No, SC did not drop the ball. She has basically no international experience (2 junior comps) so sending her to a senior international would have been pointless. Fiona has been progressing all season and while her performances at nationals were not completely unexpected, they were also not guaranteed.So many posters seem to be saying SC dropped the ball for not sending Fiona to a senior international earlier to get the mins. Has her summer and fall domestic performances been strong enough to warrant her to be sent? Or was Nationals more of an unexpected outing for her?! If she had been solid against her peers all season long, then perhaps SC did drop the ball; but if she had only been subpar, then I wouldn't think too much about it. Besides Maddi and Gabby (who did have a strong short program at Skate Canada), And Kaiya's health uncertain, it did look like SC was running out of obvious ladies skaters to support at the senior international stage.
To me, she appears to have that "competitive nerve" that makes a champion, so I hope we get to see a lot of more of her next season. It could definitely be an interesting one if she and Ruiter start closing in and challenging Schizas for the top spot.