U.S. Ice Dance 2018-19 season news & updates

platniumangel

Active Member
Messages
195
I'm surprised too. And worried because Tkachenko & Kiliakov and Lin & Sletten make up two thirds of last year's novice podium, and as we have apparently lost two thirds of the junior podium, I would really like to know the young teams are coming up. (If they elect to stay in novices, that's fine; but I'd really like to see them on a list).
Yeah, it’s kind of surprising and out of character for Wheaton not to have their teams compete at Chesapeake.
 

Debbie S

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,128
Is there a live feed?
Uh, no. It's a club comp.

Is it possible that the Wheaton teams (or some of them) just haven't registered yet?
Registration is officially closed. I suppose a team could beg the referee to be included at this point, but I imagine it's more likely that the teams registered currently are the ones that will be there (and most likely, there will be at least one scratch, that's normal for early-season comps).
 

layman

Well-Known Member
Messages
249
What is going on in Wheaton? This spring has seen a number of their most prominent teams break-up and one of their top coaches depart. The school seems to be having major problems at the very least.
 

Lutzlvr

Active Member
Messages
83
What is going on in Wheaton? This spring has seen a number of their most prominent teams break-up and one of their top coaches depart. The school seems to be having major problems at the very least.
I don’t know that there are major problems. WISA has built a fantastic program from the ground up, taking very young local kids straight out of learn to skate. The teams they put out there end up on national podiums at essentially every level.

As for the breakups and reshuffling, this happens every year and not just at Wheaton. I’m going to guess that a lot of it has to do with the natural process of weighing all the opportunities that happens at this age. Many of the junior skaters may have simply decided to focus on school, move on to college, etc. Skating is an expensive sport and there is a lot that skaters give up, including social and academic opportunities. When you consider non-skating teens, what percentage of competitive high school athletes choose to continue on through college? And do we then blame the coaches/ school for the attrition?
 
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platniumangel

Active Member
Messages
195
I don’t know that there are major problems. WISA has built a fantastic program from the ground up, taking very young local kids straight out of learn to skate. The teams they put out there end up on national podiums at essentially every level.

As for the breakups and reshuffling, this happens every year and not just at Wheaton. I’m going to guess that a lot of it has to do the natural process of weighing all the opportunities that happens at this age. Many of the junior skaters may have simply decided to focus on school, move on to college, etc. Skating is an expensive sport and there is a lot that skaters give up, including social and academic opportunities. When you consider non-skating teens, what percentage of competitive high school athletes choose to continue on through college? And do we then blame the coaches/ school for the attrition?
I think there’s shock because Wheaton is known for pairing very young skaters and having them grow together for many years. Their most successful teams have many years together under their belts.

I think almost all their junior or senior teams have switched partners this season. I understand it’s not uncommon in general, but it’s out of character for Wheaton. I also think the Greens split was very surprising, as well as Gropman/Somerville.... and her public statements about how it happened. Now Greg Z left. Just a lot of changes in a short period of time.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
31,981
I don't know much about Wheaton, but it seems like this is the first generation (that I know of) where their skaters are expected to be true international contenders in the senior level. They are a center that seriously raised athletes from the ground up since they were very young while using a pool of local athletes from the D.C./Maryland area as opposed to Igor/Marina's hey day, where other people trained athletes from around the country and then those athletes wanted to "move up" and thus flew to them. As such, this just might be a natural growing pain to reach the next level for a center like Wheaton that has its own distinct issues with raising teams from the ground up and mostly from students from the area.

We must also take into consideration that Wheaton has to deal with high congestion at the top of the U.S. ice dance field right now. So many of those local skaters who grew up competing in the junior level are now facing real life decisions regarding their futures as they reach adulthood. I can see many of them looking at the field and looking at what they see as their potential and deciding to pursue other things. That's the risk of having a training center raising athletes from the ground up that a place like Marina/Igor's did not have as much, where people flocked there because they WANTED to be international competitors. But obviously there are so many great benefits of being a center like Wheaton that as evidenced by the teams themselves and Wheaton still has M/C and other teams wanting it. I'm pretty amazed at what they were able to do with taking kids from the area and turning them into internationally competitive ice dancers.
 

Lara111

Well-Known Member
Messages
431
Wheaton lost an immense amount of talent. On the surface main coaches have a conflict of interest having their son in Juniors and a daughter of another coach in Intermediates.
 

Lutzlvr

Active Member
Messages
83
While I don’t know the specifics, I would guess that there is movement both in and out of skating at every training center. I do remember that a year ago, there was a similar discussion about why teams were leaving Igor and conjecture that Novi was crumbling with the departure of certain teams and coaches. The “loss of talent” will be replaced with new talent that wants to continue in this competitive sport. There is a long pipeline of very young ice dance teams coming up at WISA and the other centers. I don’t really see that there will be any shortage to the talent pool in the near future.
 

Lara111

Well-Known Member
Messages
431
What is going on in Wheaton? This spring has seen a number of their most prominent teams break-up and one of their top coaches depart. The school seems to be having major problems at the very least.[/
While I don’t know the specifics, I would guess that there is movement both in and out of skating at every training center. I do remember that a year ago, there was a similar discussion about why teams were leaving Igor and conjecture that Novi was crumbling with the departure of certain teams and coaches. The “loss of talent” will be replaced with new talent that wants to continue in this competitive sport. There is a long pipeline of very young ice dance teams coming up at WISA and the other centers. I don’t really see that there will be any shortage to the talent pool in the near future.
That is exactly the position some coaches have but not successful coaches.
 

Debbie S

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,128
Just an observation. I don't remember teams leaving other coaches to train at Wheaton.
I assume you are talking about World level teams? B/c plenty of skaters have gone there from other coaches....in terms of Senior level teams, I remember the Gamelins moved there from UD, I think in 2012 or 2013. And there have been others, they just haven't been to the GP/JGP.

Wheaton has primarily been a developmental school. It was only 2 seasons ago that they first had Senior int'l-level teams. If/when their teams start winning World and Oly medals, I'm sure there will be interest from other teams.
 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,277
Now Greg Z left. Just a lot of changes in a short period of time.
He was only there a year, and there's no reason to say he was one of their "top" coaches. Probably it just did not work out, which is not uncommon with a new job.

I think there’s shock because Wheaton is known for pairing very young skaters and having them grow together for many years. Their most successful teams have many years together under their belts.
This I agree with. It's not surprising having junior teams shift. It is surprising having a bunch of junior teams at Wheaton shift, and two of them on the Junior World team. It takes a long time to get there. Starting over very often means forfeiting ground. Maybe you gain an extra junior season or two, but that's no guarantee you ever get back on that JW team. (While you could very well have a crack at Challengers and/or Skate America in seniors if you stick it out with your partner. And there are no audiences on the JGP so why not go do Challengers with no audience?) It's not often that starting over gets you an extra season or two at the top of the National field.

If I was going to estimate--based on all the junior & senior teams that we know have split or retired since last season, many of them not from Wheaton (DelCamp & Gart, Haines & Koszuta, Efimova & Petrov, Wolfkostin & Zhao, the Purnells, Manta & Johnson, possibly the Elders?, Weatherby & Bogomol, Pettersson & Carey, and one assumes Rose & Michel, Brykalova & Brykalov, Chen & Jin, Krauskopf & Walter, and Zhao & Niva) and many from Wheaton (the Parsons, Gropman & Somerville, Gunter & Wein, Amoia & Becker, and probably the Greens), I'd estimate 1 new team gains ground on where both individuals were last season--especially internationally. And the lower you were last season, the better your odds of that because you have less distance to fall and so many other teams have kindly split up to help you gain that ground.

Who is this likely to be good for? Russia & Canada.
 
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Dobre

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Messages
7,277
At the risk of missing someone I should know (which I'm sure I've done at least somewhere in this photo), can someone identify the girl toward the center between Wolfkostin & Bronsard in this picture for me? It would be much appreciated.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BwzHbOUFuvI/
 

RoseRed

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,677
At the risk of missing someone I should know (which I'm sure I've done at least somewhere in this photo), can someone identify the girl toward the center between Wolfkostin & Bronsard in this picture for me? It would be much appreciated.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BwzHbOUFuvI/
I can barely see it, but I think maybe Natalie D'Alessandro. Well actually, I'm sure the girl I'm looking at is Natalie, I'm just not 100% sure she's the one you mean.
 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,277
I can barely see it, but I think maybe Natalie D'Alessandro. Well actually, I'm sure the girl I'm looking at is Natalie, I'm just not 100% sure she's the one you mean.
Black jacket & pants. Dark hair. Looks shorter than Bronsard in the picture (but that could be posture).
 

RoseRed

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,677
Black jacket & pants. Dark hair. Looks shorter than Bronsard in the picture (but that could be posture).
Oh okay, definitely not Natalie then. She's on the other side of Emmy. I don't know who that girl is.
 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,277
Oh okay, definitely not Natalie then. She's on the other side of Emmy. I don't know who that girl is.
Thank you for trying. I am also glad to know that my guess for Natalie was correct as if it wasn't, I was then going to have to ask you who that girl was, LOL.

Can anyone else identify the girl I'm wondering about? (She is also the middle girl in the group of three girls in black toward the middle of the photo, if that helps).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwzHbOUFuvI/
 
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jgubs

New Member
Messages
1
Thank you for trying. I am also glad to know that my guess for Natalie was correct as if it wasn't, I was then going to have to ask you who that girl was, LOL.

Can anyone else identify the girl I'm wondering about? (She is also the middle girl in the group of three girls in black toward the middle of the photo, if that helps).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwzHbOUFuvI/


To the right of Wolfkostin is Gloria Young, Christian Bennett 's new partner.
 

SherryL

Member
Messages
36
I am surprised that no Wheaton teams are competing at Chesapeake. Is this a first? Most teams have partner swapped ... so maybe that’s why.

Also, no Avonley Nguyen & Vadim Kolesnik.

I’m glad to see so many junior teams even without Wheaton there!
Nguyen & Kolesnik are now listed as competing at Junior at the Chesapeake Open. It must be a recent addition.
 

her grace

standing with Mariah
Messages
3,658
It's not surprising having junior teams shift. It is surprising having a bunch of junior teams at Wheaton shift, and two of them on the Junior World team. It takes a long time to get there. Starting over very often means forfeiting ground. Maybe you gain an extra junior season or two, but that's no guarantee you ever get back on that JW team. (While you could very well have a crack at Challengers and/or Skate America in seniors if you stick it out with your partner. And there are no audiences on the JGP so why not go do Challengers with no audience?) It's not often that starting over gets you an extra season or two at the top of the National field.
I suppose for a skater like Somerville, it's more likely to earn a medal on the JGP (some time in his next 3 seasons) than it would be to earn a medal at a Challenger.

If I was going to estimate--based on all the junior & senior teams that we know have split or retired since last season, many of them not from Wheaton (DelCamp & Gart, Haines & Koszuta, Efimova & Petrov, Wolfkostin & Zhao, the Purnells, Manta & Johnson, possibly the Elders?, Weatherby & Bogomol, Pettersson & Carey, . . . and many from Wheaton (the Parsons, Gropman & Somerville, Gunter & Wein, Amoia & Becker, and probably the Greens), I'd estimate 1 new team gains ground on where both individuals were last season--especially internationally. And the lower you were last season, the better your odds of that because you have less distance to fall and so many other teams have kindly split up to help you gain that ground.
If there has to be splitting, it's actually good that so many teams split because better matches may be the result.


Who is this likely to be good for? Russia & Canada.
Several of these teams weren't going to have any immediate impact on Canada or Russia.

-Haines/Koszuta and Efimova/Petrov were aging out of JGP and wouldn't have an immediate impact (if ever) in Sr. with the deep American field above them.

-The Purnells, DelCamp/Gart, and Amoia/Becker, weren't at the international competitive standard.

-Gropman/Somerville could have contended on the JGP next season. Gunter/Wein were around a top 6-8 JGP international team so it would depend on how much progress they had made and the depth of the field whether they could medal.

-Wolfkostin/Zhao had a lot of potential, but breaking up at their ages is fine and they have plenty of time to build momentum.

-The Greens were a real medal threat, but Wheaton's track record with sibling teams may have given the Greens pause. The Phams disappeared as novices. The Beckers were amazing technicians who won the low-level titles and then became a size mismatch. The Parsons did amazingly well through juniors and also succeeded in senior (a GP medal is nothing to sniff at), but their size mismatch also did them in. Maybe the Greens saw the writing on the wall for their future, and decided to break up now rather than do very well in juniors but not reach their ultimate senior goals.

Canada is positioned well for the next JGP with several middle-jr.-aged teams who aren't so young that they just look cute and who also have a couple more seasons to establish themselves, e.g., Bronsard/Bouaragui, D'Alessandro/Waddell. Russia will be just fine with Ushakova/Nekrasov, Ivanenko/Karpov, Shanaeva/Narzhnyy, etc. But IMO, they were positioned well before all the American splits.
 

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