2017-2018 Top Senior Dance US Qualifying Scores

Short Dance

  1. Shibutani/Shibutani: 82.33 (US Nationals)
  2. Hubbell/Donohue: 79.10 (US Nationals)
  3. Chock/Bates: 77.61 (US Nationals)
  4. Hawayek/Baker: 73.18 (US Nationals)
  5. Parsons/Parsons: 72.69 (US Nationals)
  6. McNamara/CarpenteR: 69.16 (US Nationals)
  7. Pogrebinsky/Benoit: 66.41 (US Nationals)
  8. Aldridge/Eaton: 61.21 (US Nationals)
  9. Biechler/Dodge: 59.80 (Eastern Sectionals)
  10. Manta/Johnson: 58.29 (US Nationals)

Free Dance

  1. Chock/Bates: 118.99 (US Nationals)
  2. Hubbell/Donohue: 118.02 (US Nationals)
  3. Shibutani/Shibutani: 114.60 (US Nationals)
  4. Hawayek/Baker: 114.43 (US Nationals)
  5. McNamara/Carpenter: 106.03 (US Nationals)
  6. Parsons/Parsons: 103.38 (US Nationals)
  7. Pogrebinsky/Benoit: 101.57 (US Nationals)
  8. Aldridge/Eaton: 92.72 (US Nationals)
  9. Manta/Johnson: 92.71 (US Nationals)
  10. Biechler/Dodge: 89.36 (Eastern Sectionals)


  1. Hubbell/Donohue: 197.12 (US Nationals)
  2. Shibutani/Shibutani: 196.60 (US Nationals)
  3. Chock/Bates: 196.60 (US Nationals)
  4. Hawayek/Baker: 187.61 (US Nationals)
  5. Parsons/Parsons: 176.07 (US Nationals)
  6. McNamara/Carpenter: 175.19 (US Nationals)
  7. Pogrebinsky/Benoit: 167.98 (US Nationals)
  8. Aldridge/Eaton: 153.93 (US Nationals)
  9. Manta/Johnson: 151.00 (US Nationals)
  10. Biechler/Dodge: 149.18 (Eastern Sectionals)
  11. Aldridge/Eaton: 143.89 (Midwestern Sectionals)
  12. Manta/Johnson: 138.99 (Midwestern Sectionals)
  13. Biechler/Dodge: 136.37 (US Nationals)
  14. Reynolds/Reynolds: 119.05 (Eastern Sectionals)
  15. Reynolds/Reynolds: 110.92 (US Nationals)
  16. Klopstock/Schedl: 100.43 (Eastern Sectionals)
  17. Klopstock/Schedl: 89.28 (US Nationals)
  18. Bain/Altukhov: 79.42 (US Nationals)

2018 US Nationals Senior Free Dance


Klopstock/Schedl: 28.95 TES + 25.17 PCS -2.00 = 52.12  Total: 89.28

  • I like the placement of the twizzles with the music but they lost sync with each other
  • Pretty basic lift with some awkward change into the second position
  • They botched the transition in their dance spin and had a moment where they stood there
  • He bobbles on a turn in their serpentine step sequence
  • Her shoulders just seem to be a bit lifted and tight throughout this program
  • Rotational lift a bit clunky on the transition out and he falls getting into the next sequence
  • I’d like to see them develop a wider range of emotions in telling this story
  • He falls again at the end of their diagonal step sequence
  • Nice choreographic lift to end the program
  • They earned Level 4 on their lifts but only Level 1 on both step sequences
  • They earned mostly negative GOEs

Bain/Altukhov: 28.89 TES + 20.36 PCS -1.00 = 48.25 Total: 79.42 and into 2nd place

  • Exogenesis is such a subtle piece of music and really requires a level of performance that takes years to achieve and is not what I would have picked for a first year partnership
  • Off on their twizzles through all the rotations and the spacing kept changing
  • Nice opening straight-line lift with him in a squat position
  • You can see the concentration written all over her face and her entire upper body is tight
  • In the changes of hold she is really reaching for him and grabbing tight in the transitions instead of letting it flow
  • A few places where they seem to either be too far apart or too close to each other in the step sequence
  • This music is really just making their skating seem slow and clunky
  • They also need to work on their connection with each other as I don’t think she’s looked at him once this entire program
  • Some nice positions in the dance spin but almost swing to a stop a the end and a bobble
  • Level 4 twizzles, rotational lift
  • Basic level on their circular step sequence and Level 1 on diagonal step sequence

Reynolds/Reynolds: 38.19 TES + 31.81 PCS = 70.00  Total: 110.92 and into 1st place

  • Cool hydroblade lift with her in a haircutter position
  • Pretty good twizzles, just off on the last rotation of the third set
  • Nice slid entry into their dance spin; could use a bit more stretch through the positions
  • The program seems a bit slow though the middle putting both step sequences back to back
  • Some really nice transitions in and out of the lifts for them
  • They’ve really come a long way and have improved each year
  • Level 4 lifts, twizzles, Level 1 on their step sequences
  • Positive GOEs on all but one element

Biechler/Dodge: 44.01 TES + 37.83 PCS = 81.84  Total: 137.37 and into 1st place

  • Nice twizzles and I love the arm changes within the sequences
  • Love the lift around his head and then a pop to a cradle catch
  • Love the choreographic spin in this program
  • Nice placement of the step sequence with the music
  • Nice twist jump into a stationary rotational lift
  • She loses her balance in the step sequence and steps out but does not fall
  • Really enjoyed the fierceness they brought to the program and the way they attacked the step sequences
  • Looks like her blade might not be on her skate properly
  • Level 4 twizzles, spin, lifts
  • Level 1 step sequence and only negative GOE



Pogrebinsky/Benoit: 54.61 TES + 46.96 PCS = 101.57 Total: 167.98 and into 1st place

  • Great positions from her in the dance spin
  • Great leaned back spread eagle from him in the curve lift
  • Great ease and connection from them in the first step sequence really carrying the theme of the program through
  • Good timing through all of their twizzles
  • Great step up to a stationary rotational lift
  • They truly have some stunning lift positions including the rotational lift behind his back in a full split
  • This program truly plays to the great chemistry they have as a team and really shows off all of their strengths
  • Level 4 on everything but the serpentine step sequence and all positive GOEs

Aldridge/Eaton: 47.51 TES + 45.21 PCS = 92.72  Total: 153.93 and itno 2nd place

  • Off on the timing in their twizzles
  • Great speed going into their step sequence and I love how they go into it from a behind the back position
  • Really great transition into their rotational lift just coming out of nowhere
  • I love the transitional movement of him pulling her into a camel spin, skating away, and then coming back and grabbing her foot
  • Looks like they might have had some difficult in their second lift and maybe didn’t quite get into their planned position
  • Such a fun classic program that really suited their strengths and showed why they had so much success as a team
  • Level 4 lifts, diagonal step sequence with all positive GOEs

Manta/Johnson: 50.07 TES + 42.64 PCS = 92.71 Total: 151.00 and into 3rd place

  • Level 4 lift, spin, twizzles, with all positive GOEs

McNamara/Carpenter: 55.89 TES + 50.14 PCS = 106.03 Total:  175.19 and into 1st place

  • Really nice straight-line lift with him skating backward on one leg
  • They have the right fire and passion for a tango
  • You see the effort in the program here in places and some of the transitions are more apparent then they should be
  • Their serpentine step sequence just oozes tango choreography in all the little details
  • There are places where it looks like choreography and acting and doesn’t feel genuine, but part of that is just developing more maturity
  • Lots of great details in that program and really well done from them
  • Level 4 on their lifts, twizzles, and spin and all positive GOEs



Parsons/Parsons: 53.53 TES + 49.85 PCS = 103.38 Total: 176.07 and into 1st place

  • Interesting choreographic spin
  • Straight line lift with him on one leg in a squat and her reaching out her legs behind her
  • I love that their step sequence goes right into the spin so seamlessly
  • Like McNamara and Carpenter there is some visible effort here and some of their moves look like choreography…something they’ll get better at with time
  • Lost their unison on the third twizzles
  • Great final lift with him in a huge lean while she leans back over the ice
  • Level 4 on their lifts and spin, with all positive GOEs

Hawayek/Baker: 61.06 TES + 53.37 PCS = 114.43 Total: 187.61 and into 1st place

  • The opening of this program is so beautiful with great lines and such great connection between them
  • Love these twizzles on the crescendo
  • Love how she just steps right up into that lift and it’s so effortless in and out…maybe not the most acrobatic but the simplicity really does set it apart
  • They really take every detail into consideration in building the step sequence with the build of the music
  • Great dip rotational lift
  • You really cannot take your eyes off her in this program; everything is so elegant and so pure
  • There is just such job, beauty and incredible connection in this program that is just stunning
  • Level 4 on everything with all positive GOEs

Shibutani/Shibutani: 57.26 TES + 57.34 PCS = 114.60 Total: 196.93 and into 1st place

  • Great transition out of the spin ducking under his arm
  • Such long, deep edges in the step sequence
  • Love the first lift and the effortless changes in position
  • Really nice twizzles after a little nod to Fix You
  • Great fast position changes in the rotational spin right on the music
  • She stumbled in the second step sequence but didn’t go down…that’s going to effect their levels and GOEs
  • They had a lead coming into this but that could be the difference
  • Love the two choreographic moves at the end of this program
  • Technically it was very good but it didn’t move me the way that Hawayek and Baker’s did
  • Level 4 on everything but the step sequences with all positive GOEs

Hubbell/Donohue: 59.77 TES + 58.25 PCS = 118.02 Total: 197.12 and into 1st place

  • Super difficult twizzles with lots of things happening in each set, maybe a slight loss of unison
  • Super slick step sequence
  • Love the twist and backward entry for him into the curve lift
  • Everything about this program is so well thought out and so well placed in the music
  • There is so much passion and fire in this program and it all feels so real and so genuine
  • You truly cannot look away from this program and you do not see the elements at all…they are so seamlessly woven into the choreography
  • Level 4 on everything except diagonal step sequence and spin with all positive GOEs

Chock/Bates: 61.39 TES + 57.60 PCS = 118.99 Total: 196.60 and into 3rd place

  • Love the level changes in the opening stationary lift
  • Nice twizzles
  • A few little moments of effort in the spin changes
  • Great choreographic moments at the end of the piece
  • I couldn’t help but be transfixed by that and it truly was very uplifting and beautiful
  • Level 4 on lifts, twizzles, spin, diagonal step sequence
Place Start Name Short Dance Free Dance Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 12 Madison Hubbell, Lansing SC
Zachary Donohue, Lansing SC
2 79.10 2 118.02 197.12
2 11 Maia Shibutani, SC of New York
Alex Shibutani, SC of New York
1 82.33 3 114.60 196.93
3 13 Madison Chock, All Year FSC
Evan Bates, Ann Arbor FSC
3 77.61 1 118.99 196.60
4 10 Kaitlin Hawayek, Detroit SC
Jean-Luc Baker, Seattle SC
4 73.18 4 114.43 187.61
5 9 Rachel Parsons, Washington FSC
Michael Parsons, Washington FSC
5 72.69 6 103.38 176.07
6 8 Lorraine McNamara, Peninsula SC
Quinn Carpenter, Washington FSC
6 69.16 5 106.03 175.19
7 5 Elliana Pogrebinsky, Peninsula SC
Alex Benoit, Skokie Valley SC
7 66.41 7 101.57 167.98
8 6 Alexandra Aldridge, Detroit SC
Daniel Eaton, Ann Arbor FSC
8 61.21 8 92.72 153.93
9 7 Karina Manta, Coyotes SC of Arizona
Joseph Johnson, Broadmoor SC
9 58.29 9 92.71 151.00
10 4 Julia Biechler, SC of Wilmington
Damian Dodge, IceWorks SC
10 54.53 10 81.84 136.37
11 3 Elicia Reynolds, Ice Line FSC
Stephen Reynolds, Ice Line FSC
11 40.92 11 70.00 110.92
12 1 Cassidy Klopstock, Centennial 7k SC
Jacob Schedl, University of Delaware FSC
12 37.16 12 52.12 89.28
13 2 Ashley Bain, North Jersey FSC
Oleg Altukhov, North County FSC
13 31.17 13 48.25 79.42

2018 US Olympic, Worlds, 4CC, and Junior Worlds Teams


Nathan Chen
Adam Rippon
Vincent Zhou

Alternate 1 – Jason Brown
Alternate 2 – Ross Miner
Alternate 3 – Max Aaron


World Championships
Nathan Chen
Adam Rippon
Vincent Zhou

Alternate 1 – Jason Brown
Alternate 2 – Ross Miner
Alternate 3 – Max Aaron

Four Continents Championships
Jason Brown
Ross Miner
Max Aaron

Alternate 1 – Grant Hochstein
Alternate 2 – Timothy Dolensky
Alternate 3 – Alexander Johnson

World Junior Championships
Alex Krasnozhon
Camden Pulkinen
Tomoki Hiwatashi

Alternates (not ranked): Maxim Naumov, Andrew Torgashev, Dinh Tran.




Karen Chen
Mirai Nagasu
Bradie Tennell

Alternate 1 – Ashley Wagner
Alternate 2 – Mariah Bell
Alternate 3 – Angela Wang

World Championships
Karen Chen
Mirai Nagasu
Bradie Tennell

Alternate 1 – Ashley Wagner
Alternate 2 – Mariah Bell
Alternate 3 – Angela Wang

Four Continents Championships
Starr Andrews
Mariah Bell
Ashley Wagner

Alternate 1 – Angela Wang
Alternate 2 – Amber Glenn
Alternate 3 – Courtney Hicks

World Junior Championships
Starr Andrews
Ting Cui

Alternates (not ranked): Hanna Harrell, Tessa Hong, Emmy Ma.


Alexa Scimeca-Knierim/Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 – Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea
Alternate 2 – Deanna Stellato/Nathan Bartholomay
Alternate 3 – Ashley Cain/Timothy LeDuc


World Championships
Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea
Alexa Scimeca-Knierim/Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 – Deanna Stellato/Nathan Bartholomay
Alternate 2 – Ashley Cain/Timothy LeDuc
Alternate 3 – Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier

Four Continents Championships
Ashley Cain/Timothy LeDuc
Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea
Deanna Stellato/Nathan Bartholomay

Alternate 1 – Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier
Alternate 2 – Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran
Alternate 3 – Chelsea Liu/Brian Johnson

World Junior Championships
Sarah Feng/TJ Nyman
Audrey Lu/Misha Mitrofanov

Alternate 1 – Laiken Lockley/Keenan Prochnow
Alternate 2 – Nadine Wang/Spencer Howe
Alternate 3 – Elli Kopmar/Jonah Barrett



Madison Chock/Evan Bates
Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue
Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani

Alternate 1 – Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker
Alternate 2 – Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter
Alternate 3 – Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons


World Championships
Madison Chock/Evan Bates
Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue
Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani

Alternate 1 – Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker
Alternate 2 – Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter
Alternate 3 – Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons

Four Continents Championships
Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker
Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter
Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons

Alternate 1 – Elliana Pogrebinsky/Alex Benoit
Alternate 2 – Karina Manta/Joseph Johnson
Alternate 3 – Julia Biechler/Damian Dodge

World Junior Championships
Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko
Caroline Green/Gordon Green
Chloe Lewis/Logan Bye

Alternate 1 – Eliana Gropman/Ian Somerville
Alternate 2 – Avonlea Nguyen/Vadym Kolesnik
Alternate 3 – Emma Gunter/Caleb Wein

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: How to Decide the US Men’s Olympic Team

And we all thought the US ladies selection process would be filled with drama…after some surprising results in the men’s event at US Nationals, the selection committee is left to decide which men will compete next month in Pyeongchang.

Nathan Chen will most certainly go after winning his second consecutive national title, hitting five quads, scoring over 300 points, winning the Grand Prix Final, and the list goes on.  This was the cleanest program he’s had all season and was a good stepping stone for him in his quest for the Olympic podium.

Ross Miner skated the free program of his life to take home the silver medal, beating Vincent Zhou by just over a half point.  He hit a quad salchow and skated clean with Level 4s and almost all positive GOEs.  It’s been a while since he has had international success, but he did win a Four Continents medal in 2012 and last went to Worlds in 2013.  However, he did not skate cleanly in practice all week and missed four quad salchows in the warmup.  It is really unclear if this was a turning point for him or if it was just the performance of his life and unlikely to be repeated.  At 26 (almost 27) years old, this is almost certainly his last shot at an Olympic team.

Vincent Zhou won the bronze medal with a five quad attempt free skate.  He had three of those quads judged under-rotated and one down-graded but it was one of his better programs this season.  Even with all those calls, he still beat Miner on the technical score in the free skate.  One of the higher criteria for the Olympic team is placement at 2017 Worlds and with a 2nd place finish at nationals last season, Zhou normally would have been sent to Worlds, but was only sent to Junior Worlds instead where he won the title.  He is only 17 years old and could have a chance at an Olympic Games four years from now, but this could also be a chance for him to gain some experience in preparation for that event.

Adam Rippon had some major errors in his free skate, dropping to 4th overall.  He went for his quad lutz as he has all season and fell and under-rotated it.  He also under-rotated a triple flip + triple toe combination plus singled a lutz and singled a salchow.  That is a lot of mistakes for one program, but he has been skating clean programs all season.  He was 5.5 points back from 3rd and 6 points back from 2nd.  He does not have scores from Worlds or Nationals last season, but he was injured.  He had qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season and was the reigning National Champion, so there is reason to assume he would have done reasonably well at nationals.  At 28 years old, this is likely his final chance to make an Olympic team.

Grant Hochstein had the short program of his life to land himself in the final group, but made some mistakes in his free skate.  Finishing off the podium here and not having any major international results this year, likely takes him out of the conversation for the Olympic team.

Jason Brown tried to put the quad toe in his free skate for the first time since his early events this season.  It did not at all look competition ready and was downgraded.  He also had an under-rotated triple axel and triple loop.  Even with a quad toe in the program, his base value for jumps for his short program and free skate combined is still less than Vincent Zhou’s free skate alone.  He has to be absolutely perfect and even then he doesn’t have a chance to win or medal unless others make mistakes.  His technical score was very low at this event, and Chen in his first two jumps alone had half the technical score that Brown had in his entire program.  Brown finished a whopping 20 points off of third place, which likely will be taking him out of contention.  He went to the Olympics in Sochi but in four years hasn’t been able to develop a quad and it is unlikely to be there within the next five weeks.

Here are the criteria (note there is no weights or percentages given to determine how much each event counts toward the final decision):

2018 US Championships

2 18 Ross Miner, SC of Boston 6 88.91 2 185.60 274.51
3 16 Vincent Zhou, SC of San Francisco 5 89.02 3 184.81 273.83
4 19 Adam Rippon, SC of New York 2 96.52 4 171.82 268.34
5 17 Grant Hochstein, SC of New York 4 92.18 5 163.13 255.31
6 20 Jason Brown, Skokie Valley SC 3 93.23 6 160.45 253.68


2017 Grand Prix Final

5th: Adam Rippon (254.33)

6th: Jason Brown (253.81)


2017 World Championships

7th: Jason Brown


2017 Grand Prix Events

2nd NHK Trophy: Adam Rippon (261.99)

2nd Skate America: Adam Rippon (266.45)

2nd Skate Canada: Jason Brown (261.14)

4th Cup of China: Vincent Zhou (256.66)

4th NHK Trophy: Jason Brown (245.95)

6th Skate America: Ross Miner (219.62)

9th Internationaux de France: Vincent Zhou (222.21)

9th Cup of China: Grant Hochstein 216.44

11th Rostelecom Cup: Grant Hochstein (206.09)


2017 Four Continents

6th Jason Brown

9th Grant Hochstein


2017 Challenger Series

2nd Finlandia Trophy: Vincent Zhou

2nd Lombardia Trophy: Jason Brown

3rd Finlandia Trophy: Adam Rippon

4th Ondrej Nepela Trophy: Grant Hochstein

5th Finlandia Trophy: Ross Miner

6th Autumn Classic International: Ross Miner


2017 US Championships

2nd: Vincent Zhou

3rd: Jason Brown

4th: Grant Hochstein

5th: Ross Miner

WD: Adam Rippon


2017 World Junior Championships

1st: Vincent Zhou


I think it’s going to come down to Ross Miner, Vincent Zhou, and Adam Rippon for the final two spots.   Between these three, Rippon qualified for the Grand Prix Final, winning two silver medals on the Grand Prix circuit.  In head to head competition Rippon won silver at Skate America (beating Nathan Chen in the free skate) while Miner finished 6th (some 40 points back).  At Finlandia Trophy, Vincent Zhou finished 2nd, Adam Rippon finished 3rd, and Ross Miner finished 5th.

If you look at this season, Rippon has been consistent again and again with one bad performance at nationals while Miner has not had good performances and hasn’t hit the quad all season, but had a great performance here.  Based on his performances last season and the technical difficulty in his programs, I think Zhou is getting a spot on the team.  The only box he doesn’t check is the Grand Prix Final, and his Grand Prix scores are second only to Rippon and Brown (not including Nathan Chen).  He has the highest ceiling on his programs and even has more difficult planned than Nathan Chen.  If he can get these programs clean, the US will have a formidable 1-2 combination.

There is also the team event to consider.  Nathan Chen would seem like a shoo-in to send for both the short and long programs, however that is seven quads for him to execute before his own event begins and a lot of chances for him to be injured.  I would send Chen in the short program, let him get his legs underneath him and feel the Olympic ice and get a shot at a team medal.  The only other US skater with a quad in the short program is Zhou and he hasn’t skated a clean short all season.  However, several US men have top ten free skates and Rippon has the best score of the men in consideration.

However, with all of this being said, it has never been done before that a silver medalist has been skipped over for a team in favor of a 3rd and 4th place finisher.  It is much easier to argue that a 4th place finisher who was very close to 3rd but has a better resume should get to go, but skipping someone up two whole places is a lot to ask.  And it’s unclear how much the selection committee values nationals results over all other competitions.

While I love Miner and his skating and he definitely had the type of moment you dream of in an Olympic year, my gut says Chen, Zhou, Rippon.

2018 US Nationals Senior Men’s Free Skate


Jordan Moeller: 58.08 TES + 67.78 PCS -1.00 = 124.86  Total: 180.21

  • I love the subtle opening to this program drawing a one footed figure on the ice
  • Nice quad salchow
  • Triple axel step out
  • Double axel
  • Popped his lutz in what was intended to be a three jump combo
  • Good triple loop
  • Triple flip
  • Triple lutz + half loop + double salchow
  • Triple lutz
  • Nice layback position in his closing spin
  • Quad salchow and triple axel were judged under-rotated as was the triple flip

Scott Dyer: 47.25 TES + 64.62 PCS = 111.87 Total: 172.04 and into 2nd place

  • Triple flip a bit two footed and step out downgraded
  • Single axel
  • Double loop
  • Love the entrance to his camel spin that picks up speed in time with the music building
  • Triple axel step out downgraded
  • Triple lutz two footed + single loop + double salchow under-rotated
  • Triple flip step out and hand down
  • Triple salchow off in the air but hangs on to it
  • Triple toe
  • Level 4 on the spins

Ben Jalovick: 60.49 TES + 61.72 PCS = 122.21  Total: 178.33 and into 2nd place

  • Double axel, upper body a bit down on the landing but he stands up
  • Good triple flip + triple toe (edge call)
  • Triple lutz
  • Big triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow with hands down on final jump and under-rotated
  • He has such a nice low, stretched out sit spin position
  • Triple loop + double toe with one arm overhead
  • Triple salchow
  • Double axel
  • Double lutz turn out
  • Level 4 on the final spin

Daniel Kulenkamp: 60.00 TES + 59.80 PCS -2.00 = 117.80 Total:177.95 and into 3rd place

  • Single axel
  • Triple flip + triple toe under-rotated
  • Good triple loop
  • Just a minor choreographic choice, but I disliked that on the word up, he bent down to grab his leg for a catch foot position in his spin
  • Lots to like about his step sequence with a nice light quality and floating movements
  • Triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow off in the air and falls
  • Triple flip hand down and fall
  • Double axel + double toe
  • Triple lutz
  • Double axel
  • He earned Level 4 on his first two spins

Kevin Shum: 54.57 TES + 56.72 PCS = 111.29 Total: 163.33 and into 5th place

  • Double axel with good height
  • Triple lutz + triple toe
  • He’s a very gifted skater with nice edges and a good feel for this music; I would just like to see him loosen up his shoulders and head to match his movements
  • Triple loop + double toe + double loop
  • Triple flip a bit close to the boards
  • Triple lutz two footed
  • Triple loop just looked like he got stuck in the ice and never got up, less tangled, two footed
  • Single salchow
  • Double axel over-rotates a bit and steps out of it
  • Finished after the music
  • Level 4 on his first spin and Level 4 on the step sequence



Tomoki Hiwatshi: 80.69 TES + 73.36 PCS = 154.05  Total: 217.53 and into 1st place

  • Quad toe (under)+ triple toe
  • Popped axel
  • Triple axel + double toe
  • Good positions in the camel spin with a nice catchfoot
  • Really nice qualities of movement in this step seqeunce
  • Good triple loop
  • Triple salchow
  • Double axel
  • Super difficult triple lutz + single loop + triple flip
  • Triple lutz
  • Best program he’s skated all season
  • Gorgeous Ina Bauer, nice spiral and great cantilever
  • When he’s on he really does have the whole package and there is so much potential there
  • Positive GOEs on every element of that program and the quad because of the under-rotation
  • Level 4 on two spins

Sean Rabbitt: 69.44 TES + 71.80 PCS = 141.24  Total: 214.46 and into 2nd place

  • Triple flip + triple toe
  • Triple axel a bit rough on landing, downgrade
  • Off on the takeoff of the triple loop and two footed
  • Really getting the crowd into the program on the step sequence
  • Nice, easy triple flip
  • Spiral into triple lutz
  • Double axel
  • Triple salchow + triple toe
  • Double axel + double toe + double toe
  • He definitely is a fun skater to watch and he does the performance, steps, and spins so well with great choreography and attention to detail
  • Level 4 on everything

Sebastien Payannet: 53.84 TES + 60.76 PCS -3.00 = 111.60 Total: 172.89 and into 6th place

  • Good triple axel attempt but sat down on it
  • Double axel
  • I love his choreography and the details in his program
  • Triple lutz + double toe
  • Triple flip hand down
  • Triple toe
  • Triple lutz fall
  • Triple salchow hand down
  • Triple salchow + double toe turnout
  • This piece of music really demands a clean performance to be effective and he has the choreography to back it up if he goes clean
  • I also find his costume to be a bit distracting as it has an awkward neckline and it really keeps drawing the eye away from his skating
  • Went over the end of his music

Emmanuel Savary: 48.56 TES + 64.92 PCS -1.00 = 112.48 Total: 177.13 and into 6th place

  • Triple toe
  • Double salchow
  • Triple flip + double toe no flow on landing
  • Triple loop
  • Triple flip fall
  • Double axel
  • Triple salchow
  • Triple toe two foot landing
  • He has a lot of nice qualities but the jumps just weren’t there today

Max Aaron: 74.81 TES + 74.44 PCS = 149.25 Total: 224.20 and into 1st place

  • Quad toe flip out and hand down
  • Double salchow
  • Triple loop
  • Popped toe into a double
  • Triple axel + double toe
  • Triple axel
  • Triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow
  • Double axel
  • Finished just after his music
  • Such a shame that he couldn’t have redemption after his short program
  • He did earn positive GOEs on everything except for the opening quad attempt and had Level 4 on two of his spins




Jimmy Ma: 77.75 TES + 69.38 PCS = 147.13 Total: 222.41 and into 2nd place

  • Quad toe low landing and turns out of it
  • Triple loop
  • Triple axel + double toe a bit of a pause between jumps
  • Triple axel step out
  • Triple flip + triple toe
  • Triple flip + double toe
  • Triple salchow step out
  • Triple lutz
  • Level 4 last two spins and steps

Alexander Johnson: 75.44 TES + 77.58 PCS = 153.02 Total: 232.62 and into 1st place

  • Triple axel + double toe
  • Triple axel
  • Triple lutz + half loop + triple flip a loss of flow on the last jump
  • Double axel + triple toe
  • Double loop
  • Triple flip a bit back on the heel
  • Triple salchow nicely done
  • This program has such a nice ease and flow to it and the choreography matches the music well
  • Double axel
  • Great camel spin positions from him
  • Level 4 step sequence and final spin

Aleksei Krasnozhon: 68.58 TES + 73.42 PCS -1.00 = 141.00  Total: 223.58 and into 3rd place

  • Quad loop stands up on it, downgraded
  • Triple salchow
  • Triple axel back on his heel and then a fall
  • Triple flip + double toe + double loop a bit scratchy and tight
  • Triple axel (under)+ triple toe
  • Triple lutz + double toe
  • Triple lutz a little down on one side on the landing but hangs on
  • Looking a little fatigued through the last half of this program
  • The artistic side is something that he still needs to work on and will be the big push to move him from the junior level to the senior
  • Double axel
  • Level 4 on step sequence and 2 spins

Andrew Torgashev: 60.63 TES + 76.06 PCS -1.00 = 135.69  Total: 217.01 and into 6th place

  • Triple axel two footed the landing and fell, downgraded
  • Popped into a double toe
  • Triple lutz step out
  • Triple flip + triple toe
  • This choreography seems really marked through and he’s not fully committing to it; but this is a complicated story for a young skater to emote to
  • Triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow hand down
  • Triple flip + double toe under-rotated
  • Triple loop
  • He’s really fighting for every jump in this program
  • Double axel
  • Much better commitment, power, and passion through the step sequence really selling it through the final minute of the program
  • Level 4 step sequence and first two spins

Timothy Dolensky: 75.15 TES + 78.12 PCS -2.00 = 151.27  Total: 236.33 and into 1st place

  • Quad salchow fall
  • Triple axel really hard fall, slipping off his edge and his shoulder got stuck behind him
  • He is such am amazing skater to watch with so many interesting qualities and great choreography and he really feels the music better than almost any one else in this field
  • Lunge into a camel spin
  • Triple axel hand down + double toe
  • Triple loop
  • Triple flip + double toe
  • Double ‘Tano lutz
  • Double axel + half loop + triple salchow two footed
  • Triple flip
  • Level 4 on two spins and step sequence



Vincent Zhou: 98.47 TES + 87.48 PCS -1.00 = 184.75  Total: 273.83 and into 1st place

  • I love this opening edit of the music
  • Quad lutz + triple toe with both arms above head
  • Quad flip (under)
  • Quad salchow might have been slightly two footed (under)
  • Quad lutz upper body a bit down but he holds on (under)
  • Quad toe step out and fall (downgrade)
  • Triple axel + double toe
  • Triple axel two footed
  • I love the entire edit of this program and the passion and power in this step sequence–If he ever skates this program clean this step sequence is going to bring the house down
  • Triple Rippon Lutz + single loop + triple flip
  • Lots of reviews out there so we’ll see if the rotations hold up but this was an incredible program from him

Grant Hochstein: 78.71 TES + 84.42 PCS = 163.13  Total: 255.31 and into 2nd place

  • Double toe
  • Triple axel step out
  • Triple lutz
  • I’m so glad he brought back Les Mis for his last performance at the US Championships–definitely an iconic, breakthrough program for him
  • Lunge into a nice camel spin with a good donut position
  • Triple axel really scratchy landing but manages to not put a hand down
  • Triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow
  • Triple loop
  • Triple flip
  • This program has such a great build to it and is truly designed to bring an arena to their feet
  • Triple toe + double toe
  • Level 4 on his step sequence and final two spins

Ross Miner: 96.16 TES + 89.44 PCS = 185.60  Total: 274.51 and into 1st place

  • Nice quad salchow
  • Triple axel + double toe
  • Huge triple lutz + triple toe
  • What a start to the program for him…the audience has been with him from the first note
  • Lunge into a heel slide into a camel spin
  • Huge triple axel, chest slightly down on the landing
  • Good triple loop
  • Triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow
  • Triple flip
  • Miner hasn’t skated like this in years and what a time to have a skate like this!
  • Love this choreographic sequence–so cool and lots of little tricks
  • Double axel
  • Positive GOEs on everything but triple axel (just a slight negative) with Level 4 on everything

Adam Rippon: 80.24 TES + 92.58 PCS -1.00 = 171.82  Total: 268.34 and into 3rd place

  • Quad lutz fall (under)
  • Triple flip + triple loop
  • Double axel (planned)
  • He does choreography so well…you truly believe he is a bird out there on the ice from the arm motions to the little tilts of the head or look of the eyes
  • Triple axel + double toe + double loop
  • Nice triple axel
  • Triple flip + triple toe (under)
  • Popped salchow
  • Popped lutz
  • That is a huge amount of points left on the table and he needs all the jumps he has with positive GOEs to compete–it’s going to be really close
  • Level 4 on his spins and steps

Jason Brown: 69.81 TES + 91.64 PCS -1.00 = 160.45 Total: 253.68 and into 5th place

  • Quad toe two footed and just popped off his feet and fell into the wall, downgrade
  • Triple axel step out, under
  • Triple loop a bit two footed, under
  • Gorgeous spin with so much speed in the catch foot camel
  • Triple axel two footed
  • Triple lutz
  • Triple flip just missed the entrance on the second jump and stumbles through it
  • Triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow
  • Double axel
  • There is a lot of points left on the table with this program.  His program was worth so much less compared to everyone else so he needed to be perfect
  • He earned Level 4 on everything

Nathan Chen: 115.86 TES + 94.92 PCS = 210.78  Total: 315.23 and into 1st place

  • Quad flip + triple toe
  • Quad flip
  • Triple loop
  • This is such a modern, edgy program and it really does set him apart from some of the other skaters
  • Quad toe + double toe
  • Quad toe a little forward on the landing but otherwise nice
  • Quad salchow
  • Through five quads and not one review called
  • Popped axel
  • Triple flip + double toe + double loop
  • All positive GOEs except for popped axel and all Level 4
Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 21 Nathan Chen, Salt Lake Figure Skating 1 104.45 1 210.78 315.23
2 18 Ross Miner, SC of Boston 6 88.91 2 185.60 274.51
3 16 Vincent Zhou, SC of San Francisco 5 89.02 3 184.81 273.83
4 19 Adam Rippon, SC of New York 2 96.52 4 171.82 268.34
5 17 Grant Hochstein, SC of New York 4 92.18 5 163.13 255.31
6 20 Jason Brown, Skokie Valley SC 3 93.23 6 160.45 253.68
7 15 Timothy Dolensky, Atlanta FSC 7 85.06 9 151.27 236.33
8 12 Alexander Johnson, Braemar-City of Lakes FSC 10 79.60 8 153.02 232.62
9 10 Max Aaron, Broadmoor SC 12 74.95 10 149.25 224.20
10 13 Aleksei Krasnozhon, Dallas FSC 8 82.58 13 141.00 223.58
11 11 Jimmy Ma, SC of New York 11 75.28 11 147.13 222.41
12 6 Tomoki Hiwatashi, DuPage FSC 15 63.48 7 154.05 217.53
13 14 Andrew Torgashev, Panthers FSC 9 81.32 14 135.69 217.01
14 7 Sean Rabbitt, Glacier Falls FSC 13 73.22 12 141.24 214.46
15 1 Jordan Moeller, Northern Ice SC 20 55.35 15 124.86 180.21
16 3 Ben Jalovick, Centennial 7k SC 19 56.12 16 122.21 178.33
17 4 Daniel Kulenkamp, FSC of Southern California 18 60.15 17 117.80 177.95
18 9 Emmanuel Savary, University of Delaware FSC 14 64.65 18 112.48 177.13
19 8 Sebastien Payannet, Los Angeles FSC 16 61.29 20 111.60 172.89
20 2 Scott Dyer, All Year FSC 17 60.17 19 111.87 172.04
21 5 Kevin Shum, SC of Boston 21 52.04 21 111.29 163.33

2017-2018 Top Senior Pairs US Qualifying Scores

Short Program

  1. Scimeca-Knierim/Knierim: 71.10 (US Nationals)
  2. Kayne/O’Shea: 68.93 (US Nationals)
  3. Stellato-Dudek/Bartholomay: 67.84 (US Nationals)
  4. Denney/Frazier: 63.63. (US Nationals)
  5. Liu/Johnson: 62.35 (US Nationals)
  6. Castelli/Tran: 60.75 (US Nationals)
  7. Pfund/Santillan: 60.52 (US Nationals)
  8. Cain/LeDuc: 60.03 (US Nationals)
  9. Digerness/Neudecker: 53.78 (US Nationals)
  10. Deardorff/Settlange: 51.15 (US Nationals)

Free Skate

  1. Scimeca-Knierim/Knierim: 135.50 (US Nationals)
  2. Kayne/O’Shea: 131.87 (US Nationals)
  3. Stellato/Bartholomay: 129.81 (US Nationals)
  4. Cain/LeDuc: 127.11 (US Nationals)
  5. Denney/Frazier: 122.69 (US Nationals)
  6. Castelli/Tran: 121.63 (US Nationals)
  7. Calalang/Sidhu: 111.80 (US Nationals)
  8. Smith/Reiss: 108.08 (US Nationals)
  9. Liu/Johnson: 105.12 (US Nationals)
  10. Pfund/Santillan: 103.12 (US Nationals)


  1. Scimeca-Knierim/Knierim: 206.60 (US Nationals)
  2. Kanye/O’Shea: 200.80 (US Nationals)
  3. Stellato/Bartholomay: 197.65 (US Nationals)
  4. Cain/LeDuc: 187.14 (US Nationals)
  5. Denney/Frazier: 186.32 (US Natioanls)
  6. Castelli/Tran: 182.38 (US Nationals)
  7. Liu/Johnson: 167.47 (US Nationals)
  8. Pfund/Santillan: 163.62 (US Nationals)
  9. Calalang/Sidhu: 162.23 (US Nationals)
  10. Smith/Reiss: 159.03 (US Nationals)
  11. Digerness/Neudecker: 154.10 (US Nationals)
  12. Deardorff/Settlage: 145.66 (US Nationals)
  13. Timlen/Highgate-Brutman: 144.29 (Eastern Sectionals)
  14. Fields/Stevens: 142.12 (US Nationals)
  15. Yao/Simon: 128.12 (US Nationals)
  16. Timlen/Highgate-Brutman: 126.05 (US Nationals)
  17. Esposito/Newby-Estrella: 122.26 (Eastern Sectionals)

2018 US Nationals Senior Pairs Free Skate


Castelli/Tran: TES + PCS = Total:

Pfund/Santillan: 53.46 TES + 49.64 PCS = 103.10  Total: 163.62 and into 2nd place

  • Triple twist two footed the landing and a bit crashy
  • Side by side triple toe + double toe
  • Nice stretched out split position for her in the first lift
  • Side by side triple salchows he stepped out
  • Nice death spiral position
  • A bit slow on the pairs spin and the second position she is in a bit of an awkward position
  • Dance lift right into a throw triple loop right on the music
  • Throw triple salchow she steps out of it and lands it pretty low
  • A bit off on the timing of the side by side spin
  • Really struggling to hold up their final lift and he literally was holding her up by her dress
  • The last lift they received no credit for and that’s really going to hurt their scores
  • Level 4 on their first lift and pairs spin

Cain/LeDuc: 64.19 TES + 62.92 PCS = 127.11  Total: 187.14 and into 1st place

  • Triple twist a bit crashy on the catch
  • Triple salchow + double toe + double loop a bit off on their timing but they landed it and that’s a huge point getter
  • She was so off on the air in the throw triple flip but someone hangs on and only has to put a hand down
  • Side by side triple loop under-rotated
  • Nice spiral into their second lift with a good platter position for her and a flip out
  • They have some really nice lines highlighted by the side by side spirals
  • Great throw triple salchow with a long ride out
  • Interesting entrance to the death spiral but she could be a bit lower to the ice
  • What I love about this team is that they are so balanced.  They both perform and have great lines
  • Great position for her in the carry position looking right over the ice
  • Stepping down and right into the pairs spin but a bit slow
  • Level 4 on their second lift and both spins

Liu/Johnson: TES + PCS = Total: 167.47 and into 3rd place

  • I remember when Chelsea Liu was so tiny her partner had trouble keeping her on the ice in the pairs spin
  • She falls on the opening side by side triple salchow
  • Triple twist with a  pretty decent catch
  • She singled the axel
  • Backward entry to the lasso lift into a nice extension position and then changing legs with the position change
  • Spiral into death spiral
  • Throw triple flip and she never has a chance to get her legs under neath her and fell
  • A bit far apart on the side by side spins and off on their timing
  • Nice press into their Group 4 lift
  • Really nice positions in their pairs spin
  • Almost had the throw triple salchow but had to put her hands down
  • Really cool curve move from him with her laying on her blades in the choreographic sequence
  • Love the moment where she completely twists around his body while he skates backwards in an arabesque spiral
  • She has gorgeous positions in the lifts with a great arch though the carry feature
  • Lifts are definitely a huge highlight for them
  • They received no credit for the axel
  • Triple salchow was under-rotated
  • Level 4 twist, lifts, side by side spin



Stellato/Bartholomay: TES + PCS = Total: 129.81 Total: 197.65 and into 1st place

  • Nice triple twist
  • Side by side triple salchows she put a hand down and he falls
  • Quad salchow throw fall
  • Triple toe + double toe nicely synched even though she landed the first jump with her shoulders down
  • Nice stretched position for her in the first lift
  • Really pretty death spiral position
  • Throw triple loop and I don’t know how she hung on to that
  • She is just such a joy to watch on the ice and you can tell they truly love being out there…ther is nothing fake about their performance
  • Great speed, positioning and unison on their side by side spins
  • Really nice transition to a backbend in the air over his hand on the final lift
  • Their combo was under-rorated
  • They earned Level 4 on their lifts and spins

Denney/Frazier: TES + PCS = Total:122.69 Total: 186.32 and into 3rd place

  • Good triple twist with a nice hesitation in the air before the rotation
  • Great throw triple loop
  • Triple salchow she puts hand down + single toe really far apart
  • She stumbles out of an under-rotated triple toe
  • Spiral stepping right up into a lift with great stretched air position from her
  • Throw triple salchow might have been a tad two footed
  • Nice unison on their side by side spins though the first half
  • Triple toes were downgraded
  • Level 4 on their side by side spin and final lift

Kayne/O’Shea: 65.23 TES +67.64  PCS -1.00 = 131.87 Total: 200.80 and into 1st place

  • Triple twist caught on his shoulder
  • Side by side triple salchow
  • Awesome back flip over shoulder dance lift into a throw triple salchow
  • Lasso lift into a nice fish position
  • Pretty good timing on the double axel + double axel sequence but she turns out of the second jump
  • Throw triple flip she toe picked in awkwardly and fell
  • Such a nice death spiral position
  • Really great exit from their second to last lift twisting down to almost touching the ice
  • Press up to one hand hold carry with her arching back for their final lift
  • Double axel was under-rotated
  • Level 4 on their lifts and spins

Scimeca-Knierim/Knierim: 66.50 TES + 70.00 PCS -1.00 = 135.50 Total: 206.60 and into 1st place

  • Big quad twist, two footed the landing
  • Gorgeous huge throw triple salchow
  • Side by side triple salchow he steps out and she steps out then falls
  • Side by side double toe + single toe (he doubles the first, she singles the second)
  • Triple flip throw not sure how she managed to hold on to that landing
  • A bit far apart on their side by side spins and very slow
  • While their lifts are technically fine and are achieving Level 4 I feel like they don’t have the dramatic impact that some of the other teams have that just makes you stop and go wow
  • Triple salchow was downgraded
  • Level 4 lifts and spins
  • They earned positive GOEs on everything but the side by side jumps
Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 15 Alexa Scimeca-Knierim, DuPage FSC
Christopher Knierim, Broadmoor SC
1 71.10 1 135.50 206.60
2 14 Tarah Kayne, Southwest Florida FSC
Danny O’Shea, Southwest Florida FSC
2 68.93 2 131.87 200.80
3 12 Deanna Stellato-Dudek, Southwest Florida FSC
Nathan Bartholomay, Southwest Florida FSC
3 67.84 3 129.81 197.65
4 10 Ashley Cain, SC of New York
Timothy LeDuc, Los Angeles FSC
8 60.03 4 127.11 187.14
5 13 Haven Denney, SC of New York
Brandon Frazier, All Year FSC
4 63.63 5 122.69 186.32
6 8 Marissa Castelli, SC of Boston
Mervin Tran, SC of Boston
6 60.75 6 121.63 182.38
7 11 Chelsea Liu, Orange County FSC
Brian Johnson, Detroit SC
5 62.35 9 105.12 167.47
8 9 Jessica Pfund, Southwest Florida FSC
Joshua Santillan, All Year FSC
7 60.52 10 103.10 163.62
9 6 Jessica Calalang, DuPage FSC
Zack Sidhu, Las Vegas FSC
12 50.43 7 111.80 162.23
10 7 Erika Choi Smith, SC of New York
AJ Reiss, Los Angeles FSC
11 50.95 8 108.08 159.03
11 5 Nica Digerness, Broadmoor SC
Danny Neudecker, Seattle SC
9 53.78 11 100.32 154.10
12 4 Winter Deardorff, Northern Kentucky SC
Max Settlage, Broadmoor SC
10 51.15 13 94.51 145.66
13 3 Caitlin Fields, Indiana World Sk Acad FSC
Ernie Utah Stevens, Indiana World Sk Acad FSC
13 45.49 12 96.63 142.12
14 2 Alexandria Yao, Peninsula SC
Jacob Simon, Skokie Valley SC
15 40.97 14 87.15 128.12
15 1 Allison Timlen, Columbia FSC (MD)
Justin Highgate-Brutman, St. Clair Shores FSC
14 41.70 15 84.35 126.05

How do you solve a problem like the third US Ladies Olympic spot?

Until 2014, it was an unspoken rule that the top finishers would go to the Olympics.  But Ashley Wagner, finished 4th at nationals after a great Grand Prix season, and was chosen to go to the Olympics over Mirai Nagasu who finished 3rd.

I think there is no doubt that Bradie Tennell and Mirai Nagasu are going to the Olympics, but it is likely that the committee will be debating between Karen Chen and Ashley Wagner.  I honestly won’t be shocked either way, as I see the case for either skater.  There is no doubt that both ladies have worked incredibly hard, and whoever is chosen, absolutely deserves to go and live their Olympic dream.

About 2.5 points separated the skaters, with Chen coming out ahead in the short program while Wagner finished ahead in the free skate.  If you look long term, Wagner is the only US lady to win a World medal and has multiple Grand Prix medals including one this season (only she and Tennell won Grand Prix medals this year).  Chen has never won a medal at a Grand Prix event and her best finish at Worlds was 4th last season.

However, Chen has beat Wagner at their last three head to head events, defeating her at the last two US Championships and last season’s World Championships.  Wagner also withdrew in the middle of her free program at Skate America and while she cited an injury, her motivation for withdrawing and the timing was considered suspect by many.

Chen had three under-rotation calls, a downgrade, and an edge call in the free skate but she was also fighting through illness.  Wagner had a relatively clean program but did single a salchow and under-rotate a triple lutz.  A single salchow is worth .40 points.  A triple salchow is worth 4.40 points.  If she had pulled off the triple, we would be having a very different conversation as she would be sitting in 3rd place with a two point lead over Chen.  However, given how ill Chen was (she couldn’t even practice yesterday) and the number of errors she had in the program, she still only lost to Wagner in the free skate by a little over a point.

Wagner has also promised a new short program if she’s chosen to the Olympic team.  She changed her free skate before nationals to La La Land and it was praised as a success.  That program beat Chen’s which was a program she returned to from last season.  A new short program could be seen as a good sign and breathing some fresh air into stale skates.  But it’s also a risk as there will be no events to compete it at between now and then, and the problem isn’t her performance, but her jumps.  Changing the program won’t make her hit her jumps cleanly, and in fact it might take time away from training those jumps.  Plus La La Land was something she had choreographed over the summer, so it was ready to go, while a new short program would be something she would have to start from scratch with only a month to go.

Interestingly enough, many, including commentators on IceNetwork and Wagner herself are calling into validity the outcome of the event itself.  Wagner’s PCS marks were surprisingly low, especially for her free skate which was skated with such lightness and effortlessness and was truly an artistic program.  While Chen is also a very artistic skater there was a bit of spark missing in her performance today, understandable due to the illness, plus the number of under-rotations she suffered should factor into segments of the PCS such as skating skills.  More speed, more ice coverage, more push into the jumps would all lead to better quality jumps and all count toward skating skills.  Bradie Tennell had the highest program components of the event, and while she had a fine technical skate, she doesn’t have the artistic abilities, performance quality, or musicality of Nagasu, Chen, or Wagner.  If the panel in the room (which is different than the judging panels) agrees, this might be a very different conversation.

There is the team event to consider, but I think both Tennell and Nagasu showed their ability to compete under pressure, plus Tennell is the only US lady to score above 200 points internationally this season (which she did twice) and both would represent the team well (although the US only has to use one if it chooses).

Probably the biggest argument against Wagner, however, is that this has happened in two Olympic cycles now.  She was given a spot over someone else last time, but at a certain point, you have to earn your spot and can’t keep expecting handouts.  And one of the reason’s that the US even has three ladies spots at all is that Chen held it together and skated the performance of her career (although still with some errors) to finish 4th at Worlds and hold on to the third US ladies spot.  If Chen had caved under the pressure, there would be no third spot to be discussing at all.  There is definitely an argument to be made that she earned the spot, she finished 3rd here, so she should get to use it.

The one little thing in the back of my mind though that ever so slightly tips the scales toward Wagner, is that if she had finished 3rd and Chen had finished 4th, would anyone be having this discussion?

Only the committee knows for sure who will be going and we’ll all know tomorrow morning.  Best of luck to all three ladies in PyeongChang!

2018 US Nationals Senior Ladies Free Skate


Emmy Ma: 47.81 TES + 45.66 PCS -1.00 = 92.47 Total: 138.02

  • Popped her opening triple loop and a bit of a rough landing on it
  • Triple lutz + double loop
  • Triple flip awkward attempt to pull off a combo
  • Double axel, hand down, and then slides down for a fall
  • She seems a bit choppy in this step sequence and I think with a cleaner program this would really be stunning as she has such a gift for emoting a program and feeling the music
  • Triple loop
  • Really nice triple lutz
  • Nice spiral right on a musical accent
  • Double axel
  • I’d like a little more stretch through the back of her knee on the camel but a nice cross body catchfoot
  • I love the cross arm layback position
  • Really ended on a strong note for that program

Emily Chan: 22.05 TES + 39.59 PCS -2.00 = 59.64 Total: 104.43

  • Popped her flip
  • Triple flip hand down
  • Double axel hand down
  • Double loop down on one side on the takeoff and fall
  • Triple salchow fall and slid into the boards
  • Really nice spirals
  • Double salchow two footed landing
  • She seems to have lost the music a bit here in the step sequence
  • Single axel forward on her toe pick on the landing
  • Just not her night

Brynne McIsaac: 52.70 TES + 48.87 PCS = 101.57  Total: 145.54 and into 1st place

  • 2 axel + 2 toe + 2 loop
  • Triple flip + double loop
  • Triple loop two footed
  • Triple loop + double toe
  • Triple flip
  • Triple lutz maybe a bit two footed
  • Really nice Ina Bauer into a spiral
  • Difficult one foot footwork section into double axel
  • Nice camel spin position with a nice flying change to an upright position

Megan Wessenberg: 46.69 TES + 46.14 PCS -2.00 = 90.83 Total: 131.73 and into 3rd place

  • Triple loop
  • Triple flip
  • Nice speed in her twisted sit spin position
  • Double axel turn out and an unfortunate slip off the edge in the transition out
  • Nice double axel
  • Double salchow + double toe with one arm overhead
  • Triple toe + double toe really fights to stay up
  • Triple salchow down on the landing
  • Nice spread eagles in the choreographic sequence but they would be even more impressive with more speed

Ashley Lin: WD



Tessa Hong: 50.80 TES + 52.24 PCS -2.00 = 101.04  Total: 156.86 and into 1st place

  • Gorgeous double axel with a nice ride out in the landing position
  • Really nice spiral
  • I love this soft pink costume and I instantly knew she would be skating to something French
  • Triple lutz fall
  • Great spring on the triple loop with nice height
  • Nice triple lutz
  • Double flip and fall just not enough speed going into it
  • Great triple salchow
  • Nice sit spin into a catch foot upright spin
  • Double axel + double toe + double toe with one arm variation
  • Nice Biellman
  • While not all the jumps were there, this is the strategy you need in the free skate if you want to compete with the Russians

Katie McBeath: 34.22 TES + 41.89 PCS = 76.11 Total: 124.64 and into 5th place

  • Triple lutz turnout + double toe
  • Triple lutz popped
  • Nice double axel
  • Losing her centering on the first spin and speed through the camel
  • Popped loop–you could tell going into the jump that it was not going to happen, not enough speed and just no attack or confidence
  • Double loop
  • Popped flip + double toe
  • Nice camel spin position
  • Double axel
  • The wheels really just came off that program and she seemed to not have any fight in her for the jumps

Vivian Le: 37.61 TES + 44.34 PCS -6.00 = 75.95  Total: 122.60 and into 6th place

  • Triple salchow
  • Big triple lutz but a fall
  • Nice double axel
  • Skating to such a well known and specific piece of music like Scheherazade, the character needs to be really authentic and this feels like it could be skated to any piece of music
  • Triple toe just popped off the edge and fell
  • Triple lutz fall
  • Triple toe fall and she grabbed her hip when she stood up
  • Double axel + double toe

Franchesca Chiera: TES + PCS = Total:

  • Triple flip + double toe with a lot of speed
  • Triple loop a bit two footed and a bit telegraphed
  • Triple lutz step out
  • Camel spin the free leg needs to be at least 90 and it dropped down as she spun
  • She could work more on her transitions as the program feels very posy and skating from place to place
  • Triple flip
  • Triple lutz + double toe
  • Double toe
  • Double axel + double axel sequence
  • Almost no speed at all in the camel spin portion of her combination spin
  • Jumps weren’t bad but she definitely needs to work on the other elements of the program to bring up her Levels and component scores

Kaitlyn Nguyen: TES + PCS = Total:




Courtney Hicks: 54.16 TES + 54.51 PCS =107.67 Total: 165.48 and into 1st place

  • She’s skating to Amazing Grace so I would like to see her really stretch through this opening choreography and finish the lines and really feel the soft, lyrical quality of this music
  • Triple flip turnout + triple loop a little tight on the rotation of the second jump
  • Double axel
  • She has such nice donut positions in her camel spin
  • Wow…totally missed the entrance to a salchow spun around and fell
  • Triple lutz really fighting not to fall but goes down
  • Triple lutz + double toe
  • Triple toe
  • Triple flip step out
  • Really nice inside edge spread eagle
  • Cool lunge into her final spin
  • Just a rough middle of the program after a missed salchow take off
  • Level 4 on the steps and all spins

Hannah Miller: 39.29 TES + 53.28 PCS -1.00 = 91.57 Total: 149.14 and into 4th place

  • Nice double axel right on the music
  • I love the opening choreography in this Hunger Games program
  • Doubled lutz
  • Triple toe + double axel sequence two footed the landing on the second jump
  • Triple flip + double toe
  • Good speed and centering in her camel spin
  • I’m finding her step sequence to be a bit too smiley for a Hunger Games program and would like to see more fierceness from her and some of the choreographic musics she used earlier to really carry the theme
  • Triple flip
  • Triple toe two foot and fall
  • Double salchow turnout + double toe + double loop

Caroline Zhang: TES + PCS -2.00 =  96.09 Total: 156.38 and into 3rd place

  • Nice triple flip + double toe
  • Triple lutz (edge call)
  • Triple toe (under-rotated)
  • A bit of a bobble on the entry to the flying camel which didn’t effect the actual spin but did slow it down
  • Very slow in the step sequence
  • Triple loop fall
  • Triple flip fall
  • Both those jumps were intended to be combos
  • Double axel + double toe + double loop
  • Good for her for tacking that on to get some points back
  • Double axel + single toe

Starr Andrews: 67.85 TES + 59.51 PCS = 127.36 Total: 189.91 and into 1st place

  • Triple flip hangs on to it
  • Good triple toe + triple toe with a really nice landing position
  • Great donut position into a catch foot camel
  • Triple loop + double toe with one arm overhead
  • Triple loop
  • Triple salchow + double toe + double loop a little bit tight
  • Really nice sit spin position
  • I love how she really performs and feels her music
  • Good double axel
  • Double axel
  • She earned Level 4 on all of her elements
  • All positive GOEs for the program
  • What a debut for her at the senior level!
  • Standing ovation

Polina Edmunds: WD

Amber Glenn: 49.93 TES + 56.51 PCS = 106.44 Total: 168.06 and into 2nd place

  • Triple flip + triple toe
  • Triple Rippon lutz
  • Nice position in the sit spin
  • Good double axel
  • Three turns into a double loop
  • Double axel + double toe arms overhead
  • Triple flip two footed the landing
  • Popped salchow
  • This program started off so strong but she seems to have faded away a bit
  • Losing almost all of her speed in the Biellman and really fighting to get it back through the ending



Mariah Bell: 65.42 TES + 62.74 PCS -1.00 = 127.16  Total: 192.34 and into 1st place

  • Triple lutz + triple toe taps the free foot
  • Triple loop
  • Triple salchow
  • This program just doesn’t really do anything for her and doesn’t play to her strengths of being super sassy or elegant; it kind of lives somewhere in the middle
  • Double axel + triple toe a little forward on the landing but hangs on
  • Triple flip + double toe
  • Triple lutz
  • Now she’s really coming alive and emoting this program
  • Double axel fall
  • I like the ending of this program to the America section
  • Really nice camel position
  • Ending with a nice layback spin
  • So close to a clean program
  • She earned positive GOEs on everything but the double axel

Ashley Wagner: 62.25 TES + 68.00 PCS = 130.25  Total: 196.19 and into 1st place

  • Nice double axel
  • Triple flip + triple toe good speed
  • Double axel + double toe with both arms overhead
  • Triple loop + single loop + single salchow
  • I love this costume and the light quality of her skating in this program
  • Triple flip
  • Triple loop
  • Triple lutz two footed the landing
  • She earned all positive GOEs except for an under-rotated lutz

Angela Wang: TES + PCS = 121.01 Total: 188.01 and into 4th place

  • Triple flip + triple toe a little down on one side on the landing but holds on
  • Triple lutz–such an ease to that jump for her
  • Triple Rippon loop
  • Triple loop + double axel sequence
  • Triple flip bad landing
  • Double salchow
  • Double axel + double toe really on her heel on the landing
  • The first half of this program was so strong and so clean but some costly mistakes right at the end

Mirai Nagasu: 73.33 TES + 67.42 PCS = 140.75 Total: 213.84 and into 1st place

  • Really trying to calm the nerves at the top of the program, talking to herself
  • Triple axel two footed and stepped out but she stood up on it
  • Triple flip + triple toe
  • Triple salchow
  • Great camel spin position
  • Double axel + triple toe + double toe
  • Triple lutz two footed + double toe
  • Triple flip
  • She has seemed very focused going through this program so far but there’s a bit of performance starting to come out now in the step sequence
  • Triple loop right on the music
  • Tom Z is beside himself next to the board
  • Standing ovation
  • Level 4 on everything
  • Triple lutz combo was under-rotated

Karen Chen: 59.53 TES + 69.58 PCS = 129.11  Total: 198.59 and into 2nd place

  • Really nice opening triple lutz + triple toe
  • Triple flip edge and under-rotated
  • Double axel + half loop + triple salchow
  • Triple lutz under-rotated
  • Triple loop
  • Triple salchow two footed and downgrade
  • Double axel + double toe
  • Really nice spiral
  • A lot of elements under review so we’ll have to see what holds up
  • Level 4 for all of the spins
  • Triple +triple was under-rotated

Bradie Tennell: 76.01 TES + 69.71 PCS = 145.72  Total: 219.51

  • Solid triple lutz + triple toe
  • Double axel
  • Triple flip
  • Nice speed and positions in the layback spin
  • Double axel + triple toe in the bonus
  • Triple lutz + double toe + double loop
  • Triple loop
  • Triple salchow
  • What a moment of her!  Clean program at nationals in an Olympic year.  She hasn’t put a foot out o place all season and truly has what no US girl has–the mental toughness to skate clean no matter what the pressure is
  • She earned Level 4 on all of her spins and step sequence  with all positive GOES
Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 22 Bradie Tennell, Skokie Valley SC 1 73.79 1 145.72 219.51
2 20 Mirai Nagasu, Pasadena FSC 2 73.09 2 140.75 213.84
3 21 Karen Chen, Peninsula SC 3 69.48 4 129.11 198.59
4 18 Ashley Wagner, SC of Wilmington 5 65.94 3 130.25 196.19
5 17 Mariah Bell, Rocky Mountain FSC 6 65.18 6 127.16 192.34
6 14 Starr Andrews, Los Angeles FSC 8 62.55 5 127.36 189.91
7 19 Angela Wang, Salt Lake Figure Skating 4 67.00 7 121.01 188.01
8 16 Amber Glenn, Dallas FSC 9 61.62 9 106.44 168.06
9 11 Courtney Hicks, All Year FSC 11 57.81 8 107.67 165.48
10 6 Tessa Hong, Los Angeles FSC 13 55.82 11 101.04 156.86
11 13 Caroline Zhang, All Year FSC 10 60.29 14 96.09 156.38
12 9 Franchesca Chiera, Panthers FSC 14 53.85 13 97.14 150.99
13 12 Hannah Miller, Lansing SC 12 57.57 16 91.57 149.14
14 10 Kaitlyn Nguyen, Los Angeles FSC 17 46.30 12 99.90 146.20
15 3 Brynne McIsaac, Broadmoor SC 20 43.97 10 101.57 145.54
16 1 Emmy Ma, SC of Boston 18 45.55 15 92.47 138.02
17 4 Megan Wessenberg, SC of Boston 22 40.90 17 90.83 131.73
18 7 Katie McBeath, Westminster FSC of Erie 15 48.53 18 76.11 124.64
19 8 Vivian Le, Los Angeles FSC 16 46.65 19 75.95 122.60
20 2 Emily Chan, Dallas FSC 19 44.79 20 59.64 104.43
WD Polina Edmunds, Peninsula SC 7 63.78
WD Ashley Lin, Dallas FSC 21 42.33

2018 US Nationals Senior Short Dance


Manta/Johnson: 58.29

  • Just a bit stiff though the rhumba
  • Off on the timing and a few slight slips in the non touching step sequence
  • They don’t quite have the synchronicity of the top teams with little details like having slightly different arms
  • Twizzles were in sync
  • Overall this program could have a lot more Latin feel and fire to it
  • Level 4 on twizzles, rhumba, and lift
  • Level 3 on partial and non touching step sequence

Bain/Altukhov: -1.00 = 31.17 and into 2nd place

  • They just don’t seem comfortable with each other as the touches seem very forced
  • Slow, bit awkward entry to their lift
  • A bit stiff and tentative on the rhumba and the nerves really show on her face
  • Slow and really looking like they’re fighting the ice to keep moving forward
  • He definitely is the stronger performer of the pair and has some nice facials through the non touching step sequence
  • Pretty good timing through the non touching step sequence
  • Really off on the timing of the twizzles and she seemed to have a bit of trouble staying in a straight line
  • They received negative GOEs on every element
  • Level 4 on their lift, Level 3 twizzles
  • Level 1 on all the step sequences

Aldridge/Eaton: 61.21 and into 1st place

  • Love the Latin flavor at the opening of the program although I would like to see her legs a little tighter together
  • Nice speed through the Rhumba and nice long leg lines
  • Cool stretch into their lift with a great arabesque line from her into the exit
  • Nice changes of hold in the partial step sequence, long edges, use of arms and lots of expressive upper body positions from her
  • Pretty good synchronization on the twizzles
  • Love the tight spacing between them and the crossing of patterns in the non touching step sequence
  • Really nice comeback performance for them

McNamara/Carpenter: 36.98 TES + 32.18 PCS = 69.16 and into 1st place

  • This team truly performs from the second they take the ice
  • Good speed through the Rhumba but not a lot of freedom through the hold and upper body
  • A lot more freedom through the partial step sequence with long curves and use of the arms and upper body
  • Cartwheel around to their lift
  • I would have liked to see more of a choreographic change or a cleaner change in the music to go from the slow music to the fast; it seemed a bit abrupt
  • They still just look a bit junior and it looks like choreography and not effortless
  • Level 4 twizzles and lift, Level 3 rhumba and non touching step sequence



Hawayek/Baker: 39.38 TES + 33.80 PCS = 73.18 and into 1st place

  • I love the ombre of her skirt from red to an electric pink
  • Huge pattern on the non touching step sequence with nice long edges but she looks a bit tentative in her face
  • Very in sync on the rhumba and very well timed to the music
  • Great Latin choreography from them in the transition
  • Nice secure transitions of holds in the partial step sequence
  • Set up to an arch over the ice; the second position with her arched back while sitting seems to not have quite enough time and is a bit awkward
  • She’s starting to come alive a bit after the twizzles
  • Nice clean performance, but I wish they had performed it a bit more; it was obvious they were being very cautious and really thinking through the program
  • All positive GOEs
  • Level 4 on everything except midline step sequence which earned Level 3

Chock/Bates: 39.95 TES + 37.66 PCS = 77.61 and into 1st place

  • Good timing on the twizzles
  • I love the look of her costume which matches a traditional Latin ballroom dress although the long fringe makes me nervous!
  • Great transitions and variety of holds in the partial step sequence
  • Really nice leg lines in the Rhumba
  • Twist around to a cool split position on his legs; very interesting, different lift
  • Very clean non touching step sequence
  • Level 4 on everything but the partial step sequence with positive GOEs on everything

Reynolds/Reynolds: 22.75 TES + 20.17 PCS -2.00 = 40.92 and into 6th place

  • The remixed version of this song almost sounds like it’s skipping and made it a bit hard to judge the rhumba against the music
  • Not a lot of security in the changes of holds in the partial step sequence and very stiff in the upper body
  • She falls on the twizzles and they only complete one set
  • Neat lift with her rotating all the way around his neck without him using any hands
  • They could do more to add some Latin flavor to their choreography as right now it almost looks like it could go with any music
  • Two negative GOEs
  • Level 4 on their lift and Level 3 on the partial step sequence

Hubbell/Donohue: 40.96 TES + 38.14 PCS = 79.10 and into 1st place

  • So sharp and crisp at the beginning of this program
  • Great non touching step sequence with the Latin feel throughout, great musicality and very nice timing and spacing
  • Huge pattern on the Rhumba
  • Really nice partial step sequence with some interesting hold changes
  • Curve lift with her on his blade
  • He had a little bobble on the third set of twizzles really just noticeable by his hands changing
  • Everything about that program was cool and confident and just so effortless
  • Level 3 rhumba and partial step sequence, Level 4 on everything else, all positive GOEs



Biechler/Dodge: 29.37 TES + 25.16 PCS = 54.53 and into 7th place

  • Partial step sequence could be faster or have deeper edges
  • A few good attempts at Latin moments in the non touching step sequence but it just needs a bit more commitment and more hips
  • Rotational lift with her up around his shoulders and set down exit
  • Level 4 twizzles and lift, Level 3 partial and midline step sequence
  • Negative GOE on the rhumba

Klopstock/Schedl: TES + PCS = 37.16 and into 9th place

  • Pretty good comfort in the holds in the partial step sequence with nice long curves
  • I’d like to see them really loosen up the upper body a bit to really sell this program
  • Pretty tight in the Rhumba through the entire upper body for both of them
  • I’d like to see a bit more variety of expressions, instead of the same expression held throughout to give the program a more mature feel
  • So neat to see Cannuscio and McManus in the Kiss and Cry as coaches this year!

Parsons/Parsons: 39.89 TES + 32.80 PCS = 72.69 and into 4th place

  • Great speed into their Rhumba ; her free arm seems a bit rehearsed in places and I’d like to see it feel a bit more natural
  • Great timing on their non touching step sequence, good musicality, and some really risk taking moves with deep leans over the ice
  • A few of their transitional movements they could really draw out and hold for a bit more impact but some of that comes with time
  • Cartwheel in and out of their lift
  • Maybe just a hair off on their timing on the first set of twizzles
  • Very cool ending with the finger spin
  • They did a great job not looking like a junior team and truly showing they belong in the senior ranks
  • All positive GOEs and everything Level 4 except for the non touching step sequence that earned Level 3

Shibutani/Shibutani: 43.64 TES + 38.69 PCS = 82.33 and into 1st place

  • Great accents to start their program
  • Such long curves and perfectly in sync in the Rhumba; it truly just glides across the ice and looks effortless
  • She really uses her full arm in the partial step sequence all the way from the shoulder
  • I love the twizzles perfectly timed to the counting and then increasing in speed through the 2nd and 3rd sets
  • Great moment in the middle of their non touching step sequence that truly felt like Latin Ballroom
  • They have such a feel for their music and hit every accent perfectly
  • One arm pull up backwards to a rotational lift
  • Standing ovation for their program
  • Everything about them is so elegant, effortless, and flawless
  • In a very deep US field they truly do find a way to set themselves apart
  • All positive GOEs and all Level 4s

Pogrebinsky/Benoit: 35.48 TES + 30.93 PCS = 66.41 and into 7th place

  • Long lines on the Rhumba but if feels a bit slow and cautious
  • A lot more confidence in the partial step sequence
  • Great full split position from her in the lift with a nice turn out of it
  • Really nice unison though the first twizzles, but off through the others
  • Lefel 4 lift, twizzles
  • Level 3 on everything else
Place Start Name Score
1 12 Maia Shibutani, SC of New York
Alex Shibutani, SC of New York
2 8 Madison Hubbell, Lansing SC
Zachary Donohue, Lansing SC
3 6 Madison Chock, All Year FSC
Evan Bates, Ann Arbor FSC
4 5 Kaitlin Hawayek, Detroit SC
Jean-Luc Baker, Seattle SC
5 11 Rachel Parsons, Washington FSC
Michael Parsons, Washington FSC
6 4 Lorraine McNamara, Peninsula SC
Quinn Carpenter, Washington FSC
7 13 Elliana Pogrebinsky, Peninsula SC
Alex Benoit, Skokie Valley SC
8 3 Alexandra Aldridge, Detroit SC
Daniel Eaton, Ann Arbor FSC
9 1 Karina Manta, Coyotes SC of Arizona
Joseph Johnson, Broadmoor SC
10 9 Julia Biechler, SC of Wilmington
Damian Dodge, IceWorks SC
11 7 Elicia Reynolds, Ice Line FSC
Stephen Reynolds, Ice Line FSC
12 10 Cassidy Klopstock, Centennial 7k SC
Jacob Schedl, University of Delaware FSC
13 2 Ashley Bain, North Jersey FSC
Oleg Altukhov, North County FSC