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  1. #1
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    U.S. Ladies [#6]: "Swaggering with the S'Wagner" et al. into 2013

    Starting this new thread a little early - credit goes to zebobes for the title.

    Re-posting from the previous thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by chipso1 View Post
    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


    Upcoming assignments:
    [LIST] [*] JGP Final (Leah KEISER, Hannah MILLER, Angela WANG)[*] GP Final (Ashley WAGNER)

    [B]The 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships are January 20-27 in Omaha, NE.
    SENIOR QUALIFIERS via Sectionals:
    Easterns 1-4: Samantha Cesario 163.53, Yasmin Siraj 151.35, Haley Dunne 139.69, Joelle Forte 136.47;
    Midwesterns 1-4: Ashley Cain 161.49, Becky Bereswill 149.44, Kiri Baga 141.42, Morgan Bell 133.06;
    Pacifics 1-4: Vanessa Lam 177.73, Courtney Hicks 161.72, Sophia Adams 131.49, Amanda Hofmann 122.29.

    Making their respective senior national debuts in Omaha are Gold, Hicks, Cain, Miller, and Hofmann.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 11-25-2012 at 04:26 PM.
    "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

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    It was nice to see Mirai getting a second GP and performing so well at NHK. She seems to be rebuilding her confidence. Her fp dress was lovely. It seems to be different from what she wore earlier in the season, but I could be wrong.

    Anyway on to GPF for Ashley, and bearing down for all to bring out their best at Nationals, and gearing up to peak at Worlds for those who win a berth.

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    LOL at the title of this thread. S'Wagner has certainly swagger her way through this season and looking a favourite at the moment. How quickly impressions change in less than 12 months.

    My Vcash bet however goes to Mirai. Got to stick with my original sentimental favourite US lady. The perpetual underdog especially now no longer has Frank for support. It was looking to be a dire season with only 1 GP assignment and rumoured funding issues. Yet weirdly by sheer luck, her career enjoyed a turned around with the NHK invitation out of no where and made her 2nd FS without a melt down and actually podiumed!! Hurray~ it is a bloomin' miracle to put it lightly!

    Therefore my support goes to Miraicle 'not an alien' Nagasu. Hope there is a miracle future installed for her, starting with the US nationals then the Worlds. One step at a time and hopefully she will soon be flying again. With the return her 3:3s, maybe just maybe she can provide a humbling experience to S'Wagner very soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    Therefore my support goes to Miraicle 'not an alien' Nagasu. Hope there is a miracle future installed for her, starting with the US nationals then the Worlds. One step at a time and hopefully she will soon be flying again. With the return her 3:3s, maybe just maybe she can provide a humbling experience to S'Wagner very soon.
    My pick to win is Ashley, but I always root for Mirai because when she is on she is just as talented any top skater. It's so nice to see her season turn around, and she has a smile on her face again. Last year just looked like torture for her. So I'm happy for her. I really can't understand how Mao beat her in the LP at NHK, I was amazed she did. Mao's skating is still beautiful, but it's not easy to watch anymore. And maybe it's me, but I find myself bobbing my head up and down when she's skating. I never noticed how 'bouncy' she is across the ice. I just am not appreciating her skating all that much anymore.

    And can someone explain what is required to get extra credit for a 'broken leg sitspin'? I've seen so many absolutely unrealized and wretched ones this year. Are they getting credit for the BLS even if it only looks like their free leg is slightly going off to the side? I think it was Gracie Gold's that was so bad.

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    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
    The race for that second spot is going to be so interesting.

    Note however, that Gao's score was for a clean competition so she is pretty much maxed out. She could upgrade her flip/toe in the free to a 3/3 to give herself 2 to 3 more points but that's it really. Her strength so far this season is her consistency and not having any UR calls.

    Nagasu, Gold and Zawadzki received comparable scores for sub par skates so they have a lot of scoring potential left unrealized.

    I guess it's the age old question of whether you want $20 for certain, or a 50% chance of double or nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Forrest View Post
    I really can't understand how Mao beat her in the LP at NHK, I was amazed she did. Mao's skating is still beautiful, but it's not easy to watch anymore. And maybe it's me, but I find myself bobbing my head up and down when she's skating. I never noticed how 'bouncy' she is across the ice. I just am not appreciating her skating all that much anymore.
    Well the numbers make sense. The URs hurt Nagasu in both base value and GOEs. She only got a little over 3 points in GOEs. Asada on the other hand accumulated 8 points GOE. And Asada did leave a great impression by having her most outstanding elements, the steps and the choreographic sequence, last in the program. That really boosted her PCS. Nagasu's program was kind of bland all the way through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    The race for that second spot is going to be so interesting.

    Note however, that Gao's score was for a clean competition so she is pretty much maxed out. She could upgrade her flip/toe in the free to a 3/3 to give herself 2 to 3 more points but that's it really. Her strength so far this season is her consistency and not having any UR calls.

    Nagasu, Gold and Zawadzki received comparable scores for sub par skates so they have a lot of scoring potential left unrealized.

    I guess it's the age old question of whether you want $20 for certain, or a 50% chance of double or nothing.

    If Gracie skates to her best and nails everything, she will likely receive the edge, IMHO, for the second spot. This assumes that Ms. Ash will be bringing her new found swag and consistency with her to Nationals and thus claim her second National title.

    I would love to see Christina or Mirai take silver. But realistically, even should Christina skate well, she may be given short shrift in the judging, just as she was in sp at Skate America. She was given better marks in the fp at SA, but it does seem that she's a bit low-balled even when she skates clean.

    So, obviously Mirai and even Gracie seem to have more international rep with the judges. Mirai's star has been tarnished and she's working on shining it up again, while Gracie's strong jumping ability and other intangibles seem to have anointed her in the minds of many as the next U.S. lady "entitled" to receive top billing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    The race for that second spot is going to be so interesting.

    Note however, that Gao's score was for a clean competition so she is pretty much maxed out. She could upgrade her flip/toe in the free to a 3/3 to give herself 2 to 3 more points but that's it really. Her strength so far this season is her consistency and not having any UR calls.

    Nagasu, Gold and Zawadzki received comparable scores for sub par skates so they have a lot of scoring potential left unrealized.

    I guess it's the age old question of whether you want $20 for certain, or a 50% chance of double or nothing.
    Gao is such a lovely, quiet skater that she goes under-recognized. Nobody was expecting much of her in her first GP event, which is why I think she was underscored for some truly light, deceptively smooth programs.

    The other skaters - especially Wagner and Gold - are much better at talking themselves up and getting recognized as a result, so skaters who prefer to let their skating speak for them - Gao - are ignored. I really hope the judges are watching and not just listening to the hype, because Gao deserves to be rewarded for the fine skating she puts out there.

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    I think Gao's short program is lovely. The free is a little overwhelming for her to be honest. She doesn't have that attitude or danceability to take on Libertango (yet, although I said the same last season too) nor is her movement quick enough. It ended up being more than she could handle - and I bet it hurt her in PCS.

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    If the current top 5 stay the top 5 after nationals, I hope they send #3-#5 to Four Continents so they at least get a championship out of this season.

    However, if Gold is #2, I'm sure they'll send her to 4CC as a tuneup for worlds.

    Nationals is going to be a scorcher!
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

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    I really doubt they won't send Ashley to 4CCs. She's the defending champion.

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    I think Ashley and Gracie will likely be 1 and 2, and if I had to guess, Christina will be 3rd, Mirai 4th, and Agnes 5th, just judging by the skating each has put out thus far this season. Gao seems very consistent which is why I have her ahead of Mirai (who's been more consistent but having UR and edge call issues) and Agnes (who's been better in terms of consistency, but still making enough mistakes to prevent her from scoring super well on the GP this season). Gracie seems like a USFS darling and further, her international scores with all those mistakes seem to suggest that she can edge out a clean Christina even with a few errors. The question is, if she does go clean, can she beat Ashley? If Ashley puts in a 3-3 and 2a-3t, I would say no, but if not...I wonder.

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    I hope the team is Ashley and Mirai. I think they are the best shot at three skaters for the Olympics.I believe Ashley can win at least a bronze, and if that is the case, Mirai would just need to be 10th or better. Totally do-able.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UGG View Post
    I hope the team is Ashley and Mirai. I think they are the best shot at three skaters for the Olympics.I believe Ashley can win at least a bronze, and if that is the case, Mirai would just need to be 10th or better. Totally do-able.
    That's my thinking, too. However, I think it is vital that Mirai pulls a slam dunk at Nationals and cleans up her URs. Like she did at 2010 Nats. If she comes out of Nats with talk that maybe she even should have won, like at 2010 Nats, then I think she can build momentum for Worlds. 10th place should be easy for her. Nagasu is too talented to be unappreciated by the judging panel, and I'm hoping her NHK performance started a new look at her by the judges.

    Gold is definitely an up and comer, but I'd feel more comfortable sending Wagner and Nagasu to Worlds to secure three Oly spots. But if Gold goes clean, it may be hard not to put her on the World team.

    Whatever the skates are at Nationals, I truly believe that the World team should be either Wagner/Nagasu or Wagner/Gold. I've loved seeing Gao's growth this season, and Agnes' too, but we want three Oly spots and those two skaters are a big risk. Gao because she might not have any rep, and Agnes because she's so inconsistent. Let's not take any chances this time, even if say a Czisny comes back and goes clean(ish) for her. The USFS has been almost reckless with their world teams the past couple of years, whether it's Flatt or Czisny they put on the team even after their prime.

    I just hope that everyone skates to their potential and comes off the ice satisfied and happy.

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    Wagner/Nagasu or Wagner/Gold...I'm cool either way!

    [but I still want Angela Wang to go to JW, medal, nail the GP next year and make the 2014 Olympic team! ]

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    Sarah and Drew's latest Inside Edge blog for IceNetwork is a Sectional champions roundup - here's an excerpt with a few quotes:
    After missing the last two U.S. championships, [Samantha] Cesario says her main goal for this year's event is to stay injury free. She is also working on adding a triple-triple combination.

    "Originally, I was working on triple loop-triple loop, but recently I've been trying to get triple flip-triple toe," she said.

    Vanessa Lam posted the highest score of any lady at the three sectional championships, at Pacific Coasts.

    "I felt good about the competition," she said by phone. "I felt like I performed as I wanted to, but going into nationals, I'm going to work on improving the performance aspect, working on mostly components but also improving consistency and stamina ... and to have a new personal best."

    Lam's goal is to qualify for the 2013 World Junior Championships.

    The Midwestern ladies event was won by Ashley Cain, the 2011 U.S. junior pairs champion and 2012 U.S. junior ladies silver medalist.

    "I felt really confident all week, and I had been training really hard since regionals," Cain said in an email. "I was happy to put out almost two clean programs and break the 100-point mark in the free skate. I was also really happy to have my triple Lutz back into my long program."
    ...
    "I just started training my triple flip and triple loop-triple loop again," she said. "I am very excited to compete against the top ladies in our nation. ..."
    "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

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    Out of curiosity, who do you guys want to be on the JW team?

    I think everyone is going to choose Angela Wang for 1 spot but what about the other 2?

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    I'm rooting for Cesario; then Keiser or Hicks (slightly preferring Keiser).

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    My dream team is Wang, Miller, Keiser.

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    Edmunds...yes, I do know that is a no go!! Most likely, right?

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