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US Pairs 2013 News and Updates Part II

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by ~tapdancer~, Mar 10, 2013.

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  1. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it's kinda like with Kemp and King, can't move up in the world because they just can't land their jumps and throws (usually).
  2. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    I swear I have like 4 different things going on that weekend. . . but I REALLY want to go see this. Can get in some volunteer hours, too :)
  3. Spiralgraph

    Spiralgraph Well-Known Member

    I like this team a lot, but I agree with your comments. As long as they remain inconsistent with their jumps and throws, they're likely to slide in the standings at US Nationals. No matter how I ooh and ahh at their superb presentation, that only takes a pair so far. They need the jumps.
  4. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    To expand on my point about other US pairs, they may end up getting passed by an improving K/O and the newly formed D/B (if things go well) in addition to those who were already in front of them like D/C, C/S (who passed them this past year), the newly formed S/K, Z/B, and D/F coming up from the Juniors. And fighting with teams like L/L (who make mistakes but at least show some fire and ambition) or B/T for being no. 8, all this after being on the podium at one point and even touted as a possible favorite last year after D/C withdrew from Nationals and M/B and E/L had split and retired. It's frustrating to see.

    What is their deal, anyway?
  5. micronrd

    micronrd New Member

    Another video of the show for Lindsay and Rockne:http://youtu.be/e035KyMMpww
  6. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    I can't disagree. It is puzzling to see D/S downward spiral this past season. It makes me wonder what might be the problem and the solution?? Is it something to do with emotional growing pains, training problems, equipment problems, nagging injuries, technique issues that are not being adequately addressed, off-ice problems, timing and partnership issues, coaching and training site dynamics??? Clearly, D/S were in line to move up, and with the break-up of several top teams and the injury problems D/C experienced, D/S could have been in the position of their training mates, C/S, this past season.

    In their breakthrough performances at Nationals in 2012, D/S looked fairly solid, albeit with obvious improvements still needed re sbs jumps and synchronization on sbs spins. However, their throw jumps and throw twists were fine (if not their greatest strengths). Gretchen doubled a triple in the fp, and they showed a need for improvement and strengthening of certain elements, as I said. But otherwise, they looked very promising and on an upward spiral:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj5_0UAFgIk 2012 US Nats sp Room With a View

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTEdwrH1ZMs 2012 US Nats fp Sleeping Beauty

    Wonderfully there's no commentary in these clips. :) D/S music was absolutely well-suited and exquisite for them. Is that one of the solutions perhaps. Do they need to choose the kind of music that they can be totally uplifted and inspired by and that suits their style of skating? Re the technique problems, they've got to decide to try something different if status quo isn't working. IOW, more intensive practice and assistance from outside technical experts. And find great music, not just good music. Further explore the personal dynamics of their partnership too. Make sure they are both single-mindedly committed to achieving the same goals. It would be a shame to not see these two overcome their current obstacles. The linked programs evince something of grandeur and magic -- not to mention hints of G/G possibilities.

    D/S music at Ice Chips event certainly says it all: Together they need to build a Bridge Over Troubled Water.

    What's your take, 5Ali3?
  7. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

    Regarding Donlan/Speroff, I remember reading an article about them that mentioned their struggles through the season. IIRC, Gretchen mentioned what an adjustment college was for her. So perhaps that could have been a factor. I don't think they struggled with injury, but I could be wrong. I love their style so much, and hope that they can improve and show their potential.
  8. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Oh, thanks. I wasn't aware that Gretchen entered college this past season. Trying to focus on both can be difficult. Everyone's different ... it works for some people, including Debi Thomas and Christina Gao. Although, has Christina decided to take some time off for the Olympic season?
  9. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    ^I do think Gretchen was ill at the Senior B competition in Graz, Austria (name of it escapes me). Still, I would bet there is something else going on besides 'adjustment to college'. I remember they had trouble even having the DS count as an element in one of their competition this past season. If it were quality of coaching, I don't think that ice mates C/S would be improving in both PCS and consistency on their SBS jumps. And, they don't really have wonky technique on any element that stands out in my mind. No, I think it's either 1) plain, old fashioned lack of confidence when the spotlight turns on; or 2) personal relationship with their coaches or each other
  10. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Yes but something else off-ice too along with the confidence factor, or is it just a domino effect once confidence is lost with a team that is still in the early stages of developing and technical strength was never an asset? In any case, facing up to it and talking it out, getting help, and being on the same page commitment-wise seems important. Also, choosing the right music that they can be inspired by might be a boon.
  11. Rochelle

    Rochelle Active Member

    Oooh, interesting. It's so early in the season, it'll be interesting to see who puts out two programs and who is competing in just one.

    Given the cost of an IJS competition (and pairs heavy competitions in general), I hope the competition has a solid turnout with at least a few dozen teams total across the levels entered. That, or some financial support from USFS due to the camp. It's going to be a challenge just to break even in a competition that's only IJS Pairs -- especially to fly in so many top level officials.
  12. sammyf

    sammyf Well-Known Member

    There are at least 20 US pairs teams entered.
  13. Rochelle

    Rochelle Active Member

    That's great news!
  14. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

    As always I hope D&S do well, though I have my doubts after seeing their latest exhibition skate to "Bridge Over Troubled Water" wherein they did sbs single jumps and then Gretchen missed her once reliable throw 3salchow, which has been missing in action this past season. :(

    I just don't understand how just a few years ago they were 100% reliable on their throw jumps, but this past season they had trouble even on that once reliable element!? More's the pity, but I personally think it has to do with *both* confidence (first time they were ever one of the front runners this past season) and also Gretchen starting college this past season. Maybe she has to make a decision like so many before her have done, go to college part-time or not at all so she can concentrate on her skating, then when her skating career is over she can go to college full-time (ala Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, etc.). Just a thought is all...

    Best of luck to them, as always! :cheer2:
  15. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    ^^^ That was video from the 3rd Ice Chips show in 2 days for D/S, and for all we know, they had better earlier performances.

    For DeeDee Leng/Timothy LeDuc fans :) ... I came across their lovely "Clair de Lune" exhibition performance from "Rhapsody on Ice" on December 1, 2012 (presented by the Eastern Iowa Figure Skating Club, Coe College Concert and Jazz bands): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmHXX6OBKXE

    I also found a local Iowa news video about their partnership (LeDuc focus) that aired after 2013 Nationals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udNPTtnLfEY

    Copying over from another thread:
    Sounds entertaining! I assume you have to be FB friends with LeDuc to watch his video?
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  16. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    I think so. I went to 'share' and it said "some people may not be able to see this video due to privacy settings." I think it doesn't say that if the video is public.
  17. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    Thanks for checking, Skittl1321.

    BTW, based on Simon Shnapir's tweet yesterday -- "Somehow cheering for Bruins in Montreal feels wrong but that's not gonna stop me!" -- I assume he and Marissa Castelli are working with choreographer Julie Marcotte again.
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  18. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    Scimeca/Knierim are the latest skaters to be featured on the Boston 2014 site: http://www.boston2014.com/featured-skaters/scimeca-and-knierim/ (the article linked in post #81 includes their program music & choreographers)

    ETA this excerpt:
    Knierim competed at 2006 Junior Nationals in late 2005 in Intermediate Pairs with Shawnee Smith (before Carman).
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  19. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier article: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130517&content_id=47785416&vkey=ice_news
    ETA: D/F reaped the benefits of Ingo Steuer/Savchenko/Szolkowy's recent visit to their rink for 2.5 weeks and it sounds like they intend to move up to the Senior Grand Prix this fall.
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  20. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    ^sounds like they will get 2 Senior GP assignments this coming season as World Junior Champs?

    They sound ambitious and they seem like they really benefitted from working a bit with Ingo Steuer, too. I'm also encouraged to hear they are having a relatively easy time with SBS 3flips
  21. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the development of Denney/ Frazier. I'm excited about the possibilities for D/F, Sciemca/ Knierim and Davis/ Brubaker, although there are quite a few interesting U.S. pairings that have wonderful potential. If Donlan/ Speroff can get more confidence and consistency along with the improved jumps, they could be a dream team, or at the least more competitive.


    Scroll down the above link where it mentions Evora & Ladwig skated together again in an exhibition. That's nice to hear. :)
  22. yfbg722

    yfbg722 Active Member

  23. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Yeah. :) Evora/ Ladwig did themselves proud at 2010 Olympics, no matter the low-balling by ISU judges.
  24. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    I honestly think that S/K, D/B and D/F will be the teams to watch in the next quadrennial, perhaps even next season. C/S have made improvements and we'll see how they figure in if they can actually go for bigger elements and fully overcome the height differential. D/C will have to do a better job of channeling who they are on the ice to keep up with the full potential of the aforementioned. Not so sure about the future of D/S. They really need to lock down the basic big moves quickly in order not to be forgotten.
  25. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ I agree with your viewpoints.

    I was actually going to mention Castelli/Shnapir in the same vein that you did. I like them as a team and I think they performed well at Worlds this year but got the short end of the stick re the skating order and their placement suffered as a result. Definitely, C/S made improvements this season but will need to up the ante with more difficult elements and overcome their synchronization difficulties on sbs moves. They both also might be helped by training in ballet off-ice IMO (as should all figure skaters). I don't think that means having to love ballet or be balletic, but ballet training could help many skaters pay more attention to line, grace, musicality and performance aspects that can only enhance their athletic skills.

    Donlan/ Speroff have so many exceptional qualities, but yes it is crucial for them to strengthen themselves technically, build more confidence and get over whatever hurdles they are facing as a team on and off the ice.
  26. HeatherC

    HeatherC Go Team SW Florida! =)

    Oh man, that Fort Wayne pairs competition sounds amazing! I have something going on the Friday of that weekend but maybe I'll head up there on Saturday to see some of the competition. Hmmm....something to ponder. ;)

    I still miss Amanda & Mark.... :fragile:
  27. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Denney/Frazier have improved loads to win Junior Worlds last season. I'd love to see them continue their upward trajectory and win Senior Nationals.
  28. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    I would still rank S/K, D/F and D/B as teams to watch, but 2 other teams I didn't mention whom I wouldn't be surprised to see make a move towards the top are Z/B and K/O. Both teams already made big moves upward at the end of last season. I don't think they have quite the full potential of the aforementioned 3 teams but they could be a menace if they continue to improve
  29. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Yes, I definitely agree as S/K, D/B and D/F are also my favorites right now. I also like D/S and C/S and U.S. Nationals will be in their backyard next year, so here's hoping one or both top Boston pairs teams at least make the podium -- C/S will seemingly be more likely to than D/S at this point.

    Ya know, though, we gotta be realistic: Denney/ Coughlin are still big-time favored with USFS, and they are definitely sound and consistent with their major moves and technical elements. Interesting the fact that Haven has more aesthetically-pleasing lines and grace than does her older sister. There is a bit of a facial resemblance, but they don't share a strong resemblance at all. Is Haven taller or are they about the same height? It seems good for Haven and Brandon to have departed from Colorado for another training center and new coaches. Sappenfield already has the top two USFS-favored senior teams, and now with Haven and Brandon moving up to seniors, it's probably helpful they've broken away in order to receive more exclusive attention in their upward development.

    With all the recent changes, is there an updated list of all the senior U.S. pair teams? Definitely Zhang/ Bartholomay surprised me with their improvements this season. They are hot to trot and will be very competitive. I'm not as enamored of K/O -- still a bit immature and unpolished for me -- but sure they are a solid team out of Florida.

    Maybe the ranking is something like this at the moment (obviously based on my personal preferences to a large degree except for D/C.* But I have to put D/C in top three because they are still considered the USFS favorite unless something drastically changes next season):

    Denney/ Coughlin
    Scimeca/ Knierim

    Then, it will be a tough battle for third and fourth place between:
    Denney/ Frazier
    Davis/ Brubaker
    Castelli/ Shnapir
    Zhang/ Bartholomay

    Seventh place and beyond and not sure of the order:
    Donlan/ Speroff
    Kayne/ O'Shea
    Baga/ Toth
    Leng/ LeDuc
    Bereswill/ Reagan

    Who else am I missing? Are Simpson/ Blackmer remaining juniors this coming season?

    *Re Denney/ Coughlin, I'm not down on them in terms of their talent and hard work, but I do prefer several other teams over them stylistically and aesthetically. However, D/C could be helped in their on-ice expressiveness and performance by improving their lines and posture, and by finding appropriate music that suits and enhances their unique personalities, instead of Sappenfield having them copy balletic, lyrical, romantic style which doesn't really suit them.
  30. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    The 5 Junior pair teams from 2013 Nationals that have aged out of ISU Junior events in 2013-14 are:

    Britney Simpson/Matthew Blackmer (J1) - have tested up to Senior in the U.S. (#24 in the ISU World Standings so they hopefully should receive 1 Sr. GP) & #36 in ISU SB scores list
    Jessica Calalang/Zack Sidhu (J2) #37 SB
    Brianna de la Mora/Taylor Wilson (J5) #51 SB
    Jessica Pfund/AJ Reiss (J6) #43 SB; both already have tested up to Senior in the U.S.
    Olivia Oltmanns/Joshua Santillan (J11) #59 SB

    Also, Alexandria Shaughnessy/James Morgan (J10) are competing Senior at the Fort Wayne Pairs Classic, as mentioned earlier in this thread. I don't yet know if they have tested up to Senior.
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
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