2022-23 US Pairs Discussion - Second to None!

Sylvia

TBD
Messages
81,173
We'll see what the future holds, but as of right now, McBeath/Bartholomay are still listed on the USFS' ISP
USFS' International Selection Pool was updated recently and lists 11 pairs right now [Jr./Sr. Grand Prix Final/Nationals/4CC/Junior Worlds/Worlds placement(s) included below]:

Sonia Baram and Daniel Tioumentsev [JGPF2/S4/JW1]
Emily Chan and Spencer Howe [GPF6/S2/4CC2/W5]
*Olivia Flores and Luke Wang [J4]
Ellie Kam and Danny O'Shea [S3/4CC6/W12]
Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier [GPF2/S1/W2]
Katie McBeath and Nathan Bartholomay [S6]
Maria Mokhova and Ivan Mokhov [S7]
Lilianna Murray and Jordan Gillette [J3; she is listed on IPS as of 4/4/23]
Valentina Plazas and Maximiliano Fernandez [S5]
Anastasiia Smirnova and Danil Siianytsia [S-wd]
*Naomi Williams and Lachlan Lewer [J2/JW]

* = ISU Junior age-eligible in 2023-24
 
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BittyBug

Disgusted
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26,906
Why are people assuming that Frazier would want to continue? He's 30 years old and has reached the peak of his sport - World champion and World and Olympic Team silver medalist. I could see him staying in if Alexa also wanted to continue, but to start over with a new partner at this stage of his life given what he has already accomplished - why?
 

mattiecat13

Well-Known Member
Messages
785
That makes a lot of sense! Not that I’m convinced they would be a great match, but if Brandon wants to stick around another few years, Ashley Cain seems to still have triples based on her Instagram posts!
What about Jessica Calalang as a possible partner for Brandon if he would like to continue competing? Their lifts would be amazing.
I would love to see either of these women compete again but they can't land the jumps in competition (and sometimes the throws).
 

SorrySkater

Member
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25
Why are people assuming that Frazier would want to continue? He's 30 years old and has reached the peak of his sport - World champion and World and Olympic Team silver medalist. I could see him staying in if Alexa also wanted to continue, but to start over with a new partner at this stage of his life given what he has already accomplished - why?
I’m not assuming that, just as I’m not assuming he should retire because of his age. Nathan Bartholomay is 33, but he seems to have a lot of issues with injuries. I don’t have that impression with Brandon. Evan Bates is 34 and shows no signs of retiring. Danny O’Shea is 32 and is doing very well with his new partner. Deanna Stellato-Dudeck is 39. So, if Brandon still feels like competing and wants to do so, more power to him. He wouldn’t be alone in competing into his 30s. If he wants to retire, I understand that as well.

I offered Katie as a possible partner because she seems to be coming into her own now. And, if Nathan needs to retire because of injuries, this gives Katie an option if she wants to keep going. They train in the same rink, so they know each other. Ashley Cain wouldn’t be a good fit for Brandon because of her height. He’s 6’2.5”, but all his partners have been short her than Ashley. My guess is that the adjustment would be tougher. Haven is 5’; Alexa is 5’2”. Katie is 5’1”; Ashley is 5’6”. Jessica Calalang, like Katie, is 5’1”.

With all this being said, I didn’t realize that Brandon Frazier is actually taller than Timothy LeDuc. The other caveat is the number of concussions that Ashley has had.
 

BittyBug

Disgusted
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26,906
I’m not assuming that, just as I’m not assuming he should retire because of his age. Nathan Bartholomay is 33, but he seems to have a lot of issues with injuries. I don’t have that impression with Brandon. Evan Bates is 34 and shows no signs of retiring. Danny O’Shea is 32 and is doing very well with his new partner. Deanna Stellato-Dudeck is 39. So, if Brandon still feels like competing and wants to do so, more power to him. He wouldn’t be alone in competing into his 30s. If he wants to retire, I understand that as well.
I'm not at all suggesting that Frazier should retire because of his age, but rather asking what would drive him to start a new partnership at his age when he has already been on the top of the podium.

There are certainly athletes who have continued well into their 30's, and even switched partners in their 30's, but in all cases they were still in quest of gold. Does anyone think that Savchenko would have teamed up with Massot if she and Szolkowy had won the Olympics?

I think that Frazier has achieved far more in the sport than he ever dared to dream, so what would motivate him to start fresh and continue to endure the grind and expense of training?
 

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
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37,953
Does anyone think that Savchenko would have teamed up with Massot if she and Szolkowy had won the Olympics?
Maybe not with Massot, because of timing, but I would not have been surprised if she'd come back with someone else a few years later, because Szolkowy was happily retired, and she'd tasted gold. Just like she tried to come back recently.
 

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
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14,577

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173

After today's FS:
“It went by a little too fast today, normally when you do a Free Skate towards the end you want it to be over as you’re tired but today I (Alexa) felt like I had all the energy.
We were emotional in a good way, especially the second half of the program, feeling every moment.”
On their future:
Brandon: “Alexa and I didn’t announce anything, we are talking decision on just enjoying every moment but it’s safe to say that we soaked up every second of the competition this week.”
The thing they look forward to the most now:
Spending some time with their pets at home before the North American “Stars on Ice” will start [4/28 in Halifax, NS].

After the SP:
“We feel very proud and happy. It feels amazing to end the season with a SP like this. It’s a special feeling to crack the 80 points mark but it’s rather about that great, satisfying feeling we had at the end of our performance.
Stars on Ice Japan was very special for us, there are so many high level skaters, Hanyu being on of them, it was great to be there with them. It also helped us for this performance today as we were showing our full SP there, on smaller ice and different lightning, so that was surely great practice going into today.”
 
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2sk8

Well-Known Member
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894
Grace and Danny are a couple off-ice, so I would be surprised if they split as skating partners. I'm hoping Gabbie can find a good partner!
But Sasha and Danny N were a couple off ice too, so anything is possible!
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
Lilianna Murray posted a photo with Brandon at Great Park Ice (before he left for SOI Canada rehearsals this week) after her week training in Irvine, CA: https://www.instagram.com/p/CrbOEKFLzA2/

Lilianna Murray/Jordan Gillette's names have been removed from USFS' International Selection Pool for pairs - 10 are listed now [Jr./Sr. Grand Prix Final/Nationals/4CC/Junior Worlds/Worlds placement(s) included below]:

Sonia Baram and Daniel Tioumentsev [JGPF2/S4/JW1]
Emily Chan and Spencer Howe [GPF6/S2/4CC2/W5]
*Olivia Flores and Luke Wang [J4]
Ellie Kam and Danny O'Shea [S3/4CC6/W12]
Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier [GPF2/S1/W2]
Katie McBeath and Nathan Bartholomay [S6]
Maria Mokhova and Ivan Mokhov [S7]
Valentina Plazas and Maximiliano Fernandez [S5/4CC5]
Anastasiia Smirnova and Danil Siianytsia [S-wd]
*Naomi Williams and Lachlan Lewer [J2/JW]

* = ISU Junior age-eligible in 2023-24
 

VGThuy

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41,044
Is it far fetched to think Hayden Denny has had more time to recover and try for a comeback with Brandon? I really loved that team, haha.
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
Haven Denney performed professionally in some Christmas shows in Florida(?) last year. I don't have the impression that she is planning on returning to competition.

@Jayar's Fan Zone article on Baram/Tioumentsev (April 25) includes quotes about their experience at Junior Worlds without Todd Sand's physical presence for their FS:
Excerpts from the end:
With the season over, Baram and Tioumentsev now have some time to take a break and focus on catching up with life outside of the rink. Baram, an eighth grader at Connections Academy has been working hard to catch up with her classwork while also preparing for the new season in singles.
"My jumps are getting more stable every day," she said. "I have actually been working on a triple Axel. After U.S. Championships I focused mostly on pairs, so I didn't have the confidence to pull in my flip or Lutz, but it is a little bit better now."
Tioumentsev, a sophomore at Irvine Valley College, is hoping to transfer to the University of California Irvine or UCLA to finish his engineering degree. He is currently working at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, as a technician, and recently took a three-week hiatus away from the ice to catch up on his work with the company.
"I basically help build rocket engines and have had some opportunities to work with engineers to try to improve some stuff," he explained. "When we were in Calgary, SpaceX actually launched astronauts to the space station, and I remember when I first started working there, that was the first engine I ever got my hands on, and now it's up in space carrying astronauts to the space station."
Now that Tioumentsev is back in the rink, he and Baram are turning their attention to the new season, but they are still in the very early stages of planning. For now, they are working on getting back into form, will start working on some more difficult elements and then will determine what goals they hope to achieve in the 2023-24 season.
 

Karen-W

It's the off-season and I'm low-key bored.
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Gabriella Izzo is visiting the World Arena - clip shared by WASA Pairs of a throw 3Lo landed by Gabbie (assisted by Danny Neudecker who is still training with Grace Hanns): https://www.instagram.com/reel/CrKTBq_Mt_o/
Just to update... It appears that Gabbie is relocating to Colorado Springs based on her IG stories. She roadtripped from Boston over the past 3 days and just posted a pic of her walking into a house in Colorado Springs with the caption "A new adventure begins."
 

skatingguy

decently
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18,760
Is it far fetched to think Hayden Denny has had more time to recover and try for a comeback with Brandon? I really loved that team, haha.
The side-by-side jumps would still be an issue. The technical difficulty on the side-by-side jumps might have been lower this season, but it won't stay that way for long. Surely there a other female skaters who can land two triples jumps that Brandon can also land.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
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41,044
The side-by-side jumps would still be an issue. The technical difficulty on the side-by-side jumps might have been lower this season, but it won't stay that way for long. Surely there an other female skaters who can land two triples jumps that Brandon can also land.
She’d been chronically injured their whole senior career it seemed, so I had to think it affected her ability to train. Anyway, it’s not a real suggestion.
 

Private Citizen

"PC." Pronouns: none/none
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Just to update... It appears that Gabbie is relocating to Colorado Springs based on her IG stories. She roadtripped from Boston over the past 3 days and just posted a pic of her walking into a house in Colorado Springs with the caption "A new adventure begins."

Is she still studying at Harvard? I thought she was a junior / rising senior, so it would be strange to relocate right before her final year?
 

Karen-W

It's the off-season and I'm low-key bored.
Messages
38,286
Is she still studying at Harvard? I thought she was a junior / rising senior, so it would be strange to relocate right before her final year?
Her IG profile still says Harvard '24. I looked earlier today because I wondered the same thing. Between the couple weeks after Nats in Chicago with Chris Knierim and then the past few weeks at WASA, I can't see how she's been able to take classes on campus.
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
WASA Pairs has shared this clip of Izzo's 2A, filmed by Luke Wang, at the World Arena Ice Hall (she's wearing her Harvard sweatshirt ;)): https://www.instagram.com/reel/CrwaRGFtFKs/

I had looked up Nathan's Yale spring semester academic calendar earlier today and Harvard's is similar:
Reading Period [finals prep.] 4/27 - 5/3
Final Examination Period 5/4 - 5/13

ETA - in this video today, Izzo lands a throw 3S, assisted by Lachlan Lewer, followed by throw triples by Hanns/Neudecker, Irman/Jalovick (SUI) and Flores/Wang: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CrwDcoWMx4i/
 
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Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
Kat Cornetta's Boston Globe article on Gabriella Izzo's switch to pairs:
I was able to read the entire article via the tweeted link.

"She will return [to Colorado Springs] after her spring semester [at Harvard where she is a government major] to train further and evaluate potential partners with Drew Meekins and Natalia Mishkutenok."

ETA a few more excerpts:
Some college students spend their spring breaks relaxing, exploring, or both. Harvard junior Gabbie Izzo spent her break exploring — exploring how to land on skates while being thrown 10 feet in the air.
“I don’t really have that fear factor that a lot of people have,” said the Brighton native. “I’m not really afraid. I think, ‘Oh, let’s go for it and see what happens, and if I don’t land on my feet, I’ll figure out how to next time.’ ”
[Chris] Knierim took Izzo through nearly a week of learning the discipline’s throw jumps, lifts, and twists, and was encouraged by what he saw, especially when doing a twist. That is where the man lifts the woman, tosses her above his head, and she rotates parallel to the ice. He then catches her and places her back on the ice on one foot. It requires explosiveness and is, by Knierim’s estimation, the toughest element to learn.
“She is aware of her body and knows how to get in rotation,” said Knierim. “She could do a double twist pretty easily, and that is the steppingstone to the triples being done at the world level. She caught on very quickly.”
Because of her competitive background in singles, Izzo is not going about her search alone. US Figure Skating is helping her and her coaches at the Skating Club of Boston, Aleksey Letov and Olga Ganicheva, vet available partners. The duo already coaches Emily Chan and Spencer Howe, fifth in last month’s World Championships. Regardless, the process involves patience.
“Usually you hear who’s breaking up and who’s available, who’s coming off an injury, who might be willing to try pairs,” said Izzo. “It’s a pretty intense process and more difficult than we think it is. A lot of the time you’re just kind of sitting and waiting because there’s nothing else I can do.”
 
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Spiralgraph

Well-Known Member
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2,696
Kat Cornetta's Boston Globe article on Gabriella Izzo's switch to pairs:
I could read the entire article via the tweeted link and can post excerpts if requested.

"She will return [to Colorado Springs] after her spring semester to train further and evaluate potential partners with Drew Meekins and Natalia Mishkutenok."

Sylvia,
Would you post excerpts from the article if you could please? I can't access that article because of the paywall. Thanks muchly.
 

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