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

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Sylvia, Nov 25, 2012.

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  1. bek

    bek Guest

    Ugh. The point is Gao skated well at Nationals, she had a hiccup in the short, but no where near the mess up Gracie had, and her long program with 6 triples was far better than what Wagner put out. Can we please not get into some of the other girls PCS. Agnes doesn't get higher PCS than Gao internationally-neither does Gracie...

    The difference is Gao even though she made the GPF didn't nearly get the PCS boost the US pets (Gracie, Wagner, and Agnes got) It was clearly political....

    I'm sorry it is a problem when the US federation plays favorites like they did. Some skaters get huge PCS boost some skaters don't. Christina didn't bomb one of the two programs like our World team members did.....

    Its HIGHLY arguable that Agnes outskated Gao at Nationals. And frankly Gold's overall placement is HIGHLY arguable too, considering Gold's terrible short. And the huge PCS boost Gold got..
  2. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member


    WORD! :)

    Entire post. :respec:

    'Nuff said. Good night.
  3. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    I gotta tell you after watching Euros / 4CC's, I'm becoming a little more pessimistic in general about the chances of US ladies - all the big players in the rest of the world seem to be peaking - Sotnikova, Kostner, Tuk, Asada, Murakami seem to be at their best. Suzuki is holding her own. Ashley and Gracie are questionable at this time, if not regressing.

    But, not sure if I'd jump on the Gao wuzrobbed train. Going into the GPF, Gao had 174 pts. from SA while Gold had 175 pts. from CoR. Both had silver medals from their respective GP events. Gao's performance in the GPF was her worst of the season, so heading into Nationals, IMO Gold had the edge even if Gao made it to the GPF. Gold had 2 major errors in the SP, Gao had 1 error. Gao skated well in the LP but had a wonky spin. Gold skated lights out in the LP. So, the judges at Nationals / USFSA went with the best choice at the time. I do think arguments could be made about Gao being on the podium, though, as high as 3rd.
  4. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    Here's the thing though. The competition could have been held TOMORROW instead and Gold may have come out on top instead of Gao.

    While I expected Gold to have some issues, it's by no means a "Gao was robbed" thing for me. Look how she did at GPF - distant, dead last in the field. She was clearly not in the same class (that week) as the other competitors. I'm willing to bet that didn't go ignored leading up to US nationals. (Is it right? no but it's this psychological, unconscious stuff that happens). Plus, as the above poster pointed out, squeaky-clean Gao scored LESS than a Gold with mistakes at COR.

    I can understand the argument for Gao perhaps being 4th (or even 3rd) at Nationals, but definitely no higher. That said, I do think she should earn first alternate status over Zawadzki for Worlds (probably too late to change that anyway, but again, USFS really should wait in the future).

    It's really an issue of peaking IMHO. The US has the talent, but our women seem to peak early. By Worlds it's basically just picking up the pieces left from the rest of the season.
  5. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    You have a point but I don't think all US ladies peak early. I think the issue is that skaters who placed well at nationals aren't always the same ones who will do well at worlds for various reasons.

    Of course, the Japanese ladies have this issue of letting nationals decide all, though with their ladies it's pretty clear who the top ladies are, for the gap between Mao, Akiko and Kanako and the rest is obvious.
  6. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    Gold's quote after her FS (published in USFS' Skating magazine blog):
    “I’m going to go home and take it easy for about a week to recover mentally and physically before I start my training for worlds.”
  7. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    It was like that in the US for a while, too. After Kwan/Lipinski, then Kwan/Hughes/Cohen, then Kwan/Cohen, a pretty big step down to the rest of the field. It was easy to let Nationals decide since the results were basically guaranteed.

    Now, the field has incredible depth, but unfortunately none have the chops to compete with the best in the world. Therefore, we continue to be stuck in this rut. And we're going to be stuck here until the world team (whomever is on it) FINALLY performs up to snuff. No indications of it happening this year...
  8. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    US has had pretty rotten luck the last couple years. There will be a championship where the pent up energy gets released by the US ladies team. I don't know whether it will be at this worlds but I think it will happen.

    IMHO, what USFS could do is to send talented ladies to a season's worth of non-high level competitions before sending them to prime-time. Agnes and Gracie both could do more jgps the season before going sr internationally.

    That will mean letting jr ladies do junior, however, and it may also mean skipping over ladies who might have placed well the previous nationals. Not sure if this will happen soon.
  9. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

    While I'm going into Worlds with low expectations for the U.S. ladies, I do think the fact that Nationals & 4CCs are so close together was a factor here. I'm sure it was difficult for Gracie to come down from the high of her amazing Nationals FS, travel to Japan, and be expected to skate lights-out again. The Japanese ladies had six weeks in between their Nationals and 4CCs, and they were skating at home, so I don't think it should come as a shock that they did well and swept the podium.

    I think it was wise of Ashley to skip 4CCs. I'm glad Gracie went for the ISU Championship experience, but I hope she gets some time to rest and regroup now before Worlds.
  10. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    I agree with a ranking system known in advance for second and third competitors or for a ranking system that determines whether skaters will face off at 4C's for them.

    Gao and every past non-Worlds Ladies skater may have had something to prove at 4C's, the end of her season, but am I understanding the argument about Nationals as "If Gao was scored properly at Nationals in PCS, she would have beaten Gold or Wagner for one of the two Worlds spots, because she would have been properly placed after the SP."? Or is this simply about Gao vs. Zawadzi?

    International judges gave Gold and Gao higher PCS at 4C's for the SP than the US Nationals judges did, and Gao less lower for the FS. Gold's Nationals FS was "Skate the lights out" and significantly higher, but that happens for that kind of skate and Gao was nowhere near Gold in base tech. I saw Gao at her SA best -- she was lovely -- but I don't see how she is 10 points better than Gold in PCS to get the second Worlds spot, especially the general/ordinals way in which PCS are marked. The last time I read the PCS criteria, there shouldn't be a huge impact on PCS for singling an axel.

    I understand the wuzrobbing about Gao in relation to Zawadzki especially, because they have different virtues and her USFS PCS were so much higher than her international PCS for not so different technical programs, but under the current system (of selecting the Worlds team), I don't understand the "Hah, you were so wrong USFS," unless that's "Hah, USFS, you held up the wrong person at US Nats and should have ignored Gold's FS.". Gao vs. Zawadzki doesn't come into play without a third spot.

    Were USFS to have totally rigged the results at Nationals, strategically speaking, the international judges didn't really prefer Gao by all that much at 4C's -- by .5 in the SP and by 1.15 in the FS -- with a far inferior FS performance by Gold than at US Nats. Gao, like Machida, showed that, comparatively speaking, in the GPF field she was clearly the weak link, and that was without Kostner and Kim. Her upside isn't all that great, at least ths year; she couldn't beat Murakami with Murakami's flawed jump technique and chronic underrotations. Gold, though, has a technical upside that Gao can't match now. Gao couldn't show at GPF that she would have had much of a chance at placing high enough with Wagner at Worlds for spots, unless there were a lot of meltdowns and/or Wagner turns her season around.

    The worst realistic scenario is that Gold places below 12th in London and doesn't earn two GP spots outright. It's still more likely the US will come away with two again, and without Wagner looking especially competitive for a 4th place repeat or the podium, I couldn't see Gao getting the US there this year, and there's a better upside where US Nats FS Gold will emerge, even if the odds are small that she'll help to earn three, if she skates the same kind of SP.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  11. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Gracie didn't have to skate "lights-out" at 4CC, but her LP was absolutely horrible. One or two misses would've been understandable, but she stumbled her way through the entire LP with only 2 clean triples; I felt bad for her. From Sylvia's quote, it is a very good idea that she's taking it easy this week in order to regroup mentally and physically and refocus her training for Worlds.

    At this point the U.S. cannot rely on any of its top 3 ladies. When has that ever happened in the history of U.S. skating ?
  12. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

    I didn't say she "had to," only that many people were probably expecting her to. I know that, even with mistakes, she's capable of scoring high (i.e., her Rostelecom Cup free skate). There were simply too many mistakes here, which is a shame. She really could have used some positive momentum heading in to London.
  13. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    EXACTLY - I just don't get the outcry. If not Gold, then who?

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't - that's really the USA ladies' team motto the past 5 years.
  14. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    I think it's more to do with bad choices.
  15. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    I still say Christina was robbed due to politics at Nationals but it's done. None of the arguments here have changed my mind on that point.

    Now the best one can hope for is two spots for the Olympics. As long as neither Ashley nor Gracie implode that should be reasonably expected.
  16. RD

    RD Well-Known Member


    Let's say Wagner has her GPF/Nationals skate at Worlds (good SP, falls twice in LP). Ignoring domestic scores, she scored 181.93 at GPF. Taking results of Euros and 4CCs into account, let's see where this places her. She's currently 1st.

    At 4CC, Asada and Suzuki were well ahead of that mark, scoring over 190. Murakami was BARELY under that mark with 181.03. OK, fine. This would drop Wagner down to 3rd, still pretty decent.

    Now, let's throw in results from Euros. Kostner and the Russians dominated this field, and all three medalists (Kostner, Tutkamysheva, Sotnikova) topped Wagner's target score. So this effectively knocks her down to 6th.

    Throw in Yuna Kim, who was at neither of these events, but except perhaps on her very worst day scores above 181, and Wagner is now theoretically 7th.

    A 7th by itself is not horrible, but in the context of getting 3 spots, it would require Gracie Gold to place 5th or higher (remember adding Gold would push Wagner's placement down another notch to 8th). That's a TALL task to ask of anyone - especially with how she's been skating lately.

    Suffice it to say, it doesn't look good...
  17. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Maybe, but I dont want to be the one who rekindled past nationals debate. ;)
  18. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    We are not getting that 3rd spot back no matter who skates at Worlds simple as that. The US girls are just not good enough or consistent enough. We don't even know if Ashley will finish in the top 6 with the way she is skating now so asking Gracie or Gao to somehow finish in the top 7 is asking way to much. As for Gracie next season will tell the tale. She will know what to expect and the hype won't be nearly as bad.
  19. bek

    bek Guest

    But maybe Ashley should have finished no where near the top 2 with that skate. (She was judged very very generously on PCS and TES at US Nationals) Perhaps Gao, Gold maybe could finish 6/7.

    Look I think the real issue here is that clearly the US selection procedure is broken. I DO think both Agnes and Gold are huge talents with potentially more upsides than Christina Gao. However both are also incredibly inconsistent. Gold was scored very generously in the short and in the long for different reasons. She was held up in the short program and given a significant PCS boost. At least though Gold was brilliant at US nationals and well received in Russia... In terms of Agnes she gets way higher PCS at US nationals than she does internationally....

    Gao and Nagasu and esp Gao out performed these girls on the Grand Prix. Gao especially has been very consistent all season long, consistently going out there and putting out 5/6 triple performers every single time. I'm not as sold on her long term, but I thought she clearly showed throughout the season that she was really one of our better bets for worlds. And at Nationals its not like Gao performed significantly worse but rather that Gao wasn't given the PCS boost some skaters are given.

    The US claims that Nationals is the best place to decide these things because Nationals is a pressure cooker" but its hard to think they are judging Nationals based on the performances.... (Yes Czisny was held up at Nationals last year) and politics isn't a role. Than the aren't even monitoring these girls and sending girls to Worlds who are clearly in TERRIBLE shape. However now its also clearly they are also not even looking at how these girls do internationally,but considering some things just based on "potential" rather than how they will realistically score by international judges....

    The procedure is a mess and its the real reason we aren't winning 3 spots.
  20. pinky166

    pinky166 #teamtrainwreck #teamdiva

    Well, Christina WAS robbed at Nationals, but as a huge Gao uber, I would have had her in 3rd. She deserved bronze over Zawadzki for skating cleaner at Nationals and she should be the first alternate for Worlds, but that doesn't really change anything at this point because Zawadzki went to 4CC just like Gao did and neither are going to Worlds.

    Christina is a beautiful skater and has become pretty consistent with her jumps this season, but the thing about Gracie is that IF she skates her programs cleanly, her scores will be huge (inflated PCS aside, I'm talking purely TES) and higher than those Gao can hope to achieve. Now, she's only skated cleanly in one program this season so far, which happened to be at Nationals. USFS saw Ashley get big scores at international events with conservative content over the past year and a half, and she's been very consistent too, so not putting her on the team seems silly, especially because she was injured and sick right before Nationals which probably affected her a lot. Zawadzki hasn't put it together internationally yet (except for a JW a few years back), but her jumps are huge like Gracie's and she does have that powerful presence and great spins that I tend to think, if clean, her scores would be pretty big internationally too, higher than a clean Gao. Again, I'm not talking PCS, Gao's PCS have been a bit higher than Zawadzki's internationally all season, but with Agnes skating clean, they'd likely be about equal, but Agnes could rack up a lot of TES points.

    So basically, USFS decided to place girls who they know have a chance to score better if they deliver (Gold, Zawadzki), ahead of a skater who is usually pretty reliable to put out a good skate and good score at a competition, but doesn't have the same "what if" quality - ie, she's skated cleanly before and the result is good but not great scores and placements. For Worlds, in some ways, the team makes sense. 3 spots is going to be tough to get anyways, but we should be able to get two without problem, so the question then becomes, well, do we send Gao, who we can expect to place, idk say 6th-10th at Worlds, or do we send Gold, who could end up out of the top 10 or potentially place as high as like 3rd or 4th if she skates clean and help us get 3 spots. If Gold bombs, we don't get 3 spots, okay, but if she delivers, we feasibly could, whereas if they go with Gao, the most likely outcome would be just missing 3 spots, so in that case, it's better to go with Gold because if she bombs there's no real harm done, but if she delivers we might be able to get the 3rd spot back.

    This must be a hard position for Christina to be in. However, I think if she upped her ante, the USFS might start putting more stock into her. People have complained about Ashley's conservative content this season, but the reality is Gao's has been a bit conservative too - 3t-3t and 3lo in SP, 6 triples and one 2a in the FS, with one of the repeated triples being 3t. If Gao could bring back the 3f-3t and start trying a SP layout with 3f-3t, 3lo, 2a or even 3t-3t, 3f, 2a (I don't know why she does the loop as her solo triple as her 3f is :swoon: divine and definitely her money jump), then go for 3f-3t in the FS and backload a second combo, I think 1.) her scoring potential would increase a lot 2.) USFS and international judges would regard her more highly and 3.) she'd earn some WOW to her skating and become one of those skaters like Gold and Zawadzki whose technical abilities can lead to big scoring potential if delivered cleanly. If she could do this and work on her flexibility in spirals/spins, well then, I think she could totally be a National champion, but where her demeanor is introverted and nothing about her skating currently is really WOW +2/3 worthy, she's a bit of an afterthought. I think she has it in her though to change this.
  21. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    I dunno, I think Ashley will come out swinging at Worlds, and hopefully surprise us all! (Unless she's playing "hide the injury" but could US really get that unlucky three years in a row?? :scream:)

    Not sure about Gracie, though. Controlling nerves doesn't seem to come easily to Gracie at all.
  22. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    It seems every year since 2009 they had in mind a chosen one before Nationals even began. 2009 it was Czisny, hence why she won with only 3 triples when Flatt and Zhang both did 6 or 7 (Czisny did clearly deserve to win the SP though). 2010 Flatt was the anointed one and overscored although Flatt and Nagasu as the team was probably correct. 2011 it was Flatt again who was held up, Nagasu should have been 2nd and on the team instead this year as they had similar mistakes but Flatt was already a diminishing force by then and highly unlikely to do well at Worlds. 2012 it was Czisny who was held up over skaters who skated better at Nationals and were in general skating better around then like Zhang. 2013 it is arguable both Wagner and Gold were held up at Nationals. The confidence in Wagner based on her 2012 performances (both end of 2012 season and start of 2012-2013 one) and Gold since she has been the anointed future for US skating for awhile now. However Wagner might be falling apart at the moment, and Gold has not proven herself reliable internationally, nor did she at Nationals with a poor short program.
  23. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka The Stolbova/Klimov and James/Cipres Uber

    I think y'allll being overly pessimistic.

    Asada, Kim and Kostner will probably get the top three spots in some order. After that, it's anyone's; Suzuki is fantastic, but has been very up and down this year; Tuk and Sot are at their first worlds, and still a bit insecure from one competition to the next and Murakami at her best probably won't outscore either of the Americans at their best.

    I just have a feeling this is going to be a big worlds for Wagner and/or Gold - but especially Ashley. She's had a few rough skates, but what strikes me most about her is her determination and apparent mental strength. I think she's going to be ready for worlds and ready to give great performances - I'd be surprised if she isn't at least top 5.
  24. bek

    bek Guest

    I'm not sure how Alissa's injury was hid at all last year. She skated at a test skate right before Worlds and didn't land a single jump. The real issue here is the US federation doesn't think its somehow important to see at all what kind of shape their skaters are in before they send them off to Worlds.
  25. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    While I agree that "the procedure is a mess", I guess I'm just not really sure how one could arguably justify replacing Gold with Gao on the World team. (I think that even with the mediocre showing at Nationals, Wagner has earned her world team berth through her solid GP outings). Remember how Gao did at the GPF? Who's to say that Gao wouldn't show up again at Worlds? Just like SC Gold may or may not show up? It's a real toss up, and frankly if we learned anything from the GPs, it's that Gold has a MUCH higher score ceiling than Gao does. Gold can afford to make (a few) mistakes. But Gao cannot. She has to be nearly perfect to be in the mix - is that a shot you guys really want to take? And I won't even talk about Zawadzki because I think that situation is fairly self-explanatory...
  26. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    The procedure isn't the problem. The problem is we haven't had two girls good enough to get that 3rd spot back since Michelle and Sasha retired. Simple as that. Mirai sure isn't one to rely on when the pressure is on either plus she can't rotate her jumps. As for Gao i'm not really sold on her yet. The system worked well for over 60 years so maybe just maybe the problem isn't the system but the skaters are just not getting it done and are not good enough. It's been almost 7 years now since a US Lady has won any kind of medal at Worlds. Since 1950 the longest stretch a US lady went without being on the podium was 3 years and that was after the plane crash in 1961 that wiped out the World team and sent US figure skating back almost a decade. That says it all.
  27. bek

    bek Guest

    Gao scored TES wise about the same at Grand Prix Final as she did here, it was just that she got about 6 points higher in PCs at Four Continents than she did at the GPF. Elizaveta also got signficantly higher PCS at Euros...

    Gold does have a higher upside but right now it really is more on the TES base, her better PCS internationally at Cup of Russia were only about a point higher. Gao could potentially reintroduce her 3flip/3toe....

    Yes Gold has more upside but its technically and she hasn't shown yet that she can be relied on to hit that tech content... I think that does matter. Gao has consistently gone out and hit 5/6 triple longs internationally. She continues to do that and gets political support her PCS will go up.

    I agree Gold has the more "potential" but the fact that Gold has issues delivering that potential shouldn't be ignored. As for Wagner at least in the long the main difference between her and Gao was PCS. And I highly question if Wagner continues this kind of performances she put out at US Nationals and GPF she will continue to get those PCS.

    I also think the fact that the landscape has changed is going to affect Wagner's PCS too. Kostner/Kim are back the Russian ladies are starting to get some nods....The fact that Wagner's technical content is a bit lacking could affect her PCS.

    And I'm sorry if your going to take into account Wagner's good season, you need to take into account Christina's, it can't be one or the other. And the fact that the grand prix final skate was poor on Wagner's part shouldn't be ignored either

    The previous system was under 6.0. Under that system Gold would not have made the world team due to her placement in the short. And the judges would have probably not been able to give Wagner the National title like the handed her because they would have had to answer why Wagner's free skate was really second best.

    The problem here is that we now have a new scoring system which makes it very easy for the powers that be to manipulate scores. The issue here is that US nationals is being questionably judged.
  28. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    The ONLY way I see Wagner even in the mix for podium is if she has the 3-3 and the 2A/3T ready to go, and can hit them without DGs or UR. If you think about it, if she's at her absolute best and hits the above, she'll definitely be competitive with Kostner at least. As for Asada, it depends on if she can hit the 3A or not. Kim I see in a different league altogether.

    But, realistically speaking, she does NOT have a 3-3 or a 2A/3T, so that's throwing away some points. And she is losing the consistency she had early in the season. 4 falls in the past two competitions - just isn't that great of a track record for the US champ. (flashback to Meissner 2007-2008, 3 falls in GPF & Nationals, she got the number down to 2 for Worlds but it was still rough.) Like I pointed out, we're probably looking at 6th-9th if she holds the course.

    Gold's 4CC score would have had her in the top 10 at Worlds last year and in 2011...but she still has to do much better. Probably more concerned about Gold at this point, but Wagner is by no means a done deal.
  29. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    Yes, Wagner fell twice in the GPF. And as I pointed out, her score was 181.

    What was Gao's score at SA when she went SQUEAKY CLEAN? You ready for this?...................here it comes, 174.25.

    Gao's score at 4CC? 176.28, still below Wagner's GPF score.

    I think that says it all
  30. bek

    bek Guest

    But you really think Wagner's going to continue to get those kind of PCS for those kind of skates.. And her skate at Nationals was worse than the one at the GPF.

    Meissner was held up for awhile PCS by the international judges too-but that eventually changed....At that point two may I mention Kostner was gone, Kim wasn't there etc. So Wagner was one of the more mature lady skaters out there.

    Now the judges have Kostner, Kim back both who are better skaters/packaged than Wagner. And they also have that young jumpers who are continuing to jump well and getting some big PCS boosts.. The landscape is changing and Wagner is showing up as a skater who is neither all that special PCS wise and with lesser technical content.

    I do think Wagner is overall better than Gao, but.....

    I don't really have an issue with Wagner's placement on the world team but what I'm saying you can't have it both ways. You can't say the previous skates matter for one person (Wagner vs Gao) but than say they don't matter in relation to Gao vs Gold... Gold's much better skate vs Gao at Nationals matters.. But Gao's much better skates at Nationals vs Wagner- don't.

    That's what I'm saying a fair procedure for all. If you want Nationals to be it than judge it correctly. If you want previous results taken into account than take previous results into account.

    But the current US way of doing so what it reaks of is favoritism. Whatever standard gets the girls the USFSA wants on the team on the team, is what goes.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2013
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