Skate America Dance Preview

This will be a rematch of NHK Trophy with Skate Canada’s gold medalists thrown in.  Davis and White should have no problem winning gold again here and qualifying for the Final.  The next three teams all have won medals this season on the Grand Prix and are fighting for two podium spots.  While I personally don’t like Crone and Poirier’s style they have good technical skill and should be able to pull out the second spot here, but their performance quality is lacking and they were upstaged at Skate Canada by the performance of their much younger teammates.  I like Weaver and Poje’s skating quality but I don’t think they have the strong technique of some of the other teams.  The Shibutanis won bronze at NHK on the strength of their free dance and if they work out the costume issues they should see much higher short dance scores here.  They have some of the highest technical values in the world and have worked to up their performance quality.  After these four teams there will likely be a significant drop in the scores with the rest of the teams falling 15 or so points below 4th place.   

My podium predictions are:
Gold: Davis/White
Silver: Crone/Poirier
Bronze: Shibutani/Shibutani

My USFSA Fantasy Team is:
A) Davis/White
B) Shibutani/Shibutani
C) Reed/Reed

Information on all of the competitors is below.

Vanessa Crone/Paul Poirier, CAN: They finished 14th at the Olympics and 7th at the World Championships.  They finished 4th at their first Grand Prix in Moscow and won bronze at NHK Trophy last season to qualify them for the Grand Prix Final where they placed 6th.  They won gold at their first assignment, Skate Canada.

Kaitlin Weaver/Andrew Poje, CAN: Weaver and Poje are the reigning Four Continents champions.  They are the 2007 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  They finished 6th at their first Grand Prix assignment in Beijing last season before winning bronze at Skate Canada.  They won silver at the NHK Trophy earlier this season.

Stefanie Frohberg/Tim Giesen, GER: They finished 11th at the World Junior Championships.  They placed 4th and 5th at their two Junior Grand Prix assignments last season.  They finished 8th at their Grand Prix debut, Skate Canada.

Penny Coomes/Nicholas Buckland, GBR: Coomes and Buckland finished 20th at the Olympics and 16th at Europeans.  They finished 8th in their Grand Prix debut at the NHK Trophy.

Cathy Reed/Chris Reed, JPN:  They finished 17th at the Olympics and 15th at Worlds.  They finished 7th at NHK Trophy last season and repeated the result earlier this season. 

Ekaterinka Riazanova/Ilia Tkachenko, RUS:  They finished 6th at their Grand Prix debut in Moscow last season. 

Meryl Davis/Charlie White, USA: They won silver at Olympics and Worlds.  They won both of their Grand Prix assignments last season and the Grand Prix Final.  They started their season with a win at NHK Trophy.

Lynn Kriengkrairut/Logan Giuliette-Schmitt, USA: They placed 10th at Cup of Russia in 2007.  They finished 6th at Nebelhorn Trophy earlier this season.

Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani, USA: They finished 4th at World Juniors last season.  They are the 2009 World Junior Silver Medalists.  They won both of their Junior Grand Prix assignments last season and received the bronze medal at the Junior Grand Prix Final.  They won bronze in their Grand Prix debut at the NHK Trophy.