U.S. Pairs 2018-19 season - News & Updates, Part IX

Japanfan

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It was pure politics, IMO, on behalf of the Canadians and against the U.S. teams in their home country.
The USFA does not politic, then?

Or Skate Canada is so much powerful than the UFSA than it can take away American skaters' home country advantage.

Alrighty, then. Whatever you say. :)
 

olympic

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I am excited by the state of US pairs right now, even if we are at a nadir w/ only one spot:

I re-checked the protocols and if Ashley had done a 3S in the LP, they would've broken 200 points. They are getting stronger, the twist and throws are getting better. Only SK/K at 2016 4CCs has done better.

K/O made the right move going to Dalilah where they can work on their explosive elements. Although, as a poster pointed out, Tarah does need guidance on blade control and how to consequently move faster across the ice. I don't think Dalilah can give that to her.

D/F should not retire. Their SP was big and really made me pay attention. Sadly, they are a victim of SBS jump-itis and who knows if it will work out. But, they are overall skating the best I have ever seen.

Let's not forget C/J, 5th at Nationals. They are for one short year (?) showing tons of potential. I think they could make a serious move to the top with more time. She is gutsy pairs gal and lands throws like a cat. He's a big guy that can lift her AND jump.

And the couple that won the Bavarian Open? I don't remember their names (Liu/?), but an intl. win for being together such a short length of time is inspiring.
 

barbarafan

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The USFA does not politic, then?

Or Skate Canada is so much powerful than the UFSA than it can take away American skaters' home country advantage.

Alrighty, then. Whatever you say. :)
ok then....

C/L are not particularly fast and their elements are good but not explosive and spectacular in any way. Their body lines are not beautiful and Ashley looks hunched over in some positions. So they may be the best the US have to offer for this year but hopefully that will change in the future.
KMT2...have got their SBS jumps back finally and their speed and ice coverage are far superior to C/L. on the minus side their first throw was a baby throw but their second one had good distance and was well landed. Her air positions are close to being ugly and the rev.lasso lift was very unstable with a fair bit of wiggling. They were overscored and should have came 3rd with a lower score. Peng & Jim had the touchdown on first jump but other than that were perfect, elegant and were my favorite of the night. I would have had them closer to Sui as their her wipeout was a splat although they were faster. P/J are being held down in PCS.
I would have only switched places with P/J and KMT2.
 

Jozet

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As a physician, might I suggest the Ashley and Tim, and her clinicians and their coaches make the decisions on what they should and shouldn’t be doing?

Of course, I realize I couldn’t possibly know more about concussions than some of the experts here...(bow, scrape, genuflect). 🙄
When a group of experienced physicians with long resumes all recently tell me "helmets protect against concussion" -- a demonstrably false statement -- or goofiness like "just take fish oil supplements or CBD oil to cure it" I now demand a little more authority on a topic and specialty attention to the current research beyond "I'm a doctor."

Whatever. Her team wants to put her out there, that's on their heads. Unfortunately, it's also on hers.

For Team USA to put out this story is irresponsible and dangerous.

Boston University accepts athletes brains in their CTE research. More figure skaters should pledge theirs, especially pairs skaters and skaters who train quad jumps.

ETA: This is also the problem with blogs that present themselves as authoritative news; they are not held to any standard of reporting, fact-finding or ethics. If Ashley gave those quotes knowing they would be reported, then I'd expect both Ashley and Team USA need to go back and clarify, clarify, clarify. As it stands now as reported -- she suffering from post-concussion syndrome and experiencing symptoms from the concussion -- what her physicians decided went against CDC recommendations and SCAT2 protocol for step-up to competition. As a blog that targets athlete readers, their parents, coaches and fans, this was shoddily done.

My apologies to anyone offended, but there are two topics which make me hot. One is youth sports safety and head injuries in particular; the other is gun control, or rather, lack of it.
 
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MrMystery

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I see glimmers of hope with the current set of U.S. pairs. Ashley & Tim may not have the most POTENTIAL of the current crop, but they are by no means the best of the worst. They are well packaged, quite consistent, can JUMP, hardworking, and can go out and skate two solid programs in a competition.

Looking forward to seeing how K&O progress over the off season with Dililah. I think she has and will certainly continue to help them, and I hope they also take in some of the other resources that the OTC and staff in Colorado Springs can give them. I'm hoping for a Christopher Dean choreographed program(s).

S-K&K are wildcards right now. I think Jenni & Todd and hopefully Robin will be a good team for them, but it takes time to gel with a new coaching situation. Plus his injury. I think most people can agree they have the most potential of any U.S. team, but you need more than potential...

D&F... sigh. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I have lost hope in them - I don't see there being much more progression, specifically with Haven's jumping. Not to say she's old by any means, but she's pretty much past the point of being able to re-learn technique. I would be pleasantly surprised and happy if they prove me wrong, though. Their pair skills are fabulous and IF and WHEN, and it's a bit IF and WHEN, they land their jumps, they are right up there with the top teams in the world.
 

Yazmeen

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My apologies to anyone offended, but there are two topics which make me hot. One is youth sports safety and head injuries in particular; the other is gun control, or rather, lack of it.
I'm certainly not personally offended, but you seem to be damn near dismissing the entire medical profession as not knowing what they are doing here. Yes, not all doctors understand concussion fully, but I think going off the deep end over one report is an over-reaction. My point is that her medical team likely knows FAR more about what is actually going on with Ashley than fans at FSU or a sports reporter do.
 

aftershocks

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The USFA does not politic, then?

Or Skate Canada is so much powerful than the UFSA than it can take away American skaters' home country advantage.

Alrighty, then. Whatever you say. :)
:lol: It's just my opinion. No need to get touchy. You know this sport is full of it. How can anyone have watched all of the skating and judging in all of the disciplines at this event and not witnessed some head-scratching and eye-rolling scoring results. :p Maybe I was somewhat harsh in my overall reaction because C/L were definitely harshly judged. But this is nothing new that U.S. pairs are too often looked down upon. They have gotten the short end of the stick way too many times when it was not warranted. I understand the history because I've researched it and I've also watched skating for a very long time. As far as politicking, all federations engage in politics if they have some clout. But the U.S. is simply not very good at politicking and they don't have as much insider clout as Canada. Of course many factors are involved in the scoring aside from politics, and outcomes are inconsistent from event-to-event, as fans constantly witness.

Canadian pairs tend to be given more cred because they've historically enjoyed a bit more major success than U.S. teams, aside from the 19 years when Canadian pairs suffered a World and Olympic podium drought while U.S. teams, including Starbuck/Shelley, Tai/Randy and the Carruthers were battling for podium spots against dominating Russian teams, and usually grabbing at least bronze medals until Tai/Randy finally won Worlds in 1979. It wasn't until 1983 and 1984 that Underhill/Martini of Canada finally broke Canada's 19-year-drought with first a bronze medal at Worlds, and the following year a World championship. U/M passed Canada's baton to Brasseur/Eisler, and then Sale/Pelletier came along. Meanwhile, U.S. pairs remained fairly competitive winning bronze on occasion, and a rare silver medal in 1998 by Meno/Sand. Ina/Zimmerman were the last U.S. pair to make the World podium in 2002 (bronze). And then, Chinese & Russian teams, along with the innovative German team of Savchenko/Szolkowy took over. The U.S. did have some competitive teams for awhile longer, as did Canada, but no U.S. team could break through past 6th position at Worlds in the years after 2002. Eventually, Meagan/Eric broke through for Canada to win Worlds twice, post Dube/Davison failing to go further than winning bronze at Worlds in 2008.

The thing I will never forget is how the U.S. team of Evora/Ladwig weren't given their due over the mistakes made by Canadian teams who enjoyed more rep and expectation at the 2010 Olympics.

In any case, KMT/MM have come a long way since they partnered and I respect them, and I do cheer for them. They were the best in the sp, but not all of their elements have the quality of Sui/Han's elements when S/H are at their best, and even when they are rusty. I simply feel that both KMT/MM and Sui/Han were overscored in the sp. In the fp, KMT/MM were a bit more tight and shaky, especially on one of their lifts. Michael has a way to go to continue improving his partnering skills. Plus, if KMT/MM were in the sp suddenly going to make that kind of leap in their scores internationally, then C/L also deserved to slightly edge ahead of Peng/Jin, especially in the sp (or at least the scores should have been much closer between C/L and P/J in the sp). While C/L still have work to do re continuing to improve the quality of their elements, they have better programs than KMT/MM and P/J this season. Plus, C/L were not given enough credit for their excellent presentation skills.

BTW, the U.S. is currently in the 17th year of a World and Olympic podium drought. I think it's about time for that situation to change!
 
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Jozet

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I'm certainly not personally offended, but you seem to be damn near dismissing the entire medical profession as not knowing what they are doing here. Yes, not all doctors understand concussion fully, but I think going off the deep end over one report is an over-reaction. My point is that her medical team likely knows FAR more about what is actually going on with Ashley than fans at FSU or a sports reporter do.
Hopefully. As I said, the reporter and Team USA -- as well as the athletes themselves -- need to be far more aware of the groundswell of public and professional research-backed opinion on the epidemic of head injuries in sports, youth and pro. Kids are bigger and stronger; in skating the "tricks" are more and more risky. There are plenty of people within sports, from officials to organization heads, who continue to find ways around the research or best practices, advocating an "old school" mentality in an effort to not slow down athletic "progress."

An article coming from Team USA carries a lot of authority. They need to get this right. As reported, it's not.

For myself, I'll end this here.
 

Willin

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Yeah! Cain and LeDuc have the best lines in pairs.
She is hunched over when she crosses over, but for whatever reason that seems to be a common problem even among top pairs. I've never quite understood it - wouldn't you think the man would be the one bending over to match his female partner? I guess not.

I see glimmers of hope with the current set of U.S. pairs. Ashley & Tim may not have the most POTENTIAL of the current crop, but they are by no means the best of the worst. They are well packaged, quite consistent, can JUMP, hardworking, and can go out and skate two solid programs in a competition.

Looking forward to seeing how K&O progress over the off season with Dililah. I think she has and will certainly continue to help them, and I hope they also take in some of the other resources that the OTC and staff in Colorado Springs can give them. I'm hoping for a Christopher Dean choreographed program(s).

S-K&K are wildcards right now. I think Jenni & Todd and hopefully Robin will be a good team for them, but it takes time to gel with a new coaching situation. Plus his injury. I think most people can agree they have the most potential of any U.S. team, but you need more than potential...

D&F... sigh. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I have lost hope in them - I don't see there being much more progression, specifically with Haven's jumping. Not to say she's old by any means, but she's pretty much past the point of being able to re-learn technique. I would be pleasantly surprised and happy if they prove me wrong, though. Their pair skills are fabulous and IF and WHEN, and it's a bit IF and WHEN, they land their jumps, they are right up there with the top teams in the world.
This exactly my thoughts on Cain/LeDuc. They aren't the best - I think that would be the Knirems or debatably Kayne/O'shea, but they're reliable, have programs that suit them, and have good jumps, and that makes them a much more solid choice to send to any given competition than most of the other US pairs teams right now.

I think Haven is just too inconsistent for Denney and Frazier to ever be a top team. It's sad because it seems to be related to her injury and in that way probably isn't her fault at all, but still... In person I noticed that Frazier had better skating skills than her, making certain things like the footwork look less well matched than some of the other teams.
 

bcash

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Is there another Ashley Cain and Timothy Leduc on the planet you are referring to? lol

Thats like saying Michelle Kwan isn't particularly graceful.

I watch C&L because of their lines.
Their limbs are long. But they certainly can use more refinement and fuller articulation. Compared to the likes of Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze, they still look like ducklings.
 

BittyBug

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Their limbs are long. But they certainly can use more refinement and fuller articulation. Compared to the likes of Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze, they still look like ducklings.
Very few pairs can compare to Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze - they were an exemplary pair - but I don't think Cain and LeDuc are trying to emulate B&S. They have their own modern style and I like it.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Their limbs are long. But they certainly can use more refinement and fuller articulation. Compared to the likes of Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze, they still look like ducklings.
Um, no.

And you are trying to compare 6.0 to new judging system, CoP.

There aint no kinda time for Ashley Cain to hold out a spread eagle while Timothy holds a spiral on to her. And no points for it either.

If they need more refinement with their lines then Goddess Nikodinov needs layback lessons.
 

jkl

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Sad to see Winter Deardorff on icepartnersearch. I thought she and Max Settlage had potential.
Also looks like Matt Rounis and Ainsley Peterson have split as they are both on icepartnersearch now.
 

olympic

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I just want to point out [again] that C/L were a doubled jump away from 200 points at a major intl. competition. When you compare where they are now with where they began, and throw a concussion in there, nitpicking their flaws IMO is silly. Let's see where they go from here before we pick apart their weaknesses.
 

pairskatingfan

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Sad to see Winter Deardorff on icepartnersearch. I thought she and Max Settlage had potential.
Also looks like Matt Rounis and Ainsley Peterson have split as they are both on icepartnersearch now.
I imagine it will be tough for both of those girls to get partners. One is lefty, one is tall.
 

Dobre

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I just want to point out [again] that C/L were a doubled jump away from 200 points at a major intl. competition. When you compare where they are now with where they began, and throw a concussion in there, nitpicking their flaws IMO is silly. Let's see where they go from here before we pick apart their weaknesses.
I don't think it's silly. I think it's simply an honest assessment. At 4CCs, the ice desk went on & on about the U.S. teams and barely discussed the Olympic silver medalists or GPF medalists from this season. When you head into a major international competition, it's important to have perspective. That's all. To understand the qualities C&L have versus their national & international competition, and also to understand the qualities that the higher-level teams have on them. As far as the coming back from injury, that is crazy amazing; but I can appreciate it and still have perspective about C&L versus the other teams at this event. Which many people in the audience didn't have because the commentary beforehand wasn't balanced.

To put it in a different context, it's valuable to nit pick even those higher level teams. To see what their strengths & weaknesses are. Peng & Jin don't have great lifts compared to the teams above them, for example; and I don't think they've ever had a clean second triple jump in the free skate. It's valuable to see those things. At 4CCs, they landed the second triple. It was messy, but still big improvement for them. So because I already recognize the weakness, I can appreciate the improvement; yet still realize that it doesn't stack up next to the teams with two clean triple triples. But Peng & Jin have good musicality, creative choreography, a strong twist, and awesome throws. Her miss on the throw in the short really cost them because that's where they usually bring in big points. Like C&LD, P&J have to figure out where they can maximize points. The second triple is worth it for them to keep working on, but it's not something they can count on. So they look at other ways. It's the same for every team. Look at the strengths. Look at the weaknesses. Look at where you can stand out from the crowd and be special.
 

olympic

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I don't think it's silly. I think it's simply an honest assessment. At 4CCs, the ice desk went on & on about the U.S. teams and barely discussed the Olympic silver medalists or GPF medalists from this season. When you head into a major international competition, it's important to have perspective. That's all. To understand the qualities C&L have versus their national & international competition, and also to understand the qualities that the higher-level teams have on them. As far as the coming back from injury, that is crazy amazing; but I can appreciate it and still have perspective about C&L versus the other teams at this event. Which many people in the audience didn't have because the commentary beforehand wasn't balanced.

To put it in a different context, it's valuable to nit pick even those higher level teams. To see what their strengths & weaknesses are. Peng & Jin don't have great lifts compared to the teams above them, for example; and I don't think they've ever had a clean second triple jump in the free skate. It's valuable to see those things. At 4CCs, they landed the second triple. It was messy, but still big improvement for them. So because I already recognize the weakness, I can appreciate the improvement; yet still realize that it doesn't stack up next to the teams with two clean triple triples. But Peng & Jin have good musicality, creative choreography, a strong twist, and awesome throws. Her miss on the throw in the short really cost them because that's where they usually bring in big points. Like C&LD, P&J have to figure out where they can maximize points. The second triple is worth it for them to keep working on, but it's not something they can count on. So they look at other ways. It's the same for every team. Look at the strengths. Look at the weaknesses. Look at where you can stand out from the crowd and be special.
Yeah I did not mean to call analysis silly. I guess I just wanted a breather for them just to celebrate how far they have come: Twist, throws, etc., and believe me, I appreciate proper critique
 

skatfan

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I disagree. It's quite a good element at this point. They got a level 3 with a solid GoE in the LP. Obviously, there are teams who can get more, but it's like a point difference. Even Sui/Han only got 1.18 points more.
Agreed.The 3Twist in the LP was quite good! It was a pleasant surprise.
 
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aftershocks

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Sad to see Winter Deardorff on icepartnersearch. I thought she and Max Settlage had potential.
Also looks like Matt Rounis and Ainsley Peterson have split as they are both on icepartnersearch now.
But I thought Max and Winter were doing so well together, and they looked okay in the kiss 'n cry, except for Winter being upset about having unintentionally knocked Max in the head during their program. What happened? :(

Okay, I see. I just needed to read down further. Thanks @clairecloutier. Sorry to hear this news. But good luck to Max in his future endeavors! And good luck to Winter in finding a new partner who matches well. Since Winter jumps in the more uncommon direction, does that present her with more of a problem, or are there/ have there been successful teams who jump in different directions?
 
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Rukia

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aftershocks

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^^ Thanks, I noticed late the posted link to Max's Twitter statement.

Looks like US male pair skater Joshua Santillan is back off the ice, assuming he is still recovering from his injury they posted about a month ago?
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bty5-VOHvEJ/
Thanks for sharing Josh's post. What a sweet sentiment/ poem by Josh to his partner Jessica; plus her response. I'm glad to hear that they will soon be back on the ice training again. I wish they could acquire a deep-pocketed sponsor to be able to have the time and resources to spend more quality time training. Good luck to Josh & Jessica! :saint:
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Well only 3 teams will not advance to free in Japan.

After seeing the entries I can now feel confident C&L will qualify 2 for 2020. They are on fire.... more than they have been!!!!
 

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