US Pairs 2012-13 news & updates

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sylvia, May 4, 2012.

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  1. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    ^^^ Scores and competitions can be found at: http://unseenskaters.wordpress.com/scoretracker/2012-2013-pairs-scores/

    Denney/Frazier's only international was the JGP in Lake Placid (they withdrew from their 2nd JGP due to injury and haven't competed since; they also changed coaches/training locations this fall), while Yankowskas/Reagan only competed a SP at Skate Detroit in July and later changed their SP music for Champs Camp.

    I've bolded and identified the team's most recent competition (Donlan reportedly wasn't feeling well at Ice Challenge; their best international score was at Nebelhorn Trophy):
    Denney/Coughlin 179.21, CoR 178.90 (172.16)
    Castelli/Shnapir 174.86 174.51, NHK (165.74)
    Scimeca/Knierim 163.10, NHK 156.00 (158.63)
    Donlan/Speroff 145.35 135.43, Ice Challenge (150.00)
    Davis/Ladwig 143.70, NHK 122.26 (144.35)
    Vise/Baldwin 143.34 143.15, CoR (138.68)
    Zhang/Bartholomay 143.32, Salt Lake Sr B (150.05) [Note: Felicia skated injured at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for Nationals]
    Kayne/O'Shea (150.50) (137.72, Easterns)
    Denney/Frazier 127.33*, JGP (150.08)
    Baga/Toth (119.41) (106.73, Mids)
    Leng/LeDuc (113.44, Mids)

    * = Junior score
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  2. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    12 Junior pairs have qualified for Nationals, 6 competed on the JGP this fall.

    Easterns 1-5:
    Olivia Oltmanns/Joshua Santillan 120.42 [102.46, JGP Lake Placid, 12th]
    Alexandria Shaughnessy/James Morgan 116.76
    Cali Fujimoto/Nicholas Barsi-Rhyne 111.62
    Caitlin Belt/Michael Johnson 107.23
    Brenna Doherty/Craig Norris [new] 105.04

    Midwesterns 1-2:
    Madeline Aaron/Max Settlage 136.09 [130.44, JGP Lake Placid, 3rd]
    Brianna de la Mora/Taylor Wilson 122.57 [113.58, JGP AUT, 11th]
    BYE Britney Simpson/Matthew Blackmer [133.05, JGP AUT, 5th]

    Pacifics 1-4:
    Jessica Noelle Calalang/Zack Sidhu 129.25 [123.88, JGP AUT, 6th]
    Chelsea Liu/Devin Perini 129.03
    Jessica Pfund/AJ Reiss 123.75 [124.42, JGP Lake Placid, 5th]
    Caitlin Fields/Jason Pacini 105.54
  3. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    Local article about tomorrow's 2 pm & 7 pm shows (Saturday, Dec. 1) at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena featuring DeeDee Leng & Tim LeDuc (he's from Iowa): http://thegazette.com/2012/11/28/rhapsody-on-ice-set-at-cedar-rapids-ice-arena-dec-1/

    Local Florida news brief about the 3 Senior pairs based in Ellenton (Davis/Ladwig, Zhang/Bartholomay, Kayne/O'Shea) and 1 Novice pair that have qualified for Nationals: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/11/20/4286200/community-sports-eight-from-ellenton.html
  4. stjeaskategym

    stjeaskategym Well-Known Member

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    Based on what did you come to the conclusion that Toth is a diva and trying to be the star of the team? I don't see that when watching them. What I see is a new team with Baga being brand new to pairs. Might that have something to do with the level of difficulty in their lifts? It should also be noted that while she is petite, she is not a prepubescent little waif who can just wing it through lifts while the guy does all the work. Don't get me wrong, I'm not accusing Baga at all of not trying to pull her weight, I'm just noting the challenges in learning lifts at an older age. Lifts and other pair elements are quite foreign for the singles skaters who try to make a quick switch into pairs, and the more mature the skaters are when they start learning, the harder things can be. You begin to have to rely on muscles that haven't been a focus for you before. Baga/Toth's issues aren't unusual at all. Based on their interactions off ice, it is easy to see that they enjoy each other's company. And you really need to have fun working together to be able to have the patience required to develop a new team. I think they are definitely capable of scoring much better at Nationals than they did at Sectionals. Pairs is a hard enough discipline when you are experienced, never mind when you aren't, so I think we need to give these skaters a break sometimes.
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  5. stjeaskategym

    stjeaskategym Well-Known Member

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    I think Simpson/Blackmer are somewhat mismatched in size which might make it more difficult for them on some of their elements, but I enjoy how they skate together.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  6. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your comments stjeaskategym. My apologies to Baga/ Toth (and to Brubaker too) for jumping onto the gossipy perceptions bandwagon that can be quite hurtful toward skaters (as well as unfair and/ or inaccurate).
  7. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    Pairs in the US is pretty weak at the moment. Our best team can do the big tricks but lacks skating skills and grace.
  8. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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  9. figureit

    figureit New Member

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    This is totally inaccurate especially given what we have seen Internationally lately form several teams. I think it is totally exciting that we have such great teams (albeit new teams some of them) bursting out and holding their own.
    Another note on US Pairs it has never been a G & G time for us ever...even in our best days but I see in the future that may change..regardless I think in Senior and Junior we have some great teams at the moment.
  10. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting.


    I agree that current U.S. pairs teams have great potential. Also, even though the U.S. has never been deep in pairs talent and medals, the U.S. has a history of excellent and successful teams including Karol Kennedy and Peter Kennedy (1950 World champions), JoJo Starbuck & Ken Shelley, Mark & Melissa Militano, Tai Babilonia & Randy Gardner (1979 World champions), Kitty & Peter Carruthers ('84 Olympic silver medalists), Peter Oppegard & Jill Watson ('88 Olympic bronze medalists), Kristi Yamaguchi & Rudi Galindo, Jenni Meno & Todd Sand, Kyoko Ina & Jason Dungjen, and Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman. I'd also give a shout out to Lea Ann Miller and Bill Fauver, Calla Urbanski and Rocky Marval, Rena Inoue & John Baldwin, Marcy Hinzmann & Aaron Parchem, and Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig.

    Rockne and Keauna were an excellent team, as were Rockne and Mary Beth. Hopefully, Rockne will find another partner and achieve even greater success. Frank Sweiding is a former eligible U.S. pairs competitor who has achieved notable success in the professional ranks with his partner, Anita Hartshorn.

    I think U.S. skaters should strive to break their own ground and not necessarily mold themselves into the Russian tradition. Case in point: Denney & Coughlin are very strong athletically, but they don't have a balletic or lyrical style. IMO, they should continue polishing their skills and refine their lines and on-ice look, but they don't need to copy a balletic approach. They should try to find music, choreo, and costumes that will bring out their best qualities and show off their strengths as a team -- they need to explore and define what makes them unique.

    Also, Castelli/ Shnapir; Scimeca/ Knierim; and Donlan/ Speroff, et al. are wonderful teams. U.S. pairs teams need to find a way to stay together and develop and grow stronger together.
  11. johndockley92

    johndockley92 New Member

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    I agree! We have some good teams, and some strong up and comers from junior too!
  12. blancanieves

    blancanieves Member

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    This is really good advice, not just for pairs but any discipline really. You can't out-Bolshoi the Bolshoi. That doesn't mean that there aren't other aesthetics that can be beautiful or dynamic. It's very captivating to see a team that displays a fully-realized original point of view.
  13. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Absolutely. A good example would be Savchenko/ Szolkowy who IMO brought a breath of fresh air to pairs skating, and explored new ground, creating their own aesthetic in the process.

    You've got to have all the basics down (i.e., technique and talent), but then fly free of antiquated traditions, break the rules and remake them. The right fit with choreography and music is key!
  14. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    ^Couldn't agree more. But, I will say that watching John C. point his toes and try 110% to get into the POTO character is still good to see.

    I also like the Canadian example (which may be more fitting for someone like D/C). D/R and M/M are neither Russian ballerinas/Chinese explosive nor aesthetically in the stratosphere a la S/S. But they've taken the approach of really going for huge TES and training to skate it w/ confidence and verve, which ultimately leads to matchable PCS. So, maybe because D/C are so solid, in the future they can go for a 2nd more difficult SBS triple and/or a 3 jump combo technically, and work on those things like speed and even more blade control
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  15. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Agree. My Canadian example would be Sale/ Pelletier. I love the chemistry they had on the ice, the way they looked together and the way they skated. During their professional career they performed some really great sexy hot programs too! Sexy without having to try too hard. ;)

    Re Denney/Coughlin, as I said, of course they need to "point toes," and refine their lines, etc., but they don't need to copy a balletic style. They don't need to follow a Canadian style necessarily either, but sure they might be inspired by examples from other teams who don't rely on a traditional lyrical approach. Overall, I think D/C should try to carve out their own territory in order to take their skating to another level.

    Hurrah for North American pairs teams! :cheer:
  16. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, sorry if I was unclear, I didn't mean to adapt the Canadian style. I should've said D/C would do well to adapt their tactic - go for really big TES, refine it, and PCS will come along. Caydee would also do well to watch Meagan Duhamel. They're both 'spunky' and neither are ballerinas, but Meagan communicates who she is / her feelings to the audience and I think that also helps with the PCS. I sometimes get the impression Caydee is just blank out there
  17. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Sure I understand what you're saying, olympic. I think that makes sense. Generally, D/C already are very solid technically/ athletically, but perhaps they should increase their technical difficulty strategically (as you suggest). Along with that, however, I think it would benefit them to define and develop their own style on the ice with music and choreography that enhances their strengths, instead of sticking with boring, traditional programs.

    Caydee was very young when she shot to the top of the rankings and it does take time to mature. Now that she and John have been partners for a couple of seasons, they should both find a way to up the ante and bring more of who they are onto the ice. I think they already have a good connection, and should try to build upon that asset.
  18. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    IMO, one way that D/C could get even bigger TES would be the SBS jumps. Look at the SBS jumps that D/R and MT/M are trying (or have tried) - SBS 3t-seq.-3t, SBS 3s, SBS 3z (or SBS 3f). I'm not saying that this will come quickly to D/C (or that it would come at all) but time is ticking for Sochi '14. As stated before, the CAN teams have moved up over the past couple of seasons by going for ambitious elements and refining them.

    And of course, PCS would develop from small things: she pointing her toes, showing more emotion - to bigger things: Speed, upping the TES in those areas where they still can, and like you said, realizing who they are and refining a genuine style that judges and audiences world-wide would 'get', then selecting music and choreographing moves based on that.

    I sometimes get the impression that they skate to music that they and their coaches think international judges will like, but it comes across as a little artificial/ less genuine.
  19. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    Completely agree with that -and it's not really a problem I see only in pairs. Not everyone is a pwetty pwincess and there's a big difference between looking elegant while still doing something new or modern and trying to mask posture issues by giving people balletic arm movements and a war horse classical program. If anything, having D/C skate to opera music (no matter how many electric guitars they have in the remix) only emphasizes that's not the right style for them.
  20. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    IMO, that's par for the course for every one of Sappenfeld's teams. She has zero sense of style and it hinders all of her teams.
  21. DORISPULASKI

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

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    ITA re Sappenfield.

    But she surely knows how to teach triple twists and throw flips & lutzes.

    Why doesn't she work out some deal with a decent stylist or costume expert :wall:
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  22. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Interesting point. Styling / costuming from the Sappenfield camp is very 'pageanty' looking and probably gets a :huh: outside of NA.

    Does this mean S/K are doomed? :(
  23. haribobo

    haribobo Well-Known Member

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    They're only doomed if they choose to be. AFAIK coaches can't prevent their skaters from seeking outside help or choreo, of course provided they can afford it. I think its pretty early to say that a team like this could be doomed from improving. But yes if they just stay with the traditional CO teams mode of blah programs from year to year, then they probably will be semi-doomed from ascending high up the world rankings. The only US team I've ever seen come out with a ton of awesome choreo and style in their first year was Scott/Fein. Although I can't really say there were a ton of other teams in the 90s or 00s with a truly amazing level of presentation. I'd say Kalesavich/Parchem, Magarian/Guzman, Spielberg/Joeright, Evora/Ladwig, Donlan/Speroff, and Castelli/Shnapir at each of their best have been some of my favorite teams of the last couple decades, and sadly most of these teams have been lacking on the tech side.
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  24. DORISPULASKI

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

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    C&S are improving this year. They have landed 3t and 3S in competitions. I'm not sure why they are leaving a 2A combo or sequence in the LP, because they always muff it. However, they need another throw other than the 3S they use. They vacillate between 2A (which is too low a BV) and 3A (which they haven't landed reliably). OTOH, the lifts, twists, and death spirals are fine.

    Their speed is currently very good. I have hopes for them still !
  25. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Kalesevich/Parchem had wonderful choreography from his wife-to-be, and they had style.
  26. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    I think it's been stated in this thread (or another) that C/S choose to do the throw 3x (or 2x) because those throws are actually more reliable for C/S than a throw 3f or throw 3l (I had asked the same question).

    Maybe a SBS 3t and SBS 3s in their LP is coming soon. I honestly think with those SBS jumps and a different throw, they could take D/C. They've really made a ton of headway this season!


    My statement was just tongue in cheek because I'm becoming a fan of theirs ...
  27. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

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    I wish she would. It seems that the coaches with teams that have great style/lines struggle so much technically. We need to take the strengths of each and build the perfect coach. :lol:
  28. figureit

    figureit New Member

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    This is assuming that coaches and anyone else for that matter buy costumes? I am sure coaches would love to have everything but it is a process. MY favorite programs have been very simple costumes WITHOUT stylists. I think teams do the best they can. Since families are paying for training etc etc...highering people to ie:"style you" is ridiculous. It is a performance sport so yes costume is important but please be real about it. As far as bringing the perfect coaches together that sounds a little like "Stetford Wives" and I have no desire to ever have that happen...ever...I think they all bring something special...in their discipline.
    I was at a Nationals once where people were complaining about a person wearing the same costume two years in a row. They said "we pay good money for these tickets so they should change their costumes?" That particular person was not only paying for skating themselves but instead of getting a new costume paid for his Aunts Chemo by working three jobs???. Get a grip...they are not celebrities earning millions for movies...or the Kardashians...so....let that one go and be real.

    As far as Sappenfield check the stats...she is the most successful pairs coach in the USA I started checking that out after France and NHK...it's amazing. Look at 08 and all the years she has coached...she is not perfect no one is...but man she is smart as a whip and obviously knows her discipline...I also love the Boston coaches and the Florida coaches..it is fun to see Menno and Sand coaching some up and comers...so...? um I think telling a brand new team barely together 6 months they are doomed cause they are with the most celebrated coach in the US is a little extreme...

    As far as changes I hope there is development not changes...S/K are awesome I love some of the other teams too I as a whole am very excited about where things are going..in US Pairs...and ya never know this new team and some others have brought HUGE surprises this year I DOUBT that will end in the future. from any of them. C/S well I have to say I thought they would never break through as they tend to blow it at Nats..but look things change Also Simon is tall and kind of clunky but this year he is a part of the choreography...so exciting!!
    I do love D'C too I have to say she is a spark of life that girl...and they seem happy on the ice. They don't owe me? I am just enjoying a very very difficult discipline taught by very talented coaches and enjoying their love of spirit and sport. Have you seen how high those twists are??? I would not be caught DEAD doing that...it is soooo hard!!!! Thanks goodness they are all brave enough to bring their talents and dedicate everything they own, have and do to this sport I so love watching pairs!! whoot whoot!!!
  29. jdonavan

    jdonavan Member

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    Actually... every lady that has a throw flip/lutz in Sappenfield's camp has learned and mastered it with other coaches. Any "home grown" (if any) teams she has do salchow and loop....
  30. figureit

    figureit New Member

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    I am sure with her and other coaches you do what the person or pair can do best from what I can tell but correct me if I am wrong.that is why C/S are doing throw Daxel??? in lew of another throw triple....The coach has almost nothing to do with that....some people are good at toe jumps/throws and some are good with edge throws.kinda depends on the person and usually someone with awesome turnout cannot do a flip or lutz very well..someone with more closed hips can do those better...that has been my experience although it is not vast..as far as other countries the coaching and training seems to be different more like you are doing this or else..where in America it is based more on what the skater "Likes" or "feels good about".

    ..as a coach that is not always in your control. Can't really say the same for the twist though...she for sure owns that...technique whatever it is...I've not seen any pair coach come close to that element the way she can obviously teach it....
    As far as different elements as skaters it seems to me there are favorites in elements...some love toe elements some edge elements...some love a more soft balletic approach some love to go fast and be killers on the ice..you can shape and mold but you cannot make it happen when it is not there...you work with and capitalize on what the assets are...that is always what John Nicks and Frank Carroll did...they did not teach a lot of basic skills learn to skate preliminaries...??? Good skaters came to them on the rise cause they were successful in their disciplines and those coaches worked with their assets and helped to create the dream... just thoughts...
  31. figureit

    figureit New Member

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    Also interested in what other think about this? IS it possible to teach what you want to teach regardless of the student body shape or ??? I know until recently the throw Triple flip and Lutz were really not required at all..then one year you had to do throw toeloop and I thought teams would die!! they all hated it..from what I could tell on their faces at Nats one year...it was scary....loop and salcow were the standard and as they are done more you will see them more but wondering if anyone else thinks it is more body shape and beginning training of the student at a non-elite level that shapes the student or can an elite skater come to an elite coach at the Senior or Junior level and be taught totally different elements and feel good about changes everything they know or are comfortable with? Just wondering...as a skater I was never great at lutz or flip and hated toes of any kind...loved edge jumps loop sal etc...could do them in my sleep but doing a flip was death to me. Wondering if anyone thinks it makes a different in pairs?
  32. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anyone should spend big bucks on a stylist, and I would never criticize a skater for rewearing costumes. I can only imagine how much they cost, but I don't think that not spending big bucks has to equate bad costuming. And I wasn't even referring to costuming when I said style. Good choreography and overall presentation are necessary. As successful as Sappenfield's pairs are, they all struggle to break into the top tier of pairs. I do think she knows elements and is good at getting her skaters to be consistent, but the music/choreography needs work.
  33. figureit

    figureit New Member

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    I agree with this except where it pertains to M/B they were exquisite so I think it always needs work..and is a work in progress and depends on the skater...no magic sometimes it is who the person/skater is that determines that... not with her teams with all teams..once in awhile you get a M/B and other teams that have a gift of all style/choreography etc...a natural gift there but they usually struggle with technique..so I think it is a work in progress and is what it is sometimes...
    Wow M/B were so amazing! Hope Rockne finds a suitable partner sometime.
  34. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ I take it you are referring to McLaughlin/ Brubaker, and not Marley/ Brubaker, since Mary Beth and Rockne were not coached by Sappenfield? I really enjoyed both M/B teams ... unfortunate for Rockne and fans of him and his partners that the partnerships were short-lived. Wishing Rockne the perfect pairing soon and wonderful success.
  35. carriemarie

    carriemarie New Member

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    I think Jdonavon's point is that the Delilah's teams don't try the lutz/flip throw unless they previously were able to do it with other partners (ie Denney w/Barrett). I think you can go with skaters strong points, but Delilah's teams aren't really raising the bar technically or artistically. She obviously gets her teams where they need to be domestically, but also is very generic, perhaps because she has so many skaters on her plate. I certainly cannot argue with her teams general consistency or results, but I think if America wants to be competitive on a global scale more technical difficulty and more emphasis on artristry/style needs to be addressed from the ground up all the way to D/C.
  36. figureit

    figureit New Member

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    I can see that but I don't think it applies to just certain teams but America in general. I think Technically we compete, in consistency we compete..yes artistry/choreography is important ..but when I see pang and tong wipe the ice on throws, death spirals jumps etc and have horrible lift positions and get 1st or second? well ?? That's just nuts!! Lets face it we are not the super power where pairs are concerned and never have been it wouldn't matter what we did on a world level.. I have seen judging still be an issue with giving America or even Canada its "just" scoring...someone said in the NHK or another GP forum I think? that the Russians or whomever could stay in the locker rooms and still win? The Germans who have horrible costumes and packaging this year (personal opinion) and some weird stuff going on in both programs could also stay in the locker room and still win...fair?( I do however appreciate them pushing the bar and doing sometimes crazy stuff) America being competitive happens now..D/C are doing great so are C/S really impressed with them as well as S/K I think D/S have a lot to offer too.love their style!..they all have positive and points to work on but not sure if they do they would ever beat Pang and Tong just due to politics..?? winning on a global scale without coming out of the locker room..??? not sure that is in the cards..It is just the life of pairs. Eventually USA made it happen in Dance but I am not sure pairs is ready for that. I hope it happens though...would be spectacular! and I still hold out hope that one day America will have that happen... along with fair judging in all disciplines at all world events and stages! as long as judging involves some personal likes and dislikes though or as long as it is judged by a persons feelings (PCS)and countries that will not allow Americans / Canadians to be on top without a severe fight... and it is not judged like a race where there is a clear winner and not a judging of a personal nature not sure it will but who knows...anything is possible.:D
  37. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    You seem to forget S/S won a bronze last year at NHK, so no, the judges are not just giving golds away to undeserving teams. There are no American teams right now that can challenge the top teams in the world, P/T included. It has to do with who they are partnered with and how they are packaged. D/C having a great twist and throws are not enough to downplay their weaknesses. Until these pairs get better choreography, they will only win in a very weak field or they need to hope the top teams mess up that badly. The sooner Sappenfield realizes that the better her teams will be.
  38. carriemarie

    carriemarie New Member

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    IA about Pang and Tong, but they have been around for, what, four Olympic quads now? That certainly helps their scores, although I don't think it's right and don't agree with it. I am not a fan of V/T and think they are way overmarked, but I do enjoy the Germans and their crazy style. The problem is America lacks a team with any sort of longevity. I am sure if D/C go for 2018 their marks will improve even if they don't, especially with their consistency and retirements of some of the top teams. I agree that there are teams in the US with potential, but there have always been teams with potential in the US and for whatever reason they don't reach it, break up, or retire before they can truly get to the top level of the sport. It has never been about the US not having the talent or depth in pairs. I blame it on the mindset of breaking up if you have one bad season, one coach cornering most of the market (as I think the Florida and Boston teams have much more interesting and innovative programs because they haven't taken on every student they can get), and the inability of the USFS to be able to politically back a team because of the constant changes in partners and different champions every year.
  39. carriemarie

    carriemarie New Member

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    I am sorry, but D/C were much better than P/T at Skate America. I don't like the team or their asthetic, but in both their GP's they were severely undermarked for what they did compared to the other teams. They were fairly clean in events where there were multiple mistakes by the winners. I know that their PCS aren't as strong, but a clean skate is a clean skate and they deserved to be above the Chinese and B/L, respectively, in both of their GP's. I think they were better than V/T at both competitions on those days (although I don't think they are a better team), but as current world silver medalists I can better understand them being held up. I am not saying Sappenfield gives them the right package as far as styling, choreography, and music, but they consistently deliver strong elements and near clean programs with confidence and that should be appropriately rewarded.
  40. nylynnr

    nylynnr Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    395
    Spot on comments from Figureit and Carriemarie. The pairs' judging at Skate America was lacking. The Russians gained positive GOE's for sloppily executed elements, while Pang and Tong limped into town without triples, flailed around on other elements and still won silver.
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