Yeah for breaking 60 points!
Yeah for breaking 60 points!
"Puccini cries out for spirals, but really good ones." ~ Dick Button, 1998 Worlds
Wow. Just watched the vids on Youtube for NHK ladies: More than anything else, I'm very happy not just for Mirai's score, but the fact that she fought like hell for the landing on the 2d 3toe (she was twisted around) ! She seems to have more desire in her this season than any other season in recent memory.
Agnes would've been in the thick of it had she completed the 3t-3t. But, I also like the way that Agnes is better able to present a program nowadays.
Finally! Mirai breaks 60. She fought for the landing on the second triple but I love that she's fighting and going for those 3/3 combos in the SP! Here's crossing fingers she nails her jumps (and no UR's please!) in the LP. Bummed for Agnes but hopefully she too will pull out a great skate in the LP.
176.68 for Mirai at NHK! Jumps to second best score this season for US internationally this season.
Im not a fan of Mirai, but she deserved 2nd at NHK and Mao should have been 3rd ( maybe even fourth )
So Ashley Wagner enters the GPF as the top qualifier here's hoping that she continues to kick butt in Sochi!
On another note, Christina Gao & Mirai Nagasu are 1st and 2nd alternates respectively.
Well Mirai still skated much better than CoC. Her jumps looked bigger and the rotation was pretty full on the lutzes and flips. What worries me though is that she consistently has underrotated her loops in every competition she's been in this year and the loop is normally a very solid jump for her. Congrats to Mirai on a bronze!
Go Mirai, I knew she had it in her. She seems so happy and relaxed this season, maybe this coaching move was a good thing. Frank is a great coach, but I think part of her problem was not having Evan to train with on a regular basis. From what I read he was a great motivator for her. Seems like things went downhill after the Olympics. I am sure the long ride didn't help. I hope she can keep this up.
Nationals is going to be interesting. That second spot is so crucial in the US getting 3 spots in Sochi. Gosh our girls are so inconsistent...I love Agnes but I'm almost hoping she doesn't make the world team. Can you imagine her skating a fabulous short only to fall apart in the long. I honestly don't care who goes as long as they are consistent. Gao is proving most consistent besides Ashley.
...or botching up the short like she did at NHK and winding up 10th and 20 pts behind the leader(s)...still, I'd choose her over Czisny at this point...but I'm almost hoping [Zawadzki] doesn't make the world team. Can you imagine her skating a fabulous short only to fall apart in the long.
No pair is a sure bet but at this point a healthy Wagner MUST be one of those two spots for us to have any shot at all. Gold MIGHT be the best choice at this point for spot 2, but even she is having some consistency issues particularly in the FS. A little unsettling how she handled SC, makes me wonder how she'll deal with the (much!) bigger spotlight of Worlds.
Then you've got Gao who seems to be on the upswing- still working out consistency issues, though...and Nagasu seems to be doing better than she has in quite some time (although never forget her meltdown in Torino...).
Among the 4 of them I'd probably say Gold 1st (solid score at COR even with mistakes), Nagasu 2nd (previous world experience gives her edge over Gao), Gao 3rd, Zawadzki 4th.
Gao has been the most consistent but she still doesnt seem to have the scoring potential to bring in big scores. Gold I am not certain about at this point. If Nagasu can build on NHK she might be the best choice for the 2nd spot. Hard to say though, could be any of those 3 really. Of course Zawadzki could get it if she skates well at Nationals, but I dont trust her at this point (and not sure I want her to skate well at Nationals and get it since even if she does I dont trust her at this point). Forget Czisny, she doesnt stand a chance this year, even if she skates great at Nationals by some miracle no way the U.S judges will put her on the team with this being the year to qualify spots for the Olympics. Maybe if she comes back strong next year and the U.S has 3 spots she can be in the fight.
Wagner will most likely earn her win at Nationals but even if she makes mistakes and someone else skates lights out be certain the U.S judges will place her 1st. There is no way they are not sending her to Worlds as National Champion this year, and rightly so given her international performances of the last year. It would take landing about only 1 triple for this not to happen.
Among the 4 of them I'd probably say Gold 1st (solid score at COR even with mistakes), Nagasu 2nd (previous world experience gives her edge over Gao), Gao 3rd, Zawadzki 4th.[/QUOTE]
Completely agree with this. Gold has a long way to go in the PCS department, but the judges seem to like her. Had she skated clean I believe she could of scored 180 +. Her speed really sets her part. Thrilled to Mirai improving each outing...ahh this going to be interesting. You are right about Ash...she has to remain healthy...Can we keep her in a bubble??
The value of 3 spots is really immeasurable. It's not good for the US or for Gracie to have everything depend on her at Worlds. It would be better if she could be a 3rd member of the team, with the US not needing her to do well to get 3 spots for Sochi.
Also, it's horrible to think of Mirai and/or Christina sitting out from worlds. They're alternates to the GPF for pete's sake.
OTOH, (back to Gracie) nothing builds confidence like excelling in a trial by fire early in your career. I'm sure it wasn't fun for Michelle at worlds in '94, but look how that turned out
"Puccini cries out for spirals, but really good ones." ~ Dick Button, 1998 Worlds
I'm not sold on Gao yet. I don't think she would be a good pick for the World team either considering she tends to fizzle out later in the season and has NEVER peaked at Junior Worlds.
Agnes is a no for me. She still hasn't proven she can skate two programs decently back-to-back and it's not like it's going to happen in a pressure packed Worlds.
Gracie hasn't really skated a clean LP this season, so I don't know. And she doesn't have much experience either and has nerve issues. Maybe Mirai is the best bet.
Remember, if Wagner can at least get on the podium, all her teammate has to do is remain in the top 10. I can think of two right now that can probably do that even with imperfect showings: Nagasu and Gold.
I think they should just give it to whoever skates best at Nationals. No U.S lady this year should go into Nationals with any clear advantage except Wagner who deserves to be protected even if she somehow has a bad event there.
A very successful GP series for the U.S. women! The most ladies GP medals out of any country this season, I believe:
Wagner (2 golds)
Gao (1 silver)
Gold (1 silver)
Nagasu (1 bronze)
Zawadzki (1 bronze)
And that's a wrap from the GP series! Congrats to Mirai on her bronze medal at NHK and a huge new SB score, and for Ashley as the top qualifier to the GP Final! Christina & Mirai are the 1st and 2nd alternates to the GPF, respectively.
2012-13 U.S. Ladies -- Top International Scores
1. Ashley WAGNER (190.63), Trophee Eric Bompard
2. Mirai NAGASU (176.88), NHK Trophy
3. Gracie GOLD (175.03), Rostelecom Cup
4. Christina GAO (174.25), Skate America
5. Agnes ZAWADZKI (172.95), U.S. Classic
6. Angela WANG (162.65), JGP Zagreb
7. Hannah MILLER (158.52), JGP Linz
8. Samantha CESARIO (157.72), JGP Linz
9. Leah KEISER (156.33), JGP Istanbul
10. Courtney HICKS (153.77), JGP Lake Placid
11. Caroline ZHANG (149.87), Skate Canada
12. Barbie LONG (147.19), JGP Bled
13. Kiri BAGA (142.22), JGP Lake Placid
14. Vanessa LAM (140.89), JGP Courchevel
15. Ashley CAIN (136.51), JGP Courchevel
16. Rachael FLATT (136.09), Skate America out for rest of season
17. Nina JIANG (115.48), JGP Istanbul
- JGP Final (Leah KEISER, Hannah MILLER, Angela WANG)
- GP Final (Ashley WAGNER)
The 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships are January 20-27 in Omaha, NE. Click here for a complete list of Juvenile-Senior competitors.
For me, US Nationals will be one of the most exciting national competitions in quite some time: Wagner is at the top of her game and the leading world scorer thus far. BTW, it will be interesting to see what Yu Na does score-wise in December at the NRW competition.
On top of that, I think we will see an extremely tight competition for 2nd: And any of Nagasu, Gold, Gao and Zawadzki could be that person.
I would rank Nagasu and Gold as leading the race for #2 right now - Nagasu has the PCS, 2nd highest score thus far coupled with previous experience. She also has a hunger I have rarely seen in her. However, Gold has the biggest scoring potential and the love of the USFSA. Nagasu really needs to clean up the UR's and Gracie needs to show she's not overwhelmed by having the status of a top Senior lady. Whoever conquers their biggest obstacle will undoubtedly be #2.
Gao is the sleeper. She has had a couple of mediocre skates in the past, but seems to have found her place in Massachusetts. It's helped her focus and finally puts her in the thick of things after being in 5th place the last couple of years. She is incredibly consistent now. However, her lack of experience in big Senior competitions after 2 years of trying might put her behind Nagasu and Gold in the minds of the USFSA. Also, I think a 3-3 at least in the SP (if not in the LP, too) would really help her cause. If she hits at least one 3-3 and there are any mistakes by Nagasu and Gold, she could be #2.
IMO, Zawadzki is behind all of the above. While she rocks the SP (and I wouldn't be surprised to see her leading at nationals after the SP), she blows the LP. Now, it's a step up for her that as of this season, with the exception of the Japan Open, she has graduated from melting down in the LP to just being hot and cold. I know that's not a ringing endorsement but at least she's a real contender. Still, I think all of Nagasu, Gold and Gao are ahead of her in the minds of the USFSA. She really needs to rock an LP to show everyone that she could be #2.
I really don't know about Czisny. We have obviously seen nothing from her. She doesn't strike me as someone that can debut at Nationals and psychologically deal with a tense competition filled with resurgent US ladies. She missed the deadline to compete at Golden Spin in Zagreb to test drive her programs, so I really hope she can get to a competition and make it work by January. It's her only hope. Still, I hope to see her at Nationals skating competently. She will only add to the mix and drama.
Also not being discussed is Zhang. After '12 Nationals and 4CC's, I thought she was on the road to somewhere. Last year, we were talking about how Zhang and Nagasu as peers started out together in the Jr. ranks, and that Nagasu lost her groove while Zhang got hers back. Less than one season later, the roles are reversed (again)! Does anyone think she'll come back by Nationals? I hope she's not injured or something!
I also don't see any US Junior ladies being a menace at Senior nationals (Miller, Wang, Keiser, Cesario). There are a decent no. of US Senior ladies getting the job done that the Junior gals will be held back a little on PCS. I really want to see Cesario finally debut as a contender at Nationals. I want her to catch a break on the injury front!
But, maybe none of the above will matter, because Flatt could come back and kick everyone's a$$