2018 US Nationals Junior Men’s Results

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 10 Camden Pulkinen, Broadmoor SC 1 67.88 1 151.41 219.29
2 12 Dinh Tran, SC of San Francisco 2 67.28 2 132.67 199.95
3 11 Maxim Naumov, SC of Boston 3 64.07 4 114.93 179.00
4 3 Ryan Dunk, Baltimore FSC 10 53.43 3 119.25 172.68
5 13 Tony Lu, North Jersey FSC 4 62.43 7 104.14 166.57
6 7 Alex Wellman, Broadmoor SC 8 56.23 6 104.46 160.69
7 2 Paul Yeung, All Year FSC 11 53.30 5 105.41 158.71
8 5 Sasha Lunin, Fort Wayne ISC 9 54.86 8 93.81 148.67
9 9 Peter Liu, SC of Wilmington 5 58.33 11 85.30 143.63
10 1 Patrick Frohling, All Year FSC 12 52.22 10 86.21 138.43
11 8 Kendrick Weston, Salt Lake Figure Skating 6 58.10 12 78.73 136.83
12 4 Justin Wichmann, Dallas FSC 13 48.05 9 87.90 135.95
13 6 Luke Ferrante, SC of Huntsville 7 56.48 13 73.10 129.58

2018 US Nationals Junior Men’s Preview

As a group they’ve won 16 national medals and every single one has qualified for nationals previously.  Camden Pulkinen is the only one to have won medals on the Junior Grand Prix this season, and he won three.  The 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th place junior men from last year will be competing.  The 1st, 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 11th place novice finishers are moving up to compete at this event.  The short program will be held on  Monday, January 1st with the free skate on Wednesday, January 3rd.

What will set these men apart both nationally and internationally is a triple axel and a quad.  The required solo jump in the short program this year is a triple lutz.  Because the juniors have a required solo jump, they are more limited in how they structure their programs, but a triple + triple combination, triple axels, and moving jumps to the bonus will definitely increase their technical score in the jumping category.

To be competitive at Junior Worlds, they’ll need to score above 73 points in the short program, 134 points in the free skate and 206 points overall.  It’s difficult to say how many spots on the Junior Worlds team may be up for grabs, as three US men qualified for the Junior Grand Prix Final, and two of them are competing in seniors.

Camden Pulkinen won a gold and silver medal on the Junior Grand Prix to qualify for the JGP Final where he won silver.  He has the 6th best total score internationally.  He’s also the only competitor in this field that has cleared 200 points this season.  His short program includes a triple axel, triple flip + triple toe, and a triple lutz in the bonus.  At JGP Austria, he fell on the combination and had a time violation, but still earned program components in the mid 6s.  His free skate has a triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow, triple flip + triple toe, triple axel + double toe, and another solo triple axel.  He had a time violation at JGP Austria.  He earned Level 4 on two of his spins and had program components in the mid 6s.  At JGP Poland, he fell on the combination in his short program and had program components in the mid to high 6s.  His free skate at that event was mostly clean with only a tiny negative GOE on a popped loop and a doubled flip in a combination.  He netted over 5 points from GOEs and had program components in the mid  to low 7s.  At the JGP Final, he doubled his combination.  He did earn a Level 4 on one of his spins, however, for the first time all season.  His program components were in the high 6 to low 7s.  He had a great free skate at the Final, with only a doubled flip as an error.  He received all positive GOEs, except for a slight negative on his triple loop, and earned 7 points overall.  He received Level 4 on all of his spins for the first time all season and had program components in the high 6s to low 7s.

Alex Wellman set the top score in qualifying, some 13 points better than the next closest competitor.  His short program includes a triple flip + double toe, double axel, and a triple lutz in the bonus.  He earned Level 4 on one spin and had program components in the mid 6s.  His free skate includes a triple lutz combination (singled at sectionals), triple flip + double toe, and a triple toe + double axel sequence.  He fell on a triple flip near the end of his program. He earned Level 4 on two spins and had program components in the mid 6s.

Ryan Dunk does not have any top 10 scores nationally, but he had better scores at his international outing at JGP Austria.  He has a double axel, triple loop + triple loop (under-rotated), and triple lutz in his short program.  Both the combination and the solo jump are in the bonus.  He earned Level 4 on two of his spins and had program components in the mid to high 5s.  His free skate only had one successful combination jump, but he did earn Level 4 on all of his spins and had program components in the mid 5s to low 6s.  At Sectionals, he went for a triple loop + double loop combination and earned Level 4 on two of his spins.  His program components were in the low to mid 5s.  He added a triple axel attempt to his free skate at sectionals, but he fell and it was under-rotated.  He also fell on a double axel at the end of his program.  He earned Level 4 on one spin and had program components in the mid 5s.

Maxim Naumov has the third best total score from qualifying.  At JGP Latvia he attempted the triple axel but fell.  He also fell on his combination jump and received no credit for the second jump.  He earned Level 4 on one spin and had program components in the mid 5s to low 6s.  He again fell on the triple axel in his free skate and it was under-rotated, netting him only 1.90 points for the jump.  He did land a triple flip + double toe and a triple lutz + double toe + double loop.  He under-rotated a solo loop and fell and also fell on his solo flip in addition to receiving an edge call.  He earned Level 4 for two of his spins but lost 7 points in base value after GOEs were taken into effect.  His program components were in the mid 5s to low 6s.  At Sectionals, he fell on the triple axel in his short program and received an edge call on his flip.  He received Level 4 on all of his spins and had program components in the high 5s to mid 6s.  He fell on his triple axel and received an edge call on his triple flip combination in the free skate and missed points on a combination after repeating too many double toes.  He received Level 4 on all of his spins and had program components in the mid 5s to low 6s.

Paul Yeung has the 2nd best total score from qualifying, but it was set at regionals.  His short program includes a double axel, triple flip + triple toe, and a triple lutz in the bonus.  He earned Level 4 on two of his spins at regionals and had program components in the mid 5s to low 6s.  His free skate has a triple lutz + double toe, triple flip + double toe, and double axel + double toe + double loop.  His program components were in the mid to high 5s.

Dinh Tran only has a top short program score from qualifying, but had better scores at JGP Poland.  His short program includes a triple flip + triple toe, triple lutz, and a double axel in the bonus.  He only earned a very slight negative GOE on his lutz and earned Level 4 on one of his spins.  His program components were in the mid to high 5s.  His free skate included a downgraded triple flip + triple toe attempt, triple lutz + double toe, and a double axel + single loop + double salchow.  He doubled a solo loop as well.  He received Level 4 on two of his spins and had program components in the mid to high 5s.  At sectionals, he earned Level 4 on two of his spins in the short program and had program components in the mid 5s to mid 6s.  His free skate included a fall on an under-rotated triple + triple combination, and an invalid sequence.  He received Level 4 on two spins and had very low program components, in the mid 4s to mid 5s.

The triple axel is a huge competitive advantage as this particular event.  Camden Pulkinen has three planned and his total jump base value for both programs is 83.05 points.  The next highest base value is Maxim Naumov with 71.90 points thanks to two triple axels.  The rest of the field do not have triple axels, and have technical values over 5 points less than Naumov.

Triple axels can do more harm than good if they are not landed, however.  A triple axel is worth 8.50 points.  However, a fall costs a skater 3.00 points in GOE plus a point for the fall, making it worth only 4.50 points.  An under-rotated triple axel is worth 5.90 points in base value before GOEs are taken into effect.  For example, Naumov fell on an under-rotated triple axel attempt at JGP Latvia and netted only 1.90 points, nearly the same value as a -3 GOE double axel.  In contrast, a double axel has a base value of 3.30 points and can be worth up to 4.80 points with +3 GOEs.  It still might be worth the risk, as a +3 GOE is not the easiest to achieve, but it depends on how the jump effects the rest of the program.

Another big differentiator in the short program is the combination jump.  A triple flip + triple toe is worth 9.60 points, while a triple + double is worth only 6.60 points.  Of the top competitors, only Pulkinen, Tran, and Naumov have attempted the triple + triple.  However, Pulkinen has not landed the combination jump cleanly all season, so his is losing points on this element compared to his base value, bringing it more closely in line to some of the other competitors.

In the free skate, Pulkinen has the most difficult content with two triple + triple combinations.  Dinh Tran is the only other one to have one in his free skate.

Levels and program components will also be important in determining who takes home a medal from this event.  For all of his jump advantages, Pulkinen has been missing his Levels, only scoring one Level 4 element in his short program all season.  None of the top men at this event are consistently hitting Level 4 on everything, and those points could make the difference, especially as many of the jumps have also been inconsistent.  Internationally, Pulkinen has been scoring in the 7s for his program components, and will likely see higher program components nationally.  No one else has hit the 7s yet, and that is where they will need to be if they want to keep pace.

With his huge advantage, Pulkinen has room to make mistakes and still take home the title.  He has a good shot at winning a Junior Worlds medal this year, so this event will likely be more about tweaking his programs and making sure everything is fine tuned for that event.

My podium predictions:

Gold: Camden Pulkinen

Silver: Alex Wellman

Bronze: Maxim Naumov

Pewter: Ryan Dunk

 

Bios of the competitors:

Ryan Dunk: He is 17 years old and represents the Baltimore Skating Club.  He placed 9th at JGP Austria.  He is the reigning Junior Bronze Medalist, finished 5th in novice in 2016, is the 2015 Intermediate Men’s Pewter Medalist and finished 11th in juvenile in 2014.  He won silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 7th best short program, 8th best free skate, and 7th best total scores from qualifying.

Luke Ferrante: He represents the Skating Club of Huntsville.  He finished 10th in intermediate in 2015, 5th in juvenile in 2014, and 10th in juvenile in 2013.  He won bronze at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Patrick Frohling: He represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  He finished 8th as a junior last season and 11th in intermediate in 2014.  He won silver at Southwest Pacific Regionals and silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 3rd best free skate and 5th best total scores from qualifying.

Peter Liu: He is 17 years old and represents the Skating Club of Wilmington.  He placed 7th in juniors last season, is the 2016 Novice Silver Medalist, finished 6th as a novice in 2015, and is the 2014 Intermediate Pewter Medalist.  He won pewter at South Atlantic Regionals and bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 6th best free skate and 10th best total scores from qualifying.

Tony Lu: He represents the North Jersey Figure Skating Club.  He finished 6th in juniors in 2016, 7th in juniors in 2014, 9th in novice in 2013, and 10th in novice in 2012.  He won pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Sasha Lunin: He is 17 years old and represents the Fort Wayne Ice Skating Club.  He placed 5th in juniors last season 7th in novice in 2016, and is the 2013 Juvenile Bronze Medalist.  He won silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 9th best short program, 9th best free skate, and 9th best total scores from qualifying.

Maxim Naumov: He is 16 years old and represents the Charter Oak Figure Skating Club.  He placed 8th at JGP Latvia.  He is the reigning Novice Champion, 2016 Novice Bronze Medalist, finished 5th in intermediate in 2014, is the 2013 Juvenile Boys Champion, and finished 7th in juvenile in 2012.  He won gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 5th best short program, 5th best free skate, and 3rd best total scores from qualifying.

Camden Pulkinen: He is 17 years old and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  He won gold at JGP Austria and silver at JGP Poland to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where he won silver.  He is the reigning Junior Silver Medalist, finished 11th in juniors in 2016, 5th in juvenile in 2013 and 16th in juvenile in 2012.  He has the 5th best free skate and 6th best total scores internationally.

Dinh Tran: He is 16 years old and represents the Skating Club of San Francisco.  He placed 12th at JGP Poland.  He is the reigning Novice Bronze Medalist, 2015 Intermediate Silver Medalist, finished 6th in intermediate in 2014, and is the 2013 Juvenile Boys Pewter Medalist.  He won bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 3rd best short program score from qualifying.

Alex Wellman: He is 17 years old and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  He finished 11th in novice last season, is the 2016 Intermediate Silver Medalist and finished 10th in juvenile in 2014.  He won gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the best short program, best free skate, and best total scores from qualifying.

Kendrick Weston: He is 17 years old and represents Salt Lake Figure Skating.  He is the 2015 Novice Bronze Medalist, finished 7th in intermediate in 2014, is the 2013 Juvenile Boys Silver Medalist and finished 8th in juvenile in 2012.  He won gold at Central Pacific Regionals and pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 8th best short program, 2nd best free skate, and 8th best total scores from qualifying.

Justin Wichmann: He is the 2014 Intermediate Bronze Medalist.  He won pewter at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Paul Yeung: He is 18 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  He finished 6th as a novice last season, 10th as a novice in 2016, 9th as an intermediate in 2015 and is the 2014 Juvenile Boys Silver Medalist.  He won gold at Southwest Pacific Regionals and gold at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 2nd best short program, 4th best free skate, and 2nd best total scores from qualifying.

2017-2018 Top Junior Men’s US Qualifying Scores

Short Program

  1. Camden Pulkinen: 67.88 (US Nationals)
  2. Dinh Tran: 67.28 (US Nationals)
  3. Alex Wellman: 65.21 (Midwestern Sectionals)
  4. Paul Yeung: 65.05 (Southwest Pacific Regionals)
  5. Joseph Kang: 64.09 (South Atlantic Regionals)
  6. Maxim Naumov: 64.07 (US  Nationals)
  7. Tony Lu: 62.43 (US Nationals)
  8. William Hubbart: 61.05 (South Atlantic Regionals)
  9. Ryan Dunk: 59.85 (Eastern Sectionals)
  10. Kendrick Weston: 59.77 (Pacific Coast Sectionals)

Free Skate

  1. Camden Pulkinen: 151.41 (US Nationals)
  2. Dinh Tran: 132.67 (US Nationals)
  3. Alex Wellman: 124.26 (Midwestern Sectionals)
  4. Ryan Dunk: 119.25 (US Nationals)
  5. Kendrick Weston: 115.86 (Central Pacific Regionals)
  6. Maxim Naumov: 114.93 (US Nationals)
  7. Patrick Frohling: 113.85 (Pacific Coast Sectionals)
  8. Paul Yeung: 112.34 (Pacific Coast Sectionals)
  9. Peter Liu: 110.68 (Eastern Sectionals)
  10. Mitchell Friess: 108.01 (Pacific Coast Sectionals)

Total (one score per skater listed)

  1. Camden Pulkinen: 219.29 (US Nationals)
  2. Dinh Tran: 199.95 (US Nationals)
  3. Alex Wellman: 189.47 (Midwestern Sectionals)
  4. Maxim Naumov: 179.00 (US Nationals)
  5. Paul Yeung: 176.19 (Southwest Pacific Regionals)
  6. Ryan Dunk: 172.68 (US Nationals)
  7. Joseph Kang: 170.36 (South Atlantic Regionals)
  8. Patrick Frohling: 169.09 (Pacific Coast Sectionals)
  9. William Hubbart: 167.42 (South Atlantic Regionals)
  10. Kendrick Weston: 166.60 (Central Pacific Regionals)

Total (multiple scores per skater listed)

  1. Camden Pulkinen: 219.29 (US Nationals)
  2. Dinh Tran: 199.95 (US Nationals)
  3. Alex Wellman: 189.47 (Midwestern Sectionals)
  4. Maxim Naumov: 179.00 (US Nationals)
  5. Paul Yeung: 176.19 (Southwest Pacific Regionals)
  6. Maxim Naumov: 172.82 (Eastern Sectionals)
  7. Ryan Dunk: 172.68 (US Nationals)
  8. Paul Yeung: 170.40 (Pacific Coast Sectionals)
  9. Joseph Kang: 170.36 (South Atlantic Regionals)
  10. Patrick Frohling: 169.09 (Pacific Coast Sectionals)
  11. William Hubbart: 167.42 (South Atlantic Regionals)
  12. Ryan Dunk: 167.09 (Eastern Sectionals)
  13. Kendrick Weston: 166.60 (Central Pacific Regionals)
  14. Tony Lu: 166.57 (US Nationals)
  15. Sasha Lunin: 164.73 (Midwestern Sectionals)
  16. Peter Liu: 163.94 (Eastern Sectionals)
  17. Dinh Train: 163.42 (Pacific Coast Sectionals)
  18. Kendrick Weston: 162.21 (Pacific Coast Sectionals)
  19. Alex Wellman: 160.69 (US Nationals)
  20. Patrick Frohling: 160.64 (Southwest Pacific Regionals)

2017 JGP Poland Men’s Results

Short Program

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Alexey EROKHOV RUS 78.83 43.55 35.28 7.07 6.93 7.21 7.07 7.00 0.00 #2
2 Matteo RIZZO ITA 74.51 40.94 33.57 6.68 6.46 6.75 6.79 6.89 0.00 #11
3 Luc ECONOMIDES FRA 71.04 38.04 33.00 6.50 6.36 6.64 6.71 6.79 0.00 #10
4 Camden PULKINEN USA 68.52 36.23 33.29 6.57 6.54 6.50 6.79 6.89 1.00 #14
5 Igor EFIMCHUK RUS 66.48 35.05 32.43 6.61 6.39 6.50 6.54 6.39 1.00 #25
6 Yan HAO CHN 65.64 33.78 31.86 6.36 6.11 6.50 6.39 6.50 0.00 #17
7 Kai Xiang CHEW MAS 61.81 32.70 29.11 5.86 5.57 5.96 5.79 5.93 0.00 #18
8 Jiri BELOHRADSKY CZE 61.13 31.49 29.64 6.00 5.75 5.96 5.93 6.00 0.00 #12
9 Conrad ORZEL CAN 61.07 31.85 30.22 6.07 6.00 5.93 6.18 6.04 1.00 #22
10 Dinh TRAN USA 60.53 31.86 28.67 5.89 5.39 5.96 5.79 5.64 0.00 #15
11 Ivan SHMURATKO UKR 60.30 31.70 28.60 5.57 5.71 5.64 5.82 5.86 0.00 #23
12 Koshiro SHIMADA JPN 59.47 29.00 30.47 6.25 5.89 6.18 6.04 6.11 0.00 #20
13 Mark GORODNITSKY ISR 56.96 31.46 25.50 5.25 4.93 5.14 5.14 5.04 0.00 #6
14 Larry LOUPOLOVER AZE 55.59 28.99 26.60 5.43 5.07 5.25 5.39 5.46 0.00 #1
15 Aleksandr SELEVKO EST 54.95 26.31 29.64 5.96 5.86 5.82 5.96 6.04 1.00 #8
16 Kims Georgs PAVLOVS LAT 51.84 29.16 22.68 4.71 4.36 4.54 4.64 4.43 0.00 #3
17 Sunghoon PARK KOR 50.34 24.24 27.10 5.64 5.29 5.39 5.46 5.32 1.00 #26
18 Nurullah SAHAKA SUI 50.05 24.91 26.14 5.46 5.07 5.18 5.25 5.18 1.00 #24
19 Denis GURDZHI GER 49.78 24.70 25.08 5.14 4.75 5.11 5.04 5.04 0.00 #27
20 Ryszard GURTLER POL 49.23 26.55 22.68 4.71 4.29 4.75 4.54 4.39 0.00 #9
21 Alexander BOROVOJ HUN 48.20 22.95 25.25 5.14 4.82 5.14 5.11 5.04 0.00 #21
22 Erik MATYSIAK POL 46.88 22.01 24.87 5.11 4.68 5.04 5.04 5.00 0.00 #28
23 Artur PANIKHIN KAZ 42.22 19.82 24.40 5.04 4.68 4.79 5.07 4.82 2.00 #5
24 Jakub KRSNAK SVK 37.85 19.25 20.60 4.14 3.96 4.14 4.18 4.18 2.00 #7
25 Alp Eren OZKAN TUR 36.95 16.56 20.39 4.11 3.82 4.07 4.14 4.25 0.00 #13
26 Mikalai KAZLOU BLR 35.49 17.34 19.15 3.86 3.57 4.04 3.86 3.82 1.00 #16
27 Milosz WITKOWSKI POL 33.63 15.38 20.25 4.25 3.75 3.93 4.14 4.18 2.00 #4
28 Nikhil PINGLE IND 21.91 7.77 14.14 2.93 2.64 2.82 3.00 2.75 0.00 #19

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Alexey EROKHOV RUS 143.06 73.70 70.36 7.29 6.86 6.96 7.14 6.93 1.00 #28
2 Camden PULKINEN USA 140.83 71.29 69.54 7.04 6.61 7.04 7.04 7.04 0.00 #23
3 Conrad ORZEL CAN 134.98 71.62 64.36 6.64 6.00 6.64 6.54 6.36 1.00 #22
4 Koshiro SHIMADA JPN 130.99 66.27 64.72 6.54 6.11 6.68 6.57 6.46 0.00 #18
5 Igor EFIMCHUK RUS 127.96 61.40 66.56 6.75 6.50 6.71 6.75 6.57 0.00 #25
6 Luc ECONOMIDES FRA 124.92 61.54 66.38 6.61 6.54 6.36 6.79 6.89 3.00 #26
7 Jiri BELOHRADSKY CZE 120.39 59.47 62.92 6.39 6.07 6.46 6.29 6.25 2.00 #20
8 Aleksandr SELEVKO EST 119.32 60.24 59.08 5.89 5.64 6.04 5.93 6.04 0.00 #16
9 Mark GORODNITSKY ISR 118.33 62.25 56.08 5.61 5.36 5.71 5.68 5.68 0.00 #15
10 Matteo RIZZO ITA 118.28 54.14 64.14 6.50 6.21 6.25 6.54 6.57 0.00 #27
11 Yan HAO CHN 116.92 53.06 64.86 6.61 6.32 6.39 6.61 6.50 1.00 #24
12 Dinh TRAN USA 112.38 53.74 58.64 5.96 5.61 5.93 6.00 5.82 0.00 #19
13 Kai Xiang CHEW MAS 110.12 53.62 57.50 5.82 5.57 5.86 5.75 5.75 1.00 #21
14 Nurullah SAHAKA SUI 107.76 54.00 55.76 5.46 5.46 5.61 5.64 5.71 2.00 #11
15 Sunghoon PARK KOR 105.68 54.18 53.50 5.50 5.21 5.36 5.39 5.29 2.00 #14
16 Kims Georgs PAVLOVS LAT 100.20 52.34 47.86 4.79 4.57 4.93 4.82 4.82 0.00 #13
17 Ivan SHMURATKO UKR 96.31 46.87 51.44 5.18 4.93 5.18 5.29 5.14 2.00 #17
18 Erik MATYSIAK POL 95.39 47.23 49.16 5.07 4.61 5.04 5.00 4.86 1.00 #9
19 Artur PANIKHIN KAZ 94.81 50.23 46.58 4.93 4.29 4.71 4.79 4.57 2.00 #7
20 Larry LOUPOLOVER AZE 92.11 42.89 50.22 5.29 4.86 4.93 5.07 4.96 1.00 #12
21 Ryszard GURTLER POL 90.43 45.01 45.42 4.71 4.36 4.64 4.61 4.39 0.00 #10
22 Denis GURDZHI GER 88.14 42.62 47.52 4.89 4.54 4.61 4.86 4.86 2.00 #6
23 Milosz WITKOWSKI POL 83.24 41.60 41.64 4.25 3.82 4.32 4.18 4.25 0.00 #4
24 Alexander BOROVOJ HUN 82.34 38.54 46.80 4.86 4.54 4.54 4.82 4.64 3.00 #8
25 Jakub KRSNAK SVK 69.70 33.48 37.22 3.89 3.61 3.61 3.82 3.68 1.00 #5
26 Alp Eren OZKAN TUR 63.24 27.68 36.56 3.82 3.50 3.68 3.71 3.57 1.00 #2
27 Mikalai KAZLOU BLR 61.91 31.41 34.50 3.64 3.46 3.18 3.54 3.43 4.00 #1
28 Nikhil PINGLE IND 42.20 16.90 26.30 2.75 2.43 2.54 2.82 2.61 1.00 #3

Total

Pl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Alexey EROKHOV
RUS
221.89 1 1
2 Camden PULKINEN
USA
209.35 4 2
3 Conrad ORZEL
CAN
196.05 9 3
4 Luc ECONOMIDES
FRA
195.96 3 6
5 Igor EFIMCHUK
RUS
194.44 5 5
6 Matteo RIZZO
ITA
192.79 2 10
7 Koshiro SHIMADA
JPN
190.46 12 4
8 Yan HAO
CHN
182.56 6 11
9 Jiri BELOHRADSKY
CZE
181.52 8 7
10 Mark GORODNITSKY
ISR
175.29 13 9
11 Aleksandr SELEVKO
EST
174.27 15 8
12 Dinh TRAN
USA
172.91 10 12
13 Kai Xiang CHEW
MAS
171.93 7 13
14 Nurullah SAHAKA
SUI
157.81 18 14
15 Ivan SHMURATKO
UKR
156.61 11 17
16 Sunghoon PARK
KOR
156.02 17 15
17 Kims Georgs PAVLOVS
LAT
152.04 16 16
18 Larry LOUPOLOVER
AZE
147.70 14 20
19 Erik MATYSIAK
POL
142.27 22 18
20 Ryszard GURTLER
POL
139.66 20 21
21 Denis GURDZHI
GER
137.92 19 22
22 Artur PANIKHIN
KAZ
137.03 23 19
23 Alexander BOROVOJ
HUN
130.54 21 24
24 Milosz WITKOWSKI
POL
116.87 27 23
25 Jakub KRSNAK
SVK
107.55 24 25
26 Alp Eren OZKAN
TUR
100.19 25 26
27 Mikalai KAZLOU
BLR
97.40 26 27
28 Nikhil PINGLE
IND
64.11 28 28

2017 JGP Poland Men’s Preview

Four men are still in the running for the Junior Grand Prix Final, while one is making his season debut, hoping he can secure his spot in front of the home crowd next week.  Alexei Krasnozhon has already secured his spot in the Final, with 30 points overall.  Mitsuki Sumoto and Makar Ignatov each have 24 points while Roman Savosin and Joseph Phan have 22.

This event also promises lots of quads, and it is likely that we’ll see all the medalists over the 200 point mark.

Alexey Erokhov has set the bar this season, and no one has come close to matching it.  He took home the gold medal from JGP Belarus.  His short program includes a triple flip + triple toe combination with two jumps in the bonus.  He earned all positive GOEs, but he did have one spin that earned Level 2.  His program components all averaged 7s or high 6s.  His free skate included two quads, the salchow and the toe, both which he received full credit for and stood up on.  He even received positive GOEs on the quad salchow.  After GOEs were taken into account, these two elements netted him almost 21 points.  He also has a third quad (toe) in the bonus that he did land, but received less credit because it was not completed in combination.  In addition to the quads, he has two triple + triple combinations.  Two of his spins only earned Level 3, and his program components slightly suffered compared to the short program, so there is still room to grow with this program.  He needs a medal of any color to guarantee a spot in the Junior Grand Prix Final, while a 4th place finish would keep him in the running.  He has the best short program, free skate, and total scores for the season.

Camden Pulkinen won his first career JGP medal, a gold, at JGP Austria.  His short program combination is a triple flip + triple toe and he only has one jump in the bonus.  He had two falls in his program, including on the combination jump.  His free skate does not have a quad, but he has two triple + triple combinations and two triple axels.  He has five jumping passes planned in the bonus.  He could bring his levels up more by upgrading all of his spins to Level 4 and the step sequence to at least a Level 3.  He also had fairly strong program components for this level, with everything in the 6 range, and some individual judges giving him marks as high as 7.50.  He needs to win a medal here to qualify for the Final, but he could stay in the mix with a 4th place finish.  He has the 10th best short program, 4th best free skate, and 4th best total scores.

Luc Economides also won his first JGP medal, a silver, in Austria.  His short program combination is a triple flip + triple toe.  He had one fall on his opening triple axel, but the rest of the program earned positive GOEs.  His free skate at that event was a bit messier, with singled jumps, invalid jumps, and a fall.  He has five jumping passes in the bonus, but had errors on two of them.  He does not have a quad, and did not land a clean triple + triple combination in his program in Austria.  He also had two spins that received Level 2.  He needs a gold or silver medal to qualify for the Final.  He has the 9th best total score.

Igor Efimchuk won a bronze medal at JGP Belarus.  His short program includes a triple loop + triple toe and he has two jumps in the bonus.  He only earned a slight negative GOE on one of his spins.  He fell on his opening quad toe in the free skate and both of his triple axels earned negative GOEs.  He also popped both of his lutzes, one into a single and one into a double.  He only has four jumping passes in the bonus, so he needs to make them all count.  He needs a gold medal to qualify for the Final.  He has the 2nd best short program and 8th best total scores.

Koshiro Shimada is out of the running for the Final after a 5th place finish last week in Croatia.  He only executed a double axel in his short program, and he earned negative GOEs on one of his spin combinations.  His program components were on the lower side, with transitions averaging in the 5 range.  He only has a double axel in his free skate and only one triple + triple combination.  However, he earned all positive GOEs, and had all Level 4 spins and steps.

Yan Hao made his JGP debut last week in Croatia, where he finished 8th overall.  He fell on the triple axel and the triple toe + triple toe combination in his short program and only did a double lutz.  While his program components averaged in the 5 range, he did receive 7 marks from some of the judges.  While he has a bit more difficult technical content than Shimada, his program was on the messier side and his program components were lower.

Jiri Belohradsky cannot qualify for the Final after a 6th place finish in a deep field at JGP Belarus.  However, he does have a shot at a medal here, with a strong performance.  His free skate does not have any particularly difficult content, and several jumps could be upgraded to triples, however, he can skate it very cleanly.  He only received a negative GOE on his final jumping pass, the double axel, and it was very minor.  While he is working on upgrading the difficulty, he could gain higher results this season with improved artistic scores, as his scores were all in the low 6 range, with some marks as low as 5.50.  His combination in the short program is a triple flip + triple toe and he has one jumping pass in the bonus.

Matteo Rizzo is making his JGP season debut.  If he medals here, he has a chance to qualify for the Final next week in Italy.  He has competed on the Junior Grand Prix since 2013, but his highest finish was 5th back in 2015.  He has had a great start to his senior season, however.  He set a personal best score of 227.02 at Lombardia Trophy where he finished 5th overall.  And just last weekend, he placed 4th at Nebelhorn Trophy, earning a spot at the Olympics.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Alexey Erokhov

Silver: Matteo Rizzo

Bronze: Camden Pulkinen

 

Bios of the competitors:

Larry Loupolover, AZE: He finished 36th at Worlds and 31st at Europeans.  He placed 10th at JGP Belarus.  His personal best is 180.22.  He is 18 years old.

Mikalai Kazlou, BLR: He placed 20th at JGP Belarus.  His personal best is 114.52.  He is 13 years old.

Conrad Orzel, CAN: He placed 13th at Junior Worlds.  He finished 7th at JGP Austria.  His personal best is 196.30.  He is 17 years old.

Yan Hao, CHN: He finished 8th at JGP Croatia.  His personal best is 187.48.  He is 14 years old.

Jiri Belohradsky, CZE: He finished 20th at Europeans.  He placed 6th at JGP Belarus.  His personal best is 184.17.  He is 18 years old.

Aleksandr Selevko, EST: He placed 11th at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 184.93.  He is 16 years old.

Luc Economides, FRA: He placed 30th at Junior Worlds.  He won silver at JGP Austria.  His personal best is 190.59.  He is 18 years old.

Denis Gurdzhi, GER: He finished 20th at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 138.77.  He is 14 years old.

Alexander Borovoj, HUN: He placed 27th at Europeans and 40th at Junior Worlds.  He finished 17th at JGP Latvia.  His personal best is 137.49.  He is 18 years old.

Nikhil Pingle, IND: His personal best is 38.13.  He is 18 years old.

Mark Gorodnitsky, ISR: He placed 30th at Europeans and 22nd at Junior Worlds.  He finished 5th at JGP Austria.  His personal best is 186.02.  He is 16 years old.

Matteo Rizzo, ITA: He placed 30th at Worlds and 11th at Junior Worlds last season.  He finished 12th at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 227.02.  He is 19 years old.

Koshiro Shimada, JPN: He finished 14th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 5th at JGP Croatia.  His personal best is 203.29.  He is 16 years old.

Artur Panikhin, KAZ: He placed 32nd at Junior Worlds.  He finished 16th at JGP France and 16th at JGP Estonia last season.  His personal best is 141.47.  He is 17 years old.

Kims Georgs Pavlovs, LAT: He placed 16th at JGP Latvia.  His personal best is 138.80.  He is 14 years old.

Kai Ziang Chew, MAS: He finished 23rd at Europeans and 42nd at Junior Worlds.  He placed 9th at JGP Latvia.  His personal best is 161.41.  He is 18 years old.

Ryszard Gurtler, POL: He finished 41st at Junior Worlds.  He placed 16th at JGP Belarus.  His personal best is 132.00.  He is 18 years old.

Erik Matysiak, POL: His personal best is 109.26.  He is 18 years old.

Milosz Witowski, POL: This is his JGP debut.

Sunghoon Park, KOR: He placed 15th at JGP Estonia last season.  His personal best is 146.01.  He is 14 years old.

Igor Efimchuk, RUS: He won bronze at JGP Belarus.  His personal best is 195.63.  He is 18 years old.

Alexey Erokhov, RUS: He won gold at JGP Austria.  His personal best is 232.79.  He is 18 years old.

Jakub Krsnak, SVK: He placed 36th at Junior Worlds.  He finished 21st at JGP Croatia.  His personal best is 146.89.  He is 18 years old.

Nurullah Sahaka, SUI: He placed 34th at Junior Worlds.  He finished 16th at JGP Austria.  His personal best is 154.55.  He is 17 years old.

Alp Eren Ozkan, TUR: He finished 23rd at JGP Belarus.  His personal best is 96.30.  He is 14 years old.

Ivan Shmuratko, UKR: He finished 15th at JGP Austria.  His personal best is 152.69.  He is 15 years old.

Camden Pulkinen, USA: He won gold at JGP Austria.  His personal best is 203.80.  He is 17 years old.

Dinh Tran, USA:

2017 JGP Austria Men’s Results

Short Program

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Camden PULKINEN USA 66.34 35.98 32.36 6.50 6.32 6.39 6.54 6.61 2.00 #14
2 Luc ECONOMIDES FRA 65.88 35.84 31.04 6.07 5.93 6.36 6.29 6.39 1.00 #10
3 Basar OKTAR TUR 64.27 36.48 27.79 5.71 5.39 5.61 5.54 5.54 0.00 #16
4 Sena MIYAKE JPN 61.78 32.85 29.93 6.25 5.75 5.93 6.11 5.89 1.00 #7
5 Ryan DUNK USA 60.85 32.25 28.60 5.71 5.50 5.82 5.75 5.82 0.00 #12
6 Conrad ORZEL CAN 58.23 28.44 29.79 6.18 5.82 5.86 6.04 5.89 0.00 #1
7 Jonathan HESS GER 57.34 31.45 27.89 5.79 5.39 5.50 5.64 5.57 2.00 #15
8 Nik FOLINI ITA 56.70 26.37 30.33 6.07 5.82 6.11 6.04 6.29 0.00 #17
9 Mark GORODNITSKY ISR 56.57 29.79 26.78 5.46 5.18 5.43 5.32 5.39 0.00 #8
10 Radek JAKUBKA CZE 55.78 28.75 27.03 5.50 5.25 5.46 5.43 5.39 0.00 #18
11 Evgeni SEMENENKO RUS 55.60 27.78 28.82 5.71 5.61 5.79 5.75 5.96 1.00 #20
12 Nurullah SAHAKA SUI 55.02 27.87 28.15 5.61 5.50 5.61 5.75 5.68 1.00 #2
13 Luc MAIERHOFER AUT 54.18 26.99 27.19 5.36 5.25 5.54 5.43 5.61 0.00 #13
14 Egor MURASHOV RUS 53.98 26.23 28.75 5.82 5.54 5.71 5.79 5.89 1.00 #21
15 Ivan SHMURATKO UKR 53.38 28.45 26.93 5.32 5.18 5.43 5.50 5.50 2.00 #3
16 Nika EGADZE GEO 46.56 22.66 24.90 4.93 4.82 5.04 5.11 5.00 1.00 #4
17 Geon Hyeong AN KOR 44.30 19.20 25.10 5.32 4.89 4.93 5.07 4.89 0.00 #11
18 Charles Henry KATANOVIC CRO 41.54 20.47 22.07 4.46 4.21 4.54 4.43 4.43 1.00 #6
19 Nikolaj Molgaard PEDERSEN DEN 38.73 17.42 21.31 4.39 4.14 4.32 4.25 4.21 0.00 #19
20 Anton SKOFICZ AUT 35.90 17.15 19.75 4.07 3.79 3.93 4.00 3.96 1.00 #5
21 Mate BOROCZ HUN 35.10 17.67 19.43 4.14 3.75 3.79 3.96 3.79 2.00 #9

Free Skate

  Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Camden PULKINEN USA 137.46 71.70 66.76 6.71 6.46 6.75 6.75 6.71 1.00 #19
2 Egor MURASHOV RUS 132.78 70.80 61.98 6.07 5.96 6.32 6.21 6.43 0.00 #7
3 Luc ECONOMIDES FRA 124.71 60.43 65.28 6.46 6.32 6.54 6.61 6.71 1.00 #20
4 Mark GORODNITSKY ISR 120.62 62.48 58.14 5.89 5.54 5.93 5.82 5.89 0.00 #14
5 Evgeni SEMENENKO RUS 120.20 61.92 59.28 5.82 5.75 6.07 6.04 5.96 1.00 #12
6 Basar OKTAR TUR 117.16 62.16 57.00 5.86 5.50 5.75 5.75 5.64 2.00 #21
7 Conrad ORZEL CAN 114.51 59.29 57.22 6.07 5.57 5.61 5.82 5.54 2.00 #17
8 Nika EGADZE GEO 113.96 62.34 53.62 5.46 5.21 5.36 5.46 5.32 2.00 #9
9 Nik FOLINI ITA 112.79 52.89 60.90 6.14 5.82 6.21 6.07 6.21 1.00 #15
10 Radek JAKUBKA CZE 111.56 57.94 53.62 5.46 5.21 5.39 5.39 5.36 0.00 #11
11 Sena MIYAKE JPN 110.91 50.13 61.78 6.39 6.07 6.11 6.14 6.18 1.00 #18
12 Ryan DUNK USA 109.86 50.56 59.30 5.86 5.68 6.14 5.86 6.11 0.00 #16
13 Jonathan HESS GER 109.21 54.19 55.02 5.86 5.29 5.50 5.50 5.36 0.00 #13
14 Geon Hyeong AN KOR 102.56 53.34 49.22 5.21 4.79 4.86 4.86 4.89 0.00 #1
15 Ivan SHMURATKO UKR 99.31 51.93 49.38 5.04 4.68 4.93 5.04 5.00 2.00 #8
16 Luc MAIERHOFER AUT 98.82 45.90 53.92 5.46 5.14 5.43 5.50 5.43 1.00 #10
17 Nurullah SAHAKA SUI 95.90 41.04 56.86 5.61 5.57 5.54 5.82 5.89 2.00 #6
18 Mate BOROCZ HUN 85.66 48.22 37.44 4.07 3.61 3.64 3.86 3.54 0.00 #3
19 Charles Henry KATANOVIC CRO 82.72 40.14 42.58 4.39 4.04 4.29 4.32 4.25 0.00 #5
20 Nikolaj Molgaard PEDERSEN DEN 73.08 33.36 41.72 4.36 4.04 4.11 4.21 4.14 2.00 #2
21 Anton SKOFICZ AUT 51.48 23.98 33.50 3.61 3.36 3.14 3.39 3.25 6.00 #4

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Camden PULKINEN
USA
203.80 1 1
2 Luc ECONOMIDES
FRA
190.59 2 3
3 Egor MURASHOV
RUS
186.76 14 2
4 Basar OKTAR
TUR
181.43 3 6
5 Mark GORODNITSKY
ISR
177.19 9 4
6 Evgeni SEMENENKO
RUS
175.80 11 5
7 Conrad ORZEL
CAN
172.74 6 7
8 Sena MIYAKE
JPN
172.69 4 11
9 Ryan DUNK
USA
170.71 5 12
10 Nik FOLINI
ITA
169.49 8 9
11 Radek JAKUBKA
CZE
167.34 10 10
12 Jonathan HESS
GER
166.55 7 13
13 Nika EGADZE
GEO
160.52 16 8
14 Luc MAIERHOFER
AUT
153.00 13 16
15 Ivan SHMURATKO
UKR
152.69 15 15
16 Nurullah SAHAKA
SUI
150.92 12 17
17 Geon Hyeong AN
KOR
146.86 17 14
18 Charles Henry KATANOVIC
CRO
124.26 18 19
19 Mate BOROCZ
HUN
120.76 21 18
20 Nikolaj Molgaard PEDERSEN
DEN
111.81 19 20
21 Anton SKOFICZ
AUT
87.38 20 21

2017 JGP Austria Men’s Preview

The junior men’s event is largely separated into the haves and the have nots.  The quad is becoming much more common at the junior level, but you still might only see a small handful of competitors attempt one at each JGP.  It is not allowed in the short program, so it can make a big difference in moving up in the standings in the free skate.  The second distinguishing factor is the triple axel.  There is a large point difference between the double and triple and with one required in the short program and usually two in the free skate, there is a significant technical advantage to having a triple.  For those who have both, a spot on the podium is almost a guarantee, as long as they don’t see downgrades or other serious errors.

Conrad Orzel is the top finisher from Junior Worlds competing at this event.  He finished 13th at that event.  He placed 10th at his JGP debut last season, but won a silver medal at JGP Germany where he set a new personal best score of 196.30.  His score there was 30 points higher than at his first event and was consistent with his performance at Junior Worlds.

Alexey Erokhov has the highest personal best score of anyone at this event, setting a 216.91 at JGP Japan, where he won the bronze medal.  He had to withdraw from his second assignment at JGP Germany and finished just 5th at Russian nationals and didn’t have the chance to compete at Junior Worlds.  He dealt with a lot of injuries and illnesses last year, which impeded his ability to put together a full season.  He is capable of doing a variety of quads, and has been working on the quad lutz.

Sena Miyake is definitely a competitor to watch this season.  He recently won gold at the Asian Open, a B event, where he scored 189.70, 20 points better than his personal best.  He last competed on the Junior Grand Prix in 2015, where he finished 8th at JGP Latvia. He finished 9th in the senior event at Japanese nationals last season.

Ryan Dunk is making his JGP debut, but he recently won gold at the Philadelphia Summer Classic with a score of 178.52.  Jumps have been a bit of a tricky area for him in the past, but he really excels in everything else, picking up valuable points and making up for any deficits.

Camden Pulkinen competed at JGP Estonia last season and is the reigning US Junior Men’s Silver Medalist.  Pulkinen was not given a spot on the Junior Worlds team, in favor of a skater who competed in the senior men’s event.  It’s looking like he might employ a similar strategy this season, as he competed as a senior at the Philadelphia Summer Classic earlier this summer.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Alexey Erokhov

Silver: Conrad Orzel

Bronze: Sena Miyake

 

Bios of the competitors: 

Luc Maierhofer, AUT: He placed 19th at JGP Slovenia and 21st at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 151.78.  He is 15 years old.

Anton Skoficz, AUT: This is his JGP debut.  He is 16 years old.

Conrad Orzel, CAN: He placed 13th at Junior Worlds.  He finished 10th at JGP France and won silver at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 196.30.  He is 17 years old.

Charles Henry Katanovic, CRO

Radek Jakubka, CZE: He placed 16th at JGP Czech Republic and 14th at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 153.73.  He is 16 years old.

Nikolaj Molgaard Pedersen, DEN: This is his JGP debut.  He is 18 years old.

Luc Economides, FRA: He placed 30th at Junior Worlds.  He finished 11th at JGP France and 10th at JGP Russia last season.  His personal best is 162.06.  He is 18 years old.

Nika Egadze, GEO: He placed 14th at JGP Slovenia last season.  His personal best is 149.29.  He is 15 years old.

Jonathan Hess, GER: He placed 22nd at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 129.81.  He is 17 years old.

Mate Borocz, HUN: He placed 21st at JGP Slovenia last season.  His personal best is 121.53.  He is 18 years old.

Mark Gorodnitsky, ISR: He placed 30th at Europeans and 22nd at Junior Worlds.  He finished 10th at JGP Japan and 15th at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 170.59.  He is 16 years old.

Nik Folini, ITA: This is his JGP debut.  He is 17 years old.

Sena Miyake, JPN: He finished 11th at JGP Japan last season.  His personal best is 168.73.  He is 15 years old.

Geon Hyeong An, KOR: His personal best is 150.04.  He is 16 years old.

Alexey Erokhov, RUS: He won bronze at JGP Japan last season.  His personal best is 216.91.  He is 17 years old.

Evgeni Semenenko, RUS: This is his international debut.  He is 14 years old.

Nurullah Sahaka, SUI: He placed 34th at Junior Worlds.  He finished 12th at JGP Slovenia last season.  His personal best is 154.55.  He is 17 years old.

Basar Oktar, TUR: He finished 26th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 18th at JGP France and 14th at JGP Estonia last season.  His personal best is 152.77.  He is 15 years old.

Ivan Shmuratko, UKR: This is his JGP debut.  His personal best is 125.78.  He is 15 years old.

Ryan Dunk, USA: This is his JGP debut.  He is 16 years old.

Camden Pulkinen, USA: He placed 9th at JGP Estonia last season.  His personal best is 171.69.  He is 17 years old.

2017 US Nationals Junior Men’s Results

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 11 Aleksei Krasnozhon, Dallas FSC 2 66.89 1 144.16 211.05
2 7 Camden Pulkinen, Broadmoor SC 1 73.41 2 124.24 197.65
3 10 Ryan Dunk, Baltimore FSC 4 57.78 3 114.44 172.22
4 6 Eric Sjoberg, Los Angeles FSC 3 60.73 4 109.88 170.61
5 9 Sasha Lunin, Fort Wayne ISC 5 56.60 5 104.79 161.39
6 8 Mathew Graham, Idaho Falls FSC 6 54.57 6 104.39 158.96
7 5 Peter Liu, SC of Wilmington 8 52.47 7 102.35 154.82
8 1 Derek Wagner, Northern Ice SC 7 52.85 8 100.40 153.25
9 2 Kelvin Li, Northern Ice SC 9 50.39 9 97.30 147.69
10 4 Daniil Shamis, All Year FSC 11 40.93 10 94.62 135.55
11 3 TJ Nyman, Space Coast Ice Plex FSC 10 41.51 11 89.02 130.53
WD Kendrick Weston, Salt Lake Figure Skating

Pulkinen aims to jump to the podium in Kansas City

Photo Credit U.S. Figure Skating

Camden Pulkinen might not be a name that many casual skating fans are familiar with.  He has qualified for nationals three times previously, finishing 5th and 16th at the juvenile level and 11th last season as a junior.  After a trip to the Youth Olympic Games last winter, where he finished 7th, he is evolving into a top junior men’s skater in the U.S.   He moved to Colorado Springs to train with Tom Zakrajsek and won the US Challenge Skate by over 30 points this fall.  He placed 9th in his Junior Grand Prix debut in Estonia.

Armed with a triple axel and a focus on component scores, this high school student has his sights set on the podium in Kansas City.

How did you get involved with skating?

I initially started with ice hockey. My sister, Elena, was going to all these competitions for figure skating and one day I decided to give it a try. I absolutely loved skating as fast as I could, and I still do!

How would you describe yourself as a skater?

I like to think of myself as a very powerful skater. I have always wanted to turn into a more artistic skater, along with powerful elements.

Tell me about yourself outside of skating.

Outside of skating, I am attending online high school.  I enjoy spending time with friends and watching professional soccer.  I also love eating at Noodles and Company, my favorite place!

Tell me about your programs this season.

This season, my short program is Piano Concerto 2 by Sergio Rachmaninoff.  I have never skated to a somewhat classical piece of music and this program has really helped me grow into the skater I am as of now.

My long program is Sarabande Suite (Aeternae) by Globus.  I really love this piece of music because it is so unique.  It is very powerful and there are so many different rhythms which allows me to show different emotions.

What is the most difficult element for you in your programs? 

The most difficult element for me in my programs are the flying camels.  I have been working diligently on my spins and I’m excited to show the improvement at U.S. Championships!

What is your favorite element to complete?

My favorite element to compete is the triple axel.  The triple axel is such a difficult element and not many people in the world can perform it.

Your first international competition was the Youth Olympic Winter Games last season.  What was that experience like and what did you learn from it?

My time in Norway was very enjoyable.  I met so many people, from different sports.  I am so thankful to have received the Olympic experience at such a young age and I will always remember the atmosphere.  I learned that I had a lot of work to do.  Competing against other competitors who have qualified for the JGP Final and medaled at World Junior Championships inspired me to work harder than I was.

You finished 9th at your first Junior Grand Prix in Estonia.  How did that experience differ from the Youth Olympic Games?

At the Youth Olympic Games, I felt more like a celebrity and I felt a lot more pressure.  The entire city of Lillehammer was supporting this event.  Almost everywhere I went in the town, I found posters, or advertisements of the Youth Olympics!  At my Junior Grand Prix, the skating was at a higher caliber, however, there was a lot less publicity.

What is your favorite part about traveling internationally with skating?

My favorite part about traveling internationally is representing my country.  I love it when the announcer says “representing the United States…” It gives me chills.

You have the triple axel in both of your programs.  What was the process like acquiring that jump and what do you feel it does for you as a skater?

The process of learning that jump required a lot of trust. I had to trust in what my coaches were telling me even if it didn’t feel right.  I worked on the technique every day.  One day, (at a 6:00 am practice at Glacier Falls) I landed it.  It took me two months of constant work to land the jump.  Now, it feels so easy.  Doing the triple axel is such a pivotal part of men’s figure skating.  I think it boosts my component marks and it makes me a tougher competitor.

Your sectionals score was significantly lower than the US Challenge Skate and the JGP, and a lot of that can be attributed to program components.  Is there anything you’ve changed with your programs to try and get those particular scores higher?

Yes, I have reworked some second half jumps and I have changed part of my footwork sequence. I think that the program that I am executing now is more expressive and shows a full range of motion.

As a returning junior level skater, how do you think competing at nationals will be different this year?

This year, there are not too many returning junior men from last season.  I feel that this year, I am more seasoned and I have a better understanding of the mental process of competing.

Some of the things I noticed about your skating last season was your great posture and choreography.  Can you talk a little about your off ice training and the choreographic process you use to achieve that look on the ice?

I have been taking ballet lessons twice a week.  We work for one hour a week on pure ballet, and an hour a week on the program.  I think ballet is such an important part of being a figure skater because so many of the movements are the same.  I have a lesson a day on choreography.  I work with Tom Dickson, Drew Meekins, and Ben Agosto.

Have you made any changes to your programs for nationals?

Yes, we have changed the three jump combo from 2A+1Lo+3F to a 3Lz+2T+2Lo.  We have also added a solo 3F and have changed the 3Lz+3T to a 3F+3t.

What are your goals for nationals?  For next season?

My goals at nationals are to not only put out two clean programs, but to perform.  I want to show that I’m not just a jumper.

Is there anything else you want people to know?

Last season, I feel like I was at nationals for the experience, and that I was not in contention for a medal spot.  At nationals this year, I want to show that I’m not just there to fill out the competition, but to be in contention.

2017 US Nationals Junior Men’s Preview

As a group they’ve won 14 national medals and every single competitor at this event has qualified for nationals at least once. Only Alexei Krasnozhon won medals on the Junior Grand Prix, and he won two and qualified for the Final.  The 3rd and 11th place junior men from last year will be competing.  The 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th place novice finishers are moving up to compete at this event.  The short program will be held on Wednesday, January 18th with the free skate on Friday, January 20th.

What will set these men apart both nationally and internationally is a triple axel and a quad.  The required solo jump in the short program this year is a triple loop.  Because the juniors have a required solo jump, they are more limited in how they structure their programs, but a triple + triple combination, triple axels, and moving jumps to the bonus will definitely increase their technical score in the jumping category.

To be competitive at Junior Worlds, they’ll need to score above 70 points in the short program, 140 points in the free skate and 210 points overall.  It’s difficult to say how many spots on the Junior Worlds team may be up for grabs, as several junior eligible skaters who competed on the Junior Grand Prix this season are competing in the senior event.

Alexei Krasnozhon has the 5th best short program, 5th best free skate and 5th best total scores internationally.  He has medaled at this event each of the last two seasons, taking home a pewter medal and then a bronze medal.  He was one of the only US men to win a medal on the Junior Grand Prix, and he was the only one to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final.  He scored above 200 points at every single one of his JGP assignments, and international scores tend to be lower than nationals scores.  No other competitor in this field broke the 200 point mark at either international or national competitions.  He is the closest thing to a shoe-in as there can be in figure skating.  He has the triple + triples, a quad, triple axels and program components significantly higher than the rest of the field.  His advantage is great enough that he can afford to make mistakes and still come out on top.  His best scores of the season came from JGP Czech Republic so I analyzed his free skate from that event.  His jump layout included quad loop (fall, downgraded), triple salchow, triple flip, triple axel + triple toe, triple axel, triple flip + double toe + double loop, triple lutz + triple loop, and a double axel, giving him a base value of 68.08.  His base value for jumps in the free skate is nearly 14 points higher than any other competitor in this field.  He received Level 4, Level 4 and Level 3 on his spins and Level 3 on his steps.  He earned 4 points from GOE and earned between 6.96-7.29 in GOE.  At JGP Slovenia he received full credit for the quad loop but negative GOEs, and at the Final it was under-rotated.  His short program includes a triple flip + triple toe and a triple axel, giving him a base jump value of 23.71.

Eric Sjoberg comes into this event as the reigning Novice Champion.  He also has the best scores from the qualifying events by nearly 7 points.  He trains with Raf Artunian alongside current World Silver Medalist Ashley Wagner and US Champion Adam Rippon.  His free skate includes a triple loop, double axel, triple flip + triple toe (under-rotated at sectionals), triple lutz + double toe + double loop, triple lutz, triple flip, triple salchow + double toe, and double axel + double toe (singled the axel and missed the combo) giving him a base jump value of 50.86.  He received Level 4 on his spins and steps and an impressive 6.5 points from GOEs,  His program components ranged from 5.81-6.25.  His short program includes a triple flip + triple toe, double axel and triple loop for a base value of 19.47.  He isn’t attempting a triple axel and he only has one jump in the bonus, but he has the highest start value of any of the men not attempting the triple axel in the short program.  He received a one point deduction for a time violation at sectionals.

Camden Pulkinen is the only skater besides Krasnozhon attempting the triple axel.  He finished 11th at this event last year and only has the 8th best scores from qualifying.  However, I think he was vastly under-scored at sectionals on PCS, which would bring his scores up much higher.  His free skate includes a triple axel, triple lutz + triple toe, triple flip, triple lutz, triple flip + double toe + double loop, triple loop (singled at sectionals), triple salchow and double axel + double toe.  He earned Level 4, Level 4, Level 3 on his spins but only Level 2 on his steps.  He did lose 4 points from GOE and his program components ranged from 4.75-5.75.  At his JGP assignment, his PCS ranged from 5.5-6.11, and more often than not, international PCS tend to be lower than national PCS.  On PCS in the free skate alone, he scored 8 full points higher on the JGP than sectionals.  His short program includes a triple axel (under-rotated), triple lutz + triple toe and triple loop (doubled) which gives him a jump start value of 24.41: the highest for a short program at this event.  Again, his PCS were low, receiving 3 points less than he did on the Junior Grand Prix.  His score at the US Challenge Skate was higher than his JGP score and much higher than his performance at Sectionals, so I definitely expect his score to be much higher than it is currently.

Ryan Dunk has the third best total score from sectional competition and just missed the podium last season as a novice.  His free skate includes a double axel, triple lutz + triple toe (doubled at sectionals), triple lutz, triple loop, triple loop + double loop, double axel + double toe + double loop, triple toe and a triple salchow (fall) for a base value of 48.90.  He earned Level 4 on his spins and steps with program components from 5.35-5.75.  His programs are smartly constructed as he does not have a triple flip.  He uses the loop as the combination in two of his jumps to increase his technical value and goes for the maximum value on the non jumping elements.  He doesn’t attempt a triple + triple in his short program, but he backloads the jumps, putting them all in the bonus.  For his triple loop, triple lutz + double toe and double axel he earns 17.27 in base value, only a little over a point behind Hubbart with the triple + triple combination.

Mathew Graham has the 4th best total score from sectionals and is competing at nationals for the first time since 2013.  His free skate includes triple lutz + double toe, double axel + double toe, triple lutz, triple flip, triple loop + single toe (downgraded at sectionals) + double loop, triple loop, triple salchow and double axel for a base value of 45.31.  He received Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4 on his spins with Level 2 on the steps.  He earned 1.5 points from GOE and 5.50-6.06 on PCS.

Kendrick Weston set the 5th highest score at sectionals, just fractions of a point behind Graham.  He won the bronze medal as a novice last season.  His free skate includes a triple loop, triple lutz + double toe, triple lutz, triple salchow + single loop + double salchow, triple flip + double loop, triple toe, triple salchow, and double axel giving him a base value of 45.06.  He earned Level 4, Level 3, and Level 3 on his spins and Level 3 on his steps.  He earned 3.5 points from GOE but his PCS were all over the board, ranging from 4.81-6.00.  His short program content is the same as Graham’s with the same base value.

Assuming that Krasnozhon does not have a major meltdown, it is going to be the 2nd-4th places on the podium that are contested.  The major question is going to be whether Pulkinen can use the triple axel to his advantage and pull his PCS up to land on the podium.  The difference between a double and a triple axel is 5.2 points, so if another skater were able to show up to nationals with a triple axel, it could be a game changer as landing one in the short and one in the long could be worth over 10 extra points.  The other factor is going to be whether Hubbart can skate a clean program like he did at sectionals with the pressure of having to compete in two events on four consecutive days, not to mention the official practice time and warmups associated with competition.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Alexei Krasnozhon

Silver: Eric Sjoberg

Bronze: Camden Pulkinen

Pewter: Ryan Dunk

 

Bios of the competitors:

Ryan Dunk: He represents the Baltimore Skating Club.  He finished 5th in novice last season, is the 2015 Intermediate Men’s Pewter Medalist and finished 11th in juvenile in 2014.  He won gold at South Atlantic Regionals and silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 2nd best short program, 3rd best free skate and 3rd best total scores.

Mathew Graham: He represents the Idaho Falls Figure Skating Club.  He finished 11th in intermediate in 2013.  He won gold at Northwest Pacific Regionals and silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 4th best short program, 4th best free skate and 4th best total scores from qualifying.

Alexei Krasnozhon: He is 16 years old and represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  He won silver at JGP Czech Republic and gold at JGP Slovenia to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where he placed 5th.  He is the reigning Junior Bronze Medalist and 2015 Junior Pewter Medalist.

Kelvin Li: He represents the Northern Ice Skating Club.  He finished 7th in novice in 2015 and 12th in juvenile in 2012.  He won silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Peter Liu: He is 16 years old and represents the Skating Club of Wilmington.  He placed 16th at JGP Germany.  He is the reigning Novice Silver Medalist, finished 6th as a novice in 2015, and is the 2014 Intermediate Pewter Medalist.  He won bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 7th best free skate and 9th best total scores.

Sasha Lunin: He is 16 years old and represents the Fort Wayne Ice Skating Club.  He placed 7th in novice last season and is the 2013 Juvenile Bronze Medalist.  He won pewter at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

TJ Nyman: He represents the Space Coast Ice Plex Figure Skating Club.  He is the 2015 Intermediate Champion and 2014 Juvenile Champion.  He won pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 6th best short program score from qualifying.

Camden Pulkinen: He is 16 years old and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  He placed 9th at JGP Estonia.  He finished 11th in juniors last season, 5th in juvenile in 2013 and 16th in juvenile in 2012.  He won gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for Nationals.  He has the 10th best short program, 10th best free skate and 8th best total scores from qualifying.

Eric Sjoberg: He is 15 years old and represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club.  He placed 7th at JGP Russia.  He is the reigning Novice Champion, finished 11th as a novice in 2015, is the 2014 Novice Silver Medalist, 2013 Intermediate Men’s Pewter Medalist, 2012 Juvenile Boys Pewter Medalist and finished 11th as a juvenile in 2011.  He won gold at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the best short program, best free skate and best total scores from qualifying.

Daniel Shamis: He represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  He is the 2015 Novice Pewter Medalist.  He won gold at Southwest Pacific Regionals and pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 8th best short program, 8th best free skate and 6th best total scores.

Derek Wagner: He is 17 years old and represents the Northern Ice Skating Club.  He finished 6th in novice last season, 6th in intermediate in 2013 and 9th in juvenile in 2012.  He won bronze at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Kendrick Weston: He is 16 years old and represents Salt Lake Figure Skating.  He is the 2015 Novice Bronze Medalist, finished 7th in intermediate in 2014, is the 2013 Juvenile Boys Silver Medalist and finished 8th in juvenile in 2012.  He won silver at Central Pacific Regionals and bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 3rd best short program, 5th best free skate and 5th best total scores.