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

Tesla

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And in both years, the Knierims failed to place high enough in the free skate to secure 2 spots.
Actually, the Knierims did secure 2 spots in 2016, along with Kayne/O'Shea. In 2017, Denney/Frazier didn't make the free skate, and the Knierims placed high enough to secure 2 spots. Last year, they failed to earn the 2 spots. I love the Knierims, and I think they are the best U.S. pair. I also thought it was pretty obvious that at least one of them was injured and I guessed Chris. I have no idea why the USFSA put them down as alternates. He needs to get surgery, and they need and deserve a break. Let another pair have the pressure of earning 2 spots.
 
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AngieNikodinovLove

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I know I'm forgetting at least one pair, but I think Ashley and Tim can place 9-10 and get the job done.

3 Russian, 2 Chinese, 1 France, 1 Italy, 1 Canada...I'm counting 8 teams.
Me too... and I think Ash and Tim are gonna be fierce as ****!

They skated like That??? after what happened at Golden Spin?

They had no UR. The lands on the throws aren't a problem anymore..... before she was squeaking them out, now they get the distance and the flow out...

Their jumps consist of SBS 3 loops (SP) and SBS 3 loop, 2 toe, 2 loop in the Free....correct?

Lifts people say are their weakest...true but they are better.. and even their twist is higher...

I could see them placing 8 or 9 at Worlds.
 
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clairecloutier

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Actually, the Knierims did secure 2 spots in 2016, along with Kayne/O'Shea. In 2017, Denney/Frazier didn't make the free skate, and the Knierims placed high enough to secure 2 spots. Last year, they failed to earn the 2 spots.
You're right about the Worlds slots in 2017. It's the second Olympic slot that they didn't place high enough to earn that year.
 

AxelAnnie

Graceful men lift lovely girls in white!
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5. International photographers want Danny in Anaheim because he is so handsome.
I just have to comment that IMO Tarah O' was ridiculous with sobbing. Really? I get the disappointment.....but, take it like a man (so to speak) and breakdown later.
 

MrMystery

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U.S. pairs and discussion around them is a tough subject. There's some real potential, but will the potential ever pan out?

C&L skated a great Nationals and 100% deserved their win, and their Worlds assignment. It gets kind of messy from there out.

It's a real bummer K&O couldn't continue the momentum from their wonderful SP. I see improves in them this season from their move to CO and Dililah. Hope they can continue it and continue improving their consistency.

D&F - I'm not sure what to say about them, other than I honestly think they've kind of reached their max potential. It's been a few years now and Haven isn't having much luck improving her jumping. I think what we're seeing is pretty much what we're going to see for the next few seasons. Not a hater, would love to see them improve, but I'm not holding my breath.

S&B - I'm sure I'll get plenty of slack, but I think the reason why USFS is somewhat overlooking them is because of Deanna's age and their longterm potential. Now, I'm not endorsing it, and I'm not saying it's right, but I think when they are closely matched in terms of skill and results to other teams, I can see USFS looking longer term in the hope of giving teams with perhaps more potential and/or years on their career. I know, I know, Aljona... but let's be real, big difference between Deanna (who I love) and Aljona.

S-K&K - Eh, personally have mixed feelings about them in general, if they ever get their jumps together, they are the best pair in the U.S. and the team with international potential. But that means nothing until they put it together. Let's see what they do in the off season with Jenni and Todd.
 

haribobo

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I dont think Deannas age is factoring much. Imo its 100% about k/o better international results. Its adam rippon vs. ross miner but on a much smaller scale. had s/b medaled at 2018 4cc, or made top 10 at worlds, or medaled on the gp, they would be going...and I still wish they were, but I get it
 

MrMystery

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I dont think Deannas age is factoring much. Imo its 100% about k/o better international results. Its adam rippon vs. ross miner but on a much smaller scale. had s/b medaled at 2018 4cc, or made top 10 at worlds, or medaled on the gp, they would be going...and I still wish they were, but I get it
I agree with this, except I do think her age and their longterm potential factor in somewhat.
 

Frau Muller

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Come to think of it, will the North Koreans be able to compete in the USA? It used to be an issue, I recall. Perhaps not so since the diplomatic openings.
 

happycamper2554

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I just have to comment that IMO Tarah O' was ridiculous with sobbing. Really? I get the disappointment.....but, take it like a man (so to speak) and breakdown later.
Disagree completely. I want someone who cares that much representing my country. You can tell how important it was to her (and danny). Its called the kiss and cry for a reason. I'm sick of watching skaters being ok with not doing well. We should all hold ourselves to as high standards as she clearly does. Plus she always cries, good bad or ugly.
 

wickedwitch

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I'm so thrilled for Cain/LeDuc. I've been a fan of Ashley's for a while. (I still rewatch her and Reagan's LP from 2012 Nats.) But I have a strong preference for pairs teams where the man isn't just there to present the woman and actually has a personality. That's what we get with C/L. They were so obviously well matched from day 1. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do both later this season and in future seasons.

Also super thrilled for the junior pairs champions, Lockley/Prochnow, another of my favorites. Plus, they have a fun youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkaYUg-A7zaMeIEEq0KYVqw
 

SorrySkater

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Technically, Stellato/Bartholomay are also part of the reason the U.S. is down to one pairs slot at Worlds. Last year, they also failed to make the Worlds free skate, just as D/F did in 2016. To be fair, S/B were much, much closer to making it last year than D/F were in 2016. But still, the bottom line is they didn't make it.

And in both years, the Knierims failed to place high enough in the free skate to secure 2 spots.

Blaming Denney/Frazier entirely or primarily for our Worlds slot issues, as many seem to do, is simply unfair IMO.
Claire, I completely forgot that S/B went to Worlds last year until you mentioned it here. Thanks for the clarification/correction.
 

Tesla

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I just have to comment that IMO Tarah O' was ridiculous with sobbing. Really? I get the disappointment.....but, take it like a man (so to speak) and breakdown later.
This is insulting to both men and women. Both are entitled to cry whenever and wherever they want.
 

Sylvia

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If this was the press release that was on the USFS website, it's disappeared. Been taken away.
That link never worked/is still broken.
@jiejie, just wanted to let you know that the pairs/dance press release link has since been fixed on USFS' website: https://www.usfsa.org/story?id=92106&type=media
Copying out all the pairs selections from the press release: <snip>...
2019 World Junior Championships
Sarah Feng/TJ Nyman [WD from Nationals/Sr. after having qualified for the JGP Final]
Kate Finster/Balazs Nagy [J2]
Laiken Lockley/Keenan Prochnow [J1]
Alternate 1 – Chelsea Liu/Ian Meyh [S11]
Alternate 2 – Grace Knoop/Blake Eisenach [J5]
(both teams need minimums 23 / 44)
As expected, Liu/Meyh and Knoop/Eisenach have been assigned to the Bavarian Open; Junior Pairs event will take place Feb. 8-9 in Oberstdorf, Germany. This will be the Team USA debut for both Grace and Blake. :)
 

aftershocks

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Hypothetically, if we had two spots for Worlds, I think the USFSA would have gone with C/L and D/F, and then named K/O and S-D/B as alternates ahead of the Knierems.
As another poster (I think it was @kwanfan1818), already mentioned under your hypothetical scenario, I don't think there's any doubt that C/L and K/O would have been named to the World team. With the Knierims having their troubles, C/L and K/O have had the best results for U.S. pairs this season, and K/O are defending 4CCs champions. But I do think it's very difficult to determine what USFS would have done regarding alternate assignments. They are so unpredictable regarding that decisionmaking process. :drama:

D/F have done very well in coming back from what has been a rough time dealing with Haven's rehab and various setbacks, coaching changes, and then recently Haven's stress fracture (which has made consistent sbs jumps difficult for her to pull off). I had thought Haven was still working things out mentally re trusting that her knee is fully healed, but it turns out to be more physical issues she's been dealing with. So under those circumstances, D/F have done a great job this season. It's working out very well for them being back with John Z and crew. Plus Charlie White gave them some very good programs, and they are in the wonderful position of being able to train with one of the top championship pairs teams in the world, James/Cipres.

It was interesting watching the Pairs Press Conference where the main focus was about getting back two spots at the World Level for Team USA. Cain and LeDuc have the drive and the hunger to do that.
Yes, I thought the skaters were great in answering the questions, but that many of the questions were not well thought out. It's as if the reporters haven't been following the discipline all year, but only show up at U.S. Nationals to ask obvious, facile questions that have little depth and substance. I am glad we get to see the press conferences, but I wish they would ask better questions, and also spread the questions around more.

There is so much that could have been asked that wasn't. Why not ask Haven & Brandon questions about their switch back to John Z; about working with Charlie White on their programs; about what it's like to train with J/C and other French skaters; about specific aspects of their skating that they have tried to improve and where they think they are in that process; about why they are so good at lifts and what has been key to their success with lifts; about how their roller skating partnership as youngsters has contributed to their success as pairs figure skaters; and about what has been most difficult for Haven mentally in coming back from her knee injury, etc. There's also a ton of interesting questions that could have been asked of S-D/B, and more interesting questions asked of C/L as well. I'm sure we could all come up with a slew of good questions. Meanwhile, D/F and S-D/B were practically ignored. The follow-up to Tim about LGBTQ representation was overkill. Tim had already answered the question sufficiently and eloquently.

I loved hearing about Cain/LeDuc's partnership and how Ashley got through those weeks of not being able to train by pushing away doubts and focusing on visualizing a winning program. It's cool how supportive Ash & Tim are of each other and of their U.S. competitors. I was also glad to see Brandon chip in and speak of how proud he is of Haven, because she has gone through a great deal as well coming back from her knee injury and her stress fracture this season. In addition, kudos to Deanna for jumping in and speaking up when the reporters were ignoring them and focusing mainly on Ash & Tim. Deanna spoke up on behalf of U.S. pairs and how important this transitional year is for the U.S. discipline in trying to make strides to regain 2 spots and push forward. She didn't say it, but the goal should be to get in a position of being able to eventually land 3 spots. But gaining 2 spots definitely needs to happen because the U.S. has talented teams who need more opportunities to compete at Worlds.
 
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essence_of_soy

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She didn't say it, but the goal should be to get in a position of being able to eventually land 3 spots. But gaining 2 spots definitely needs to happen because the U.S. has talented teams who need more opportunities to compete at Worlds.
Back until the late 1980s or early 1990s, if a pair placed 5th in the world, they qualified three teams for their country.

I'm wondering if pairs' qualification should be a little different from dance and singles. Only because there are so few competing at the world level compared to the other disciplines.

One positive is Four Continents allows each country to send up to three skaters or teams if they meet the minimum TES.
 
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Carolla5501

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I just have to comment that IMO Tarah O' was ridiculous with sobbing. Really? I get the disappointment.....but, take it like a man (so to speak) and breakdown later.

I'm on the fence here. I have no problem with the sobbing in Kiss and Cry. Sobbing through the last seconds of your program... that's probably not good. Brook Castile pretty much called her out on it saying that if you are a pair skater you can't let go until the performance is over.

And now comes the "fun" part of the year... time to start monitoring breakups and retirements :)
 

PairSkater12345

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I'm on the fence here. I have no problem with the sobbing in Kiss and Cry. Sobbing through the last seconds of your program... that's probably not good. Brook Castile pretty much called her out on it saying that if you are a pair skater you can't let go until the performance is over.

And now comes the "fun" part of the year... time to start monitoring breakups and retirements :)
I didn't realize Brook Castile was an authority on what pairs skaters should or should not do when it comes to emotions.
Tarah didn't plan to show her emotions it happened
 

casken

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I'm all for a bit of genuine, raw, human emotion in a sport that requires a certain level of acting, both on and off the ice.

I for one *adored* Nobunari Oda's crying fits back in the day.
 

essence_of_soy

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I'm on the fence here. I have no problem with the sobbing in Kiss and Cry. Sobbing through the last seconds of your program... that's probably not good. Brook Castile pretty much called her out on it saying that if you are a pair skater you can't let go until the performance is over.

And now comes the "fun" part of the year... time to start monitoring breakups and retirements :)
I'm sensing the national championships in Detroit were a make or break competition for all of the top veteran teams, too. I would be very surprised if they all stay together for next season.
 

Yazmeen

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I'm sensing the national championships in Detroit were a make or break competition for all of the top veteran teams, too. I would be very surprised if they all stay together for next season.
Who do you see splitting up (honest question, I'm not being confrontational)? Of all of them, I'm wondering if Haven Denney will keep going. I wouldn't expect her to split from Brendan, but I think she may have finally hit the proverbial wall with her shortcomings in jumping. I think S-D/B will give it at least one more year to see if they can possibly move up. I think the Knierems will have to look at their health issues and decide if they really want to continue. Otherwise, I don't foresee any splits or big changes. .
 

PairSkater12345

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I'm sensing the national championships in Detroit were a make or break competition for all of the top veteran teams, too. I would be very surprised if they all stay together for next season.
Interesting- If you are talking about the top four at nationals, I believe all the teams are in it for next season. For sure.
 

IloveFS

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I just have to comment that IMO Tarah O' was ridiculous with sobbing. Really? I get the disappointment.....but, take it like a man (so to speak) and breakdown later.
You have to remember that John Coughlin was a friend of many of these pair skaters. Emotions may have been closer to the surface because of some of them were likely grieving the loss of a friend, mentor, etc.
 

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