Canadian Nationals Recap and International Teams

Mens:

Patrick Chan won this competition to no one’s surprise, but what was surprising was the margin he won by.  His total competition score was 285.85, a Canadian record, and even taking into account score inflation, this is an astronomical score.  He landed two solid quads in his free skate (one in combination) and a nice triple axel.  The choreography and the performance will give you goosebumps and it’s definitely a World Championship winning performance.  Video of his free skate can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPcPTXUh1uA

Shawn Sawyer delivered a brilliant performance to win the silver medal and secure his spot on the World team.  He has a very entertaining free program and it’s nice to see him match his artistic ability with technical skills.  Here’s his program: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dv2hBOJALYM

A relative unknown internationally, Joey Russell was able to finish third in both segments and claim the bronze medal.  Kevin Reynolds struggled and was only able to finish 4th.

The Four Continents Team will be Sawyer, Russell and Reynolds.  The Worlds Team will be Chan, Sawyer and Russell.

Liam Firus had a strong showing to finish 6th while Andre Rogozine struggled and was only able to finish 13th.  Both will represent Canada at the World Junior Championships.

Ladies:

Cynthia Phaneuf was able to claim her second Canadian title, her first won back in 2004.  She won by nearly 15 points against several strong competitors.  Here’s her free skate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEzIR1k0Dkk

Myriane Samson had a strong free skate to claim the silver medal and her spot on the World team.  She beat out bronze medalist Amelie Lacoste by 6 points.  Samson’s free skate is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEm6hEtoGyo

The Four Continents Team will be Phaneuf, Samson and Lacoste.  The World Team will be Phaneuf and Samson.

Alexandra Najarro finished 4th and Vanessa Grenier finished 7th to qualify for the World Juniors Team.

2010 Pairs Champion Jessica Dube finished a strong 6th in singles.  She plans to return to pairs skating with her partner Bryce Davison next season.

Pairs:

Moore-Towers and Moscovitch have emerged as a top pairs team in Canada and the World after their trip to the Grand Prix Final.  They had two strong programs and easily took the title by 16 points.  Here’s their free skate from Skate Canada: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB8MGg1HOwE

The new team of Duhamel and Radford had a strong free skate to climb up to second place in the standings.  They had a strong outing at their Grand Prix debut and have continued to improve.  They had a few blips with their short program that they’ll want to clean up before worlds, but this team could definitely contend for the national title next season.  Here’s their free skate from earlier this season: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzC3JSg7Ji4

The Four Continents Team is Moore-Towers/Moscovitch, Duhamel/Radford, and Lawrence/Swiegers.  The Worlds Team is Moore-Towers/Moscovitch and Duhamel/Radford.

Jones and Gaskell finished 6th.  They will be joined on the World Junior Team by Purich and Schultz.

Ice Dance

Virtue and Moir unfortunately had to pull out of nationals.  This means that Four Continents will be the first time we get a look at their programs and how they’ve been training since Tessa’s surgery.  I have no doubts they can make the World podium, just what color medal they’ll receive.

Nationals did show how incredibly talented and deep Canada’s field is.  Unfortunately there are four teams that all could do well at nationals and are continuing to climb the ranks and Canada can only have three spots on their International teams.  And their top teams are all relatively the same age and in a sport where competitors can easily go into their late 20s and 30s, there may not be room for new teams for some time.

Crone and Poirier are actually the youngest of the bunch and were able to squeak out their first ever Canadian title by only 1.03 points.  They’re still not ready to challenge the very top tier of teams as Davis and White have scored over 100 points on their free skate internationally and Crone and Poirier were just shy of this mark at nationals where scores are generally elevated.  Here’s their free dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWnfkJZk020

Right on their tails are Weaver and Poje.  These teams have such different styles and their scores and abilities are so close that it often comes down to a matter of preference.  Both of these teams made the Grand Prix Final and I think they’ll continue to battle it out at home and internationally for years to come.  Their free dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6F_KyIlDBY

The Four Continents and Worlds Team is: Virtue/Moir, Crone/Poirier, and Weaver/Poje.

The Junior World Team is Orford/Williams and Oliveira/Hockley.