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

Sylvia

Anticipating the JGP!
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57,505
I plan to publish Pairs Scoretracker after Skate Detroit. Here are the Senior/Junior club competition scores I know of at this poit:

SENIOR
Lu/Mitrofanov 169.75 (55.08 SP, 114.67 FS) Cannon TX Open
Lockley/Prochnow 112.69 (total) Skate Milwaukee
Calalang/Johnson 63.88 (partial FS program) All Year Open
Digerness/Neudecker 60.66 (SP only) Broadmoor Open (was told their music is "El Conquistador" by Maxime Rodriguez)
Chan/Howe 41.79 (SP only) Cannon TX Open

JUNIOR
Isabelle Martins/Ryan Bedard 114.53 (total) Skate Milwaukee
Kate Finster/Balazs Nagy 57.65 (SP only) Broadmoor Open
 
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natsulian

Well-Known Member
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341
Unofficial numbers per a Twitter user (linked below).

Skate Detroit Senior Pairs' Short:
1. Calalang / Johnson, 65.27 - Clean
2. Cain / LeDuc, 63.28 - Fell on the SBS and throw a little forward
3. Lu / Mitrofanov, 62.19 - Side by side 3S and two-footed throw
4. Feng / Nyman, 61.78 - Side by side 3S and two-footed throw

Link: https://twitter.com/pas_deChat
 
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AngieNikodinovLove

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^^^ wow... well did you see Ashley's cool make up for the program? She posted it on IG this morning.

Ill be curious for the free.
 

natsulian

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341
Videos of the senior pairs taped by Sarah Rasher:
1. Calalang / Johnson, 65.27 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXyTm2ER9Zo
2. Cain / LeDuc, 63.28 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nui6w8PEx3U&feature=youtu.be
3. Lu / Mitrofanov, 62.19 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4FgGF-bie8&feature=youtu.be
4. Feng / Nyman, 61.78 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ0J5lNqB8o
5. Digerness / Neudecker, 59.88 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvYpyY082mc
6. Chan / Howe, 53.99 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYF6q3rbuMs
7. Serafini / Tran, 52.84 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYF6q3rbuMs
 

shan

Well-Known Member
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20,648
Videos of the senior pairs taped by Sarah Rasher:
1. Calalang / Johnson, 65.27 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXyTm2ER9Zo
2. Cain / LeDuc, 63.28 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nui6w8PEx3U&feature=youtu.be
3. Lu / Mitrofanov, 62.19 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4FgGF-bie8&feature=youtu.be
4. Feng / Nyman, 61.78 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ0J5lNqB8o
5. Digerness / Neudecker, 59.88 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvYpyY082mc
6. Chan / Howe, 53.99 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYF6q3rbuMs
7. Serafini / Tran, 52.84 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYF6q3rbuMs
Woohoo! Thanks for the links! :)
 

HeatherC

Proud fan of K&O and Team SW Florida! =)
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11,061
Thanks so much for the links! :cheer:

I really liked Jessica & Brian's SP music choice. I think it will be very effective for them this season. I'm so happy they had a good showing today and I hope they skate great again tomorrow! :cheer2:
 

olympic

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9,129
Videos of the senior pairs taped by Sarah Rasher:
1. Calalang / Johnson, 65.27 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXyTm2ER9Zo
2. Cain / LeDuc, 63.28 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nui6w8PEx3U&feature=youtu.be
3. Lu / Mitrofanov, 62.19 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4FgGF-bie8&feature=youtu.be
4. Feng / Nyman, 61.78 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ0J5lNqB8o
5. Digerness / Neudecker, 59.88 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvYpyY082mc
6. Chan / Howe, 53.99 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYF6q3rbuMs
7. Serafini / Tran, 52.84 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYF6q3rbuMs
Calalang / Johnson - OMG. I am becoming an uber :respec::swoon:
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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4,458
Thanks so much for the links! :cheer:

I really liked Jessica & Brian's SP music choice. I think it will be very effective for them this season. I'm so happy they had a good showing today and I hope they skate great again tomorrow! :cheer2:
Where have you been???

I like them tooo.. Now, if they could only up the drama...... like Russian style....

I think the music calls for more passion.

Lottsa potential though.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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4,458
My notes

C&J - l like so far. I hope for more drama. Music calls for it IMO. Johnson kinda reminds me of Steve Hartsell.

C&L - Great height on the throw, good SBS spins. I did not expect that music to be that boring.... meh. Not sure what their costumes have to do with the price of tomatoes.

L&M - LOVE them. Could be my favorite team by this year. The best jumpers of USA pairs. Lu needs more confidence and command. How old? Good SBS spins.

F&N - Great speed. I loves me some speed. Great height on twist. Watch out Knierims. Bummed that they are now seniors with no assignments ATM. Good jumps. Music - Good cover if they must pick this newbie warhorse. However I didnt see either of them putting a spell on each other. So not a good choice.

D&N - They've grown up. She is a cross between Caitlin Yankowskas and a mini Evgenia Tarasova. They have me interested. Althougt the slowest team so far. Way slow.
 
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olympic

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Great. C/J sound like they met some goals: (1) Put distance between themselves and teams like Lu/Mitrofanov and the incoming Juniors in front of a panel of judges which could come in handy for the TBA SA spot, and (2) stand out as the team that could be a threat to someone like D/F, or possibly those ranked higher in the top 4, an alternate if things go south for those ranked above them
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,282
Thanks for sharing the clips @natsulian. It's great seeing this sneak preview of new pairs programs.

Videos of the senior pairs taped by Sarah Rasher:
1. Calalang / Johnson, 65.27 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXyTm2ER9Zo
2. Cain / LeDuc, 63.28 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nui6w8PEx3U&feature=youtu.be
3. Lu / Mitrofanov, 62.19 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4FgGF-bie8&feature=youtu.be
4. Feng / Nyman, 61.78 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ0J5lNqB8o
5. Digerness / Neudecker, 59.88 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvYpyY082mc
6. Chan / Howe, 53.99 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYF6q3rbuMs
7. Serafini / Tran, 52.84 https://www.youtube.com//watch?v=QzAbZ7rKX7c
^^ Correction to the last link as pointed out by @haribobo. I don't disagree with any of the placements, but there are programs I like more than others. I'm excited about the potential of all U.S. pairs teams, and I'm frustrated by the dearth of competitive opportunities for them to gain experience and improve. Skaters need to compete to improve.

I love pairs in general and I especially love watching U.S. pairs teams. I have favorites, but I support them all. I'm just going to try and enjoy every team for where they are at and for how hard they work. Every opportunity to view performances is a bonus.

C/J are very well-matched and have a ton of potential. That was very obvious the first time they competed last season. :) This is a lovely sp and they had a very strong debut, with only a slight fall forward by Brian on the sbs jumps. I absolutely love that bent leg/skate blade hold by Jessica on the death spiral with a lovely dismount. What a gorgeous dress Jessica is wearing, color and all. :love: Go C/J, go! @ANL, C/J only need to continue working on rocking their own style. They do not need Russian style, IMHO! They've already shown a lot of versatility in the programs they've competed so far, both last season and this season. Who knew that together they would be this strong? They trained together with other partners for years. But I guess it took those years with other partners to get them to where they are now, in wonderful harmony.

C-G/L are very strong in their expressiveness and flow over the ice, but this program needs a bit of more oomph and fleshing out in order to stand out. Still, I can see evidence of the work C-G/L are continuing to put into training and developing their partnership. I agree the sp costumes don't quite connect to the musical theme. But it is only the start of the season. Perhaps Timothy's costume is still in the works. The red design on Ash's body suit looks more like fire than a storm approaching. As this is the first time out, for Ash/Timothy and for everyone, their programs have a chance to evolve. I didn't get a good look at Ash's makeup. :)

L/M are a very classic-looking pair, and fairly consistent jumpers. They are at the top in that aspect, along with C-G/L (who have good jump difficulty but must work on aceing consistency of full rotation), C/J, K/O, et al are also good jumpers who generally need to further their consistency. And @ANL, Misha has Russian ancestry, so there's your Russian style. ;) L/M still need to grow in terms of projecting more to the audience, but they are always a pleasure to watch.

F/N have speed and lots of potential. I agree that their sp needs to develop further. The theme is not quite coming across with any impact. They did try to project the music theme, but the expressiveness and connection needs more work. They have good elements all around, but they need to continue pushing for consistency. The only way to do that and to improve confidence is to be given opportunities to compete.

D/N are always fun to watch. Nika is a firecracker! She's usually got great lift and flow-out on her throws. This is a good program for Nika and Danny to sink their teeth into further. Yes, they could benefit from increasing their speed, and improving their projection to the audience, and their connection with each other. Nika really looks good in that beautifully designed body suit. :encore:

C/H appear to have a lot of potential. They are a new team, so they need more time to develop a 3-twist and to ace timing, rhythm and unison, which they are already good at -- they just need mileage together. The height on their 2-twist was excellent, so they should have the 3-twist together soon. They clearly need to work on improving timing, confidence, difficulty, and ease of entry and dismount on their lifts. Their throw and death spiral look good, as does their speed generally, except for entry into the lift where they were being cautious. They appear to be good jumpers as well -- Spencer was leaning in the air on his jump, which is why he fell. Otherwise, they really look good together and I hope they stay together for the long haul.

S/T need more time to improve, as it takes time especially when you are new to pairs as Olivia still is. I too love Mervin. He's a great pairs partner. I don't think 'yikes' when I see them. I simply send them good vibes and loving thoughts. Keep pushing for your goals S/T! They completed gorgeous sbs jumps with great rhythm and timing, and their throw 3-twist and lifts are coming along.

S/T definitely have good basics, and I see improvement from U.S. Nationals, which was their first real competition together. Obviously, death spirals are one of the hardest elements to learn in pairs. That's what I've heard the experts say. :) But once you get it under your belt, they say, everything can kinda fall into place (no pun intended). It looked like Olivia was trying for a difficult leg variation on the ds, and lost her balance. But let me just commend S/T for the cool move they performed at U.S. Nats in January: A double spread eagle into a death spiral! I always love seeing innovation in pairs moves. :fan21: I'm pulling for you Merv and Livia! :D

I look forward to seeing the fps. And I can't wait to see what the Knierims, Kayne/O'Shea, and Denney/Frazier are working on this season.
 

kwanfan1818

I <3 Kozuka
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31,548
Spencer Howe has very nice movement quality. Tran's is excellent, but I feel like he's out there on his own.

Some wonderful qualities among the middle tier Pairs.

I'd love to see Feng/Nyman in Vegas, but Calalang is beautiful, too, and Las Vegas to Kelowna isn't a bad back-to-back trip.
 

aftershocks

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15,282
Great. C/J sound like they met some goals: (1) Put distance between themselves and teams like Lu/Mitrofanov and the incoming Juniors in front of a panel of judges which could come in handy for the TBA SA spot, and (2) stand out as the team that could be a threat to someone like D/F, or possibly those ranked higher in the top 4, an alternate if things go south for those ranked above them
That's a fair summary. :) Did you see an interview or quotes from them though regarding their goals? If so, can you provide a link? I always liked Jessica with her former partner, Zack Sidhu, so I'm very happy for her and Brian.

I understand what you are saying, but I prefer not to regard these teams as 'threats' to each other when they look good and seem to have great potential. Also, it's not helpful for any top team to 'go south.' The U.S. continues to need strong pairs teams at the top, pushing each other!

Right now, it's simply a matter of go, go, go for all these teams. Now is the time. They all need to improve. So every team who looks good is a beacon of hope for them all getting better, pushing each other and pushing the envelope to be highly competitive internationally, so that the U.S. can eventually gain three spots. Politics in fs scoring is always a factor. So, all the skaters can do is keep working hard and continue focusing on seizing every opportunity to improve and to make an impact.

I always support U.S. pairs, and I'm gonna pull for my favorites through thick and thin, come hell or high water. Figure skating is hard, yet the skaters are all dedicated to doing their best to make it look easy.

BTW, I'm not sure whether S/T are performing a 3-twist or a 2-twist at the moment, as a fairly new team. It looked like a 3-twist, but it was hard to tell from the camera angle. Regarding Jessica/Brian's sp, it works so well because everything comes together beautifully with music selection, choreo, costumes, and their well-matched pizzazz physically, technically and aesthetically. Everything looks very polished, and they appear to be increasing in confidence. Steady as they go.

ETA:
I hope to see C/J's lunge into their throw triple flip(?) at a better camera angle next time. We did not get the best view of that gorgeous element, but it's really great to see these videos. Thanks to Sarah Rasher!

Taking another look at C-G/L, they had exquisite positions on their sbs spins, which is what we've come to expect of them. They look strong in their flow over the ice, and I enjoyed the sit-spin-like spread eagle position Ashley performed as a transition into their death spiral.
 
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aftershocks

Well-Known Member
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15,282
I feel like he's out there on his own.
Mervin can't skate pairs alone. He has a partner in Olivia Serafini. She is still learning pairs, and Mervin has confidence in her. He's guiding her and it takes time. It's their journey, and not for us to negatively look askance because they have to start somewhere in order to go forward and improve. Were you great at everything you attempted the first, second, third, fourth times, etc? Did your parents put you on a bike out of the blue and push you off without a care in the world? Did anyone just throw you into a pool and walk away hoping you would float to the top and start swimming without any lessons?

Taking another look at S/T's sp, they had a strong opening with better unison and speed than they had shown at Nationals in January. I believe they performed a 2-twist, so they obviously need to upgrade to a 3-twist when they can. It was the off-balance issues Livia had on the death spiral and the throw that led to miscues. Their sbs spins were good, with a bit of unison problems toward the end. Otherwise, I like their sp a lot. They need to continue working and competing. That's the name of the game.

ETA:
All these teams need opportunities to compete. We'll see how everything develops over the course of the summer with senior Bs, etc. If C/J continue to look this sharp and competitive, it seems like a no-brainer to ensure they get another GP assignment, which could happen even if it's not SA.
 
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olympic

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9,129
That's a fair summary. :) Did you see an interview or quotes from them though regarding their goals? If so, can you provide a link? I always liked Jessica with her former partner, Zack Sidhu, so I'm very happy for her and Brian.

I understand what you are saying, but I prefer not to regard these teams as 'threats' to each other when they look good and seem to have great potential. Also, it's not helpful for any top team to 'go south.' The U.S. continues to need strong pairs teams at the top, pushing each other!

Right now, it's simply a matter of go, go, go for all these teams. Now is the time. They all need to improve. So every team who looks good is a beacon of hope for them all getting better, pushing each other and pushing the envelope to be highly competitive internationally, so that the U.S. can eventually gain three spots. Politics in fs scoring is always a factor. So, all the skaters can do is keep working hard and continue focusing on seizing every opportunity to improve and to make an impact.

I always support U.S. pairs, and I'm gonna pull for my favorites through thick and thin, come hell or high water. Figure skating is hard, yet the skaters are all dedicated to doing their best to make it look easy.....
I was editorializing. I don't have any info from any quotes or anything. But, I'm sure teams like them / their coaches in these situations do the math in their heads to understand what they must present at competitions, in order to get considered by their Fed for competition X: I am of the opinion that the TBA spot at SA would be considered by the USFSA to be between C/J or L/M for a 2nd GP spot, or to be one of the incoming Jr. Pairs showing the most promise. While a Jr. Pair might get it, so that that particular pair gains vital experience, the USFSA might give it to L/M or C/J if either of those teams shows enormous potential to be among the best. I seriously believe C/J does that and their win at Skate Detroit would IMO make an argument that they deserve a 2nd spot. Of course, we must see what happens among C/J, L/M and these top Juniors if they are assigned to a Senior B in September / October.

You have to believe that skaters / teams look at other skaters / other teams look as 'threats', but I don't believe that there is anything wrong with that. It's competition where these teams are gunning for limited spots at Worlds. No one is going to get physically violent because a team is a competitive threat [OK. It happened once ;)]. And sorry, but I'm a realist, at least one pair is going to 'go south'. It happens, and it's not a terrible thing to point out. In fact, U.S. pairs are kinda famous for it. They can prove me wrong and I would be happy for it.

ETA - ERGH. Waiting for LP videos!!
 
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aftershocks

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15,282
No one is going to get physically violent because a team is a competitive threat [OK. It happened once ;)]. And sorry, but I'm a realist, at least one pair is going to 'go south'. It happens, and it's not a terrible thing to point out. In fact, U.S. pairs are kinda famous for it. They can prove me wrong and I would be happy for it.

ETA - ERGH. Waiting for LP videos!!
Sadly, Sarah Rasher said on her Twitter (pas de Chat) that she wouldn't be able to stay and capture the senior free programs at Skate Detroit yesterday. :( We are very lucky Rasher was there and generously filmed and tweeted about the senior pairs short programs, along with some of the singles short programs and a few of the fp of juniors.

Of course I knew you didn't mention 'threat' in the violent physical sense. :p I understand that all teams have to be competitive with skaters in their own country. That's the name of the game: competition and being your best. But still, my feeling is that athletes do better when they don't obsess overmuch about their competition, but simply focus on improving every aspect of their own training strategies and performance skills. The coaches can worry about competitors and/or competition strategies while keeping their athletes focused on doing their own thing to the best of their abilities. That's in fact the approach that has worked so well at Gadbois, where many rival teams train under the same coaches.

It's not a matter of 'going south' as much as it is running into obstacles and bad luck sometimes. Unfortunately, it happens to all of us in life, and it can happen to athletes with a double whammy. That's why their successes are so special. I don't think us fans on the sidelines can even truly understand those highs and lows, unless you've trained and competed as an athlete yourself.

U.S. pairs I feel will be better and better as every team improve and push each other. If that means running into the current predicament of so many good teams with few competitive opportunities, as currently exists in U.S. ice dance, oh well. I'd prefer to see that scenario happening rather than constantly seeing teams having to battle to obtain or maintain two spots in a deep international field, while other talented U.S. teams have to sit home languishing without opportunities to gain momentum. We need our talented U.S. pairs teams to be consistently at the top, so that the recently rare 3 spots for U.S. pairs happens once again. :saint:

From 1954 thru 2018, the U.S. has qualified either 2 or 3 pairs teams to compete at Worlds, except for 1972 when 4 U.S. pairs teams competed at Worlds! :eek: I'm not sure why, but the rules were obviously different, and changes were probably put into place soon afterward. In 1953, for some reason, no U.S. pairs teams competed at Worlds. From 1947 - 1950 (after the WWII layoff) the Kennedy siblings of the U.S. were on the rise, and the U.S. sent two pairs teams to Worlds in those years. From 1951 thru 1952, the U.S. sent 3 pairs teams to compete at Worlds, post the Kennedys winning gold in 1950 and becoming the first NA team to win gold in pairs.

From 2004 - 2018, the U.S. sent 2 pairs teams to compete at Worlds. Prior to that (from the mid-1950s thru the early 2000s), it was regularly 2 or 3 U.S. pairs teams who competed at Worlds.

The U.S. has currently gone 17 years without a pairs team on the podium at either Worlds or Olympics. So probably, Canada's 19-year drought in World & Olympic pairs podium appearances will be matched and surpassed by the U.S. Still, U.S. teams have the potential to begin turning things around over the next several years. I enjoy U.S. teams no matter what happens.

For a detailed breakdown regarding U.S. pairs teams slots at the World championships:
 
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AngieNikodinovLove

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If anyone wants to see NASA launch its new rocket into space....


3 successful launches

Just sayin

P.S. I messaged her a few weeks ago and she thinks their first comp will be the US Classic in SLC! Yay!
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
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15,282
^^ Whoa, Alexa does look like a rocket launching on these throws. :encore: I'm enjoying watching Chris' on-point grace and follow through as well. :watch:


ETA:
I found a nice video of Serafini/Tran's fp at Skate Detroit! :encore:The video is apparently courtesy of a relative of Livia. I'm glad it was uploaded.

And, per Sylvia's Twitter:
"Calalang/Johnson 178.21 1 1 (112.94 FS)
Feng/Nyman 160.68 4 3 (98.90)
Serafini/Tran 158.72 7 2 (105.88)
Lu/Mitrofanov 156.25 3 5 (94.06)
Digerness/Neudecker 148.09 5 6 (88.21)
Mokhova/Mohkov 143.77 8 4 (98.17)
Chan/Howe and Cain/Leduc WD after the SP "

It's nice to see S/T move up from 7th to 3rd (with granted two teams withdrawing). Still, that's a good result and an encouraging boost of confidence for S/T. They were 2nd in the fp! Congrats to all!

I hope all is well with C/H and C-G/L. Maybe each team felt their sp debut is enough for now and they want to go back to training to work on some things before their next competitions. I thought C-G/L surely would have a good chance to win with a solid fp. Their sp was not bad; there are just a few things to work out. C/H just need more mileage as a team. Good luck to both these teams.
 
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Sylvia

Anticipating the JGP!
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57,505
First hand impressions of some of the pairs from Skate Detroit, shared by @jkl (thanks!) in the Kiss & Cry section:
I was so impressed with Calalang and Johnson. Brian is just so strong and their triple twist is just breathtaking. They truly made a strong case for the Skate America TBD spot. Both programs showed a lot of hard work. One of the nicest surprises was the strong comeback from Olivia Serafini and Mervin Tran. There is a likeability about this team. You can tell they like skating with each other and it makes their programs very successful. I hope they get a Senior B this season. Chan and Howe made a great first impression on me. It’s all there and when they get more time together they should make a big impact. I’ve always liked Feng and Nyman. Sarah really made a big step up in her presentation which was so nice to see. She had a big smile during the programs. TJ presents her very well. Lots of good Junior Pairs teams looking to represent Team USA on the JGP.
The Detroit Skating Club has published full results with protocols on their website and here are the links for the Senior and Junior Pairs:

Senior Pairs SP
Senior Pairs FS

Junior Pairs SP
Junior Pairs FS

Assigned to the JGP in Lake Placid are Kate Finster/Balazs Nagy and Isabelle Martins/Ryan Bedard, the top 2 Junior finishers in Detroit. I guess it's possible for more pairs to be added but these are the 2 teams listed on USFS' International Assignments page today.
 
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olympic

Well-Known Member
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9,129
^ Thank you!

It looks like C/J's pair spin was invalid. They lost 4-5 points there.

Nice to see that they have raised their ambitions and are attempting 2 SBS triple jumps, but it wasn't a success. That will obviously be something that they will tinker with.

I was also impressed w/ S/T.
 

Princessroja

Member
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27
Pleased to see Mokhova/Mokhov do well enough to beat both L/M and D/N in the free! I'm an M/M fan, in case anyone couldn't tell. :DHopefully they will continue to do well as they continue to up their difficulty! Obviously it's a very low result now, but it is their first senior comp and she's still very young.

Good also to see Chan/Howe do a much better short than Texas Cannon (53 vs 41 points). She's just so watchable. I'm really glad she's stayed in skating.
 

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