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  1. #661

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    Quote Originally Posted by haribobo View Post
    I haven't seen Purich/Tran yet- what are their prospects like?
    You can watch their TEB videos here: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...=1#post4053911

    TES / PCS breakdown of Grand Prix FS scores:

    Denney/Coughlin 63.54 / 56.95 (120.49 at TEB, skated 5th in FS)
    Denney/Coughlin 63.38 / 56.99 (120.37 at Skate America, skated 3rd)
    Castelli/Shnapir 57.46 / 57.09 (114.55 at Skate America, skated 4th)
    Scimeca/Knierim 57.78 / 56.36 (114.14 at Rostelecom Cup, skated 4th)
    Zhang/Bartholomay 60.63 / 51.96 (112.59 at Skate America, skated 2nd)
    Castelli/Shnapir 55.30 / 55.99 -1 (110.29 at NHK Trophy, skated 4th)
    Denney/Frazier 54.10 / 55.08 (109.18 at NHK Trophy, skated 5th)
    Zhang/Bartholomay 55.79 / 50.40 -1 (105.19 at Cup of China, skated 1st)
    Denney/Frazier 53.35 / 51.37 -1 (103.82 at Skate Canada, skated 4th)
    Scimeca/Knierim 49.81 / 54.92 -1 (103.73 at Cup of China, skated 5th)

    Davis/Brubaker 52.47 / 49.55 -1 101.02 at Skate Canada, skated 2nd)
    Davis/Brubaker 47.50 / 52.81 (100.31 at Rostelecom Cup, skated 2nd)

    ETA Senior B FS score breakdowns:

    Denney/Coughlin 65.35 / 61.46 (126.81 at USIC)
    Kayne/O'Shea 54.22 / 53.74 -1 (106.96 at USIC)
    Donlan/Speroff 53.09 / 53.47 (106.56 at Graz)
    Calalang/Sidhu 53.66 / 52.68 -1 (105.34 at Cup of Nice)
    Kayne/O'Shea 53.83 / 51.85 -2 (103.68 at Graz)
    Castelli/Shnapir 52.32 / 53.33 -2 (103.65 at USIC)
    Donlan/Speroff 50.70 / 53.86 -1 (103.56 at Nepela)
    Davis/Brubaker 51.14 / 51.73 (102.87 at Nebelhorn)
    Scimeca/Knierim 52.63 / 50.54 -1 (102.17 at Nepela)
    Denney/Frazier 50.24 / 44.53 -1 (93.77 at Nepela)
    Leng/LeDuc 38.26 / 48.80 -4 (83.06 at Cup of Nice)
    Zhang/Bartholomay 37.70 / 42.27 (79.97 at USIC)
    Last edited by Sylvia; 11-25-2013 at 04:00 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  2. #662

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    One dark cloud about US pairs in general: While they have been slowly, almost painfully, improving. The rest of the elite pairs skating world is improving more steadily and faster - more and more pairs are reaching or flirting w/ 200 points and just as another example, B/H from Italy were beaten at Worlds '13 by S/K but now they have shot ahead scoring a GP win and 190 points. The Canadian teams are doing quite well, the Chinese are back and the Russians are developing incredible depth in the teams ranked no. 3 - 5. It means that the hard work of US pairs will probably not get noticed very much by the casual observer.

    I think one obvious technical issue for US pairs continues to be the SBS jumps. US teams seem to hit a brick wall there, in that they can't do 2 sets of SBS triples w/ one in combo. Our top teams are stuck doing SBS 2x's which is turning into a relic of the past or attempting SBS triples and either doubling or splatting. Good progress has been made on most everything else, though such as throws, twists, and levels on non-jump elements (for the most part).

    The other issue is PCS - the US top team (D/C) have made wonderful improvements and are working hard, but still lack that natural ease of movement that sends other elite teams over the top toward that magical 190 - 200 point range (I still totally respect all their efforts on PCS, though).

    Interesting thoughts on U.S. pairs. I'm not that worried about the SBS jumps for our pairs. Yes, they're a weakness. But in point of fact, SBS jumps are hit-and-miss for most pairs teams. Just the last two weekends, we've seen S/S, P/T, B/L, and MT/M all struggle with them at various points. How many teams really are consistent with them? Right now, V/T, maybe D/R, and actually D/C (but the latter are doing lesser content). I'm not saying our pairs are good at SBS jumps--on the contrary, I feel like shaking Simon for his continued misses on all the SBS jumps. But at the same time, I feel like it would be a mistake for U.S. pairs to overly focus on this element. If you are great in other areas, like the top teams in the world, you will be forgiven some mistakes on SBS jumps. It's the other areas our pairs need to work on. Personally I feel the areas most lacking in U.S. pairs are:

    1. Speed and edge quality. Most of the U.S. pairs need much faster, stronger stroking. As good as S/K are, they look really slow at times. Speed is #1 in pairs. You must have it.

    2. Overall "pairs quality." I think of pairs quality as the team's overall synchronization, unison, and smoothness of connection. If a team has good overall pairs quality--just their ability to move well as a team--then high PCS scores will follow, even if the programs aren't great or groundbreaking. U.S. teams just need to get a lot better in this area. Too many times during U.S. pairs programs, you see the partners reaching for each other after an element--and being too far apart--or they're out of sync on footwork--or the pairs spin is slowing down because their changes of hold are awkward--just so many moments like that. Just the basic quality of the partner skating needs to be better.

    3. Attack. When you watch U.S. pairs, they're doing arm movements, they're doing footwork. But it all lacks attack and crispness and sharpness. You compare Scimeca/Knierim's SP, for example, to Stolbova/Klimov's SP in Russia. Stolbova/Klimov obviously had issues, but still they had that characteristic Russian sharpness and attack in their movement. Their upper body/arm movements were strong, focused. Scimeca/Knierim's movement looked sort of soft and indefinite in comparison.

    I know this sounds negative, but I only say it because I want so much for our pairs to improve. With S/S, V/T, P/T and more retiring after this season, and no real obvious successors, there's really a chance for U.S. pairs to take a big step in the next quad and start to be a factor, if they can work on these issues.

    Just as a side note: I'm wondering if Scimeca/Knierim would benefit from a coaching change. They seem very comfortable with Sappenfield but I'm not sure if she's the coach to take them to the top level. Anyone have thoughts on this?

  3. #663
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    Quote Originally Posted by clairecloutier View Post
    Interesting thoughts on U.S. pairs. I'm not that worried about the SBS jumps for our pairs. Yes, they're a weakness. But in point of fact, SBS jumps are hit-and-miss for most pairs teams. Just the last two weekends, we've seen S/S, P/T, B/L, and MT/M all struggle with them at various points. How many teams really are consistent with them? Right now, V/T, maybe D/R, and actually D/C (but the latter are doing lesser content). I'm not saying our pairs are good at SBS jumps--on the contrary, I feel like shaking Simon for his continued misses on all the SBS jumps. But at the same time, I feel like it would be a mistake for U.S. pairs to overly focus on this element. If you are great in other areas, like the top teams in the world, you will be forgiven some mistakes on SBS jumps. It's the other areas our pairs need to work on. Personally I feel the areas most lacking in U.S. pairs are:

    1. Speed and edge quality. Most of the U.S. pairs need much faster, stronger stroking. As good as S/K are, they look really slow at times. Speed is #1 in pairs. You must have it.

    2. Overall "pairs quality." I think of pairs quality as the team's overall synchronization, unison, and smoothness of connection. If a team has good overall pairs quality--just their ability to move well as a team--then high PCS scores will follow, even if the programs aren't great or groundbreaking. U.S. teams just need to get a lot better in this area. Too many times during U.S. pairs programs, you see the partners reaching for each other after an element--and being too far apart--or they're out of sync on footwork--or the pairs spin is slowing down because their changes of hold are awkward--just so many moments like that. Just the basic quality of the partner skating needs to be better.

    3. Attack. When you watch U.S. pairs, they're doing arm movements, they're doing footwork. But it all lacks attack and crispness and sharpness. You compare Scimeca/Knierim's SP, for example, to Stolbova/Klimov's SP in Russia. Stolbova/Klimov obviously had issues, but still they had that characteristic Russian sharpness and attack in their movement. Their upper body/arm movements were strong, focused. Scimeca/Knierim's movement looked sort of soft and indefinite in comparison.

    I know this sounds negative, but I only say it because I want so much for our pairs to improve. With S/S, V/T, P/T and more retiring after this season, and no real obvious successors, there's really a chance for U.S. pairs to take a big step in the next quad and start to be a factor, if they can work on these issues.

    Just as a side note: I'm wondering if Scimeca/Knierim would benefit from a coaching change. They seem very comfortable with Sappenfield but I'm not sure if she's the coach to take them to the top level. Anyone have thoughts on this?
    Good points. I only referenced SBS jumps because that is an obvious tech issue and you are right, other teams have jump issues but can make up points based on all those intangibles that you outlined which contribute to PCS. I think S/K's romantic involvement so far helps them (so far!) but yes, refinement and attack / speed will hopefully come with time. They are still relatively new as a pair.

    I applaud C/S for their commitment to PCS, too but again they need to do something better than a 2-2 in the LP. The brick wall for US pairs: Trouble w/ 2 sets of triples AND bringing all the PCS together

  4. #664
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    Quote Originally Posted by haribobo View Post
    Who does Canada have that is better than the US teams besides MT/M and D/R though? I haven't seen Purich/Tran yet- what are their prospects like? For China, I can't imagine Pang/Tong will keep going after this season, but Peng/Zhang probably will, and Sui/Han are doing decently also.

    Will Volosozhar/Trankov and Savchenko/Szolkowy retire after this year?
    US actually has much more depth in Pairs then Canada does. You could say the same thing about Canadian Mens also compared to US Men. It's just that their top man and Pairs teams are better then our top men's and Pairs team right now.

  5. #665
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    I thought this thread was supposed to be about American/USA Pairs.

    And on that note, I'd just like to say I'm proud of all of our Pairs, they did great this past season, now onto Nationals!

    Btw, Graz, Austria, provided a livestream to the Ice Challenge Gala as well, and you can see both American Pair Teams skating their respective exhibitions: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/1...events/2546284

    Here's hoping Donlan & Speroff do well enough at Nationals to get a 4CC spot. That would be a great way to end their season.

  6. #666

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    Quote Originally Posted by NadineWhite View Post
    Here's hoping Donlan & Speroff do well enough at Nationals to get a 4CC spot. That would be a great way to end their season.
    Here's hoping they go to Sochi and to Worlds. That would be a better way to end their season.

  7. #667
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    Quote Originally Posted by clairecloutier View Post
    Just as a side note: I'm wondering if Scimeca/Knierim would benefit from a coaching change. They seem very comfortable with Sappenfield but I'm not sure if she's the coach to take them to the top level. Anyone have thoughts on this?
    I think they should stick with her. It's way too early to say that she's not the right coach for them, especially since they've only been together 1 1/2 seasons. Also, she's taught him for quite awhile.

  8. #668

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    Quote Originally Posted by johndockley92 View Post
    I think they should stick with her. It's way too early to say that she's not the right coach for them, especially since they've only been together 1 1/2 seasons. Also, she's taught him for quite awhile.
    I know it's still early in their career. But if you think of them as the U.S. pair with the most overall potential, the question is how do they maximize that? Chris is 26 now, will be 30 for Pyeongchang, so I think you have to look at this next quad as the prime of their career. Who can help them get to the World medalist level? I think of a coach like Richard Gauthier. He's shown he can take pairs to that World champion/medalist level. He'd done it now with at least 3 different pairs. Whereas Sappenfield has not shown that yet.

    I think Alexa & Chris have great potential, but they're going to need to push themselves. They need more speed & also better material. This year's Ever After LP is like their Moonlight Sonata SP last year--nice & pretty, but it doesn't make a strong impression. Compare it to Antipova/Maisuradze's Pink Floyd/AC/DC LP or Stolbova/Klimov's Addams Family LP. While those LPs are surely not to everyone's taste, they are at least different & somewhat memorable. They help those pairs stand out a bit. Whereas Ever After is nice but generic. To some extent, I question Sappenfield's packaging of both Scimeca/Knierim and Denney/Coughlin.

  9. #669
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    This is the "dark cloud" hanging over US Pairs: break ups. Our pairs play musical chairs with their partners and instead of refining are always starting from scratch.
    Look at this results page from US Nationals in 2011 and then compare it with the list of skaters in post #661 above:http://www.usfigureskating.org/leade...004SEG008.html

  10. #670

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    Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir and Gretchen Donlan/Andrew Speroff deserve kudos for being the only 2 teams still together from 2011 Nationals!

    Ice Challenge Senior Pairs SP archived video (Donlan/Speroff skated #3 and Kayne/O'Shea #6 of 6): http://new.livestream.com/accounts/1...ideos/35394856
    Senior Pairs FS (K/O skated #3 and D/S #4 of 5):http://new.livestream.com/accounts/1...ideos/35546010
    SP protocols: http://www.skateaustria.com/ergebnis..._SP_Scores.pdf
    FS protocols: http://www.skateaustria.com/ergebnis..._FS_Scores.pdf

    Scimeca/Knierim's Rostelecom FS (British Eurosport): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uS2Kli269fk

    ETA link to a new site for North American Pairs & Dance - scroll down to see the "U.S. Senior Pairs, Season Total Score Progression" graph so far this season, along with a scores compilation: http://www.twofortheice.com/pairs-2013-14/
    (too bad I didn't come across this new site before I compiled all those FS scores in post #661!)
    Last edited by Sylvia; 11-26-2013 at 05:40 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  11. #671
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    Syliva, thanks for the link to the new site. The graphs are cool.

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    A few skater's fb photos come up on my news feed. There's always the after GP event reception and every time Rockne Brubacker never joins the US team to take a picture. Does anybody know why?

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    How do you know it's "every time"?

    ETA link to a nice Team USA pic from Graz, Austria:
    Anastasia Cannuscio ‏@StasiaRose 24 Nov

    Bringing home 3 golds and a bronze for USA! @DonlanSperoff @doshea213 @TarahKayne @courtneynhicks @ColinJMcManus http://pic.twitter.com/b3bz9NE4JC
    Last edited by Sylvia; 11-27-2013 at 03:29 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    Maybe he's the photographer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    How do you know it's "every time"?
    Sorry, hyperbole on my part, but at both of his GP's this season he didn't go. Believe me that I'm not trying to start a controversy

  16. #676

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    Quote Originally Posted by icellist View Post
    Sorry, hyperbole on my part, but at both of his GP's this season he didn't go. Believe me that I'm not trying to start a controversy
    Maybe he's chronically late, maybe he's the photographer, maybe he doesn't enjoy the drunken hi-jinx that typically go on at the after party. There could be many perfectly legitimate reasons for his absence.

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    Simpson/Blackmer split: http://www.usfsa.org/Story.asp?id=49788&type=media

    Both will look for new partners.

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    USFS tweeted this "winning moment" when Simpson/Blackmer became the 2013 U.S. Junior Pairs champions last January:
    Our favorite Simpson and @MattBmer photo. http://pic.twitter.com/zYagQOXaOq
    There now are 12 Senior pairs scheduled to compete at Nationals:

    Byes (8):
    Marissa Castelli (The SC of Boston)/Simon Shnapir (The SC of Boston)
    Lindsay Davis (All Year FSC)/Rockne Brubaker (All Year FSC)
    Caydee Denney (Broadmoor SC)/John Coughlin (Kansas City FSC)
    Haven Denney (Panthers FSC)/Brandon Frazier (All Year FSC)
    Gretchen Donlan (The SC of Boston)/Andrew Speroff (The SC of Boston)
    Tarah Kayne (Southwest Florida FSC)/Daniel OíShea (Skokie Valley FSC)
    Alexa Scimeca (DuPage FSC)/Chris Knierim (Broadmoor SC)
    Felicia Zhang (SC of New York)/Nathan Bartholomay (Southwest Florida FSC)

    Eastern Sectional (exhibition) - Alexandra Shaughnessy (SC of Boston)/James Morgan (SC of Boston)
    Midwestern Sectional (both elected not to compete) - DeeDee Leng (DuPage FSC)/Timothy LeDuc (Eastern Iowa FSC) Britney Simpson (Broadmoor SC)/Matthew Blackmer (All Year FSC)-SPLIT
    Pacific Coast Sectional - Jessica Noelle Calalang (DuPage FSC)/Zack Sidhu (Las Vegas FSC), Jessica Pfund (Broadmoor SC)/AJ Reiss (Los Angeles FSC)
    Last edited by Sylvia; 12-02-2013 at 10:25 PM. Reason: To add USFS' tweeted photo of S/B
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  19. #679
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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Simpson/Blackmer split: http://www.usfsa.org/Story.asp?id=49788&type=media

    Both will look for new partners.
    I was looking forward to seeing their programs this year. I thought they were a good match.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TanithandBenFan View Post
    I was looking forward to seeing their programs this year. I thought they were a good match.
    I was looking forward to their programs as well, they had a great look together on the ice. But I thought the lack of a big height difference might make the transition into Seniors particularly challenging for them. He is not a particularly big guy, and she's a little taller than the average pair girl (5'3"). They handled the size difference well in Jrs, but with the extra lift in the LP and the necessity for a clean triple twist in Srs, it gets quite a bit tougher. They might have been able to manage, but with the injury issues this year, they were facing an uphill battle to be able to compete this season. It's a shame they didn't at least get to compete at Nationals.

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