U.S. Men 2018-19 season (cont.) - news & updates

Spun Silver

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Are the placements needed for spots the same as in seniors? If so, it's nice that Alexei can know his 11th spot finish would have been enough with Tomoki's win to keep the three spots. It's an academic point as his placement wasn't needed for that, but still, if he had dropped another two places he wouldn't have that consolation. Anyway, it looked like he was injured or at least bruised during that skate. Too bad.

I don't know what to say about Camden. I hope he can learn to fight for those jumps. Popping is too costly.
 

s_parks

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Camden cannot stay with Tom Z and Tammy. That partnership or whatever they're doing is not working. I also don't see a ton of success for Zhou(who definitely can hold it together in competition) long term if he stays with them.
 

Debbie S

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Congratulations to Tomoki! :cheer2:

His and Camden's placements combine to give the U.S. 3 spots for next year. And b/c the U.S. placed in the top 3 countries, we will have 2 men's spots at each JGP (and of course, 3 in Lake Placid). :)
 

olympic

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That was a real grind for US men! I’m glad that Tomoki pulled off the win and saved USFSA bacon.

Impressed with Tomoki: He has done fantastic job at Nationals, 4CCs, and now is Jr. World Champ! When you consider he had to skate last after those messy skates by Camden and Alexei, I can imagine there was pressure and he handled it
 
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That was a real grind for US men! I’m glad that Tomoki pulled off the win and saved USFSA bacon.

Impressed with Tomoki: He has done fantastic job at Nationals, 4CCs, and now is Jr. World Champ! When you consider he had to skate last after those messy skates by Camden and Alexei, I can imagine there was pressure and he handled it
Thrilled with the level of performance and perseverance Tomoki has shown this season. so happy for him and his coach. I do have a general question about this competition, is it archived anywhere as I had to miss the Ladies short?
 

barbarafan

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kwanfan1818

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:cheer2: and congratulations to Hiwatashi! I've loved his skating for a long time and am thrilled for him that he fought his way back to the podium, and this time ended on top of it.
 

wickedwitch

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A couple things on the junior men....

This was Camden's best LP since August. So obviously, while it wasn't the performance he hoped for, I think of it as an improvement, especially over Nats and the JGPF.

Alexei could be in trouble regarding GP assignments next season. It'll be interesting to see how that turns out. It's a shame, because I thought he had turned a corner with his performance at Nats.

Andrew Torgashev posted an Instagram story reacting to Tomoki's win. It's adorable so everyone should go watch it.
 

insideedgeua

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Are the placements needed for spots the same as in seniors? If so, it's nice that Alexei can know his 11th spot finish would have been enough with Tomoki's win to keep the three spots. It's an academic point as his placement wasn't needed for that, but still, if he had dropped another two places he wouldn't have that consolation. Anyway, it looked like he was injured or at least bruised during that skate. Too bad.

I don't know what to say about Camden. I hope he can learn to fight for those jumps. Popping is too costly.

Ummm, do you have this around the wrong way? Camden did finish three places ahead of Alexi.

Yes, Camden has had a rough time lately, but this was an improved skate for him over his last few competitions.

On the other hand, Alexi has seemingly gone from the Top US Junior a year ago, leading after the short last year, to an 11th place finish here. He must be wondering if he’s been making wise coaching change choices.

Camden’s 8th Place with Tomoki’s win keeps all of the USA’s JGP places alive.
 

RoseRed

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Ummm, do you have this around the wrong way? Camden did finish three places ahead of Alexi.

Yes, Camden has had a rough time lately, but this was an improved skate for him over his last few competitions.

Camden’s 8th Place with Tomoki’s win keeps all of the USA’s JGP places alive.
The point was that even without Camden's 8th place, Alexei and Tomoki's places would still have been enough.

On the other hand, Alexi has seemingly gone from the Top US Junior a year ago, leading after the short last year, to an 11th place finish here. He must be wondering if he’s been making wise coaching change choices.
I doubt the issues for Alexei are really about the coaching. I think that injury had a much bigger impact. He's said that he would feel pain from it for at least a year, and it clearly impacted his confidence and fire while competing, especially earlier in the season.

Also, to be honest, Alexei won in juniors mainly because he was a good competitor and always fought for his jumps. He had the loop combos, but he didn't really ever have a quad (and I'm sure getting injured on that 4S made that harder) and he's clearly far from a polished, artistic skater. And his jumps were mostly not the type for huge GOE. I remember several people predicting that he wasn't really set up to have senior success right away or anything. And the junior field was stronger this year, despite a lot of rough free skates.

I'm not trying to be overly critical of him, because I really like him. But I don't think this is as simple as coaching. Some of this could have been predicted, and a lot of it is related to that really awful ankle injury imo.
 

insideedgeua

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The point was that even without Camden's 8th place, Alexei and Tomoki's places would still have been enough.



I doubt the issues for Alexei are really about the coaching. I think that injury had a much bigger impact. He's said that he would feel pain from it for at least a year, and it clearly impacted his confidence and fire while competing, especially earlier in the season.

Also, to be honest, Alexei won in juniors mainly because he was a good competitor and always fought for his jumps. He had the loop combos, but he didn't really ever have a quad (and I'm sure getting injured on that 4S made that harder) and he's clearly far from a polished, artistic skater. And his jumps were mostly not the type for huge GOE. I remember several people predicting that he wasn't really set up to have senior success right away or anything. And the junior field was stronger this year, despite a lot of rough free skates.

I'm not trying to be overly critical of him, because I really like him. But I don't think this is as simple as coaching. Some of this could have been predicted, and a lot of it is related to that really awful ankle injury imo.
Not trying to debate Alexi with you. I also think a number of factors were at play there.

It was more that you seemed perhaps overly critical of Camden. Strange when he was the one of the two with the better result. It came across as thank goodness for Alexi as Camden blew it.

It may just be the way you wrote it but it came across as Camden being the huge let down for you, when he had the better overall placing and the highest components of any skater in both the short and the Free.

Not trying to set up a debate over which boy is better, but in this event, I thought it was Alexi’s results that were far more of a concern. Camden doesn’t have a quad yet, something known before the event, so not including one in the Free was no surprise. Alexi has had a quad but didn’t include one in the short and the one in the Free was downgraded.

I’m hoping that they will both be working on quads over the summer.
 

aftershocks

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Thanks for your insightful observations and fair perspective regarding Alexei's challenges @RoseRed.

... Camden ... had problems this year doing a free program... I think Camden is going to be in their #TTW for a bit :(
...I don't know what to say about Camden. I hope he can learn to fight for those jumps. Popping is too costly.
Camden cannot stay with Tom Z and Tammy. That partnership or whatever they're doing is not working...
But Camden was first in the sp at Junior Worlds @s_parks, and he skated flawlessly with great confidence.

IMO, the problem for Camden this season is his choice of free program. (And it's obviously true that Camden will need to master some quads to be more competitive going forward). I never liked Camden's fp this season. When I first saw it at one of the early comps, he skated somewhat okay, but I just thought even then that West Side Story was an unusual choice for Camden. I understand about trying something different and stretching one's range, but to me Camden has never seemed comfortable or confident with this program. The results alone should have spelled that out for his coaching team.

In fact, I thought after Camden placed first in the sp at JGPF and then fell all the way to last place (6th) in the fp and 5th overall, that he and his coaches would make changes. But no, they came back with the same program for U.S. Nationals. Camden had a couple of minor problems at the beginning of his sp at Nationals (probably due to nerves), but he was otherwise okay in the sp. And he could have likely held his position (which I think was around 8th) had he skated decently in the fp. But once again he faltered majorly in the fp and fell to 12th place. Again, no change was made with the fp ahead of Junior Worlds. I know it's not easy to make changes at such a late point in the season. But earlier on, and especially right after JGPF, they could have made different decisions. Why not return to the Chopin fp from the previous season that Camden was clearly very confident and aggressive in skating to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifmPKYpwf-Q

Maybe they were trying to do something different since Camden has skated to a lot of classical selections. For some reason, he never seemed comfortable with either the theme, the moves or something about West Side Story. I know the music is by Leonard Bernstein, but it's more contemporary Broadway style rather than strictly classical. It actually seems as if Camden was not comfortable with the pacing of the Bernstein composition, nor did he ever really get into the thematics or character of the storyline. Camden is definitely a musical skater, but again, he was off quite a bit with the pacing of West Side Story (or perhaps it was the program layout). If they preferred to stick with WSS, then I wish they would have sought Edward Villella's assistance in working with Camden on the thematics, dramatics, pacing and aesthetic potential of that program. Perhaps Villella could have helped rework the layout since he knows a lot about skating and about dance & movement qualities. Villella was in the original cast of Jerome Robbins' West Side Story Suite for New York City Ballet:
https://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/20/arts/dance-review-extremes-of-jerome-robbins.html

Here's an informative MK Blades interview with Camden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAHaHU97wt4
I think Camden's responses about Twitter, Instagram and social media are interesting. Plus, his replies are thoughtful to queries about his coaching team. And I was fascinated to hear Camden discuss working with Stephane Lambiel on choreo for his Oblivion sp. I think the interview dragged on a bit too long toward the end, with trivial questions that could have been edited out. I wish the interviewer had asked Camden about the impetus for the West Side Story program, choreographed by Tom Dickson. Another good question that could have been asked is the differences between Dickson's and Lambiel's approaches to choreography. Instead we got bland questions about whether Camden preferred playing computer games vs going to movies with his friends. :duh:
 

Dobre

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It was Spun Silver who wrote the earlier post, not Rose Red. I interpreted it the same way Rose Red did.

Alexei has had a quad but didn’t include one in the short and the one in the Free was downgraded.
I think they have all been URed if landed. (And that was prior to the new scoring system in which negative GOE is more costly and the rotation requirement is more strict)
 

aftershocks

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It was more that you seemed perhaps overly critical of Camden. Strange when he was the one of the two with the better result. It came across as thank goodness for Alexi as Camden blew it.
Go back and read the posts. @Spun Silver is who you seem to be referencing. @RoseRed just tried to clarify how she interprets Spun Silver's comments. I don't think either poster were overly criticizing Camden or Alexei, btw.

Most likely the commentary evidences a high regard for Camden's talent and disappointment with his result rather than any dismissive view that he 'blew' anything.
 

SkateFanBerlin

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Camden cannot stay with Tom Z and Tammy. That partnership or whatever they're doing is not working. I also don't see a ton of success for Zhou(who definitely can hold it together in competition) long term if he stays with them.
I actually thought his skating looked better 2 years ago. The jumps now seem forced, musceled. But, where can he go? Who has success teaching a quad when it wasn't naturally there?
 

jlai

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I actually thought his skating looked better 2 years ago. The jumps now seem forced, musceled. But, where can he go? Who has success teaching a quad when it wasn't naturally there?
Camden looked better two years ago? He was a jr with only a jgp in his belt, placing only 9th.
Or do you mean Zhou?
 

jiejie

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Camden--big sigh. Breathtaking skater when he's on, like in the SP. I think his problems are more in his head and handling pressure. Yes, he needs a quad, but if he'd skated his FS the way he did his SP at Jr Worlds, he'd likely have been somewhere on the podium. I don't know if he needs a new coach or not, but I agree that West Side Story was a bad match from the beginning. For one thing, WSS is extraodinarily difficult music to skate to (even for a senior) despite its dramatic storyline that seems to make the choreography obvious. For another thing, it's "cursed music" for skating which, like Gone With the Wind and Slaughter on 10th Avenue programs, nobody ever seems to win the big competitions with. (But that's another topic entirely).

Alexei--a different kind of sigh. I agree with above that I think his primary issue is the long recovery from the bad ankle injury he had a year ago. Rehabbing something like that back to 100% physically, and to assure yourself 100% mentally that it's strong enough to do full training on, just takes time. He does seem to need to get better conditioned since I also noticed he seemed winded in the second half of the program. 2018-2019 was just destined to be a tough transitional season for him, but there's still lots of upside potential here.

Both of these guys age out of juniors and can mentally close the book on this, and focus 100% this spring/summer on re-inventing themselves for debut senior international seasons.

Tomoki--big grin. So proud of him, and he seems to have settled with a coaching team that works for him at this level. Hope he gets some good senior opportunities next season, as he also ages out of juniors.
 

jlai

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West Side Story was a bad match from the beginning. For one thing, WSS is extraodinarily difficult music to skate to (even for a senior) despite its dramatic storyline that seems to make the choreography obvious. .
OTOH, I adore Camden's WSS and he got high pcs for it.
Let's not forget, Max Aaron won nationals with WSS and placed high at worlds with it, and he is not exactly a "sophisticated" skater. :) I doubt that is jinxed music
 

RoseRed

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OTOH, I adore Camden's WSS and he got high pcs for it.
Let's not forget, Max Aaron won nationals with WSS and placed high at worlds with it, and he is not exactly a "sophisticated" skater. :) I doubt that is jinxed music
Yeah, I liked Camden's FS too. It was nice to see him try a different style.
 

jiejie

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OTOH, I adore Camden's WSS and he got high pcs for it.
Let's not forget, Max Aaron won nationals with WSS and placed high at worlds with it, and he is not exactly a "sophisticated" skater. :) I doubt that is jinxed music
I thought Camden looked uncomfortable all season with the program. And I'm sure I read some comment from him earlier in the season about how he didn't like the music/program at first, but then got more into it. Max Aaron is exactly the sort of skater (athletic, not balletic) that COULD pull off a good edit of WSS. But I've seen a LOT of WSS singles programs in the 50 years I've been watching skating, and they rarely come off as memorable.

As for jinxed music, I recall an interesting skating discussion somewhere maybe, say 15 years ago, on music that seems to be the Kiss of Death as far as winning top competitions goes. I'm positive WSS was on that list. Maybe it's just too difficult to skate WELL to for most skaters, maybe there is Secret Judges Lifetime Conspiracy against certain pieces. :D
 

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