US Pairs 2012-13 news & updates

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

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  1. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    With the split of E/L and M/B, the US Pairs field really got winnowed down and easier to predict. I think it may go something like this -

    1. D/C
    2. C/S

    I will say that I find it interesting that D/C clean were getting total marks around 180 pts. on the GP, while C/S w/ a couple of mistakes were not that far off, scoring 174 pts. I feel that D/C will win nationals, but C/S might be closer than expected, perhaps even leading after the SP at Nationals. D/C's SP doesn't appear to be as well received as their LP internationally

    3. S/K

    They seem very comfortably entrenched as #3 US pair w/ only 7 months together. They are nearly 20 pts. above the rest of the field! Unless they are sidelined by an unforeseen circumstance, I think they will only improve (but not enough to make the World team) and probably get a 4CC's spot.

    4. D/S

    They do tend to improve over the course of the season so I think they could still be 4th despite their disastrous early season. It is extremely frustrating to watch them botch SBS jumps time after time, and not be able to do the death spiral correctly to even get any points on the element! They are too talented for that!

    5. D/L

    Doing OK for a new team but still below expectations IMO. I think their NHK LP around 100 pts. gives them a glimmer of hope and perhaps puts them on the right track. They seemed happy afterwards and it might motivate them.

    6. V/B

    Not great performances this season so far, but their marks are consistently around the 140s; enough to land them probably 6th or so at Nationals. I''m not sure judges will gift them any benefit of the doubt because they are an 'older' couple (relatively speaking) and are most likely not part of US pairs future.

    7. Z/B

    If they show us again their promise that we saw over the Summer, they could be higher, but they've hit a rough patch with her injury. When healthy, they seem motivated to do quite well. I hope they can show us their best side by Nationals and get on the right track for the future. If they do well, and D/L or V/B perform subpar, maybe they will be as high as 5th

    ETA - I think 4th - 7th are a big muddle and anything can happen. It will depend on who has a good competition.

    8. D/F

    Not enough data this year on this 2 for me to say definitively where I think they'll be.

    *I'm not sure where to stick Y/R. They've had zero competitions this year and what they showed during the Summer competitions was a little subpar. They strike me as a couple that will have great chemistry and we might catch a glimpse of that by Nationals, but technically, I see them probably skating cautiously w/ some errors mostly due to the fact that they are new and have nothing to go on so far.


    9. Probably K/O. They're outperforming L/L and B/T just has too little pairs skills at this point

    10. L/L

    11. B/T


    It's a little embarrassing at this point that the US has only 3 pairs who have met minimum TES requirements that are eligible to skate at Worlds
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  2. johndockley92

    johndockley92 New Member

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    My predictions

    Denney/ Coughlin - Obvious favorite
    Castelli/ Shnapir - Barring major errors, should make 2nd
    Scimeca/ Knierim - Can easily keep up technically, still have strides to make in PCS
    Zhang/ Bartholomay - Two clean programs and this team is officially on the rise

    Davis/ Ladwig - A surprising clean short has them in the running, but a couple mistakes in the FS take away the pewter medal
    Denney/ Frazier - Still missing some spark from both partners, probably one missed throw in the FS (They go to JR Worlds)
    Kayne/ O'Shea - Their first season together, don't quite have "it" yet.
    Donlan/ Speroff - Their PCS are the only thing that have them this high, as there are several glaring errors in their programs.

    Vise/ Baldwin - Team stock is dropping. Both are the past, will have to put together a truly great performance to even think about 5th place
    Leng/ Leduc - Her first year doing pairs, he needs some time in the gym (at least from the looks of it) before this team can take off.
    Baga/ Toth - Disasterous skate, Split after season... Could see her with Rockne?? :)
    Yankowskas/ Reagan - WD
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  3. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Yes, the top teams are fairly predictable, but sure some of my earlier guesses may be off by quite a bit re teams such as Zhang/Bartholomay; Denney/ Frazier; Davis/ Ladwig; and Kayne/ O'Shea (that's why some of my hedging) ;). johndockley92 you may be more on the mark. Actually, I'd love to see Donlan/ Speroff 4th and Davis/ Ladwig 5th at the least.

    I think Donlan/Speroff would obviously be considered more in the running for 3rd or 4th had they started off with more of a bang this season. And of course Yank/Reagan right now have shown nothing due to being injured/ not in shape/ not together long enough/ too many high expectations projected right after they joined up.

    Hmmm, interesting (and rather yummy speculation) re a Baga and Brubaker pairing; even their initials have the "IT" factor ... I wonder why Baga/ Toth are having such problems jelling/ gelling?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  4. johndockley92

    johndockley92 New Member

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    Baga is actually short enough for Rockne too :) ------------------ I don't know exactly the problem, but he seems like a bit of a diva, trying to be the star of the team (the star should be the girl). They only have one planned 5Li which is pretty bad for senior, it means that he can't do two lassos consistently (it's worth more, points-wise, and almost all senior teams do two lasso lifts).
     
  5. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    I just watched C/S the other day on youtube and am not surprised they won bronze at NHK. :cool: My mom loved them the first time she saw them at SA and I have to say they blew me away also; they're even better in person if that's possible, whereas I have to be honest I was a little disappointed in my favorite pair ~ D/S ~ they were better on t.v. then in person as far as their skating goes; their looks that's a whole other ballgame, they look like movie stars; he Brad Pitt/Leonardo Dicaprio, she Katia Gordeeva/Kate Middleton. But their skating was simply not in the league of D/C & C/S, whom were both powerful, excitiing, fast, dynamic and on a whole other level. In fact I'm hoping they can manage some combo. of 13 at Worlds, either 5+8 or 6+7. Crossing my fingers for them! :saint:

    I see D/S coming into their own on a gradual basis, like Evora & Ladwig did, they just have to keep with it, keep working hard, don't get discouraged, their time will come, set their sights on the 2018 Olympics. In the meantime keep plugging away at gaining more speed & power, landing their sbs jumps, gaining consistency, upping the difficulty on their lifts, taking it one day at a time, one new element at a time, a new one every year. Jmho, because they have everything else in spades. :hat1:

    As for the rest, to be honest none of them impress me, can't even be bothered to watch any of their GP assignments, a youtube video, et al. Once was enough.

    I'm way more excited about the junior pairs of Aaron/Settlage (my fav) and the pair that did a phenomenal performance to "Titanic" last year. She's something else. I saw her skate with her old partner and then her new one. Both pairings were terrific. Cant' wait to see both of these junior pair teams enter seniors in 2014. :)
     
  6. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    I think D/S haven't quite reached the point where their basic skating is consistently great, no matter how nervous or off they are. Having seen them at skating shows around Boston for the past few years, they can be :swoon:-worthy with sweeping edges and great lines, but I'm not sure that always translates into their competitive programs. Once it does, they should start doing extremely well.
     
  7. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    I get the gist you are referring to Baga's current partner. ;)


    NadineWhite, who are the junior pair who skated "a phenomenal performance to Titanic last year"? Is there a vid available? I too hope that Donlan/ Speroff keep working at it and don't give up.
     
  8. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

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    Simpson/Blackmer did the Titanic program. They are staying Jr for Nats. They had a rough JGP season (compared to last yr when they made the JGPF). I worry there isnt enough size difference between them.

    Their Titanic LP from the JGPF last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjHQkaKW_U4
     
  9. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Oh yes, thanks. Of course, I know who they are by name, and I have seen this performance before. Thanks for posting it and for citing them by name.

    Simpson/ Blackmer do seem to have a lot of potential as a pair. They made JGPF last season, but not this season. Unfortunately, pairs in the U.S. have seen so many splits and musical chairs teaming up over the years. Hopefully, S/B will last.
     
  10. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    A little down time at work.

    Here is a list of top 2 international scores / top domestic score or 2 (in parentheses) so far this season for those US pairs competing as Seniors at Nationals:

    1. Denney/Coughlin 179.21 178.90 (172.16)
    2. Castelli/Shnapir 174.86 174.51 (165.74)
    3. Scimeca/Knierim 163.10 156.00 (158.63)
    4. Donlan/Speroff 145.35 135.43 (150.00)
    5. Davis/Ladwig 143.70 122.26 (144.35)
    6. Vise/Baldwin 143.34 143.15 (138.68)
    7. Zhang/Bartholomay 143.32 (150.05)
    8. Kayne/O'Shea (150.50) (137.72)
    9. Denney/Frazier 127.33 (150.08)
    10.Baga/Toth (119.41) (106.73)
    11.Leng/Leduc (113.44)
    12.Yankowskas/Reagan ?

    Look at the muddle from 4th - 7th. Pewter is really up for grabs!
     
  11. Sylvia

    Sylvia Bring on the JGP & Sr B 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
  12. Sylvia

    Sylvia Bring on the JGP & Sr B 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
     
  13. Sylvia

    Sylvia Bring on the JGP & Sr B 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
     
  14. 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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  15. 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
  16. 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).
     
  17. 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.
     
  18. Sylvia

    Sylvia Bring on the JGP & Sr B comps!

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  19. 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.
     
  20. 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.
     
  21. johndockley92

    johndockley92 New Member

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    I agree! We have some good teams, and some strong up and comers from junior too!
     
  22. 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.
     
  23. 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!
     
  24. 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
  25. 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:
     
  26. 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
     
  27. 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.
     
  28. 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.
     
  29. 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.
     
  30. 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.
     
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