I'm glad to hear Chen is back competing again!
I'm glad to hear Chen is back competing again!
Congratulations to Ross Miner for landing his first quad (4S +1.29 GOE) in competition and setting 2 new ISU personal best scores -- 235.37 (Total) and 161.96 (FS) -- at NHK Trophy in winning the bronze medal in a tough, deep field!
"Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden
Adding my congratulations to Ross!
I enjoy both of Ross' programs this season, and his hard work and determination re the quad is paying off! So glad he was rewarded for his wonderful skating in both his sp and fp. I think Ross deserved higher PCS too in the fp at NHK. He sure must feel like Japan is his lucky charm. But of course the luck doesn't happen without talent, hard work and perseverance. Ross went out there and decided he was going to nail that opening quad, and he did!
With due respect to Richard and Adam too for hanging in there. Of course there is no telling what will happen at Nationals. But for early season comps, and with Evan out with injury and Johnny recovering from injury, I think the verdict is in: Jeremy and Ross for the 2013 World team! I'm hoping that is the way it will work out at Nationals. Richard obviously also has a good chance to be very competitive, and there will be no lack of challengers, including Farris, Aaron, Messing, Mahbahnoozadeh, Razzano, et al. I'm also looking forward to seeing how Jason Brown will fare at Nationals in January. It would be great to see Jason Brown and Jonathan Cassar master 3-axels as they both possess superb artistry and musicality.
Last edited by aftershocks; 11-25-2012 at 06:58 AM.
I didn't realise it was Ross' first quad. Well done Ross! A new member of the Quad Squad. (Don't forget to pick up your t-shirt!)
Since the standings at the 2013 worlds will determine the number of spots in the 2014 Olympics, I would rather have an experienced skater like Jeremy- than a rookie- as one of the skaters on the team. If Ross skates well at the nationals, he fully deserves the spot too.
I used to think getting 3 spots for the Olympics were VERY important. But I don't think like that anymore. If Joshua wins a silver medal at US Nationals, I hope he'll be selected to the World team. (Well, if he wins, he'll be on the team for sure) Rookie or not, he needs the experience to compete as senior internationally. He has a real chance to be on the Olympic team. It's better for Joshua to be a rookie at this year's senior World, then as a rookie at the Olympics.
I'm thinking long term... My bet for the US Olympic team: Miner and Farris.
To be honest, I'm not a big Farris fan YET. But I see the potential. I can tell for sure Joshua will not be the top 6 at Worlds even if he lands all his jumps (including quad): Assume everyone else skate close to their usual level/ability. Realistically, he'll be somewhere between 8-12 at Worlds. On the technical side, he needs to work on spins. His PCS score is about 6-7s. He lacks connection to the music. The programs (both SP and LP) do not match his skating elements that well. His emotion involvement to the music comes and goes. But once in a while, I can tell he was completely aware of the music and reacted to it. That gives me a glimpse of hope that he may break thru the presentation mark in the future. I saw the same at Ross two years ago. When I predicted Ross was the next US leading man couple years ago, most FSUers didn't agree. Joshua may not be a 'total package' now. But I think he'll get there. Even though I may sound harsh with my criticism about Joshua's skating, I truly do believe he has the good to become the US leading man.
Anyways. I say Worlds team, at this point, should be Miner and Aaron. Then Abbott, Dornbush, and Farris for 4CC. I wish they'd spread the wealth and not make the two teams the same.
What's Aaron done this season that's so great? He wasn't even on the GP, was he?
I saw Ross at Skate Canada this year and was really impressed by his hard work and determination. He popped the 4S in the FS but sold the heck out of the rest of the program. He seemed much more intune to the music and connected more to the audience than he did at Nationals. If you want to send Ross some congratulations, he has a website at www.rossminer.net.
I sent him a message because I was so happy for him for landing the first quad in competition at NHK and for holding onto his composure in a deep field!
I have really enjoyed Adam since his senior debut, but am seriously thinking he is never going to have a reliable 3A or quad. His skating now is not playing to his strengths and he certainly did not look happy in the K&C here or at his first GP.
I will say that the real contenders for the Worlds team are Ross, Richard and Jeremy. I realize that Ross and Jeremy have an edge right now but Richard has so much raw talent, I must include him (it also may be due to the fact that I'm an uber).
Seriously, I don't know what Richard's issues are this year. He said poorly mounted blades did him in last year, but what's the problem this year? The Quad is hit or miss. It's really got to become more 'hit' for him to move forward. FWIW, that seems to be his only issue right now and Ross has been far from perfect with the 4sal. Jeremy is in the same boat: He's just as wobbly as ever and it's not just on the Quad. But Jeremy's PCS will carry him on a day where everyone is close in points.
I see the rest of the US men like this -
I foresee Joshua being a spoiler for the '13 Worlds team in a case where any two of Jeremy, Ross or Richard perform poorly, the judges may decide to reward Joshua to World team status and thus sending him to Worlds, just to get him experience for Sochi and beyond.
Outside shots for the podium, but not necessarily the team this year, are Keegan and Max. Both are honing their talents slowly but surely. Max is actually watchable and he's somehow rising above the Tom Z choreography so I see a future for him. Keegan is really admirable and he's going for it this season, but his Quad is more miss than hit right now. Plus, I don't see him as a fave of the USFSA at this point. He just needs more 'presence' on the ice to stand out among all of the aforementioned US men.
Poor Adam. He's trying but he's slowly sinking into the abyss. A small ray of hope is that he looks like he'd rather die than surrender the 3x (judging by the landings at NHK) and maybe a little more time w/ Arutunian will help. Also, Adam skates a lot more aggressively these days and I contribute that to Arutunian and Michael Seibert as well. But, even fairly clean, he has clearly slipped behind a flawed Richard by a health margin as far as international judges are concerned. In fact, I think his SB total this year is lower than what it was last season!
Stephen, Armin, Douglas and Grant have now shown any movement forward from last season. Still the same issues. I had some hope for Armin, but he's not really breaking out despite some early success w/ the Quad this season. Stephen is hot and cold on any given jump on any given day, despite the maturity he's shown in his presentation over the past 2 seasons. Douglas drew notice for some success w/ the 4toe back in the '10 - '11 season but I don't think he's landed a clean one since then. Grant still isn't solid with the 3x, despite a couple of season of trying.
Jason is safe due to his Jr. status ... for now. But, he needs to step it up w/ at least a solid 3x.
I don't think we'll ever see Evan again. And the cards are not falling in place for Johnny to be a top threat (injury, interests elsewhere - family, TV show)
Ricky's main issues right now are quads and the fact that he is not a good short program skater. The quad needs to become consistent because he's been skating good long programs all season minus the quad. I'm happy his 3a is back. But, even with the quad - he needs to work on his nerves during the short program. He falls on a rotated quad and then messes up the combo almost every time and he can't afford that. I do appreciate that he goes out for it each time in both the short and the long program though. I definitely think he, Ross, Jeremy and Joshua are the favorites right now for medals and I agree that Keegan and Max are the spoilers. It's going to be a bloodbath either way because there's not really one person who's standing out right now based on results so it's really anybody's game.
I don't see Farris as being ready to jump to the podium at Nationals as yet. Better for him to go to Jr. Worlds & win & have a shot at a spot on the GP next year. My gut is telling me it will be Miner & Abbott going to Worlds this year. Too soon to predict for the Olympic team altho I do think that Ross will make it. He keeps improving step by step, competition by competition.
I guess the World team will consist of the 2 men among Abbott, Farris, Miner, Dornbush and perhaps Rippon who land the most quads and 3axels at Nationals. The others are a bit low in the world rankings and that would mean skating too early in the short program. The US Fed must be extremely clueless as to who to support, with none of the senior men making GPF.
I say take a chance with Farris and Miner. Give them a little cushion. If they skate solid enough at Nationals, then send them to 4CCs (with Abbott or Dornbush) and then to Worlds. The chance of dropping to one spot is not that high, and there really isn't another combination that has a high chance to bringing back the 3rd spot anyways. Abbott almost always peaks around Nationals or 4CCs and pops too often.
My picks are Ross Miner/ Jeremy Abbott.
IMO USFSA will be picking the two skaters that could/have potential to score a 70+ SP and 160+ LP.
My dark horse is Joshua Ferris.
Max Aaron and Keegan Messing have done great without having GP spots, but realistically they are in the same boat as Richard Dornbush.
Unfortunately (and I'm pretty sure about this!) Adam Rippon, Armin Mahbanoozadeh, Johnny Weir, and Evan Lysacek are out of contention for the world team.
For the world team
For 4CC: (Abbott will skip it to rest I'm sure)
Miner and a combination of Ferris/Messing/Dornbush/Aaron.
I do think it is important for the U.S. men to bring back 3 spots for next season. That will provide another spot and more opportunity for perhaps an up-and-comer like Joshua to gain experience for the next cycle (post Sochi), if Joshua is lucky enough next year to grab a third spot at Nationals. It's important to review everything in addition to looking at who has performed strongly on the senior GP circuit. In making judgments, I think taking a "long term" approach to selecting the World team this season is a rather risky strategy.
Just because Jeremy has had some physical problems this season (and has also suffered from inconsistencies under pressure) does not mean he isn't talented and competitive with the best men in the world, IMHO. Jeremy has two of the best programs among all men this season, and his artistry surpasses Chan's and is at the least competitive with Dai's, if not superior to his as well. Of course, Jeremy needs to meld technical consistency with his unparalled artistry. Sure, Jeremy will also need to perform like he is the front-runner at Nationals, but I still have faith in Jeremy.
I agree with olympic that Richard is very talented too and will be in the mix competitively at Nationals, as should Adam if he can master his jumps and feel more comfortable with his new programs. I really like Richard's sp and he has a competent fp as well. However, Richard seems to still be working on building his confidence under pressure. Joshua, IMO will do well to perform to his abilities and get into bronze medal position at Nationals, but I think more likely it will be a victory for Joshua simply to make the top five at Nationals after his poor showing at Nationals 2012. If Joshua does well at Nationals 2013, he should probably be sent to 4CCs, and then try to win Junior Worlds. Mahbahnoozadeh and Razzano might also successfully land quads at Nationals, so it's not a slam dunk that Aaron and Farris will be leapfrogging over everyone.
While Max Aaron is a good quad jumper, he needs to work on many other areas of his skating and presentation skills, IMO. Keegan Messing has more charisma and entertaining programs than Aaron, but Messing also still needs a chance to build confidence and reputation and to work on consistency. It would be a mistake, IMO, to send junior skaters and up-and-comers who have never performed on the senior GP circuit to Worlds. Even should they skate clean, they will be low-balled. In 2011, Ross had made appearances on the senior GP circuit and Richard was the junior GPF champion and they both skated cleanly at Worlds 2011, but were completely low-balled in the marks because of their unknown factor (even with quads I doubt they would have been given the marks they deserved due to lack of reputation and high profile with the ISU judges).
No matter what happens, I'm looking forward to a strong competition at Nationals in the singles events. In a way, the fact no U.S. guys made GPF is fine. They should focus on working hard to prevail at Nationals and peak at Worlds (those who are selected to go ... again I'm hoping it's Ross and Jeremy and that they perform to their absolute best at Worlds and bring back 3 spots for next season).
I hope Jeremy is able to heal up, lose weight, and be on top of his game come Nationals. Sure looks doubtful at the moment, though. I hope he's well enough to get some quad practice in.
I do think Ross and Jeremy would give the highest placement potential at Worlds, but , still getting the 3 spots back is unlikely.