2014 US Nationals Senior Ladies Preview

Ashley Wagner had the best international season of any US lady with a gold and silver on the Grand Prix circuit and a bronze medal at the Final.  She has committed to the triple + triple this season and has put it out in both of her programs at every event she’s entered.  She was tight at the Final and two footed the landings of several of her jumps but still managed to hang on to a medal.  Her short program suits her perfectly but the free skate has still been evolving.  She’s been trying to find the right character of Juliet to play and the emotional execution has been somewhat lacking early in the season.  She has already surpassed the hurdle of defending her title last season but will have the added pressure of making the Olympic team after just missing out four years ago.

Gracie Gold has had stunning short programs this season with solid triple + triple combinations but her free skates have given her trouble.  Her Power Witch Sleeping Beauty theme doesn’t seem to quite read and she’s been making uncharacteristic jump mistakes.  She’s had a lot of changes this season and with not qualifying for the Final she’s had time to settle in with her coach and hopefully clean up her jumps and regain the form she had last season.

Courtney Hicks started off the season with a bang taking home the gold medal at the US Figure Skating Classic ahead of Gracie Gold.  With her Evita free skate she’s been working to show improved artistry to go with the jump content that she’s known for.  However, at her lone Grand Prix assignment at Skate Canada she couldn’t replicate those results and finished 6th.  She did take home the gold medal at Ice Challenge and is definitely in the running for a spot on the Olympic team.

Polina Edmunds qualified for the Junior Grand Prix Final in her first international season.  Her strength this season has been her free skate.  Despite being the Junior Champion last season she did not make the Junior Worlds team.  She’s one of the front runners for a spot this season and could challenge for a medal at Junior Worlds.  However, she is old enough for Sochi and her scores and triple + triples could give her a shot at making the Olympic team.

Samantha Cesario had the best performance at Junior Worlds last season and just missed making the podium after winning the short program.  She had a bit of a slow start with her season at the International Figure Skating Classic but broke through on the Grand Prix.  She just missed taking home a medal and had stellar free skates.  The Carmen program really suits her and she’s been putting out the triple loop + triple loop this season but has been getting under-rotation calls.

Franchesca Chiera is one of the dark horses at nationals after putting out one of the best scores at qualifying.  She competed as a novice last season and didn’t make it out of regionals and decided to skip the junior level and commit to competing as a senior this season.  She had a big improvement between regionals and sectionals and could end up on the podium if she can continue to fly under the radar.

Mirai Nagasu had a 7th place finish at nationals last season largely due to under-rotations and downgrades.  Her biggest weakness over the years has not been fully rotating her jumps and it has taken a hit on her confidence and performance skills.  She had problems at NHK Trophy but took home the bronze medal at Rostelecom Cup and showed that she is still very much an international threat.  Her Bond free skate is a good vehicle for her if she goes out and sells the program and her confidence is on full display.

Christina Gao has been stuck in 5th place at nationals for several seasons despite international success.  She was the top US finisher at Four Continents last season but didn’t medal on the Grand Prix this season.  She has taken the year off from school to focus on skating and is committed to making the Olympic team and claiming her first Senior US medal.

Agnes Zawadzki claimed the bronze medal last season at nationals and should be a front runner for the Olympic team.  She didn’t claim a medal on the Grand Prix and didn’t finish higher than 6th at either of her assignments.  She’s recommitted to her training and has stated that she’s not just aiming for a spot in Sochi but for the national title.

Hannah Miller struggled with injuries this season and only made it back in time for the last JGP event and didn’t claim a medal.  With more time to recover she claimed the gold medal at Midwestern Sectionals with the top score from qualifying.  Despite taking home a silver medal from the JGP Final last season she did not make the Junior Worlds team and will be trying to qualify here.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Ashley Wagner

Silver: Gracie Gold

Bronze: Samantha Cesario

Pewter: Courtney Hicks

 

Bios of the competitors:

Kiri Baga: She is 18 years old and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  She finished 13th last season, 10th in 2012, is the 2010 Junior Pewter Medalist, 2009 Novice Champion and finished 8th in intermediate in 2007.  She won bronze at New England Regionals and silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 8th best short program, 8th best free skate and 9th best total scores from qualifying.

Mariah Bell: She is 17 years old and represents the Rocky Mountain Figure Skating Club.  She won bronze at JGP Mexico and finished 7th at JGP Poland.  She is the reigning Junior Silver Medalist, finished 5th in juniors in 2012, is the 2011 Novice Bronze Medalist and finished 8th in intermediate in 2010.  She won gold at Southwestern Regionals and pewter at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Internationally as a junior she has the 9th best free skate score.  She has the 4th best short program, 9th best free skate and 6th best total scores from qualifying.

Ashley Cain: She is 18 years old and represents the Stars Figure Skating Club of Texas.  She placed 12th last season, is the 2012 Junior Silver Medalist, finished 6th in juniors in 2011 and is the 2010 Novice Ladies Silver Medalist.  She won silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 5th best short program, 3rd best free skate and 3rd best total scores from qualifying.

Samantha Cesario: She is 20 years old and represents the Skating Club of New York.  She finished 4th at Junior Worlds last season.  She placed 5th at Skate America and 4th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  She finished 8th last season, 14th in 2010, 6th in juniors in 2009 and 8th in juvenile in 2005.

Franchesca Chiera: She won gold at South Atlantic Regionals and gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 6th best short program, best free skate and 2nd best total scores from qualifying.

Polina Edmunds: She is 15 years old and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She won gold at JGP Mexico and JGP Belarus to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where she finished 4th.  She is the reigning Junior Champion, finished 6th in juniors in 2012, 7th in juniors in 2011 and 6th in novice in 2010.  Internationally as a junior she has the 8th best short program, 5th best free skate and 6th best total scores.

Rachael Flatt: She is 21 years old and represents the St. Moritz Ice Skating Club.  She is the 2008 World Junior Champion.  She finished 6th in 2012, is the 2011 Silver Medalist, 2010 Champion, 2009 Silver Medalist, 2008 Silver Medalist, finished 5th in 2007, is the 2006 Junior Silver Medalist, 2005 Novice Champion and finished 6th in juvenile in 2003.  She won gold at Central Pacific Regionals and silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 10th best short program, 10th best free skate and 10th best total scores from qualifying.

Joelle Forte: She is 28 and represents the Skating Club of New York.  She placed 15th last season, 14th in 2012, 12th in 2009 and 9th in novice in 2000.  She won gold at North Atlantic Regionals and bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Christina Gao: She is 19 years old and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  She finished 4th at Four Continents last season.  She placed 4th at Skate Canada and 8th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  She placed 5th last season, 5th in 2012, 5th in 2011, 5th in 2010, is the 2009 Junior Bronze Medalist, finished 12th in in novice in 2008 and 12th in juvenile in 2005.  Internationally, she has the 9th best short program score.

Gracie Gold: She is 18 years old and represents the Wagon Wheel Figure Skating Club.  She placed 6th at Worlds and 6th at Four Continents last season.  She won bronze at Skate Canada and finished 4th at NHK Trophy.  She is the 2012 World Junior silver medalist.  She is the reigning Silver Medalist, 2012 Junior Champion and 2010 Novice Pewter Medalist.  Internationally, she has the 3rd best short program, 10th best free skate and 8th best total scores.

Courtney Hicks: She is 18 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She placed 5th at Junior Worlds last season.  She finished 6th at Skate Canada.  She is the reigning Pewter Medalist, 2011 Junior Champion, finished 5th in novice in 2010, is the 2009 Intermediate Silver Medalist and finished 6th in juvenile in 2008.

Leah Keiser: She is 16 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She placed 12th in 2012, is the 2010 Novice Champion and 2008 Juvenile Champion.  She won gold at Southwest Pacific Regionals and bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 3rd best short program, 4th best free skate and 4th best total scores from qualifying.

Vanessa Lam: She is 18 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She placed 9th in 2012, 7th in 2011, 8th in juniors in 2010, 9th in juniors in 2009 and 5th in intermediate in 2007.  She won gold at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 9th best short program, 5th best free skate and 7th best total scores from qualifying.

Barbie Long: She is 17 years old and represents the Illinois Valley Figure Skating Club.  She placed 5th at JGP Slovakia and 10th at JGP Belarus.  She is the reigning Junior Bronze Medalist, 2012 Junior Pewter Medalist, 2011 Novice Silver Medalist, 2010 Intermediate Bronze Medalist and finished 6th in juvenile in 2009.  She won gold at Upper Great Lakes Regionals and bronze at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best short program, 6th best free skate and 5th best total scores from qualifying.

Hannah Miller: She is 17 years old and represents the Lansing Skating Club.  She placed 12th at JGP Estonia.  She placed 10th last season, is the 2012 Junior Bronze Medalist, 2011 Novice Champion, finished 5th in intermediate in 2010 and 8th in juvenile in 2009.  She won gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 2nd best short program, 2nd best free skate and best total score from qualifying.

Mirai Nagasu: She is 20 years old and represents the Pasadena Figure Skating Club.  She placed 8th at NHK Trophy and won bronze at Rostelecom Cup.  She is the 2011 Four Continents bronze medalist, 2007 World Junior silver medalist and 2008 World Junior bronze medalist.  She placed 7th last season, 7th in 2012, is th 2011 Bronze Medalist, 2010 Silver Medalist, finished 5th in 2009, is the 2008 Champion and 2007 Junior Champion.

Yasmin Siraj: She is 17 years old and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  She placed 11th at Junior Worlds last season.  She finished 5th at JGP Latvia.  She finished 6th last season, 15th in 2012, 8th in 2011, is the 2010 Junior Silver Medalist, finished 5th in novice in 2009, 6th in intermediate in 2008 and is the 2007 Juvenile Silver Medalist.  She won gold at New England Regionals and pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 7th best short program, 7th best free skate and 8th best total scores from qualifying.

Ashley Wagner: She is 22 years old and represents the Skating Club of Wilmington.  She placed 5th at Worlds last season.  She won silver at Skate America and gold at Trophee Eric Bompard to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she won bronze.  She is the 2012 Four Continents Champion and 2007 and 2009 World Junior bronze medalist.  She is the reigning Champion, 2012 Champion, finished 6th in 2011, is the 2010 Bronze Medalist, 2009 Pewter Medalist, 2008 Bronze Medalist, 2007 Junior Bronze Medalist, 2006 Junior Pewter Medalist, finished 7th in novice in 2005 and 17th in intermediate in 2003.  Internationally, she has the 4th best short program, 6th best free skate and 3rd best total scores.

Angela Wang: She is 17 years old and represents the Salt Lake Figure Skating Club.  She won silver at JGP Poland and finished 5th at JGP Czech Republic to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where she finished 6th.  She placed 9th last season, 8th in 2012, 7th in juniors in 2010, is the 2009 Novice Bronze Medalist, 2008 Intermediate Pewter Medalist and finished 9th in intermediate in 2007.  Internationally as a junior she has the 4th best short program score.

Agnes Zawadzki: She is 19 years old and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  She placed 8th at Four Continents last season.  She finished 6th at Cup of China and 6th at Rostelecom Cup.  She is the 2010 World Junior silver medalist and is the 2011 World Junior bronze medalist.  She is the reigning Bronze Medalist, 2012 Bronze Medalist, 2011 Pewter Medalist, 2010 Junior Champion, 2008 Novice Pewter Medalist, and 2007 Intermediate Silver Medalist.

Caroline Zhang: She is 20 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She placed 10th at Skate America.  She is the 2010 and 2012 Four Continents bronze medalist, the 2007 Junior World Champion and the 2008 and 2009 Junior World silver medalist.  She placed 11th last season, is the 2012 Pewter Medalist, finished 12th in 2011, 11th in 2010, is the 2009 Bronze Medalist, 2008 Pewter Medalist, 2007 Junior Silver Medalist, finished 8th in juniors in 2006, is the 2005 Novice Pewter Medalist, 2004 Intermediate Bronze Medalist and 2003 Juvenile Pewter Medalist.  She won pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify to nationals.

2013 Rostelecom Cup Ladies Results

Short Program

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Julia LIPNITSKAIA RUS 72.24 39.63 32.61 8.07 7.82 8.29 8.21 8.36 0.00 #8
2 Carolina KOSTNER ITA 67.74 34.34 33.40 8.39 8.07 8.29 8.39 8.61 0.00 #9
3 Agnes ZAWADZKI USA 60.45 32.36 28.09 7.04 6.68 7.11 7.07 7.21 0.00 #5
4 Mirai NAGASU USA 60.44 32.45 27.99 7.18 6.93 6.89 7.11 6.89 0.00 #2
5 Elizaveta TUKTAMYSHEVA RUS 60.16 30.63 29.53 7.39 7.11 7.39 7.39 7.64 0.00 #6
6 Satoko MIYAHARA JPN 56.57 31.04 25.53 6.39 6.18 6.43 6.46 6.46 0.00 #3
7 Nikol GOSVIANI RUS 50.21 25.67 25.54 6.54 6.14 6.29 6.39 6.57 1.00 #1
8 Haruka IMAI JPN 49.55 24.87 25.68 6.64 6.18 6.32 6.50 6.46 1.00 #4
9 Kanako MURAKAMI JPN 49.24 21.81 27.43 7.11 6.64 6.75 6.96 6.82 0.00 #7

Free Skate

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Carolina KOSTNER ITA 122.38 53.80 68.58 8.61 8.29 8.39 8.71 8.86 0.00 #8
2 Julia LIPNITSKAIA RUS 118.56 55.92 63.64 7.93 7.75 7.82 8.14 8.14 1.00 #9
3 Mirai NAGASU USA 114.93 57.95 56.98 7.43 6.89 7.11 7.11 7.07 0.00 #6
4 Kanako MURAKAMI JPN 113.22 58.26 54.96 7.14 6.46 7.00 6.89 6.86 0.00 #1
5 Elizaveta TUKTAMYSHEVA RUS 111.71 56.74 56.97 7.32 6.82 7.00 7.18 7.29 2.00 #5
6 Satoko MIYAHARA JPN 109.19 55.22 53.97 6.86 6.54 6.79 6.86 6.68 0.00 #4
7 Nikol GOSVIANI RUS 106.96 53.12 53.84 6.75 6.29 6.96 6.79 6.86 0.00 #3
8 Agnes ZAWADZKI USA 102.76 47.16 55.60 6.93 6.82 6.75 7.11 7.14 0.00 #7
9 Haruka IMAI JPN 95.75 45.80 50.95 6.64 6.14 6.32 6.36 6.39 1.00 #2

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Julia LIPNITSKAIA
RUS
190.80 1 2
2 Carolina KOSTNER
ITA
190.12 2 1
3 Mirai NAGASU
USA
175.37 4 3
4 Elizaveta TUKTAMYSHEVA
RUS
171.87 5 5
5 Satoko MIYAHARA
JPN
165.76 6 6
6 Agnes ZAWADZKI
USA
163.21 3 8
7 Kanako MURAKAMI
JPN
162.46 9 4
8 Nikol GOSVIANI
RUS
157.17 7 7
9 Haruka IMAI
JPN
145.30 8 9

US Nationals Senior Ladies Free Skate

Group 1
Morgan Bell: 30.65 TES + 40.22 PCS -1.00 = 69.87 Total: 107.65

  • Nice double axel to open the program
  • Triple lutz with a flip out
  • Double axel + double toe
  • Nice feel for the program in her step sequence but she has a tendency to bend at the waist instead of using her knees and edges to get her across the ice
  • Double lutz
  • Traveling a bit on her layback and losing speed in the Biellman
  • Fall on the triple toe
  • Popped salchow
  • Triple toe two footed landing
  • Ok camel spin position but losing speed and centering through through the catchfoot
  • She could be lower in her sit positions in the combination spin and really losing control of the spin in the upright catchfoot

Becky Bereswill: 41.47 TES + 44.64 PCS -1.00 = 85.11 Total: 123.57 and into 1st place

  • Gorgeous triple lutz 
  • Nice triple toe
  • Double axel + double toe 
  • Great layback spin with nice arm variations and good stretch in her Biellman but really losing speed
  • Flip a bit messy on the landing, two footed and likely underrotated
  • Fall on the triple toe and that will count as one of her combos since it’s a repeated jump so she’s going to lose some points for that
  • Triple loop step out on the landing
  • She could have more stretch and toe point in her sit spin and not a lot of speed through the back tuck position
  • Spiral, Ina Bauer into a triple salchow + double toe
  • Nice twisted position in her combo spin but still not a lot of speed and she finished after her music

Sophia Adams: 29.41 TES + 41.55 PCS -1.00 = 69.96 Total: 107.50 and into 3rd place

  • Triple salchow with nice toe point–a bit back on the landing but hangs on
  • Three turns into a triple loop but falls
  • Double toe
  • Great camel spin position with nice twisted variation and excellent transition into the catchfoot and good speed throughout
  • Three turns into a popped loop and no combo–those three turns just seem too choppy and not into the ice enough for her to get over her edge and complete the loop
  • Really nice double axel
  • Triple salchow hand down and leg down on the ice–will have to see if it’s called a fall or not
  • I feel like she could stretch through her upper body and arms more and really finish off the movements in her step sequence
  • Really nice spiral in arabesque on a musical highlight
  • Spiral into a double axel stepping into a combo spin
  • I’m not a fan of her illusion in the combo spin but a nice layback 
  • Flying entry to the last sit spin could use a bit more speed 

Laney Diggs: 34.39 TES + 39.84 PCS = 74.23 Total: 102.80 and into 4th place

  • Double flip + double toe + double toe
  • Double salchow + double toe
  • Nice ride out of her triple toe
  • Good camel spin into an upright catchfoot spin
  • Double salchow
  • Good double axel + double toe
  • Double flip
  • She’s a bit bent over at times in the straight line step sequence and needs to really stretch through her free leg and upper body to get a better line
  • Double axel
  • Good change of edge in her arabesque spiral
  • Nice low sit spin position but losing all speed through the back tuck
  • Not sure what happened because it didn’t look like she was popping her jumps but I don’t think she only had doubles planned in her program

Group 2
Joelle Forte: 39.97 TES + 41.16 PCS -2.00 = 79.13 Total: 124.95 and into 1st place

  • Double lutz and two footed on the landing
  • Triple flip
  • Triple salchow with nice toe point in the air but a fall
  • Losing speed through the tuck variation in her sit spin
  • Ina Bauer into a double axel
  • Unfortunately I think she might have checked out of her program because she’s looking down at the ice through the whole step sequence and really seems to be going through the motions with her choreography
  • Triple lutz + double toe
  • Spiral into a triple toe and a fall
  • She could have a better arm position in her layback but a good haircutter position
  • Nice spiral into a split jump and a spread eagle
  • Triple salchow + double toe
  • Nice camel position with a good twisted variation and a flying change of foot 

Amanda Hofmann: TES + PCS = 76.89 Total: 119.14 and into 3rd place

  • Nice height in the triple loop but back on the landing and she really fights to hang on to it
  • Triple lutz with a fall
  • Two footed on the triple flip landing
  • Good camel spin position and picking up speed through the catchfoot and really nice extension through the upright catchfoot
  • Popped salchow
  • Nice double axel + double toe
  • Two footed triple loop + double toe
  • On top of her edges and choppy across the ice in the step sequence and there are a few attempts to show off her back flexibility that just bring the whole sequence to a standshill
  • She needs to lower her hip and get her leg behind her in the arabesque spiral
  • Double axel
  • Layback into a haircutter and a really nice Biellman but losing all her speed

Haley Dunne: TES + PCS = 82.77 Total: 127.73 and into 1st place

  • She got sucked into the black hole where Ice Network had to turn off their coverage but NBC is showing repeats 🙁

Kiri Baga: TES + PCS = 91.48 Total: 138.14 and into 1st place

  • She got sucked into the black hole where Ice Network had to turn off their coverage but NBC is showing repeats 🙁

Group 3
Angela Wang: 59.71 TES + 53.99 PCS -1.00 = 112.70 Total: 164.76 and into 1st place

  • Triple lutz + triple toe + double toe
  • Nice triple flip
  • Good triple loop
  • Triple toe + double axel sequence
  • Nice smile on her face after the first few jumping passes
  • She could have better arm positions in her layback spin and more stretch through her Biellman but good speed
  • Triple lutz + double toe step out
  • Good speed and flow out of the sit spin
  • She’s bent at the waist a bit in the step sequence and could stretch through her arms and upper body more in places to really finish off the line
  • Hand down and then a fall forward out of the triple salchow
  • Nice double axel
  • Decent camel spin position but she could use more stretch through the catchfoot
  • She seemed to be running out of steam at the end but she had to add 30 seconds to her program since she’s been competing internationally as a junior 

Caroline Zhang: 58.28 TES + 53.62 PCS = 111.90 Total: 161.89 and into 2nd place

  • Triple flip + double toe with nice flow out 
  • Triple lutz solid
  • Good double axel
  • Good camel spin with a great transition to the catchfoot position
  • Nice triple loop + double toe + double loop and especially impressive that she gets more height on the 3rd jump than the 2nd
  • Triple flip + double toe
  • Good double axel
  • Nice triple loop and a big smile on her face when she landed that
  • Great spiral position with nice change of edge
  • Nice positions in the combination spin but she could have a bit more speed and stepping up into the layback 
  • Standing ovation for that program!

Ashley Cain: 48.94 TES + 53.02 PCS -2.00 = 99.96 Total: 150.79 and into 3rd place

  • Triple loop 
  • Triple lutz down on her edge but hangs on to it
  • She could have more stretch through the Biellman but good speed maintained through the layback spin
  • Good triple salchow + double axel sequence
  • Triple loop just not a lot of speed and sits down on the jump
  • Triple toe and her feet get caught underneath her and a fall
  • She could have a little more speed in the sit spin
  • Nice triple salchow
  • Nice double axel + double toe + double loop
  • Great extension in her spins and a nice camel position above 90 degrees
  • A little choppy in the step sequence so she could use her knees and edges a bit better to really push across the ice
  • She has great expression in this whole program throughout all the elements and no matter how the jumps were going
  • Gorgeous spirals to end the program

Hannah Miller: 55.01 TES + 55.20 PCS = 110.21 Total: 164.28 and into 2nd place

  • Triple loop + double loop to open the program
  • Triple lutz + double toe + double loop
  • Triple lutz two footed on the landing
  • She looks so calm, happy and relaxed 
  • She could have more flow and better edges through the step sequence
  • Really nice Biellman position in her layback
  • Triple toe + double axel sequence was two footed
  • Nice double axel
  • Good triple loop
  • Nice triple salchow
  • Flying camel spin with a good position and a nice catchfoot
  • She also had to add 30 seconds to her program to compete here but she’s not showing any sign of being tired at all
  • She has tears in her eyes after that solid skate in her senior debut

Gracie Gold: 71.14 TES + 61.35 PCS = 132.49 Total: 186.57 and into 1st place

  • Triple lutz + triple toe looked so easy with great height and ice coverage
  • Double axel + triple toe no problem at all
  • Good triple loop but not a lot of flow out of the jump
  • Nice layback position and a good Biellman
  • I’d like to see her relax and smile a bit more through the change of music where it’s more playful
  • Good combination spin
  • Nice double axel with good presentation on the landing
  • Good triple lutz
  • Triple flip + double toe + double toe
  • She seems to be going through the choreography a bit in the step sequence and I’d like to see her go for it a bit more and really finish everything out and commit to the choreography
  • Great toe point in the triple salchow
  • Nice spiral sequence and she is just lighting up knowing she just skated a clean free skate in her senior debut
  • Good low sit spin position pulling in to a scratch spin

Samantha Cesario: 58.59 TES + 55.82 PCS = 114.41 Total: 170.15 and into 2nd place

  • Great flow on her opening triple lutz
  • Nice triple loop
  • Beautiful toe point in the triple flip + double toe
  • She could use a bit more speed through her sit spin but nicely done
  • Good triple salchow
  • Nice triple flip
  • Losing speed in her Biellman
  • Triple loop + double toe + double loop 
  • Good expression and musical timing through her step sequence; could be down in her edges a bit more in places
  • Gorgeous outside into inside edge spread eagle into a spiral really highlighting hte musicl
  • Nice double axel + double axel sequence
  • She actually has a nice illusion spin but not quite enough speed in her final spin

Group 4
Christina Gao: 59.30 TES + 58.24 PCS = 117.54 Total: 176.28 and into 2nd place

  • Triple flip + double toe with gorgeous air position and nice flow out of the jump
  • Nice double axel
  • Good triple lutz + double toe
  • Nice camel into a broken leg sit spin and a good upright back cross spin
  • She could have better arm positions in her layback but nice speed in the haircutter
  • Nice triple flip
  • Good triple toe
  • Good triple loop
  • Triple toe + double toe + double loop
  • I’d like to see her push through her edges to get more ice coverage and really stretch through her arms to create better lines in her step sequence and show a more controlled look fitting of a tango
  • No speed in this final spin

Yasmin Siraj: 60.24 TES + 56.95 PCS = 117.19 Total: 175.07 and into 3rd place

  • Nice opening triple flip
  • Triple lutz + double toe
  • Doesn’t quite get the leg wrapped in on the triple salchow and two foots the landing
  • Triple toe + double axel and hangs on to the second landing
  • Triple lutz 
  • A little slow in her spins but a change of direction
  • Triple toe and has to really fight for that landing
  • Double axel + double toe + double loop
  • Camel spin into a sit and ending with a haircutter
  • Litle bobble getting into her ending pose

Courtney Hicks: 63.62 TES + 54.58 PCS = 118.20 Total: 177.92 and into 2nd place

  • Triple flip + triple toe so easy
  • Nice triple salchow
  • Triple lutz + double toe
  • Good speed in the combo spin ending with a haircutter
  • Good camel position picking up speed through the donut and into a decent catchfoot
  • Pops her loop but tacks on the double axel for a sequence
  • Nice triple lutz
  • A little bit messy in places in her step sequence and I’d like to see her push through her legs and not her back to get across the ice
  • Good triple flip
  • Nice double axel
  • Ending with her signature Tw-Hicks

Agnes Zawadzki: 54.18 TES + 61.14 PCS -1.00 = 114.32 Total: 179.63 and into 2nd place

  • Huge triple lutz
  • Triple toe + triple toe looked two footed on the 2nd jump
  • Double flip
  • She has such a great Biellman position 
  • Gorgeous lift to side extension and flipping to an arabeseque without once touching her leg–showing strength, control and ballet training
  • Nice double axel with good flow out
  • Good triple salchow
  • Triple lutz two footed the landing, fell and missed her combo
  • Double axel forward on the landing but hangs on for the double toe + double loop
  • Good positions in her camel spin with nice speed
  • I really like her playfulness in this step sequence, she really plays to the crowd but could have more power and speed to really get across the ice
  • Camel spin into a sit and ending with a beautiful upright catch foot with nice toe point

Ashley Wagner: 57.45 TES + 65.82 PCS -2.00 = 121.27 Total: 188.84 and into 1st place

  • Triple flip + double toe + double loop with both arms overhead
  • Double axel + double toe
  • Triple salchow two footed
  • Good layback position and I like the accents in the spin positions with the music; nice Biellman as well
  • She seems a bit nervous and tentative tonight and I’m sure this is the most pressure she’s felt all season
  • Triple loop nice with good flow out
  • Triple flip two footed and a fall
  • Triple loop two footed and a fall
  • She needs to really start pulling out all the steps in the performance if she wants to keep her PCS edge
  • Triple flip two footed
  • Nice spiral and she seems to finally have her performance qualities back
  • Good camel spin position, nice change of foot into a good catch foot

Mirai Nagasu: 49.80 TES + 60.56 PCS -1.00 = 109.36 Total: 173.75 and into 7th place

  • Nice triple lutz
  • Double axel + triple toe
  • Triple lutz two footed and fell out of it
  • Good position in the camel spin with leg above 90 degrees and an excellent donut spin but no speed
  • Bobbled on the entrance to the triple flip + double toe + double loop but hangs on to it
  • Triple loop + double toe
  • Double axel with nice flow out
  • Great spiral into a triple loop and really fought for that landing
  • Not great illusion spins and not a lot of speed through her spins but nice positions otherwise
  • Seemed a little tired coming out of that spin and had to take a second to get back in to it
  • This is such a contract from her short program because I feel like she’s not giving a performance at all after the happy carefree short
  • Ending with a nice layback into a Biellman
  • Bobbling a bit in her ending pose
Place Start No. Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 19 Ashley Wagner, SC of Wilmington 1 67.57 2 121.27 188.84
2 13 Gracie Gold, Wagon Wheel FSC 9 54.08 1 132.49 186.57
3 18 Agnes Zawadzki, Broadmoor SC 2 65.31 7 114.32 179.63
4 17 Courtney Hicks, All Year FSC 4 59.72 3 118.20 177.92
5 15 Christina Gao, SC Of Boston 5 58.74 4 117.54 176.28
6 16 Yasmin Siraj, SC Of Boston 6 57.88 5 117.19 175.07
7 20 Mirai Nagasu, Pasadena FSC 3 64.39 11 109.36 173.75
8 14 Samantha Cesario, SC of New York 7 55.74 6 114.41 170.15
9 9 Angela Wang, Salt Lake Figure Skating 10 52.06 8 112.70 164.76
10 12 Hannah Miller, Lansing SC 8 54.47 10 110.21 164.68
11 10 Caroline Zhang, All Year FSC 12 49.99 9 111.90 161.89
12 11 Ashley Cain, Stars FSC of Texas 11 50.83 12 99.96 150.79
13 8 Kiri Baga, FSC of Bloomington 13 46.66 13 91.48 138.14
14 7 Haley Dunne, University of Delaware FSC 15 44.96 15 82.77 127.73
15 5 Joelle Forte, SC of New York 14 45.82 16 79.13 124.95
16 2 Becky Bereswill, Detroit SC 17 38.46 14 85.11 123.57
17 6 Amanda Hofmann, Portland ISC 16 42.25 17 76.89 119.14
18 1 Morgan Bell, Rocky Mountain FSC 18 37.78 20 69.87 107.65
19 3 Sophia Adams, All Year FSC 19 37.54 19 69.96 107.50
20 4 Laney Diggs, St. Moritz ISC 20 28.57 18 74.23 102.80
EW   Alissa Czisny, Detroit SC          
WD   Leah Keiser, All Year FSC          
EW   Vanessa Lam, All Year FSC      

US Nationals Senior Ladies Short Program

Group 1
Samantha Cesario: 30.74 TES + 25.00 PCS = 55.74

  • Great sophistication and character at the top of her Carmen program 
  • Nice triple flip + double toe
  • Great ice coverage on her double axel and nice flow out of it
  • Good positions in the layback but seemed to have a bit of trouble hanging on to the Biellman
  • Decent speed in the sit spin but she could stretch through her position just a tad more
  • Nice triple loop 
  • Good fire and performance in this step sequence, but she is getting a few ice sprays so some of the edges might not be 100% clean 
  • Nice speed and position in the camel spin with good catchfoot position

Mirai Nagasu: 34.73 TES + 29.66 PCS = 64.39 and into 1st place

  • I absolutely love her dress and the color looks great on her
  • Great height and nice landings on the triple toe + triple toe
  • Nice Ina Bauer 
  • Good triple loop
  • Flying entry to the camel spin with great positions and nice entry into a catchfoot donut
  • I feel that this is a great vehicle for her this season as it really shows her carefree approach and love of skating
  • Nice spiral into a double axel
  • Good character in the step sequence and some nice edgework
  • Iffy illusions in the combo spin but all the other positions are nice
  • Really nice layback spin into a great Biellman

Angela Wang: 28.94 TES + 24.12 PCS -1.00 = 52.06 and into 3rd place

  • Fall on her opening triple lutz–intended to be her combo
  • Triple flip + double toe nice
  • The big advantage of seniors is that you can move your combo if you mess up your first jump, but juniors have a required solo jump and cannot repeat it in the combo so they must take a penalty
  • Good double axel
  • She could use more flexibility through the donut and catchfoot positions in her camel spin
  • Nice use of her arms through the step sequence but I feel like she can really stretch through her free leg more and finish off the lines
  • She could fix her arms in the layback but the Biellman is good
  • She’s capable of a lot more because she lost out on her triple + triple but she’ll be back in the free skate

Hannah Miller: 28.63 TES + 25.84 PCS = 54.47 and into 3rd place

  • She’s really skating to her music and hitting all the accents in the opening choreography
  • Solid double axel right on the music
  • Triple flip a little back on the landing and didn’t get a great exit
  • Good camel positions with good speed
  • Nice triple loop + double loop
  • Nice layback into a good Biellman
  • You can tell this girl loves to be on the ice and she is really selling the program and hitting everything with the intensity this program requires
  • Last season there was a lot of talk about how her jumps were tiny and wouldn’t last a growth spurt but she seems to be getting a lot more height on her jumps this season and they seem more secure as well
  • Traveling a lot on the upright spin in her final combo spin but lots of speed

Haley Dunne: 22.07 TES + 22.89 PCS = 44.96 and into 5th place

  • Nice triple flip + double toe
  • She has such grace and ease on the ice and really uses her arms to finish off her moves
  • Popped the lutz into a single
  • Gorgeous layback with one arm down; could use more stretch in the Biellman
  • Nice step sequence that really flows across the ice and seems more like choreography than an element
  • Nice sit spin
  • Double axel went straight up and didn’t travel so she had to fudge the ending a bit with a step out
  • Nice final combination spin that included a good layback

Group 2
Yasmin Siraj: 32.14 TES + 25.74 PCS = 57.88 and into 2nd place

  • Triple toe + triple toe very tight but she lands it and gets the free leg out
  • Triple lutz and ekes out the free leg
  • Good Ina Bauer into her layback spin with good arm variations and a decent Biellman
  • I feel like there’s not a lot of connection between the music and her choreography in the step sequence and it seems like an odd music choice for this part of the program
  • Decent camel spin positions and nice transition between the catchfoot and the donut positions
  • Really difficult hop into a double axel
  • Good speed in her final combination spin

Courtney Hicks: 34.07 TES + 25.65 PCS = 59.72 and into 2nd place

  • Triple flip + triple toe with huge height and great ice coverage
  • Good layback spin but not very stretched out in the Biellman
  • She could stretch through her free leg in teh camel spin but great speed and nice transition between the donut and catchfoot variations
  • She’s backloaded her program to take advantage of the 10 percent bonus
  • Giant triple lutz
  • Nice double axel
  • She seems to be leaning forward a lot in her step sequence and I’d like to see her use the edges more than her upper body to propel her across the ice
  • Signature Tw-Hicks spin in her combo spin and ending with a fast scratch spin
  • Huge roar from the crowd when she finished

Amanda Hofmann: 21.48 TES + 20.77 PCS = 42.25 and into 8th place

  • Triple loop + double toe
  • Triple flip stepped out
  • Camel spin into a really nice catch foot; great flexibility in the upright spin
  • Rough double axel two footed the landing
  • Goregeous Biellman with her leg completely straight up
  • A little slow on the step sequence and she needs more power to really get across the ice 
  • A lot of really great moments but a lot of things that she can work on

Becky Bereswill: 16.80 TES + 21.66 PCS = 38.46 and into 9th place

  • Really rough triple lutz but she manages to not fall
  • Triple salchow + double toe putting hands down the second jump
  • Nice layback into a good Biellman but very slow
  • Double axel off in the air and landing a little sideways but she hangs on to it
  • It’s a shame because she was landing gorgeous jumps in warmup 
  • Nice spiral into her sit spin
  • Decent camel spin, great upright spin but not a lot of speed

Group 3
Caroline Zhang: 23.70 TES + 26.29 PCS = 49.99 and into 7th place

  • Same program as last season but new costume and it is very elegant on her
  • Triple loop + triple loop really nice
  • Good triple flip
  • Nice camel spin positions and great entry into the donut; not super fast, but in time with the music and maintaining speed throughout
  • Good speedy rotation in the double axel
  • Nice positions in the camel spin and good flexibility through the upright position
  • I like her expression through the step sequence; it’s soft, appropriate for the program and you can tell she’s enjoying being out on the ice
  • Layback spin with good speed into her signature pearl and a nice Biellman
  • Definitely a big improvement from her Grand Prix assignments
  • There must have been a few downgrades for her scores to be that low and the crowd was not happy with her placement

Joelle Forte: 24.59 TES + 21.23 PCS = 45.82 and into 8th place

  • Triple lutz + double toe very tight on the landing and no flow out of the jump
  • Good position in the sit spin with nice variations but starting to lose speed through the back tuck position
  • She seems a bit slow and hesitant in the step sequence and is not really giving much performance 
  • Triple salchow
  • Nice height in the double axel and snappy rotation
  • Ok layback position and a decent haircutter
  • Good camel spin position with a flying change to the sit spin and ending with an upright spin

Kiri Baga: 24.80 TES + 22.86 PCS -1.00 = 46.66 and into 8th place

  • Hard fall on her opening triple flip
  • Triple loop, hand down, double toe
  • Really nice combo spin positions especially in the sit spin with a nice stretched free leg
  • Solid double axel with a nice landing position and good ride out
  • Good camel spin and picking up rotation through the donut and a nice catchfoot that is almost a Biellman
  • Pretty layback spin picking up a lot of speed through the haircutter and a great Biellman

Gracie Gold: 28.74 TES + 26.34 PCS -1.00 = 54.08 and into 6th place

  • Huge triple flip + triple toe–almost started to go horizontal a bit on the triple toe and can’t hang on to it and falls 
  • Triple lutz–was supposed to be a Rippon but likely playing it safe after the fall
  • Popped the axel into a single
  • Nice speed in her spins but needs more flexibility in the catchfoot and a little wild at the end
  • I think this is definitely a case of nerves getting to her with her senior debut and a spot on the World team on the line
  • Nice layback spin with a good Biellman
  • Good positions in the final combination spin 
  • She also seemed to be lacking a lot of the fire and spunk she’s shown in this program in the past and the jumps likely took the wind out of her sails

Laney Diggs: 11.35 TES +19.22 PCS -2.00 = 28.57 and into 14th place

  • Triple salchow fall
  • Triple toe fall
  • No combo so she will receive a penalty
  • She did say that she hadn’t really been training for nationals so when she got the call last week she had to prepare quickly to get back in shape
  • She seems super thrilled just to be competing though and I don’t think anything is going to take the smile off her face
  • Really awkward axel take off and pops it 
  • Decent camel position into a good upright catchfoot

Group 4
Christina Gao: 31.93 TES + 27.81 PCS -1.00 = 58.74 and into 3rd place

  • Gorgeous triple toe + triple toe with really nice toe point and great height on her jumps
  • Good double axel
  • Loses her edge on the change of foot in her spin and she falls, she did complete some of the spin so she won’t lose the element completely but that will cost her
  • A little tight on the triple loop but pulls it off
  • Nice speed in the layback spin and a good haircutter
  • She’s really started to come into her own this season and you can see her letting go and giving more of a performance on the ice, especially in her step sequences
  • Nice final combo spin

Ashley Cain: 25.28 TES + 25.55 PCS = 50.83 and into 9th place

  • Huge opening triple loop + double toe
  • Nice triple salchow
  • Good double axel
  • Interesting that she changed her jump layout since she had to do a flip for her JGP assignment earlier this season
  • Interesting sideways leaning spin but losing spin in the haircutter and fell out of the Biellman
  • She is really performing this step sequence and getting the crowd behind her; she does seem to be on top of her edges sometimes during the step sequence though
  • Good camel position into a nice upright spin, losing the centering a tiny bit on the camel after the change of foot
  • She’ll be really happy with that skate

Sophia Adams: 18.38 TES + 21.16 PCS -2.00 = 37.54 and into 16th place

  • Fall on the opening triple salchow
  • This might be one of my favorite dresses of the night with such a unique design in the back and a great color
  • Triple loop looked good in the air with good height but a tough fall
  • Good camel spin but she could have a bit more speed
  • Really choppy and on top of her edges in the step sequence
  • Good speed in the sit spin pulling in to a nice upright spin
  • She could have a bit more arch and better arm positions in the layback and really losing speed in the haircutter

Morgan Bell: 18.24 TES + 21.54 PCS -2.00 = 37.78 and into 16th place

  • Fall on her opening triple lutz
  • Triple toe and another fall
  • Really nice catchfoot position in the camel spin
  • She has a great personality on the ice
  • Nice spread eagle into a double axel
  • Good speed in the layback but losing the speed into the Biellman
  • A little slow and hunched over on the combo spin and a bit of struggle holding the leg up in the upright catchfoot position
  • Fun step sequence to end the program

Ashley Wagner: 34.74 TES + 32.83 PCS = 67.57 and into 1st place

  • Nice triple flip + double toe with both arms over the head
  • She skates this program so effortlessly
  • Good layback spin into a nice Biellman
  • She has the art of performing down as well including subtle moves like an eyebrow or a shoulder
  • Nice camel positions and picking up speed through the catchfoot position
  • Great ice coverage on the double axel
  • Really nice triple loop–two elements in the bonus will give her a bit of an edge
  • Losing some speed in her final spin

Agnes Zawadzki: 35.94 TES + 30.37 PCS -1.00 = 65.31 and into 2nd place

  • Really nice triple lutz with tons of height
  • Great triple toe + triple toe, great height, nice toe point and right on the music
  • Nice Biellman spin 
  • Good Ina Bauer
  • Split jump into double axel but she falls on the landing
  • Good camel spin with a nice donut and good catchfoot
  • Looks like she might have caught an edge and bobbled a bit a couple times in the step sequence–might cost her a Level or a Grade of Execution
  • Nice positions in her final spin and speeding up at the end with great toe point in her upright catchfoot
\
Place Start No. Name Score
1 20 Ashley Wagner, SC of Wilmington 67.57
2 21 Agnes Zawadzki, Broadmoor SC 65.31
3 2 Mirai Nagasu, Pasadena FSC 64.39
4 8 Courtney Hicks, All Year FSC 59.72
5 16 Christina Gao, SC Of Boston 58.74
6 6 Yasmin Siraj, SC Of Boston 57.88
7 1 Samantha Cesario, SC of New York 55.74
8 4 Hannah Miller, Lansing SC 54.47
9 14 Gracie Gold, Wagon Wheel FSC 54.08
10 3 Angela Wang, Salt Lake Figure Skating 52.06
11 17 Ashley Cain, Stars FSC of Texas 50.83
12 11 Caroline Zhang, All Year FSC 49.99
13 13 Kiri Baga, FSC of Bloomington 46.66
14 12 Joelle Forte, SC of New York 45.82
15 5 Haley Dunne, University of Delaware FSC 44.96
16 9 Amanda Hofmann, Portland ISC 42.25
17 10 Becky Bereswill, Detroit SC 38.46
18 19 Morgan Bell, Rocky Mountain FSC 37.78
19 18 Sophia Adams, All Year FSC 37.54
20 15 Laney Diggs, St. Moritz ISC 28.57
EW   Alissa Czisny, Detroit SC  
WD   Leah Keiser, All Year FSC  
EW   Vanessa Lam, All Year FSC

US Nationals: Senior Ladies Preview

This is an extremely talented ladies field and with only two spots on the World team, every skater will need to bring their best.  Collectively, they have won seven Grand Prix medals and eight Junior Grand Prix medals.  There have also been two withdrawals from this event due to injury: Alissa Czisny and Vanessa Lam.

No U.S. lady has won two consecutive national titles since Michelle Kwan but Ashley Wagner looks poised to do just that.  She has been hitting her programs solidly this season and picked up two Grand Prix golds to earn herself a trip to the Grand Prix Final.  The reigning Four Continents Champion suffered a hard fall and a hip pointer injury in Sochi but has been back training and is ready to compete in Omaha.  The only question seems to be whether she will go for the triple + triple combination at nationals.  She’s going for the clean skate, but will need the technical content if she wants to contend for the gold medal at Worlds.  She suffered two falls in her free skate at the Final and still claimed the silver medal so I think she’s a pretty safe bet to repeat here.

Mirai Nagasu has been flying under the radar this season.  Her new coaching situation has given her more time in the rink and for herself instead of in the car.  She’s seem much more relaxed and happy skating this season and her new confidence paid off in a bronze medal at NHK Trophy.  Under-rotated jumps have cost her valuable points in the past but if she can clean them up she has a good shot at the World team.  She has a triple toe + triple toe planned in her short program and a double axel + triple toe planned in the free skate.  

Agnes Zawadzki wasn’t really considered a threat in San Jose last year until she won the short program.  Nerves got to her in the free skate, but she still claimed the bronze medal.  She’s had a good start to her season claiming gold at the International Figure Skating Classic and winning bronze at Rostelecom Cup.  She just missed out on a spot on the World team last season and after taking two trips to Junior Worlds is ready to make the jump.  She has a triple toe + triple toe in her short program and her free skate.

Gracie Gold has seen more hype surrounding her this season than any reigning Junior Ladies Champion in recent memory.  After winning silver at Junior Worlds last season, she received her senior debut at the World Team Trophy.  She had a subpar performance at Skate Canada in her Grand Prix debut and admitted after that the size of the event had her intimidated.  She was able to refocus and claim the silver at Rostelecom Cup.  She’ll be under the media spotlight in Omaha and will have to show the same mental strength if she wants to make it to the podium.  Since the Grand Prix, she’s been working with renowned Ice Dance coach Marina Zoueva on improving her program components and adding finishing touches to her programs.  Her biggest weakness seems to be the free skate, where jump errors later in the program have cost her placements.  She has a triple flip + triple toe planned for the short and a triple lutz + triple toe and double axel + triple toe planned in the free.

Harvard Freshman Christina Gao almost gave up skating until she made a trip to the Skating Club of Boston.  She has improved since last season and claimed her first Grand Prix medal, a silver at Skate America.  She backed it up with a 4th place finish at Trophee Eric Bompard.  As the first alternate, she was able to travel to Sochi and participate in the Grand Prix Final after Julia Lipnitskaia withdrew.  She finished 5th at nationals the last three seasons and is ready to take the next step and land on the podium.  She has a triple toe + triple toe planned in her short program.  

Samantha Cesario has missed the past two nationals due to injury and her goal all season was to stay healthy enough to compete.  After winning acclaim for her programs at summer competitions she won a bronze medal at JGP Austria.  She had to withdraw from her 2nd assignment due to injury but went on to win Eastern Sectionals.  She had the second highest scores from qualifying, behind Vanessa Lam who has since withdrawn.  

Hannah Miller was one of the only junior ladies not attempting a triple + triple this season but her clean programs and program components earned her two Junior Grand Prix silver medals and a silver medal at the Junior Grand Prix Final.  She’s shown that she has the full package to compete with the best and after winning medals at the novice and junior level, is ready to make her senior debut.

Angela Wang also won acclaim on the Junior Grand Prix this season, especially for her opening triple lutz + triple toe + double toe combination in her free skate.  She also qualified for the Junior Grand Prix Final where she finished 4th.  She has had mistakes in her short programs this season that have left her trying to make up ground in her free skate.  She’s looking for a spot on the Junior Worlds team and will need a clean short to earn her spot.  She has a triple lutz + triple toe planned for her short and a triple toe + double axel sequence in the free skate.    

Also in the mix are Courtney Hicks who won a medal on the Junior Grand Prix this season and Midwestern Sectionals Champion Ashley Cain who won the silver medal as a junior last season.

Not only are there two World team spots up for grabs, but several ladies are junior age eligible and will be aiming for one of the three spots on the Junior Worlds team.  

My podium predictions:
Gold: Ashley Wagner
Silver: Gracie Gold
Bronze: Mirai Nagasu
Pewter: Christina Gao    

Bios of the competitors:
Sophia Adams: She is 19 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She placed 17th in 2012.  She won the bronze at Southwest Pacific Regionals and bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Kiri Baga: She is 17 years old and represents the Figure Skating Club of Bloomington.  She finished 8th in Intermediate in 2007, is the 2009 Novice Champion and 2010 Junior pewter medalist.  She placed 10th in 2012.  She won gold at Upper Great Lakes Regionals and bronze at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Nationally, she has the 7th best short program, 8th best free skate and 8th best total scores.

Morgan Bell: She is 21 and represents the Rocky Mountain Figure Skating Club.  She finished 17th in 2011 and 18th in 2012.  She won silver at Southwestern Regionals and pewter at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Nationally, she has the 10th best short program.

Becky Bereswill: She represents the Detroit Skating Club.  She finished 10th in 2008, 18th in 2009 and 13th in 2010.  She won gold at Eastern Great Lakes Regionals and silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Nationally, she has the 9th best short program, 7th best free skate and 7th best total scores. 

Ashley Cain: She is 17 years old and represents the Stars Figure Skating Club of Texas.  She placed 5th at JGP France.  She is the 2010 Novice Ladies silver medalist, finished 6th in Junior Ladies in 2011 and is the reigning Junior Ladies silver medalist.  She won gold at Southwestern Regionals and gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Nationally, she has the 2nd best short program, 3rd best free skate and 4th best total scores.

Samantha Cesario: She is 19 years old and represents the Skating Club of New York.  She won bronze at JGP Austria.  She placed 8th in Juvenile in 2005, 6th in Juniors in 2009 and 14th in 2010.  She won gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Internationally as a junior, she has the 9th best short program, 7th best free skate and 6th best total scores.  Nationally, she has the 4th best short program, 2nd best free skate and 2nd best total scores.

Haley Dunne: She is 19 years old and represents the University of Delaware Figure Skating Club.  She finished 13th in Juniors in 2010, 8th in Juniors in 2011 and 16th in Seniors in 2012.  She won gold at South Atlantic Regionals and bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Nationally, she has the 3rd best short program, 5th best free skate and 6th best total scores.

Joelle Forte: She is 26 and represents the Skating Club of New York.  She finished 9th in Novice in 2000, 12th in 2009, 9th in 2011 and 14th in 2012.  She won bronze at North Atlantic Regionals and pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Christina Gao: She is 18 years old and represents the Northern Kentucky Skating Club.  She won silver at Skate America and finished 4th at Trophee Eric Bompard to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she finished 6th.  She placed 12th in Juvenile Girls in 2005, 12th in Novice in 2008, is the 2009 Junior bronze medalist and finished 5th in 2010, 2011 and 2012.  Internationally, she has the 10th best total score.

Gracie Gold: She is 17 years old and represents the Wagon Wheel Figure Skating Club.  She is the reigning World Junior silver medalist.  She finished 7th at Skate Canada and won silver at Rostelecom Cup.  She is the 2010 Novice Ladies pewter medalist and reigning Junior Ladies Champion.  Internationally, she has the 6th best short program and 9th best total score.

Courtney Hicks: She represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She won silver at JGP USA and finished 4th at JGP Slovenia.  She won silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Internationally as a junior, she has the 8th best free skate and total scores.  Nationally, she has the 5th best short program, 4th best free skate and 3rd best total scores.  

Amanda Hofmann:  She represents the Portland Ice Skating Club.  She won gold at Northwest Pacific Regionals and pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Leah Keiser: She is 15 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She won gold at JGP Turkey and finished 4th at JGP Germany to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where finished 6th.  She is the 2008 Juvenile Girls Champion and 2010 Novice Champion.  She placed 12th in 2012.  Internationally as a junior, she has the 6th best short program, 6th best free skate and 7th best total scores.

Hannah Miller: She is 16 years old and represents the Lansing Skating Club.  She won silver at JGP Austria and silver at JGP Croatia to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where she won silver.  She finished 8th in Juvenile Girls in 2009, 5th in Intermediate Ladies in 2010, is the 2011 Novice Ladies Champion and the reigning Junior Ladies bronze medalist.  Internationally as a junior, she has the 2nd best short program, 4th best free skate and 2nd best total scores.

Mirai Nagasu:  She is 19 years old and represents the Pasadena Figure Skating Club.  She finished 4th at Cup of China and won bronze at NHK Trophy.  She is the 2011 Four Continents bronze medalist, 2007 World Junior silver medalist and 2008 World Junior bronze medalist.  She is the 2007 Junior Ladies Champion, 2008 Champion, finished 5th in 2009, is the 2010 silver medalist and 2011 bronze medalist.  She finished 7th in 2012.  Internationally, she has the 7th best short program, 8th free skate and 7th best total scores.

Yasmin Siraj: She is 16 years old and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  She is the 2007 Juvenile silver medalist, finished 6th in Intermediate Ladies in 2008, 5th in Novice in 2009, is the 2010 Junior silver medalist, finished 8th in 2011 and 15th in 2012.  She won gold at New England Regionals and silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Nationally, she has the 6th best short program, 6th free skate and 5th best total scores.

Ashley Wagner:  She is 21 years old and represents the Skating Club of Wilmington.  She is the reigning Four Continents Champion.  She won gold at Skate America and gold at Trophee Eric Bompard to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she won silver.  She is the 2007 and 2009 World Junior bronze medalist.  She finished 17th in Intermediate in 2003, 7th in Novice in 2005, is the 2006 Junior pewter medalist, 2007 Junior bronze medalist, 2008 bronze medalist, 2009 pewter medalist, 2010 bronze medalist and finished 6th in 2011.  She is the reigning Champion.  Internationally, she has the 2nd best short program, 2nd best free skate and 2nd best total scores.

Angela Wang: She is 16 years old and represents the Salt Lake Figure Skating Club.  She won bronze at JGP USA and gold at JGP Croatia to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where she finished 4th.  She finished 9th in Intermediate in 2007, is the 2008 Intermediate Ladies pewter medalist, the 2009 Novice bronze medalist, finished 7th in Juniors in 2010 and 8th in Seniors in 2012.  Internationally as a junior, she has the 3rd best short program, 2nd best free skate and 4th best total scores.

Agnes Zawadzki: She is 18 years old and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  She won bronze at Rostelecom Cup and placed 5th at NHK Trophy.  She is the 2010 World Junior silver medalist and is the 2011 World Junior bronze medalist.  She is the 2007 Intermediate silver medalist, 2008 Novice pewter medalist, 2010 Junior Champion, 2011 pewter medalist and reigning bronze medalist.  Internationally, she has the 10th best short program score.

Caroline Zhang: She is 19 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She is the reigning Four Continents bronze medalist.  She placed 9th at Skate Canada and 10th at Rostelecom Cup.  She is the 2010 Four Continents bronze medalist, the 2007 Junior World Champion and the 2008 and 2009 Junior World silver medalist.  She is the 2003 Juvenile Girls pewter medalist, 2004 Intermediate Ladies bronze medalist, 2005 Novice pewter medalist, finished 8th in Juniors in 2006, is the 2007 Junior silver medalist, 2008 pewter medalist, 2009 bronze medalist, finished 11th in 2010 and 12th in 2011.  She is the reigning pewter medalist.

NHK Trophy Ladies Free Skate Results

Pl.   Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
  PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Akiko SUZUKI JPN 126.62 64.51   62.11 7.82 7.39 7.93 7.86 7.82 0.00 #5
2 Mao ASADA JPN 117.32 52.78   64.54 8.21 7.89 7.96 8.14 8.14 0.00 #9
3 Mirai NAGASU USA 115.50 56.36   59.14 7.57 7.07 7.46 7.50 7.36 0.00 #8
4 Zijun LI CHN 114.49 59.35   55.14 6.96 6.61 7.00 7.00 6.89 0.00 #7
5 Agnes ZAWADZKI USA 105.35 51.61   54.74 6.89 6.54 7.11 6.89 6.79 1.00 #3
6 Elene GEDEVANISHVILI GEO 99.46 43.54   56.92 7.21 6.79 7.11 7.25 7.21 1.00 #4
7 Ksenia MAKAROVA RUS 97.59 43.37   54.22 7.07 6.50 6.82 6.75 6.75 0.00 #6
8 Haruka IMAI JPN 97.32 50.03   48.29 6.36 5.71 6.04 6.14 5.93 1.00 #1
9 Sofia BIRYUKOVA RUS 89.81 44.97   46.84 6.21 5.64 5.75 5.96 5.71 2.00 #2

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Mao ASADA
JPN
185.27 1 2
2 Akiko SUZUKI
JPN
185.22 5 1
3 Mirai NAGASU
USA
176.68 2 3
4 Zijun LI
CHN
174.11 3 4
5 Agnes ZAWADZKI
USA
160.37 7 5
6 Elene GEDEVANISHVILI
GEO
156.96 6 6
7 Ksenia MAKAROVA
RUS
156.52 4 7
8 Haruka IMAI
JPN
145.42 9 8
9 Sofia BIRYUKOVA
RUS
139.12 8 9

NHK Trophy Ladies Preview

We’re down to the final event of the season and several skaters are still in the running to earn a trip to the Grand Prix Final and a chance to preview the Olympic venue.  Ashley Wagner and Kiira Korpi have already punched their tickets while Julia Lipnitskaia, Elizaveta Tuktamisheva and Christina Gao await this weekends results to see if they will travel to Sochi.

Mao Asada already has a gold medal this season from Cup of China.  A 5th place finish would put her into a potential tie breaker but she can guarantee herself a spot in the Final with a 4th place finish or higher.  She shouldn’t have any problem taking home a medal here and should find herself on the podium.

Akiko Suzuki needs a 4th place finish to tie herself with Christina Gao and Elizaveta Tuktamisheva while a bronze medal or better will guarantee her ticket to Sochi.  She earned a silver medal earlier this season at Cup of China and tends to improve as the season continues.  She’s beat Asada before at home and will look to repeat that feat here.

Agnes Zawadzki earned her first career Grand Prix medal at Rostelecom Cup and can qualify for the Grand Prix Final with a silver medal or higher.  She’s shown improved consistency this season but little mistakes in her free skate can cost her in this field, so she’ll need to go clean if she hopes to challenge the top two Japanese ladies.  

Mirai Nagasu can qualify for the Final with a gold medal finish.  She has the ability to do it and has shown a more relaxed persona on the ice this season but under-rotation calls dropped her to 4th place at Cup of China.

Elene Gedevanishvili, Haruka Imai and Zijun Li can only qualify if they win a gold medal, but they still could face a potential tie breaker or fall just outside the top 6.  Of the three Gedevanishvili has the best chance if she can repeat her Skate Canada performance in the short program and skate a clean free skate.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Mao Asada
Silver: Akiko Suzuki
Bronze: Agnes Zawadzki

Bios of the competitors:
Zijun Li, CHN: She placed 5th at the World Junior Championships.  She finished 5th at Cup of China.   Her personal best is 160.06.  She is 15 years old. 

Elene Gedevanishvilli, GEO: She finished 10th at Worlds and is the reigning European Bronze Medalist.  She placed 5th at Skate Canada.  She is the 2010 European Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 165.93.  She is 22 years old.


Mao Asada, JPN: She placed 6th at Worlds and is the reigning Four Continents Silver Medalist.   She won gold at Cup of China.  She qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season.  She is the 2010 Olympic Silver Medalist, 2008 and 2010 World Champion, 2007 World Silver Medalist, 2008 and 2010 Four Continents Champion, 2001 Four Continents Silver Medalist, 2009 Four Continents Bronze Medalist, 2005 World Junior Champion and 2006 World Junior Silver Medalist.  Her personal best is 205.50.  She is 22 years old.

Haruka Imai, JPN: She finished 9th at Four Continents.  She placed 5th at Skate America.  Her personal best is 157.72.  She is 19 years old.


Akiko Suzuki, JPN: She is the reigning World Bronze Medalist.   She won silver at Skate Canada.  She qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season and won silver.  She is the 2010 Four Continents Silver Medalist.  Her personal best is 187.79.  She is 27 years old.


Sofia Biryukova, RUS: She finished 9th at Cup of China.  Her personal best is 166.07.  She is 18 years old.

Ksenia Makarova, RUS: She placed 9th at Worlds and 6th at Europeans.  She placed 6th at Skate Canada.  Her personal best is 171.91.  She is 19 years old.


Mirai Nagasu, USA: She finished 4th at Cup of China.  She is the 2011 Four Continents bronze medalist, 2007 World Junior silver medalist and 2008 World Junior bronze medalist.  Her personal best is 190.15.  She is 19 years old.

Agnes Zawadzki, USA: She placed 6th at Four Continents.  She won bronze at Rostelecom Cup.  She is the 2010 World Junior Silver Medalist and 2011 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 166.61.  She is 18 years old.

Rostelecom Cup Ladies Free Skate Results

 Pl.   Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
  PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Kiira KORPI FIN 115.64 56.12   60.52 7.68 7.07 7.61 7.71 7.75 1.00 #9
2 Gracie GOLD USA 112.87 54.77   58.10 7.54 6.93 7.32 7.39 7.14 0.00 #10
3 Kanako MURAKAMI JPN 109.56 53.22   56.34 7.32 6.46 6.96 7.29 7.18 0.00 #5
4 Agnes ZAWADZKI USA 106.43 51.10   55.33 6.93 6.61 7.04 7.18 6.82 0.00 #8
5 Valentina MARCHEI ITA 102.42 50.88   51.54 6.29 5.82 6.71 6.71 6.68 0.00 #2
6 Polina KOROBEYNIKOVA RUS 101.87 52.45   50.42 6.68 5.86 6.29 6.61 6.07 1.00 #3
7 Adelina SOTNIKOVA RUS 100.87 48.28   55.59 7.14 6.50 6.79 7.25 7.07 3.00 #6
8 Alena LEONOVA RUS 98.42 41.17   57.25 7.39 6.71 6.86 7.50 7.32 0.00 #7
9 Viktoria HELGESSON SWE 97.38 43.60   53.78 6.75 6.46 6.79 6.93 6.68 0.00 #4
10 Caroline ZHANG USA 92.06 48.57   43.49 5.93 4.93 5.29 5.71 5.32 0.00 #1

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Kiira KORPI
FIN
177.19 2 1
2 Gracie GOLD
USA
175.03 1 2
3 Agnes ZAWADZKI
USA
166.61 3 4
4 Kanako MURAKAMI
JPN
166.34 6 3
5 Adelina SOTNIKOVA
RUS
157.98 5 7
6 Alena LEONOVA
RUS
157.27 4 8
7 Polina KOROBEYNIKOVA
RUS
153.32 8 6
8 Viktoria HELGESSON
SWE
151.48 7 9
9 Valentina MARCHEI
ITA
148.67 9 5
10 Caroline ZHANG
USA
138.21 10 10

Rostelecom Cup Ladies Short Program Results

Pl.   Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
  PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Gracie GOLD USA 62.16 34.92   27.24 6.86 6.57 7.04 6.86 6.71 0.00 #1
2 Kiira KORPI FIN 61.55 31.51   30.04 7.54 7.07 7.57 7.57 7.79 0.00 #9
3 Agnes ZAWADZKI USA 60.18 33.01   27.17 6.64 6.57 7.04 7.00 6.71 0.00 #4
4 Alena LEONOVA RUS 58.85 28.91   29.94 7.46 6.82 7.68 7.75 7.71 0.00 #10
5 Adelina SOTNIKOVA RUS 57.11 29.11   28.00 7.07 6.64 7.07 7.21 7.00 0.00 #6
6 Kanako MURAKAMI JPN 56.78 29.01   28.77 7.39 6.79 7.14 7.36 7.29 1.00 #7
7 Viktoria HELGESSON SWE 54.10 26.67   27.43 6.82 6.50 6.96 7.00 7.00 0.00 #8
8 Polina KOROBEYNIKOVA RUS 51.45 26.42   25.03 6.54 5.79 6.29 6.46 6.21 0.00 #3
9 Valentina MARCHEI ITA 46.25 20.48   25.77 6.25 6.11 6.50 6.64 6.71 0.00 #5
10 Caroline ZHANG USA 46.15 21.84   24.31 6.21 5.64 6.29 6.14 6.11 0.00 #2

Rostelecom Cup Ladies Preview

Kiira Korpi missed Worlds last season due to injury but came back to win the bronze medal at Cup of China last week and won silver at Finlandia Trophy earlier this season.  With the back to back events she won’t have time to make any adjustments and fatigue might be an issue.  She’ll need a gold medal to qualify for the Final while a silver will keep her in the running.

Agnes Zawadzki claimed the gold at the U.S. Figure Skating Classic earlier this season and showed an improved ability to deliver a good free skate after a solid short program performance.  However, the scores from that event have not been held up all season.  If she can replicate her performance she could claim her first Grand Prix medal.

Adelina Sotnikova started her season with her third straight Grand Prix bronze medal at Skate America.    Some jump errors in her free skate led her to improvise and insert an extra combo which was ruled invalid.  That mistake hurt her technical score so she should easily be able to improve here.  She’ll also need a gold medal to qualify for the Final and a silver to stay in the running.

Kanako Murakami qualified for the Grand Prix Final in her debut season two years ago but failed to medal at either of her assignments last year.  She has had trouble putting together two clean programs in the past and will need two solid performances in this field to medal.  She won the bronze medal at Skate Canada and is also looking for a gold or silver for a chance to go to Sochi.  

Gracie Gold struggled in her Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada and admitted that she had trouble keeping her competitive focus.  Now that she has some international experience at that level we’ll have to see if she’s better able to handle the competition and regain the form that led her to a World Junior medal or if she’s rattled by that performance.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Kiira Korpi
Silver: Adelina Sotnikova
Bronze: Agnes Zawadzki

Bios of the competitors:
Kiira Korpi, FIN: She is the reigning European Silver Medalist.  She won bronze at Cup of China.  She is the 2007 and 2011 European Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 169.86.  She is 24 years old.
Valentina Marchei, ITA: She finished 8th at Worlds and Europeans.  She placed 4th at Skate America.  Her personal best is 158.79.  She is 25 years old.

Kanako Murakami, JPN: She placed 5th at Worlds and 4th at Four Continents.  She won bronze at Skate Canada.  She is the 2010 World Junior Champion.  Her personal best is 178.59.  She is 17 years old.

Polina Korobeynikova, RUS: She placed 19th at Worlds and 4th at Europeans.  She placed 4th at JGP Australia and won gold at  JGP Romania last season to qualify for the Junior grand Prix Final where she won bronze.  Her personal best is 164.13.  She is 16 years old.

Alena Leonova, RUS: She is the reigning World Silver Medalist and placed 7th at Europeans.  She placed 7th at Skate America.  She qualified for the Grand Prix Final last seasona and won bronze.  She is the 2009 Junior World Champion.  Her personal best is 184.28.  She is 21 years old.


Adelina Sotnikova, RUS: She is the reigning Junior World Bronze Medalist.  She won bronze at Skate America.  She is the 2011 Junior World Champion.  Her personal best is 178.87.  She is 16 years old.


Viktoria Helgesson, SWE: She finished 11th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans.  She placed 8th at Skate America.  Her personal best is 161.79.  She is 24 years old.

Gracie Gold, USA: She is the reigning World Junior Silver Medalist.  She finished 7th at Skate Canada.  Her personal best is 172.69.  She is 17 years old.


Caroline Zhang, USA: She is the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  She finished 9th at Skate Canada.  She is the 2010 Four Continents Bronze Medalist, 2007 World Junior Champion and 2008 and 2009 World Junior Silver Medalist.  Her personal best is 176.48.  She is 19 years old.


Agnes Zawadzki, USA: She placed 6th at Four Continents.  She finished 8th at NHK Trophy and 7th at Rostelecom Cup last season.  She is the 2010 World Junior Silver Medalist and 2011 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 161.07.  She is 18 years old.