for one, will be surprised if Ashley and Gracie aren't one and two at Nationals in whatever order. I'm going to be bold and say that I think Christina will be on the podium too. Mirai, Agnes, and maybe some of the younger girls can fight over the last podium spot and whoever skates best should get it. I think USFS likes and supports Gracie and Christina more than Mirai and Agnes at this point...
     
  27. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    You are trying to sever certain posters' tenuous grip on unreality. :p
     
  28. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    Most likely! ITA with cdb1235. All the talk about how Mirai should have won Nationals and should have won bronze at the Olympics is, IMHO, crazy. She had a number of clear under rotations at Nationals and was no where near Joannie at the Olympics. Nuff said.
     
  29. AliasJohnDoe

    AliasJohnDoe Dornbush 2015!!!

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    I don't think Ashley going into 2013 Worlds as US #1 matters either.

    Another example: Shizuka Arakawa was Japan #3 in 2005-2006 and won Olympic gold. Just like Sarah Hughes in 2002.
     
  30. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    I think that second spot is between Gracie and Mirai, but Christina definitely has the possibility to upset.

    Given their results (Gracie 7th and 2nd; Mirai 4th and 3rd) and overall scores on the GP this season (Mirai bested Gracie by about a point), I'd say on paper they're on equal footing. Gracie has the tougher jumps but Mirai has the polish and experience. As for Christina, she seems to be trending downward lately. If she delivers the way she did at SA, I think she'll be tough for the other girls to beat...especially if she puts the 3F-3T into her LP...

    I'm thinking whoever has the stronger skate of the night gets that 2nd spot.
     
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