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

PairSkater12345

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184
"Clean" is not as important as scoring as many points as possible across 2 programs in the same competition.

More recently for the Skate America TBDs, yes.
I agree, It's all about points however falls and deductions chip away at the points. That's why clean with high levels counts. Even if the difficulty is less.Additionally one mistake leads to another more often than not. Very hard to keep a mistake off your mind going into the next element. The best do it...not easy.
 

aftershocks

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15,410
Denney/Frazier have had some strong programs this past season. Their main areas of weakness being Haven still dealing with a bit of injury issues, which leads to inconsistency on her jump elements, and their need to continue working on projecting an emotional connection. Charlie White's programs for D/F last season were very good in helping them to progress with their development. Haven should be given so much credit and kudos for coming back as well as she has from what could have been a career-ending injury a few seasons ago. The ability to come back surely had to do with fierce desire, medical expertise, and emotional support and encouragement. I admire the way Brandon stood by Haven, and used part of their layoff for her rehab to improve his aesthetic skills.

IMHO, D/F have the best lifts among a number of teams internationally, including their American compadres. D/F's lifts are strong, secure, innovative, and often not rewarded as highly as they should be. They also have a very solid and consistent 3-twist with excellent height. Their throws are great too, with height and distance. They had to slowly build back their strength with the throws due to Haven's injury, and they are still working on improving their sbs jumps, which were also drastically affected by Haven's injury.

At the height of their powers, the Knierims obviously have the best 3-twist, which also rivals other teams internationally. The Knierims' throws are as good or possibly a bit better than D/F's due to their explosive quality, but Chris & Alexa haven't shown that superior quality and consistency in awhile, which is understandable. Their recent Instagram clip appears to show that they are returning to top form. Although the Knierims' lifts are very good, I don't think they are as stand-out as D/F's lifts.

IMO, D/F may have the best speed, although the Knierims are also fast, and they have further enhanced their flow and ice coverage. D/F need to continue working on smoothing out their speed which sometimes has been slightly choppy. But I think if D/F solve that aspect, they are a very speedy team over the ice. C-G/LD also have fairly good speed and flow. And I agree that Ash & Timothy have the best performance and projection qualities, and especially the best lines.

K/O have very good lifts, and generally good consistency on throws and jumps, but I don't think they get much height and there's not the same explosive quality as we see with D/F and especially with the Knierims. While Danny has excellent speed and blade skills, Tarah actually needs to work harder on her SS and her speed would surely improve.

C-G/LD have the most difficult jumps, but they really need to ace getting around consistently. Plus Ashley needs to work on her landings. She's at least landing throws consistently, but she needs to work out her tendency to lean so far forward. I admire Ashley and Timothy for how soon they ended up incorporating the 3-twist -- actually later in their first season together. That was gutsy and indicative of their sympatico spirit and determination. I believe their successful efforts encouraged the former newly partnered Stellato/Bartholomay to also incorporate a 3-twist in their first season, which is not generally typical for newly partnered teams. Ash & Timothy also have good sbs spins and decent combo spins. They are continuing to improve and fine-tune their 3-twist. They've improved by leaps and bounds since they partnered, and I look forward to seeing their progress this season in terms of what further strides they will be able to make.

Everyone's death spiral is pretty good I suppose. I'd probaby give D/F and the Knierims a slight edge there. In addition, Calalang/ Johnson are a very good team, having made such a wonderful impact since they partnered. They look to have versatility and are solid in every area, although they need to gain consistency and confidence on their sbs jumps. With their overall strengths, the key for C/J is just continuing to develop as a team and continuing to improve every chance they have to compete.
 
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aftershocks

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Feng/Nyman had a lot of promise and they were enjoyable to watch, but they had a way to go in continuing to improve and to make an impact in the senior ranks. I suppose it hasn't been explained whether Sarah simply wished to step away from competing. Didn't she recently recover from an injury? Perhaps other interests have pulled her away from a strong desire to compete, although I suppose we have to wait and see whether Sarah too plans to continue. Possibly, they each decided they wanted to explore other partner options, or else for Sarah, it is about off-ice pursuits.

I'm in shock. I thought they were the most promising pairs team the US has had in a while.
You mean of the younger teams? Chan/Howe are looking excellent as a new pairing. And so is the new pairing of Calalang/Johnson. Lu/Mitrofanov are strong and extremely promising. Even Digerness/Neudecker are talented and have potential for growth. On the junior level, Lockley/Prochnow are a good team, as are Finster/Nagy. And even the new mirror partner pairing of Deardorff/Gumba appear to have interesting potential.
 
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Colonel Green

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2,557
Feng/Nyman had a lot of promise and they were enjoyable to watch, but they had a way to go in continuing to improve and to make an impact in the senior ranks. I suppose it hasn't been explained whether Sarah simply wished to step away from competing. Didn't she recently recover from an injury? Perhaps other interests have pulled her away from a strong desire to compete, although I suppose we have to wait and see whether Sarah too plans to continue. Possibly, they each decided they wanted to explore other partner options, or else for Sarah, it is about off-ice pursuits.
According to TSL's newest episode, T.J. and Dalilah scheduled a tryout with another partner behind Sarah's back, but even though the tryout didn't work out (the skater was 13, and so couldn't compete with T.J.) they (meaning T.J. and Dalilah) decided to end the partnership.
 

aftershocks

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According to TSL's newest episode, T.J. and Dalilah scheduled a tryout with another partner behind Sarah's back, but even though the tryout didn't work out (the skater was 13, and so couldn't compete with T.J.) they (meaning T.J. and Dalilah) decided to end the partnership.
OMG, Colonel Green, thanks for sharing. I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm not sure how trustworthy TSL is though. But it's kind of sad to hear this information. However, once again, TSL may not have all the motivations, and the ins-and-outs of this story in precise detail.

It's terrible to hear when it's behind someone's back though. I don't know why being upfront with all parties involved isn't always the modus operandi.

Questions abound, e.g., Why would they schedule the tryout if the prospect was 13, unless they didn't know her age at the time?
 
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wickedwitch

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According to TSL's newest episode, T.J. and Dalilah scheduled a tryout with another partner behind Sarah's back, but even though the tryout didn't work out (the skater was 13, and so couldn't compete with T.J.) they (meaning T.J. and Dalilah) decided to end the partnership.
That seems 100% believable and 100% stupid. Unless Sarah was having serious health issues, I think it's going to be really difficult for them to find a better partner for TJ. There's not eaxactly a long list of women with consistent triples, on ice personality, and the physical and mental ability to do pairs.
 

aftershocks

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It was really stupid to dump Caitlin Yankowskas, I thought. In hindsight, my understanding is that it was more of Coughlin having his eyes set on Caydee (he apparently had begun dating her, and then decided he wanted to partner with her). In that case, Sappenfield was either trying to give Coughlin what he wanted, or she may have felt that Caydee had better technical ability and thus figured she could make that swap easily. The worst thing is not being upfront with Caitlin Y.

The main part I really think was stupid, is expecting they could completely make over Caydee in Caitlin Y's image. That was a mistake, along with going behind Caitlin's back and not openly communicating. The fact Caitlin & Coughlin landed 6th in their Worlds debut should also have been a situation to give Sappenfield and U.S. figure skating pause about splitting up the Caitlin/Coughlin relationship just like that. While Denney/Coughlin were a decent match, and their technical skills were very good together, they only competed at Worlds once, landing in 8th. And then injuries settled in for Denney/Coughlin, and their career was aborted.

Meanwhile, Sappenfield had started out on the wrong foot with D/C by attempting to make Caydee into something she was not, instead of simply finding a way to bring out who she really was and to allow the partnership to work more authentically and organically. They wasted a lot of time trying to rework Caydee's image, because fans were so upset about losing Caitlin who was a very different skater. Perhaps Caydee did have better technical abilities, but she lacked graceful elegance and line. Caitlin was very graceful, balletic and capable of continuing to improve her jumping skills at that point in time. Caitlin definitely had the kind of assets international judges like to reward, which one of the reasons why she and Coughlin landed in 6th place at their first Worlds in 2011, with the potential of continuing to improve. No U.S. pair has placed as high as 6th since 2011.
 

aftershocks

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Regarding what TSL has related (I listened to it) -- I really don't know enough about the Sappenfield camp atmosphere nor about the ins-and-outs of the personalities involved. I don't doubt that Sarah was dumped in the way stated. However, the motivations for doing so could be more complicated than what Dave is alluding to. Personally, I do not think Sarah and T.J. were a great match personality-wise. They were a good team in other respects, but if they weren't really on the same wavelength and there was a power imbalance in the relationship, that was more than likely going to hold them back from developing in a way that would be successful. They were still young, so I saw a lot of potential for growth, but honestly they did not have the chemistry that Chan/Howe, Calalang/Johnson, and even Lu/Mitrofanov have in varying degrees (just to mention a few younger teams). Digerness/Neudecker seem to get along very well too, which is important in a developing partnership.

A few times in the kiss 'n cry, I got the feeling that Sarah was not all that happy in the partnership, and she sometimes seemed over-anxious and uncertain about T. J.'s reactions to mistakes after a performance. Again, this is mostly in hindsight, and viewed by me from afar. It is certainly distressing if Sarah was not informed in a transparent way about T.J.'s and Sappenfield's desire to make a switch. Wouldn't she have realized to some extent that something might be afoot?

To be honest, while Dave Lease has his supporters, important connections, and a very viable platform, I don't particularly trust him, nor everything he says. Possibly he knows whereof he speaks in broad strokes, but frankly, I find him to be just as suspect in the backstabbing department as the people he accuses in the skating community. Dave is just as gnarly a character, so maybe that's why he tends to fit right into, cater to, and relish in the behind-the-scenes drama aspect of this sport.

Specifically, I have questions about Dave hinting that T.J. is another Coughlin. The way Dave was winking, smirking and alluding without saying anything directly or clearly is unprofessional. I can believe that T.J. is spoiled and may have problematic behavior, but the reference to music that T.J. released and the winking about something suspicious going on, and claiming that Kori Ade threw T.J. out of her rink -- I mean those are the allusions I understood Dave to be putting out there. It's problematic when Dave sounds like he's talking to a friend in his living room, but he's on a public podcast gossiping in a snippy way. I especially didn't appreciate his reference to Serafini, despite him prefacing it with saying she's sweet. He then basically labeled how she talks as put-on. To me she's young and impressionable, and trying to fit into a senior environment that's new to her, so why gossip about her in that way. I know people might say Dave doesn't intend harm, but I think there's a better way that he could be approaching these type of fs news talkfests, simply by not smirking and winking and throwing out allusions and in-the-know references that most people new to figure skating or to the podcast would be clueless in deciphering.

Anyway, I thought T.J. was dating Tarah Kayne, unless that's changed (which makes some of Dave's allusions rather confusing). And as far as the references to Deanna, I'm kind of flabbergasted, because I don't see that working at all. IMO, Deanna has found a very well physically matched partner in Maxime Deschamps. I don't know what's going on with that apparent partnership. If US fed is giving Deanna trouble, I wonder how long they can put up roadblocks. I doubt Deanna would allow herself to be forced into partnering with someone that isn't a good match for her, just to remain in the U.S. only because the fed won't release her. Deanna strikes me as someone who is interested in having a shot at winning. And right now, I think she may possibly have a better chance of accomplishing that in Canada with Deschamps.
 
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happycamper2554

Active Member
Messages
121
Regarding what TSL has related (I listened to it) -- I really don't know enough about the Sappenfield camp atmosphere nor about the ins-and-outs of the personalities involved. I don't doubt that Sarah was dumped in the way stated. However, the motivations for doing so could be more complicated than what Dave is alluding to. Personally, I do not think Sarah and T.J. were a great match personality-wise. They were a good team in other respects, but if they weren't really on the same wavelength and there was a power imbalance in the relationship, that was more than likely going to hold them back from developing in a way that would be successful. They were still young, so I saw a lot of potential for growth, but honestly they did not have the chemistry that Chan/Howe, Calalang/Johnson, and even Lu/Mitrofanov have in varying degrees (just to mention a few younger teams). Digerness/Neudecker seem to get along very well too, which is important in a developing partnership.

A few times in the kiss 'n cry, I got the feeling that Sarah was not all that happy in the partnership, and she sometimes seemed over-anxious and uncertain about T. J.'s reactions to mistakes after a performance. Again, this is mostly in hindsight, and viewed by me from afar. It is certainly distressing if Sarah was not informed in a transparent way about T.J.'s and Sappenfield's desire to make a switch. Wouldn't she have realized to some extent that something might be afoot?

To be honest, while Dave Lease has his supporters, important connections, and a very viable platform, I don't particularly trust him, nor everything he says. Possibly he knows whereof he speaks in broad strokes, but frankly, I find him to be just as suspect in the backstabbing department as the people he accuses in the skating community. Dave is just as gnarly a character, so maybe that's why he tends to fit right into, cater to, and relish in the behind-the-scenes drama aspect of this sport.

Specifically, I have questions about Dave hinting that T.J. is another Coughlin. The way Dave was winking, smirking and alluding without saying anything directly or clearly is unprofessional. I can believe that T.J. is spoiled and may have problematic behavior, but the reference to music that T.J. released and the winking about something suspicious going on, and claiming that Kori Ade threw T.J. out of her rink -- I mean those are the allusions I understood Dave to be putting out there. It's problematic when Dave sounds like he's talking to a friend in his living room, but he's on a public podcast gossiping in a snippy way. I especially didn't appreciate his reference to Serafini, despite him prefacing it with saying she's sweet. He then basically labeled how she talks as put-on. To me she's young and impressionable, and trying to fit into a senior environment that's new to her, so why gossip about her in that way. I know people might say Dave doesn't intend harm, but I think there's a better way that he could be approaching these type of fs news talkfests, simply by not smirking and winking and throwing out allusions and in-the-know references that most people new to figure skating or to the podcast would be clueless in deciphering.

Anyway, I thought T.J. was dating Tarah Kayne, unless that's changed (which makes some of Dave's allusions rather confusing). And as far as the references to Deanna, I'm kind of flabbergasted, because I don't see that working at all. IMO, Deanna has found a very well physically matched partner in Maxime Deschamps. I don't know what's going on with that apparent partnership. If US fed is giving Deanna trouble, I wonder how long they can put up roadblocks. I doubt Deanna would allow herself to be forced into partnering with someone that isn't a good match for her, just to remain in the U.S. only because the fed won't release her. Deanna strikes me as someone who is interested in having a shot at winning. And right now, I think she may possibly have a better chance of accomplishing that in Canada with Deschamps.
Tarah seems to have moved on and is hanging out with an american gymnast who also trains at the Otc. Deanna is not competing for canada unless she is released by usfs. But I would think usfs would want tj to compete junior since he is still eligible and our junir depth is a little paltry.
 

wickedwitch

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I just remembered that TJ is still junior age eligible, so I don't think age would have been the reason he didn't partner with a 13 year old.
 

RoseRed

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I just remembered that TJ is still junior age eligible, so I don't think age would have been the reason he didn't partner with a 13 year old.
He has this year and next season left of junior eligibility. Depending on when the girl's birthday was, she might not be junior eligible yet, which would mean no internationals for this season and then two seasons from now.

But who knows.
 

kwanfan1818

I <3 Kozuka
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Having seen most of the US Pairs live, IMO, the Knierims are in another class when it comes to overall ice coverage, flow, and amplitude throughout a program. As much as I've loved other US Pairs, and was really hoping for Denney/Frazier before she was so injured, in the past, I can't remember any I've seen live with that quality. I think Cain/Leduc have the potential.
 

Carolla5501

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5,550
To be honest, while Dave Lease has his supporters, important connections, and a very viable platform, I don't particularly trust him, nor everything he says. Possibly he knows whereof he speaks in broad strokes, but frankly, I find him to be just as suspect in the backstabbing department as the people he accuses in the skating community. Dave is just as gnarly a character, so maybe that's why he tends to fit right into, cater to, and relish in the behind-the-scenes drama aspect of this sport.

And yet you support him by listening to his trash?

I agree with you completely on your assessment of him, but if you listen to his trash then you are just encouraging this to continue!
 

aftershocks

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15,410
And yet you support him by listening to his trash?

I agree with you completely on your assessment of him, but if you listen to his trash then you are just encouraging this to continue!
Hold your horsies. TSL is there and it will continue with or without me listening to snippets occasionally. I went to the latest TSL episode and waded through just to find the TJ/Sarah split references that Colonel Green was speaking about. It's impossible for me to sit through the entirety of any of TSL's rambling podcasts. :p

But get this, it don't matter if I support Dave Lease or not by occasionally clicking on TSL and listening to some breaking news and scuttlebutt I might want to hear that he has gossiped about. I don't condone the way DL tends to conduct himself, especially not the way he disses some skaters, tongue-in-cheek or not. I certainly don't agree with nor believe everything he says. But face it, DL has a foothold in the skating community, and he's obviously worked hard to maintain his foothold and to cultivate his connections.

There are fans as well as people in the skating community who obviously continue to feel DL has something to offer that they wish to support and/ or are willing to sit through and partake of on a regular basis. Personally, I don't do so. Yet understand that we live in a culture in which it's possible to enjoy a modicum of freedom of choice, and that everyone has free will. So relax and do what makes you feel comfortable. :)

If the honchos in the sport don't want to tolerate DL or cater to what he has to offer, or if anyone else disagrees with what he's offering on TSL, then please provide and/or support and encourage something different, or get over it. DL has given no indication that he plans to get a personality transplant. :p Although it is somewhat apparent he has tried to calm down a bit of his shtick and his worst excesses. DL is who he is. And frankly, TSL is not the absolute worst thing on the Internet. Far from it.
 

aftershocks

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Brian Johnson (who is not prolific on social media) shared a photo of a smiling Jessica Calalang yesterday (one of the few Champs Camp photos I've seen so far): https://www.instagram.com/p/B1mFDR-nf7Y/
Thanks! I wonder if that's some type of muscle massager or loosener that Jessica is holding and apparently using? As one commenter mentioned, Jessica is indeed very pretty. I'm so happy for her and Brian coming together and building a promising partnership. :cheer2:
 

HeatherC

Proud fan of K&O and Team SW Florida! =)
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I can't share it because it's an Instagram story but both Delilah and Danny O'Shea have shared a pic of him and Tarah doing a twist in what I think is their SP run through (they're wearing gorgeous blue outfits). :swoon:
 

happycamper2554

Active Member
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121
I can't share it because it's an Instagram story but both Delilah and Danny O'Shea have shared a pic of him and Tarah doing a twist in what I think is their SP run through (they're wearing gorgeous blue outfits). :swoon:
His hands are all the way down which makes me hopeful for some improvement in their twist. Of course it could just be a lucky shot but im crossing my fingers. It will get them more points plus i won't have to fear for their safety.
 

aftershocks

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I'm looking forward to seeing the long programs of the teams who we didn't get to see compete their long programs at Skate Detroit (unless you purchased the stream). Only S/T's long program was posted on Youtube by a Serafini relative, and Chan/Howe, and C-G/LD did not compete their long programs.

Looking back at Feng/Nyman's sp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ0J5lNqB8o
They had very good potential and were enjoyable to watch. They were trying to emote with this vehicle, but they needed a lot more work to make it truly work. The music choice was not bad, but not exactly the best for them. They seemed to be having some fun with it at least. It is a moot point at this stage of course. I hope alls well that ends well in the long run. I hope Sarah is getting the support she needs to move forward.

Calalang/Johnson's costumes for their Game of Thrones sp are very well thought out and beautifully designed. I'd really enjoy hearing the story behind their costume design process. :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXyTm2ER9Zo
 

clairecloutier

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Here's an interview I did with Kate Finster/Balazs Nagy. They are competing this week at the JGP in Lake Placid.

 

olympic

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Having seen most of the US Pairs live, IMO, the Knierims are in another class when it comes to overall ice coverage, flow, and amplitude throughout a program. As much as I've loved other US Pairs, and was really hoping for Denney/Frazier before she was so injured, in the past, I can't remember any I've seen live with that quality. I think Cain/Leduc have the potential.
I was watching the SPs of Skate Detroit. It looks like C/J get halfway across the rink w/ a few strokes.
 

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