U.S. Pairs 2017 - News & Updates, Part VII

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Sylvia

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Time for a new thread now that new champions have been crowned! Congratulations to Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier! What an incredible comeback from injury story for Haven!:cheer2:

Silver goes to Castelli/Tran, Bronze to Cain/LeDuc and Pewter to Stellato/Bartholomay.

Update on Tarah Kayne/Danny O'Shea's withdrawal :( earlier today: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2017/01/21/214050534/kayne-oshea-will-not-petition-for-world-team-spot
"Tarah has to get surgery on her (right) knee," said Peterson, who coaches the pair in Ellenton, Florida. "She has been skating at 70 percent, at most, all year. She has not had time to get this knee taken care of and, the bottom line, it has to be looked after."
After developing symptoms overnight, Kayne had a 30-minute checkup by a physician from University of Kansas Hospital on Friday morning and was diagnosed with a concussion. The team withdrew from the pairs free skate Saturday morning.
"Tarah, Danny and I just felt it was not safe enough to even try the warmup practice," Peterson said. "It just was too much risk right now. We're doing this because we're thinking of the future. We want to be healthy the entire season next year."
At the end:
Should the team [Scimeca/Knierim] wish to be considered for one of the two pairs spots on the U.S. world team, a petition would have to be submitted to U.S. Figure Skating prior to the conclusion of the pairs free skate Saturday.
 
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Sylvia

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Phil Hersh has confirmed on his Twitter that Scimeca/Knierim "have filed a petition for a spot on figure skating world team."

ETA:

Hersh's Pairs FS recap article says "U.S. Figure Skating will announce the pairs world team Sunday morning": http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2017/01/21/214057590/denney-frazier-climb-to-top-of-pairs-field-in-kc
"Pairs is really hard," said Marissa Castelli, who finished runner-up with partner Mervin Tran. "The tricks we are doing takes a toll on your body. I think I've seen every one of us in the medical room getting small treatments done. Pairs people are just so tough."
 
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AngieNikodinovLove

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Phil Hersh has confirmed on his Twitter that Scimeca/Knierim "have filed a petition for a spot on figure skating world team."
Oh, wow AMAZING!

I was just coming here to post this... "Too bad Scimerim couldnt at least show up to get their Gold." With whatever limitations they currently have perhaps they could have taken this gold with just a twist and the combo spin and a throw or two.

lol, serioisly all medalists did what they could and it was great (and expected). Congrats to the 3 teams and Miss Deanna and Nate too!

I was also going to post I HOPE that usfsa would NOT name the world team and that they sent them all to 4CC and then made a final decision.

These results were all just too close and they all had equal mistakes.. what was it? 188, 186 and 184?

The winners did single axels. All had mistakes. The third team at least went for an unheard of 2axel / half loop/ triple. Waiting for protocols to see if she got credit for her triple. My guess is no. (just checked them. All 3 of those jumps in the combo were downgraded even the half loop.Bummer.)

Cool to see that Scimerim filed.. and I hope this team isnt named this weekend.... There are no clear 2 favorites in my mind.... but thats just my 2 cents today!
 
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aftershocks

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Phil Hersh has confirmed on his Twitter that Scimeca/Knierim "have filed a petition for a spot on figure skating world team."
^^ Yes, that's not too surprising. If all the pairs teams had made a better case for their competitive worth in the free skates, S-K/K would likely still have filed a petition. But I think there would have been more momentum and excitement for U.S. pairs in general coming out of Nationals, had there indeed been as much to celebrate from the free skates as there was from the sps. A larger audience didn't have a chance to see the wonderful short programs of especially the two new teams who I think have pushed each other and the veteran teams, which is really what U.S. pairs need more of going forward: talented teams pushing and challenging each other to improve and to become more competitive on the international scene.

IN is reporting that K/O are not going to petition for the World team which clearly makes sense. I wouldn't have thought they would be petitioning anyway. Tarah needs time to recover from her head injury and apparently she is going to need knee surgery and rehab as well. Why would anyone think K/O would petition for Worlds. :duh: S-K/K petitioning clearly makes more sense.

http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2017/01/21/214050534/kayne-oshea-will-not-petition-for-world-team-spot

I'm sure IN will shortly be following up with a report on Scinerims' petition. It makes the best sense to send D/F and S-K/K (if Alexa is fully healthy) to Worlds. The problem is going to be how healthy Haven and Alexa will actually be to battle at top strength. Of course Scinierms' throw quad twist is a valuable weapon but they and D/F need to be clicking on all cylinders to make inroads into placing in relatively high positions at Worlds. Perhaps anywhere from 6 - 10 is possible for both teams if they bring their A game. If not, then surely no worse than placements from last season. But the goal is to move up and to become competitive enough to eventually gain 3 spots in order to give talented up-and-coming teams opportunities to compete at Worlds. That's how other international pairs who get to go to Worlds every year are able to develop.

Here's a cute photo of top medalists in pairs:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C2uVYKIUsAAQ_By.jpg
 
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stjeaskategym

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Looking at scores is probably not needed at this point-- Based on how this season (and last season) has gone, we can see the best US World team. But now that we have seen US Nationals, I'm posting additional info to the post I wrote in the Knierim thread because it's an objective way of looking at this:

2017 Nationals:
Denney/Frazier 188.32
Castelli/Tran 186.28

2016 Nationals:
Scimeca/Knierim 196.80
Castelli/Tran 179.04

2016 Four Continents:
Scimeca/Knierim 207.96 (2nd)
Castelli/Tran 175.08 (6th)


2016 Top US Pair Scores
Scimeca/Knierim 207.96 Four Continents (2nd)
Scimeca/Knierim 191.97 Skate America (2nd)
Scimeca/Knierim 190.66 NHK Trophy (3rd)
Scimeca/Knierim 190.06 Worlds (9th)
Scimeca/Knierim 189.28 Ice Challenge- Graz (1st)

2017 Top US Pair Scores
Denney/Frazier 192.65 Skate America (2nd)
Denney/Frazier 188.23 Skate Canada (4th)
Castelli/Tran 176.18 Trophee de France (5th of 6)
Castelli/Tran 173.62 Autumn Classic- Canada (3rd)
Kayne/O'Shea 173.50 Skate America (6th)

*Additional results from this season
Denney/Frazier 172.82 Ondrej Nepela (4th)
Castelli/Tran 171.95 Skate America (7th)
Denney/Frazier 161.63 Golden Spin Zagreb (4th)


Castelli/Tran are a good team, but they haven't had a great season and they had a rough SP and a slightly better LP here at Nationals. It is likely that Scimeca/Knierim would have won this Nationals with several errors, and it is also likely that they would be the highest US finisher at Worlds. They bring a much-needed stability to the pairs discipline in the US with the way they score.
 

aftershocks

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... It is likely that Scimeca/Knierim would have won this Nationals with several errors, and it is also likely that they would be the highest US finisher at Worlds. They bring a much-needed stability to the pairs discipline in the US with the way they score.
^^ Yeah, but that's not going to be good enough going forward unless S-K/K push themselves to get better in every aspect, particularly on consistency with their sbs jumps and their aesthetics which are definitely going to be needed if they hope to make steady inroads internationally. The only way to do that is to set higher goals and to rock on all cylinders. Having the quad twist without improving their weaknesses is only going to take them so far.

What I see is that the new teams (C/L and S/B) have pushed each other as well as forcing the veteran teams to take note. If these new teams could show such improvement and do what they both did in the sp, after being together for such a short time, the veteran teams need to take that as inspiration and step up their game dramatically. Bringing 'stability' ain't enough if you want to contend at the top internationally. It's not about status quo, it's about actually improving dramatically to be able to contend on the world stage. Sure there are setbacks with injuries, but teams should set their sights on continuing to show competitive progress, and not just settle for being the so-called 'stable U.S. pairs team.'

ITA that C/T haven't shown reliability on a consistent basis. But one of the inherent problems is that when you have teams with good qualities who have few opportunities to compete on a regular basis, it becomes more difficult to develop and to improve their skills. It was the international opportunities that Cain/LeDuc received during the fall which got them this far in such a short period of time. I'm sure that C/L will take this as another learning experience to grow from, and that's what they need. I'm quite happy overall for C/L as second or third was the high prediction after how well they did at Golden Spin in medaling, and in putting out the throw 3-twist which they obviously are still working on, since it's a new element for them. If not for their new 3-twist, I didn't expect C/L to do better than 4th or 5th initially, but that was also before S-K/K had to withdraw.

The story of this championships has been the special and inspirational moments provided by Ash/Tim and Deanna/Nate. And unfortunately also the injuries with Alexa still recovering and having to WD, and Haven still battling back courageously, and Tarah fighting but in such knee pain (and then the concussion). It's sad to say that Tarah may have needed to have something make her take a step back and get her knee taken care of. I hope the concussion will heal fully and there will be no lasting effects. It was so sad to hear about her diagnosis, as I posted in the earlier pairs thread that has been closed.

IMHO, Haven/Brandon are a strong team who obviously are not at full strength, and yet they have still done remarkably well this season. In the sp press conference, H&B spoke about their struggles, which to me clearly shows how much better they could be now had they not lost so much time to Haven's injury rehab. Still, Brandon admirably used the time to improve his aesthetics and it shows. They are a strong team. Overall though, it's too bad there weren't the redemptive free skates from all the competitors that Ashley Cain graciously predicted during the sp press conference.
 
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stjeaskategym

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Bringing 'stability' ain't enough if you want to contend at the top internationally. It's not about status quo, it's about actually improving dramatically to be able to contend on the world stage. Sure there are setbacks with injuries, but teams should set their sights on continuing to show competitive progress, and not just settle for being the so-called 'stable U.S. pairs team.'
Bringing stability is plenty right now when the US doesn't have any other teams with the same stability. Obviously, they are looking to do more than just be the best US pair. They made strides last season and won multiple international medals. Since Nationals just finished and a World team is about to be picked, it makes sense to look at them in relation to the other US pairs. It doesn't mean being the top US pair is the end goal.


And while I agree that competitive opportunities are limited just due the nature of figure skating and its rules, Castelli/Tran have had plenty of competitive chances. They competed in several local events, 2 GPs, and a Sr B last fall.
 

aftershocks

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If S-K/K were bringing such stability to U.S. pairs, they would not have lost to K/O last year. And let's not blame the fact that Alexa later suffered problems that required surgery. Even if Alexa was beginning to experience some health concerns that she wasn't aware of last season, that would still not account for Scinierims' problems at 2015 GPF, nor indeed at 2016 U.S. Nationals. They were much better at 2016 4CCs but faltered at Worlds. Perhaps Alexa's ultimately diagnosed illness had some affect on her stamina and endurance, but it would not have much to do with some of their errors and Chris' nagging instability on sbs jumps.

Scinierims are a quality team with a lot of strengths. Again, their quad twist and explosive qualities are good but not enough unless they continue to shore up their weaknesses and make significant strides aesthetically. If Haven can fully bounce back, D/F will be on S-K/K's heels with Cain/LeDuc not far behind. If Castelli/Tran add more difficulty and gain consistency and confidence, all bets are off. Don't fool yourself. I doubt Alexa and Chris are. That's a reason they are petitioning, to get back in it and show that they are the team to lead U.S. pairs. No team needs to lord it over others, and neither do their fans.

C/L discussed in the presser how much camaraderie all the teams have. In order for our pairs program to grow, we definitely need S-K/K to give it their all, but they need another excellent U.S. team to do the same in order to create a third spot for a U.S. team at Worlds. This is needed as I said in order for U.S. teams to develop and to push each other to greatness. Scinierims, despite what you seem to suggest @stjeaskategym, can not push U.S. pairs forward all by themselves.

ETA:
Okay, I see @stjeaskategym that you modified your recent post after reading my above reply, as well as my below post #10. Too bad I didn't quote your original comments, which did not refer at all to "it doesn't mean being the top U.S. pair is the end goal." You changed the wording and tone of your first paragraph. And you also added that part about Castelli/Tran at the end. It seems you are backtracking a bit from the more aggressive line you were taking in support of S-K/K.

When I said "no team needs to lord it over others," I was referencing your more aggressive comments which you've edited out. I don't think there is anything wrong with a team wanting to prove that they are the best to lead U.S. pairs. All teams want to continue to improve and to win. But most athletes realize that it's about focusing on theirself and their partner and maximizing talent and taking advantage of opportunities. It's possible to be supportive of rival teammates, while also maintaining a competitive mindset. One can of course take note of what other teams are doing and be inspired and encouraged. Yet, achieving goals is more about self-belief, confidence and trusting one's partner. Focusing too much on worrying about others is not the road to go down. And I doubt most athletes do so if they hope to succeed.
 
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Weve3

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Phil Hersh has confirmed on his Twitter that Scimeca/Knierim "have filed a petition for a spot on figure skating world team."
(y) If cooler heads prevail, they should get that spot. ;)

Of course, this decision, whatever it ends up being, will leave a team quite unhappy.
 
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aftershocks

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^^ Well, at the press conference, the team most likely to get bumped should Scinierims get the Worlds nod, put on a good face about accepting whatever decision USFS makes to field the strongest team to try and get 3 spots for pairs. That's a tall order with the stacked international field. Not that it can't be done. It's just unlikely with Haven still battling her knee injury. The reality is we can't be sure how ready Scinierims will be either.

Castelli/Tran have not definitively shaken off their tech element inconsistencies. But the chance to compete more might help, since they are a quality team aesthetically and stylistically.

It's simply a bonus for Cain/LeDuc to nab bronze at their first Nationals together (with first place in the sp), and to hopefully be assigned to 4CCs. I'm loving C/L and looking forward to witnessing their journey. Staying happy and in the moment is the key most likely. Not that it's easy under competition pressure mentally and physically. From their comments in the press conference, it seems to me that C/L are on a good track to soaking up all they can learn and applying it toward further growth.
 
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stjeaskategym

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If S-K/K were bringing such stability to U.S. pairs, they would not have lost to K/O last year.
I should know better than to keep replying, but here I am. You're bringing up a lone national event that has nothing to do with my original statement-- that S/K have brought a stability in scoring to the US internationally. My post with all the scores shows this. 190s are better than 170s, there is nothing to dispute here. It was not particularly difficult for S/K to approach 190 points on a regular basis last season (I don't believe they would need a quad to do it either). They have strong scoring potential, as we saw at 4CC when they hit 207 without being perfect. They were the US's top finisher in every international event they did in 2015 and 2016. I said nothing untrue when I said they bring scoring stability to the US. I posted a whole list of numbers to back up my statement. :wall:
 

aftershocks

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I should know better than to keep replying, but here I am. You're bringing up a lone national event that has nothing to do with my original statement-- that S/K have brought a stability in scoring to the US internationally. My post with all the scores shows this. 190s are better than 170s, there is nothing to dispute here. It was not particularly difficult for S/K to approach 190 points on a regular basis last season (I don't believe they would need a quad to do it either). They have strong scoring potential, as we saw at 4CC when they hit 207 without being perfect. They were the US's top finisher in every international event they did in 2015 and 2016. I said nothing untrue when I said they bring scoring stability to the US. I posted a whole list of numbers to back up my statement. :wall:
Oh well, there's nothing wrong with backtracking and re-explaining your comments. You already modified your previous post to which I had responded in my post #8.

If you were talking about 'stability in scoring,' you didn't say that clearly initially. There's no 'stability in scoring' when a lack of consistency causes scores to drop. Scinierims are still working out some of their weaknesses. It's their quad twist element that got them more attention and helped push up their scores internationally. It's not enough to have good qualities, talent, and to match well on the ice. A team must set themselves apart in unique ways while continually improving. After a rough fall season in 2014, Scinierims managed to set themselves apart with their quad twist. But with some ups and downs and inconsistent performances they weren't able to fully capitalize in big moments (such as GPF 2015 and Worlds 2016, and when they lost their U.S. championship in 2016).

That's the travails of a competitive career in figure skating. What usually matters is how well a team bounces back, if they are able to bounce back. I think it's looking good for S-K/K to get positive approval of their petition if it's certain that Alexa will be healthy enough and along with Chris they are both trained and ready to compete when Worlds arrives.

I'm not questioning Scinierims' international scoring ability over Castelli/Tran or other U.S. teams. C/T have weak technical areas to work on, but in order to get better they need the opportunity to compete more internationally. I think it's good if C/T can go to 4CC's and maybe get more senior Bs next season, along with GPs.
 
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NadineWhite

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What an exciting event to watch, WOW! :cool:

Cain & Leduc blew me away throughout the competiton. And I think it was Johnny Weir that said they had the goods to compete at Worlds, meaning the most technical difficulty in the sbs jumps for Americans.

OMG, Deanna Stellato is back, in pairs no less, lol! It was awesome sauce to watch, literally. I remember being in the audience when she got that 6.0 (still have it on VHS tape). Her & Nathan look gorgeous together, two halves of a perfect whole. He finally found that partner he's been looking for. And already a pewter medal after only 6 mos. together. Don't count them out for next year...

Castelli & Tran were smooth as ice, in particular him, I just love to watch him skate.

YEAH for Haven Denney, so very very happy for her, smiles all the way. :) I'm so glad she & her partner won the gold.

With all that said, I can see the Knierims getting that second spot for Worlds, we shall see...

CONGRATS to all the medalists!
 

Jammers

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Is there any competition that S/K could compete in to show they are ready to go to Worlds?
 

Spiralgraph

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^^
Probably just 4CC's which is what, 3 weeks away? I must say after that less than terrific competition in pairs yesterday I won't have a problem with any decision USFSA makes regarding the world team. I just hope whatever teams that are assigned are healthy.
 

TwizzlerS

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I think C/L could do a seminar on how to keep things in perspective and setting priorities. And, Gracie should attend it.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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My dream team would be Scimerims and then send the 3 medalists to 4 CC the team that scores the highest takes the World spot. I dont see any rush in having to name the team today. There just arent ANY standouts for the spots.

The Gold - bronze are just separated by mere points. Nothing that commands any confidence in choice selection. There is a case for D&F, a case for C&L and for C&T.

Im ALL FOR an old fashioned gun draw and whoever skates the best at the next ISU competition gets the prize.

Having said this GO GET 'EM C&L!!!!!
 

stjeaskategym

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Is there any competition that S/K could compete in to show they are ready to go to Worlds?
Aren't all skaters monitored for readiness before they go to Worlds?

There's the Challenge Cup in the Hague, Netherlands, the end of February. That's the only Sr B I can think of during this time. And I don't know how worth it it would be to send a world level pair team all the way there if they can just be monitored at home. I don't know how it works though. But some of these Sr Bs don't end up having any pairs at all. If they are on track to be ready for Feb, they might as well just be sent to 4CC, as it would be far more valuable of an experience before Worlds.

Regarding readiness, as long as S/K have their twist back (which they clearly do) and can do a couple throws and all the lifts, they are honestly already as ready as any other pair we could send.


My dream team would be Scimerims and then send the 3 medalists to 4 CC the team that scores the highest takes the World spot. I dont see any rush in having to name the team today. There just arent ANY standouts for the spots.

The Gold - bronze are just separated by mere points. Nothing that commands any confidence in choice selection. There is a case for D&F, a case for C&L and for C&T.

Im ALL FOR an old fashioned gun draw and whoever skates the best at the next ISU competition gets the prize.

While the pair event was certainly not so strong yesterday, D/F further separated themselves from C/T with solid GP results. C/T struggled on the GP and still have a personal best LP of only 116 and personal best total of only 176.
 
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Sylvia

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http://usfigureskating.org/story?id=90301&type=media

PAIRS
2017 World Championships
Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 - Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc
Alternate 2 - Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran
Alternate 3 - Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay

2017 Four Continents Championships
Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc
Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 - Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran
Alternate 2 - Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay
Alternate 3 - Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan

2017 World Junior Championships
Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson
Nica Digerness and Danny Neudecker

Alternate 1 - Alexandria Yao and Austin Hale
Alternate 2 - Gabriella Marvaldi and Daniel Villeneuve
Alternate 3 - Laiken Lockley and Keenan Prochnow
 

CassAgain

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I can't see that as anything but a slap in the face to Mervin and Marissa. Perhaps it will bring some fire they didn't already have out of them, but my goodness. :(
 

breathesgelatin

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4 Continents is a test event for the 2018 Olympics. Castelli/Tran are not eligible for the Olympics and are unlikely to become so due to Mervin's citizenship. I see the point of sending Cain/Leduc, potentially eligible for the Olympics, to 4 Continents over Castelli/Tran. We already received some indication that USFSA is taking the test event pretty seriously (from the fact that they did not grant Ashley Wagner permission to skate in that show in Europe at the same time as 4CC's.)
 

NadineWhite

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WOOHOO!!!! Cain & Leduc get 4CCs and the Knierims get Worlds. :cool: So happy for them both, I love these two pair teams. *heart*
 

Jun Y

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Mervin Tran will not be able to go to the Olympics next year. I can see why USFSA is reluctant to let them take a spot from Olympic-eligible teams.
 

clairecloutier

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4 Continents is a test event for the 2018 Olympics. Castelli/Tran are not eligible for the Olympics and are unlikely to become so due to Mervin's citizenship. I see the point of sending Cain/Leduc, potentially eligible for the Olympics, to 4 Continents over Castelli/Tran. We already received some indication that USFSA is taking the test event pretty seriously (from the fact that they did not grant Ashley Wagner permission to skate in that show in Europe at the same time as 4CC's.)
Mervin Tran will not be able to go to the Olympics next year. I can see why USFSA is reluctant to let them take a spot from Olympic-eligible teams.

Valid point.

Is that also the rationale for Cain/LeDuc being named first alternate to the World team over Marissa/Mervin?? :rolleyes:
 

Princessroja

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Can't wait until Kopmar/Barrett are age eligible for juniors internationally next season. I was very impressed with them at nationals.

I'm thrilled for Cain/LeDuc, I'm a huge fan of theirs, but I feel for Melissa and Mervin. Very clearly passed up, despite their silver. That's gotta burn. :(
 

Dobre

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Thumbs down on placing Castelli & Tran below Cain & LeDuc on the lists. C&LD are terrific, but destroying careers & dreams based on senior B results & citizenship? Not OK, IMO.
 

Spiralgraph

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Destroying careers and dreams? Aren't you being a bit melodramatic? As far as I know, Marissa and Mervin are in it for a several more years and one more setback shouldn't lead to their break up. They haven't skated well, as other posters pointed out there are legitimate reasons for picking Cain/LeDuc over them. If they want to be in the world championships they have to skate better and land their jumps and throws or their "journey" will be just that, a journey to nowhere.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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http://usfigureskating.org/story?id=90301&type=media

PAIRS
2017 World Championships
Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 - Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc
Alternate 2 - Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran
Alternate 3 - Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay

2017 Four Continents Championships
Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc
Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 - Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran
Alternate 2 - Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay
Alternate 3 - Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan

2017 World Junior Championships
Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson
Nica Digerness and Danny Neudecker

Alternate 1 - Alexandria Yao and Austin Hale
Alternate 2 - Gabriella Marvaldi and Daniel Villeneuve
Alternate 3 - Laiken Lockley and Keenan Prochnow
Holy Crap @Sylvia Im pleased as punch at these teams. SCIMERIM!!!!!!! And C&L to 4CC!!!!!! (Side note: From that december video of Scimerim I think they could have easily won Nats even with watered down programs this year.)

@Dobre C&L have shown more strengths and "two skating as one" in 6 months than 3 yrs of C&T. I think USFSA nailed this!
 
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feraina

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I think there are different political forces influencing the judging and assignments. Usfsa is not a monolithic thing. C/T were lucky to place 2nd -- they had a much messier skate than C/L. I can see a case for having C/L ahead instead.

I think this often happens at nationals, like when Mirai's UR's were ignored in 2014, and yet was left off the Olympics team.
 

clairecloutier

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I think there are different political forces influencing the judging and assignments. Usfsa is not a monolithic thing. C/T were lucky to place 2nd -- they had a much messier skate than C/L.

I'm sorry but Castelli/Tran were not "lucky to place 2nd" yesterday. They earned a 6-point lead over Cain/LeDuc in the LP (erasing C/LD's 5-point SP lead), and the reasons are clear as day in the protocol. C/T's twist was level 4/positive GOE, as opposed to level B/negative GOE for C/LD, and they had a 3-point advantage on that element alone. C/T's lifts were clearly better and they gained 4.36 points in lift GOE, compared to 1.39 lift GOE for C/LD. (Marissa/Mervin also had 1.5 base value advantage in lifts.) All this offset C/LD's jump advantage, which was only 4 points. Additionally, Castelli/Tran's PCS was 2 points higher.
 
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