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  1. #781
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    ^^I agree.

    At worlds I didn't get the sense she was fighting tooth-and-nail to get a medal. She was very controlled but also very cautious which makes me think her goal was to place well enough to get those 3 spots back, which she did. Having 3 spots for Sochi gives her a cushion at nationals next year as well.

    I think Ashley needs to commit to the 3-3 from the beginning of the season and stick with it...not just see how it goes at the time of competition. She needs to be comfortable with it. I really think a 3F-3T is a good one for her simply b/c her 3F is one of her best jumps: lots of power, height and coverage. If she trains tacking that 3T to the end, she should be able to get it consistent enough to be reliable.

  2. #782
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    ^^I agree.

    At worlds I didn't get the sense she was fighting tooth-and-nail to get a medal. She was very controlled but also very cautious which makes me think her goal was to place well enough to get those 3 spots back, which she did. Having 3 spots for Sochi gives her a cushion at nationals next year as well.

    I think Ashley needs to commit to the 3-3 from the beginning of the season and stick with it...not just see how it goes at the time of competition. She needs to be comfortable with it. I really think a 3F-3T is a good one for her simply b/c her 3F is one of her best jumps: lots of power, height and coverage. If she trains tacking that 3T to the end, she should be able to get it consistent enough to be reliable.
    True. I was thinking of the loop because that is also a strong jump for her. But, as someone said, maybe a 3l - 3t seq. wouldn't be a good idea. She could try a 3f - 3t seq., though, if the combo doesn't work.

  3. #783
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    I agree that Wagner was basically skating just to protect 3 spots rather than to win a medal at Worlds. Her confidence I think was already damaged by the injury and her last two shaky long programs, and there was pressure coming from Gold, likely from the USFSA, and from the rise of other young skaters and the return of great veterans, so she reset her thinking. I think she year you will see her go more on attack mode, especialy with the security of having reproven herself to the USFSA and knowing that with 3 spots she is basically a cinch to make the team unless she falls 5 times at Nationals. I think you will see her working hard on the areas she needs to improve to win a medal such as a reliable 3-3 she can use in both programs, perhaps a 2 axel-3 toe combo, top levels on spins, continuing to define her style to increase her PCS. Everyone besides Kim is beatable for her, Kostner and Asada are still making enough mistakes even in an average or good competition she can realistically target them. The rivalry with Gold will be great for both of them too, and will keep both hungry as both surely want to be the #1 U.S skater. Both would atleast want to atleast be given one of the programs to do for the Team event in Sochi too, as the U.S has a great shot at a medal there, but if one became too dominant over the other or was generally doing better in both programs, wouldnt that skater be given both to do, or would they still split betwen them?

  4. #784
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    I agree that Wagner was basically skating just to protect 3 spots rather than to win a medal at Worlds.
    ...which, when you think about it, wasn't a BAD thing necessarily. It helps her this season, too...now, she can come in 3rd at Nationals (just like in 2010) and still go to Sochi. (slightly) Less intense pressure...

    Of course, she will need to do more if she wants a medal...and, quite frankly, (at least at this stage) hope for a Hughes 2002/Meissner 2006 miracle if she wants the Gold.

  5. #785

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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    ...which, when you think about it, wasn't a BAD thing necessarily. It helps her this season, too...now, she can come in 3rd at Nationals (just like in 2010) and still go to Sochi. (slightly) Less intense pressure...

    Of course, she will need to do more if she wants a medal...and, quite frankly, (at least at this stage) hope for a Hughes 2002/Meissner 2006 miracle if she wants the Gold.
    Not winning the US title wasn't a bad thing for Hughes in 2002 or for Meissner in 2006 ... so if Ashley doesn't win a third nat title, she shouldn't lose hope.

  6. #786
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    To be clear, I'm referring to the Olympic Gold, not national gold.

    Still, I don't think Wagner will be the favorite even at Nationals (but barring injury or meltdown, she shouldn't have too much trouble remaining top 3)

  7. #787
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    ^^Too soon to tell right now.

    I think Gold is the pre-favorite right now just b/c everyone knows what she's capable of, and Ashley is the second pre-favorite. Usually the lines aren't drawn in the sand until after the GP b/c then we'll have a better idea of where everyone is. But even then it's difficult to tell what will happen at nationals. Olympic trials pressure is immense and intense. Hopefully both ladies will rise to the occasion and deliver. Halfway decent skates from both equals a trip to Sochi but stranger things have happened.

    What on earth would happen if both the #1 and #2 skaters imploded at nationals? Yikes, scary thought...

  8. #788
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    I disagree. I think Wagner is the favorite at this point over Gold, having successfully defended her national title and placed higher at both worlds and WTT. But Gold is nipping at her heels and could benefit from not being the US favorite.

  9. #789
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    IIRC, Gracie hasn't beat Ashley once this season, yet most people still view her as #1. She's definitely the apple in the USFSA's eye right now. Ashley is still a favorite but they know it's just a matter of time before Gracie usurps that position. Gracie is a fresh faced all American girl next door with a pretty face and killer jumps...all they see is dollar signs right now b/c they can promote the hell outta that next year.

    It's that new baby syndrome. You love your first kid but the new baby requires more attention...that's what's going on with Ashley and Gracie right now. Technically Ashley is #1...but Gracie is the US favorite.

  10. #790
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    Well, you are right. It is too soon to know. However, based at the rate that Gold is catching up to and overtaking Wagner, I am making a projection. That said, anything can and will happen. Wagner could finally get that 3-3 (and 2A/3T) and begin to challenge Gold technically as well...either of them could stagnate, get hurt, etc...the list is long.

    I think of the two of them, Gold has the higher potential/ceiling...but of course, "potential" means squat if not tapped into. One of the biggest questions regarding Gold is whether she can handle the pressure of an Olympic season. At least Wagner has her 2010 experience to draw from. Possible advantage?

  11. #791
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    ^^Or possible disadvantage. It will all come down to the way in which she channels that experience.

    Ashley can't allow her "demons of the past" to show up at nationals next year. If that thought of "You blew it last time" creeps into her head, she could implode in a bad way. She'll want to use her failure to make the team last time as motivation for a reason to kick ass this time. Hopefully by then that confidence she had last season will be back. She has experienced the pressure of Olympic trials before so that is an advantage she'll have over Gracie but only if she uses it correctly.

    Gracie's main focus is going to be handling that sophomore slump most second year seniors find themselves in. For most of the girls this is the time they deal with body changes, weight gain, etc. Gracie appears to be finish growing (at least I hope she is) which means she gets to bypass the whole "my body is changing" portion of next year. However she still has to deal with the increased pressure and expectation which, as hard as it is to believe, will be even greater next season.

    Both girls have a long season ahead of them, that's for sure.

  12. #792
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    Wagner wasn't even that bad in 2010...it's just that Flatt and Nagasu were near outstanding and left absolutely no room for error from the others. And with only 2 spots, that was it. Wagner had a fall in the SP, placing behind Cohen as well as the other two. She then fought back in the FS, but it was only enough to pass Cohen for 3rd...Flatt and Nagasu left no wiggle room at the top.

    It was just hard luck on Wagner's part that there was no 3rd spot for her that cycle. I take it that's a big part of why she was so adamant about 3 spots this year. She KNOWS from experience how crucial it is, and that it can be the difference between the Olympics and the couch...

    But you're right, it depends on how Wagner utilizes that experience...whether it will work to her advantage or not.

    As for Gold, it's all about the mind. No doubt she'll be physically fit and ready but if she lets it get to her head...it could be 2012 SC all over again...

  13. #793
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    Ashley was great in the FS in 2010...I just think she was a little over-confident in the SP and she made that one critical mistake that ended up costing her a trip to Vancouver. I think Mirai beat her out by like 4 points that year. If Ashley had managed a clean SP, she may have ended up 2nd.

    ITA about Gracie. Physically she's great...it's all mental for her. She needs to learn not to think her way through her programs so much and just skate. Consistency is going to be her big thing too, especially on her 3-3s which were hit or miss last season. Hopefully her stronger second half of the season will carry over at the beginning of next season and she'll be able to build on those results and that confidence...

  14. #794
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    ...and Wagner needs to pace herself better to maximize her chances. Her tendency is to peak early in the season and then taper off.

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    Gracie may be the US's pet, but it's silly to call her the favourite over Wagner. Wagner as beat her every time they both went out last season, and Wagner was not living up to her potential in the second half of the season where she was beating out Gold. I'll believe Gold is the favourite when I see it Until then Wagner is No.1

  16. #796

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    Didn't Gracie outscore Ash in the last 2 Free Programs they skated head to head?

  17. #797
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    Didn't Gracie outscore Ash in the last 2 Free Programs they skated head to head?
    Not at WTT. Ashley had 128.8 points (don't remember the exact total) and Gracie was at 127.05 (I think). However, Gracie doubled her final Salchow. I agree with the poster above that said Gracie has more of a 'ceiling' than Ashley due to her raw skating skills, but Ashley is a fighter.

    Has anyone watched the videos of Ashley's LP when she executes the 2x combos? I noticed she jerks her landing leg on the 2x and it looks like it slows down momentum considerably for the jump on the back-end, thus making it nearly impossible to do a clean 2x-3t. Considering she had some problems with the 2x earlier in her career with UR's and such, I wondered if this is just for the fact the 2x is a weaker jump for her, but when she does a solo 2x in the SP, the jump seems fine. I'm guessing though that she over-anticipates the 2x-3t combo and it causes her to do this? Something to work on ...

  18. #798
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    In practice at worlds her 3/3 was better than her 2a/3t. Maybe she'll focus on just the one

  19. #799
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    Well I think it should have been Mirai and Wagner in 2010, but back then Flatt was USFS favorite, despite she mostly hovered around 9th and lower at Worlds after one fifth place showing, not to mention she never had any first places on the senior GP (albeit 4 silvers in her senior GP career).

    I see that Mirai has one gold at Nebelhorn, 2 silvers and 2 bronze for her senior GP career to date, with a bronze at 4CC.

    And wow, Ashley even prior to last season copped more medals internationally than Mirai and Flatt. And now with last season, Ash has got 4 bronze, two gold and two silver medals on the GP to date, and a gold at 4CC.

  20. #800
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbd1235 View Post
    Gracie may be the US's pet, but it's silly to call her the favourite over Wagner. Wagner as beat her every time they both went out last season, and Wagner was not living up to her potential in the second half of the season where she was beating out Gold. I'll believe Gold is the favourite when I see it Until then Wagner is No.1
    Ashley has been barely beating Gracie so far and Gracie has yet to put a strong SP and LP together in the same event. Even with her needing polish to her skating she was one doubled jump away from beating Wagner at WTT. One thing is for sure the two of them are the best 1-2 punch the US has had since Michelle and Sasha. They showed that at Worlds getting the 3rd spot back and then nailing their LP's back to back at the WTT.

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