U.S. Ladies [#24]: Starr-Ting Order/Detailed Classification

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kwanatic

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Nationals this year is going to be the first time in many years, dating back to Kwan-Cohen, where the pecking order is pretty set: There are only 3 ladies with a realistic shot at Worlds. That eliminates some of the whiplash and excitement from the last decade, though. OTOH, it might allow the top ladies some breathing space and concentration on their programs, maybe just maybe leading to great performances.
I'm secretly hoping for a shocker from one of the other competitors. Like maybe Amber finally skates to her potential...or Starr has another stellar performance like last year...or Megan shocks everyone with a strong performance...or Ting wipes the floor with everyone...

I just want to see someone really shake up things up!
 

aftershocks

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^^ Yeah, as I said in my previous post, "Its Not Over Till It's Over."

And I repeat:
Bradie and Mariah seem to be skating well enough to go 1 and 2. Alysa Liu has amazing talent and can podium, but she's not age eligible for Worlds. Talented Ting Cui is 16, so she's age eligible. Courtney Hicks has the talent, but will she rise to the plate podium? Amber Glenn has the talent, but will it finally be her moment to shine? Megan Wessenberg is impressive and seemingly fairly consistent. Starr Andrews is a gamer. It's a competition.

So, names are helpful when making predictions or speculations.
 

aftershocks

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When asked about the UR calls, Bradie responded:
“I have been working on my technique to jump higher. These things happen and obviously you don’t want to get those calls but all you can do is take the lesson learned and move on.”

Re UR calls on Bradie at Golden Spin, a fan on Youtube observes:
"Judges were a bit harsh on the underrotations here. The 3S was definitely < and the 2Lo on the combo looked 1/2 a turn pre-rotated. But the second 3Lz and 3F looked fine to me on x.25 speed as far as rotation, though the second 3Lz should have been given a ! call."
I like Bradie's response to the question about URs, but it really looks as if the judges are being very lazy and making assumptions and relying on preconceived perceptions and faulty eyesight or crappy sight lines, rather than being more responsible. IMO, they should give the athlete the benefit of the doubt when the calls are too close to call.
 

Frau Muller

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^^ Yeah, as I said in my previous post, "Its Not Over Till It's Over."

And I repeat:
Bradie and Mariah seem to be skating well enough to go 1 and 2. Alysa Liu has amazing talent and can podium, but she's not age eligible for Worlds. Talented Ting Cui is 16, so she's age eligible. Courtney Hicks has the talent, but will she rise to the plate podium? Amber Glenn has the talent, but will it finally be her moment to shine? Megan Wessenberg is impressive and seemingly fairly consistent. Starr Andrews is a gamer. It's a competition.

So, names are helpful when making predictions or speculations.
My guess for the likely Worlds team members, barring shocking melt downs-

Bradie - Great tech content and refined lines & art. Must be US #1...not just the top senior-eligible lady...to go into Worlds as true podium contender. Judges & callers, remember that before going gaga for the kid.

Mariah - to me, clear age-eligible US 2. Best balance of tech and art.

Ting - maybe, maybe but...does Giselle have the spine to come across as strong?

Amber...if she performs as when she won her Jr title in 2014. A marketeers’ dream, if she puts it together

BIG DIVIDE: “THE REST”

I’ve seen too many recent under-performances from other named faves. For example, wasn’t Megan W 18th in her Nationals SP one year ago...eighteenth, folks? Starr seems to have gone through “the P Monster” recently. Courtney has been my great secret hope for years, no matter how she styles herself, but... too many years of frustrating pops, falls, doubling...so she’s now with “The Rest.” Ditto Hannah Miller, for whom I’ll always have a soft spot. Emmy Ma, such a sensitive artist but the tech?

Who do people see in the final five group for the LP (since were now down to 20 Sr Ladies competitors...four groups of 5)? I’m guessing Bradie, Mariah, Ting, Amber & Alysa.
 

aftershocks

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From Brennan's article:
“'You don’t often see – there aren’t that many – you just don’t see overweight figure skaters for a reason,' Gracie said. 'It’s just something I’ve struggled with this whole year and in previous seasons. It’s just difficult when you’re trying to do the difficult triple jumps. It’s something that I am addressing but it’s obviously not where it should be for this caliber of competition.'"

But let's remember that at that point, no matter how Gracie felt about her body, she did not appear to be overweight. Our minds can tell us all kinds of things that aren't necessarily true, which may be even more the case for athletes. Sadly though, perhaps Gracie was struggling with eating issues, and she may have felt uncomfortable about natural changes associated with maturity. Added to that the unfortunate way females are often pressured and made to feel overly anxious about their weight in a number of sports.

Another thing is that Brennan kind of glosses over Gracie's rise and fall. It was up-and-down going with a lot of peaks and valleys, which is difficult to describe in a few journalistic gloss-over sentences. In 2013, although Gracie placed second, she had to come back from a low placement in the sp due to uncharacteristic errors perhaps caused by nerves, which looking back was often a scenario that tore at her fans' hearts. I understand the need to work quickly and with space and deadline constraints. The article is otherwise well written, and I tend to agree with Brennan's main points.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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I will not hide that I seriously want Mariah and Bradie to go 1-2 in any order obviously with great skates to back it up. I personally would love to see Mariah win the title because I think it'll do nothing but be a great confidence boost for her and seem like validation for all of her efforts in improving. The international judges have been giving her great scores and she just needs to provide consistently solid skates to take advantage of the good will right now. Bradie I think doesn't NEED the title as much as I see her continuing to work on her skating and do what needs to be done to make herself as competitive as possible. Of course, if Bradie wins I won't be mad at all.
 

toddlj

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Who do people see in the final five group for the LP (since were now down to 20 Sr Ladies competitors...four groups of 5)? I’m guessing Bradie, Mariah, Ting, Amber & Alysa.
Yeah, I'm also going with Bradie, Alysa, Mariah, Ting and (fingers crossed) Amber. I might go out on a limb and add Ashley Lin to the list of possibilities. Her performance at Nebelhorn was pretty impressive (particularly her 121 FS), though she wasn't able to match it at Inge Solar (114 in the FS there)
 

GullyGirl84

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From Brennan's article:
“'You don’t often see – there aren’t that many – you just don’t see overweight figure skaters for a reason,' Gracie said. 'It’s just something I’ve struggled with this whole year and in previous seasons. It’s just difficult when you’re trying to do the difficult triple jumps. It’s something that I am addressing but it’s obviously not where it should be for this caliber of competition.'"

But let's remember that at that point, no matter how Gracie felt about her body, she did not appear to be overweight. Our minds can tell us all kinds of things that aren't necessarily true, which may be even more the case for athletes. Sadly though, perhaps Gracie was struggling with eating issues, and she may have felt uncomfortable about natural changes associated with maturity. Added to that the unfortunate way females are often pressured and made to feel overly anxious about their weight in a number of sports.

Another thing is that Brennan kind of glosses over Gracie's rise and fall. It was up-and-down going with a lot of peaks and valleys, which is difficult to describe in a few journalistic gloss-over sentences. In 2013, although Gracie placed second, she had to come back from a low placement in the sp due to uncharacteristic errors perhaps caused by nerves, which looking back was often a scenario that tore at her fans' hearts. I understand the need to work quickly and with space and deadline constraints. The article is otherwise well written, and I tend to agree with Brennan's main points.
Yeah, I'm not really sure this article from Christina is needed, even though she makes relevant points. For one, Gracie is beautiful, but Phil and Christine sound so trashy whenever they keep mentioning Gracie's "movie star looks", etc. At this point, Gracie hasn't been relevant on the world scene for more than two years, she wasn't going to be a factor at this nationals except for it being a step towards rebuilding, so I feel like there's no need to pile on with talk about how her future is uncertain. It's not like USFS gave her Skate America this year, I'm not really sure what they could have done about her grand prix this year. I'm more interested in the role they played in Spring of 2017 to Fall of 2017 starting when Gracie was doing doubles at Stars on Ice yet still getting Japan Open (I know, that's more of an agency thing), but I think it's Gracie's story to tell at this point. I do think that with her grit, determination, and raw talent, she shouldn't be written off.
 

Domshabfan

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After thinking again, if USFSA had interfered and given hints to Gracie and her team, and this news leaks out, most of us including me would sent a lynch mob after them. So this is a case of doomed if they do, doomed if they don't do. In the future, USFSA can be bit more open with Gracie. I also think they were testing the waters with Gracie.
 
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VIETgrlTerifa

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Regarding Bradie's healthy attitude about getting some UR calls, I think it helps a lot that she's far from the only one this season AND it's not just happening to American skaters. I mean just from what I've read of her past quotes, she seems like a very level-headed person who doesn't take things too personally and will take the feedback quietly and work, but it has to help that it's affecting other skaters as well so you don't get stuck in a mentality that they're just seeking her out, but rather that there's a slight rule change that's affecting UR calls and everyone has to adapt and deal with it, including me...ok, let's work.
 

aftershocks

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Yeah, I'm not really sure this article from Christina is needed, even though she makes relevant points. For one, Gracie is beautiful, but Phil and Christine sound so trashy whenever they keep mentioning Gracie's "movie star looks", etc. At this point, Gracie hasn't been relevant on the world scene for more than two years, she wasn't going to be a factor at this nationals except for it being a step towards rebuilding, so I feel like there's no need to pile on with talk about how her future is uncertain. It's not like USFS gave her Skate America this year, I'm not really sure what they could have done about her grand prix this year. I'm more interested in the role they played in Spring of 2017 to Fall of 2017 starting when Gracie was doing doubles at Stars on Ice yet still getting Japan Open (I know, that's more of an agency thing), but I think it's Gracie's story to tell at this point. I do think that with her grit, determination, and raw talent, she shouldn't be written off.
Yes, I agree with you. The article did lay on a bit of the usual hypey overmuch that may be partly what placed so much pressure on Gracie at times, i.e., the overdone 'perfect name' reference, and 'movie-star looks' typecasting. Neither of those hypey things that some journalists love to tout is going to win anyone medals without the talent, self-belief, luck and chutzpah to back it up. I think Gracie actually had all of that along with courage and enormous potential, but also sadly she experienced self-doubt (which is normal) and problems that unfortunately weren't addressed in time.

I was trying to be complimentary toward Brennan, because she did seem to be attempting to be careful. On further reflection, I think the 'future uncertain' reference is a bit of the usual know-it-all knee-jerk dismissive that some sports journalists are prone to when the going is tough for athletes. It's the 'what happened in the last five minutes' syndrome, and the 'what have you done for me lately' journalistic go-to trash talk. Or the gloom and doom tendency.

No matter what happens, Gracie should be supported in her efforts. It's a journey she continues to desire, and effort is everything. In the end, making the effort and learning from the journey are what matters, regardless of the final outcome. Gracie should feel good about every small improvement and progress toward her goals. And I hope she also has the right people around her offering sound advice and guidance to make the best decisions.

Oh, I posted here before I saw your post about a separate thread Sylvia. But truthfully, maybe there have already been enough threads focused solely on Gracie's problems. No need for too much extended focus probably, which sometimes attracts unnecessary pile-on.
 
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AxelAnnie

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I'm secretly hoping for a shocker from one of the other competitors. Like maybe Amber finally skates to her potential...or Starr has another stellar performance like last year...or Megan shocks everyone with a strong performance...or Ting wipes the floor with everyone...

I just want to see someone really shake up things up!
Or Bell has two stellar skates.
 

AxelAnnie

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After thinking again, if USFSA had interfered and given hints to Gracie and her team, and this news leaks out, most of us including me would sent a lynch mob after them. So this is a case of doomed if they do, doomed if they don't do. In the future, USFSA can be bit more open with Gracie. I also think they were testing the waters with Gracie.
Interfered? Isn't the USFSA a governing body? Isn't it their job to "interfere"?
 

Frau Muller

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Interfered? Isn't the USFSA a governing body? Isn't it their job to "interfere"?
Isn’t that one of the main reasons for Champs Camp? Interference/Feedback?

That said...right after the 2018 Camp,TSL reported GG’s failure to land any triple...so USFS knew what was up.

(Funny, when I asked about GG’s progress on FSU, the “holier than thous” here slapped me down...”none of your business.” ROTFL!!! ) Thanks to TSL, we all got the scoop soon enough.
 
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Sylvia

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BIG DIVIDE: “THE REST”

I’ve seen too many recent under-performances from other named faves. For example, wasn’t Megan W 18th in her Nationals SP one year ago...eighteenth, folks?
And the next (this) season Wessenberg skated well enough in the summer (Glacier Falls club comp. in late July) to be given the Skate America host spot and skated a solid 60 point SP with a 6th place finish overall. Redemption and improvements are always possible. :)
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Isn’t that what happens at Champs Camp?
Thats what I would think.

I also heard chatter that while at CC the programs and the elements weren't any better than what transpired at Rostelecom. So I guess if the US governing body wanted to pull her they saw the proof in the pudding.

Anyway, well she wont be at Nats. Im just keeping my fingers crossed for her overall health and that she rises like the Phoenix she is for next season!
 

Frida80

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Nationals this year is going to be the first time in many years, dating back to Kwan-Cohen, where the pecking order is pretty set: There are only 3 ladies with a realistic shot at Worlds. That eliminates some of the whiplash and excitement from the last decade, though. OTOH, it might allow the top ladies some breathing space and concentration on their programs, maybe just maybe leading to great performances.
The pecking order was set from 2013 to 2016, when both Gracie and Ashley were on the podium in some fashion. From 2014-2016, Gracie, Polina, and Ashley made the podium in some various order. 2017 was the first time someone other than Ashley or Gracie won nationals in five years. This year, I expect Bradie to repeat as national champ, Mariah as a medalist, and after that anything could happen. Though I expect, Alysa will make the podium.
 

Frida80

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Interfered? Isn't the USFSA a governing body? Isn't it their job to "interfere"?

I think on of the largest logistical mistakes is holding champs camp at Colorado Springs, where the altitude makes it so hard to pull off a full program with jumps without passing out. I suspect a lot of skaters nix some if not all jumps, and they instead evaluate the composition and choreography. I'm sure her coach assured them that her jumps were "coming along," and had some video proof.

However, a large part of me thinks that USFS knew that Gracie was in no shape to compete. The comeback option is something that can be submitted by the skater to the ISU. Its what Gracie wanted.

What's done is done. Gracie had an option, and she chose this path. Her jumps aren't completely back, but she looks like she's in better shape and at least can do triples again. Now that she knows how much work will be involved, she can focus on smaller club competitions and lowering her difficultly into something she can manage.
 

AxelAnnie

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Champs Camp was in August. I remember (I think) Michelle was monitored before the OLYS. Would not Gracie, a champion skater, have had some kind of monitoring going on?
Withdrawing from US Nats a few weeks before the competition makes a bigger hub-bub than if she had withdrawn in November say. I would have thought it might have been less stress for her.
 

her grace

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Anyone know if there have been any changes to the selection criteria for this year? I didn't see it on the USFS website, but it could be in the Members Only section.

Using the official criteria for 2017 worlds with updated dates, here's what the top skaters (skaters with multiple intl assignments) BOW looks like.


Athletes shall be selected based upon performance(s) in the events below.

Tier 1
- 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships: TBD
- 2018 ISU Grand Prix Final: N/A
- 2018 ISU World Figure Skating Championships: Tennell 6th, Bell 12th

Tier 2
- 2018 Grand Prix Series Competitions: Tennell 4th at SA & 3rd at IDF; Bell 4th at SC & 5th at NHK; Andrews 10th at SA & 7th at SC; Wang 11th at FIN & 11th at NHK; Wessenberg 6th at SA; Hicks 8th at NHK
- 2018 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships: Bell 5th; Andrews 7th; Wang 9th

Tier 3
- 2018 Challenger Series Events and other senior international competitions: Tennell 1st at Autumn Classic & 1st at Golden Spin; Bell 3rd at Golden Spin & 4th at Nebelhorn; Lin 4th at Inge Solar & 5th at Nebelhorn; Andrews 5th at Asian Open & 7th at Autumn Classic; Wessenberg 7th at Nepala & 12th at Golden Spin; Hicks 7th at U.S. Classic; Wang 8th at Finlandia; Cui 2nd at Tallinn Trophy; Kalyan 9th at Finlandia
- 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships: Tennell 1st; Bell 5th, Andrews 6th; Wang 7th; Hicks 9th; Wessenberg 17th; Kalyan 2nd in jr.; Cui 3rd in jr.; Lin WD
- 2018 World Junior Figure Skating Championships: Cui 7th; Ma 19th
- 2018 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final: N/A
 

Spun Silver

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Champs Camp was in August. I remember (I think) Michelle was monitored before the OLYS. Would not Gracie, a champion skater, have had some kind of monitoring going on?
Withdrawing from US Nats a few weeks before the competition makes a bigger hub-bub than if she had withdrawn in November say. I would have thought it might have been less stress for her.
What hubbub? After seeing her in Russia I doubt anyone was really expecting she would be ready for Nats. I'm just very glad for her sake that she pulled out instead of attempting to compete unready again.
 

AxelAnnie

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What hubbub? After seeing her in Russia I doubt anyone was really expecting she would be ready for Nats. I'm just very glad for her sake that she pulled out instead of attempting to compete unready again.
Well, she said she was going. Her coach said she was going. USFSA said she was going. She was on the list of entrants.

USA Today puts together a cogent examination of Gracie and USFSA's obfuscation
Her November 2018 attempt to return to the sport for the first time since the U.S. nationals in January 2017 was alarming to all who watched. Still not in competitive shape, she nonetheless went to Russia to compete in a Grand Prix event against nine other international skaters, including 2018 Olympic gold medalist Alina Zagitova.
Gold clearly wasn’t ready, finishing 10th in the short program, unable to land any of the triple jumps that once came so effortlessly to her. She withdrew before the long program. But what came next, on Twitter, was even more troublesome.
Of course, now she’s not going to nationals at all. But there’s a bigger issue here. As the Grand Prix event approached, it would have been clear to any number of officials and coaches within the U.S. Figure Skating community that Gold was not ready to compete. While she certainly is allowed to call the shots for her own career, part of any top skater’s preparation for an important competition is to be monitored by USFS judges and/or officials.
 

Tinami Amori

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Well, she said she was going. Her coach said she was going. USFSA said she was going. She was on the list of entrants.

USA Today puts together a cogent examination of Gracie and USFSA's obfuscation
I am so glad you posted this, and that the issue has been addressed in the official press. It is a common misconception that "a skater is an angel, who owes no obligations and has no duties to vendors, sponsors, federation, coaches and other service providors".

Skaters enter into contracts/agreements/obligations, formal, official and sometimes "moral rules" with many parties, individuals and entities (mentioned, but not in full, above). They (skaters) MUST follow the rules, obligations, contract conditions and MORAL factors when making decisions. Many/some have NOT acted decently and respected the agreements, and yet were supported by "skating fans" in spite of their bad behavior, choices and actions. Skaters don't have "more rights" than other parties in a written or verbal or implied contract they enter into.

Gracie's "personal situation, goals and expectations" do not give her the right to be selfish and to mislead other parties involved. I am glad she made a timely announcement about withdrawing from USA-Nationals. I hope she regains shape and form for next season.
 
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Tinami Amori

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Huh? Skaters withdraw from Nationals every year. It's their decision and not anyone else's.
Skaters withdraw. Gracie did it in a timely manner. Before that she "advertised" her self and her situation and her goals to no end.... Better idea: get yourself ready, overcome yours' whatevers, show up and do well. All the noise about "difficulties and plans" can get annoying and looks like "attention seeking" and "crowd's sympathy plot". We already had "Wagner and her movies about HERSELF AND HER LADIDDA LAND", and US judges had good brains not let her get away with her "self promotion without substance". Twitter and IG and facebook should be FORBIDDEN to skaters as "self promotion tool". shut up and skate.
 

overedge

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I think the USFS monitoring is usually around the content of the programs, e.g. what could be changed to maximize points, whether the music is a good choice, what might violate rules or get a downgrade. AFAIK the monitors are not there to tell skaters whether they're ready to compete, or order them not to compete.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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I think we discussed this earlier. I don't think comparing an athlete who enters into a competition and then has to withdraw is the same as other forms of contracts where people are paying money to see a specific performer (concert). With a sporting competition, the only thing that a ticket paying member is guaranteed is that the competition will occur. Now, I think people can be mad at a skater if it seems like they were not training seriously and were just stringing people along and encouraging them to buy tickets to a competition to where they are listed when they have NO intention of competing, but again the only thing that is guaranteed when you buy a ticket to a sporting event is that it will occur, not that so-and-so will definitely compete there so there's no break in contract or whatever.
 

Tinami Amori

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I think we discussed this earlier. I don't think comparing an athlete who enters into a competition and then has to withdraw is the same as other forms of contracts where people are paying money to see a specific performer (concert).
There are also athletes who enter into a competition with "hopes they will be ready by then" and not more than 80%+ certainty. And in the meantime they post a lot of cute fotos, sob stories, and all sorts of compelling stories and information to make fans like them. I consider it a form of manipulation and trying to gain unfair advantage through social media. They are counting on "voice of the people/fans" to get them ahead. They are athletes. Athletes do athletics. Athletics is what counts.
 
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