U.S. Pairs 2019-20 season - News & Updates, Part X

aftershocks

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Okay now, essence_of_kill_joy :p what did Tarah/Danny's photographer friend recently say in introducing their behind-the-scenes photo spread on Instagram: Be Nice to Athletes on Social Media... You never know when you might be on the other end of snarky dissing, or a pie-in-the-face. ;) :fan21: And anyway, you forgot to mention 3-twists... :COP:

Seriously now, of course Tarah & Danny have been going through a hard time. Ashley Wagner understands how that feels and she was very generous toward T&D and toward the Knierims and toward U.S. pairs in general on her recent Ice Talk stint. I didn't see Ashley's NHK commentating gig for the Olympic channel. Still, Ash's generous words didn't prevent her from speaking honestly while also being supportive and fair.

You are slipping in any case, because despite any problems they had at NHK, T&D have generally been troopers on the sbs jumps, which is how they have beaten and/or placed ahead of the Knierims at U.S. Nationals on a few occasions. Danny is an excellent pairs guy with good blade skills, and it's no secret that Tarah needs work on the SS. Some observers have been claiming that Jim Peterson helped camouflage Tarah's weaknesses. I think Tarah is a tough pairs diva and someone should have been helping her improve those SS much sooner. It's hard to gain much speed without decent blade basics.

This is a tough sport (a cliche understatement by now). Pairs is the most difficult of all the disciplines. I dare all the sideline snark-meisters, jokesters, and trollish naysayers to get out there on the ice and do squat themselves. :watch:
 
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aftershocks

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Ah, do we know which team dropped out of Golden Spin?

ETA:
I also do not see a post by Serafini on her Instagram about the GS invite... Can you provide a link?

Maybe it's the Knierims who have decided to take time out to prepare for U.S. Nationals rather than get back out on competitive ice right away.
 
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olympic

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I did visit the ISU page and it has not been updated. It shows S/T as alternates (something I didn't pay attention to before).

Here is a useful chart. MEAN international scores this season for pairs which may give one a better sense of where we are in terms of Worlds. The parentheses are the no. of international competitions this year. I crossed out teams at this moment that wouldn't be at Worlds (as they stand right now based on just mean scores to this point):

1. Sui/Han CHN 227.66 (2)
2. Boikova/Kozlovsky RUS 223.10 (2)
- James/Cipres FRA 215.19 (2019 Worlds) - Not competing as of now AFAIK
3. Moore-Towers/Marinaro CAN 209.11 (3)
4. Mishina/Galliamov RUS 207.04 (3)
5. Tarasova/Morozov RUS 204.58 (3) OR Zabiako/Enbert RUS 217.81 (2019 Worlds)
6. Pavlyuchenko/Khodykin RUS 201.77 (2)
7. Peng/Jin CHN 194.97 (3)
8. Cain/LeDuc USA 192.97 (3)
9. Ilyuschechkina/Bilodeau CAN 192.26 (3)
10.Scimeca Knierim/Knierim USA 191.77 (3)
11.Denney/Frazier USA 191.27 (3)
12.Panfilova/Rylov RUS 189.82 (2)
13.Efimova/Korovin RUS 181.32 (4)
14.Ryom/Kim PRK 181.28 (2) - Will PRK send a team to North America??
15.Calalang/Johnson USA 180.00 (4)
16.Miura/Kihara JPN 179.94 (1)
17.Artemeva/Nazarychev RUS 179.07 (2)
18.Akhanteva/Kolesov RUS 178.12 (2)
19.Stolbova/Novoselov RUS 177.51 (1)
20.Hase/Seegert GER 177.18 (3)
20.Kayne/O'Shea USA 177.18 (3)
22.Della Monica/Guarise ITA 177.16 (2)
23.Tang/Yang CHN 175.29 (3)
24.Mukhametzianova/Mironov RUS 174.73 (2)
25.Ziegler/Kiefer AUT 173.54 (4)
26.Brasseur/Bardei CAN 172.21 (1)
27.Serafini/Tran USA 167.08 (1)
 
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TanithandBenFan

Author of the Ice and Edge Series
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Ah, do we know which team dropped out of Golden Spin?

ETA:
I also do not see a post by Serafini on her Instagram about the GS invite... Can you provide a link?

Maybe it's the Knierims who have decided to take time out to prepare for U.S. Nationals rather than get back out on competitive ice right away.

It was in her Instagram story so it can't be linked.
 

chachacha

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Ah, do we know which team dropped out of Golden Spin?

ETA:
I also do not see a post by Serafini on her Instagram about the GS invite... Can you provide a link?

Maybe it's the Knierims who have decided to take time out to prepare for U.S. Nationals rather than get back out on competitive ice right away.
I bet it was the Kneirims because they would want to just focus on improving for Nationals vs risking having another bad skate. It’s good strategy for them to just regroup and train for Nationals. It’s great that Olivia and Mervin will get another opportunity. It’s a very weak field at Golden Spin. Ashlee and Tim should easily take Gold at the event.
 

sammyf

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I bet it was the Kneirims because they would want to just focus on improving for Nationals vs risking having another bad skate. It’s good strategy for them to just regroup and train for Nationals. It’s great that Olivia and Mervin will get another opportunity. It’s a very weak field at Golden Spin. Ashlee and Tim should easily take Gold at the event.
Knieirm/Knierim are listed as WD 12/1 on the US international assignments page.
 

DreamSkates

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But neither Chris nor Alexa are Aliona Savchenko.
I just don't count anyone out or think some things impossible...Todd Eldredge was told to quit skating and he later became world champion. You never know when someone might have their all-out best, and we won't know until they are retired. But, that's my opinion of course. I don't look as much at the numbers as what could be if they skate their best, and don't judge that they have done all they can, until they are done.
 

aftershocks

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It was in her Instagram story so it can't be linked.

Thanks. I was checking her Instagram stories but I didn't see it up front, nor was it specifically highlighted separately. I didn't end up looking through the entire stories post because it was mostly a bunch of faraway videos training at a rink in Quebec.

Oh btw, I reviewed Serafini/Tran's scores at 2019 Finlandia Trophy and I noticed they ended up beating Canadians Walsh/Michaud by about 16 points. That competition took place before W/M scrapped their edgy, rock-themed sp which had proved problematic. W/M went back to something more lyrical and comfortable for them. Serafini/Tran were in 4th after the sp, but ended up fifth overall:

 

aftershocks

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...
Here is a useful chart. MEAN international scores this season for pairs which may give one a better sense of where we are in terms of Worlds. The parentheses are the no. of international competitions this year. I crossed out teams at this moment that wouldn't be at Worlds (as they stand right now based on just mean scores to this point)...

Thanks for the breakdown. It makes sense to look at it that way if you are thinking only about Worlds opportunities. Of course we all know the U.S. only has two spots for Worlds. The list to my understanding is compiled based on stats for current competitions to date. In that respect, it should still be something to look at in a positive way that there are two U.S. teams in the top ten and a 3rd U.S. team one position out of the top ten. To have four U.S. teams in the top 15 is something that I doubt has been the case for quite awhile. In recent years, there was probably one U.S. team in the top 10 or sometimes not even one in the top ten, but maybe only one in the top 15 and two or three in the top 20.

The list is not static of course, and it doesn't account for several top teams who are out at the moment (James/Cipres; Zabiako/Enbert, and Yu/Zhang). In fact, with all the depth Russia has, they could field competitive pairs teams to stage a Russian-only Worlds! The current antiquated system limits how many teams can go to Worlds from various countries, as we know. The list is simply an indicator of current competitive strengths based on the numbers.

With the number and talent of U.S. teams in viable competitive standing, there's certainly a chance to eventually gain three spots for U.S. pairs at Worlds. Meanwhile, few fans seem to even champion D/F's success on the GP. Why can't we as U.S. fans enjoy and reflect on something that's positive? Instead there appears to be this tendency to always settle on looking for downsides like eager children who desire to have fun on Christmas day, but are so used to being disappointed and reprimanded that resorting to being glum and lowering expectations becomes the modus operandi. There appears to be an inordinate fear of being punished with no gifts under the tree come Christmas morning. :p
 

aftershocks

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Exactly. P/J have a higher average even if CG/L and SK/K have higher individual SBs than them, and if I was forced to bet, I would put money on the Chinese

From what I see right now, Peng/Jin are definitely talented and have some world-class elements, but they have not been consistent (Peng is injured at the moment), but they were inconsistent even before her injury. They have had some moments of brilliance since they partnered, but thus far they haven't lived up to their talent. I wouldn't bet against them eventually living up to their talent, but based on what they've been putting out for awhile with unclean performances, I will not say they are unbeatable by CG/L nor by the Knierims at their best. In fact, CG/L have beaten Peng/Jin already this season. P/J kind of backed into a win this year at SA, after the miscues by CG/L. If you are basing your betting stance in part on the fact of Chinese fed clout, and their pairs legacy reputation, fine. By extension, that's giving P/J rep cred they haven't yet fully earned on their own merit.

I bet it was the Kneirims because they would want to just focus on improving for Nationals vs risking having another bad skate. It’s good strategy for them to just regroup and train for Nationals. It’s great that Olivia and Mervin will get another opportunity. It’s a very weak field at Golden Spin. Ashlee and Tim should easily take Gold at the event.

I agree, except for your last two sentences, where I would caution about generalizing and over-stating. Ziegler/Kiefer and Hase/Seegert are competitive teams and should be respected as such. Many of the other names, I am not familiar with, but it pays to never take competitions for granted. I believe Ash/Timothy have the goods and the talent to compete well and to come out on top if they are at their best.
 

aftershocks

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Mervin Tran celebrated his 29th birthday in September. And Olivia Serafini will turn 23 on December 20:


Good luck to Serafini/Tran at Golden Spin. :saint:

ETA:
Deanna Stellato is looking good with her new partner, Maxime Deschamps at recent Canadian Qualifying comp, in their sp, where they ended up leading. They placed third overall due to what appeared to be a bit of nerves in the fp causing issues for Deanna. But they still look very promising together. Good luck to them both!

Aside from the supportive comments on the video, the ones suggesting U.S. fed are at fault for 'losing Deanna' are idiotic. Deanna decided to search for a new partner after splitting with Nate. And they split largely because of his injury and perhaps also due to some stalled results in their last season together through no particular fault of their own. It was a U.S. fed official who had suggested and encouraged their partnership, which helped rejuvenate Deanna's skating career in the first place. The fact Deanna has found a new, very well-matched partner in Canada, is what it is.
 
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olympic

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At Golden Spin, K/O had a good SP scoring 66 and skating early.

It seems like the results pages isn’t updating though 😡
 

natsulian

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Once they conquer the 3Lz throw and become consistent with their programs, I'm sure C-G/L will be in prime condition to defend their National title and squeeze into the Top 5/6 at Worlds. Considering how consistent D/F have been in their two Grand Prix outings, if we want to secure 3 spots for the 2020-2021 season, I'm betting on sending them instead of the Knierims.
 

Sylvia

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aftershocks

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Hey does anyone have videos for the U.S. skaters at Golden Spin? That competition sounds like it was more fun than watching pairs at GPF this year.

GPF needed the razzle dazzle and oomph that Denney/Frazier might have brung with their programs, especially their boffo fp. D/F and Ash/Timothy rock way more speed than all three of the young Russian pairs teams who were overly cautious and under-performed at GPF. Surprisingly, Boi/Koz's level was off, particularly in the fp. Not to mention the uninspired efforts by the Chinese teams. It's unclear what happened to M-T/M, but they missed the GPF podium, which was for the taking.
 
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olympic

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Congrats to Ashley/Timothy & Tarah/Danny on winning gold & silver at Golden Spin of Zagreb just now! :)

@cs.berlin helpfully posted/embedded these 2 tweets by @kosjenka in the German news thread:

Olivia & Mervin recovered from a rough SP yesterday to place 5th in the FS (106.92 new ISU PB) & pulled up to 7th overall.

How great that K/O used GS to turn it around, and CG/L used it to solidify and build on their performances. I think it is exactly what both teams needed to do at this point. Too bad that SK/K withdrew. It would have been fascinating to compare them w/ CG/L in front of international judges this late in the season.
 

aftershocks

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^^ An Instagram clip by Peterson of Katie & Nate performing a throw was included in TSL's November 28 Insta Skating feature on Youtube:
https://youtu.be/VEiHD1MlWBg?t=324 "An Early Thanksgiving Dish" (is it a throw 3-loop or 3-salchow?)

There's a lot of skater clips included in this Youtube feature. I especially enjoyed the clip of Hongbo Zhao doing a lift with his young daughter... :)
 
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