2018 US Nationals Senior Ladies Preview

As a group, these ladies have won 68 national medals.  They hold one World medal, seven Four Continents medals and seven Junior Worlds medals.  They won 2 medals on the Grand Prix and three medals in the Challenger Series along with one JGP medal.  The entire podium from last season is returning, along with the 5th, 7th-10th, 12th, 14th-16th, and 18th place finishers.  The entire Junior Ladies podium from last season along with the 8th place finisher have qualified to compete as seniors.  The short program will be held on Wednesday, January 3rd with the free skate on Friday, January 5th.

 To be competitive internationally, they need short program scores above 70 points, free skate scores above 139 points, and overall scores above 206 points.  None of the US ladies rank on any of the top ten international lists this season.
Bradie Tennell held on to a spot in the top ten up until Skate America.  She is the only US lady to score over 200 points internationally this season, and has done so twice.  At Skate America, she landed a triple lutz + triple toe in her short program with a solo triple loop and double axel in the bonus.  She had all Level 4 spins with Level 3 steps.  She earned all positive GOEs worth 5 points and had program components in the low to mid 7s.  Her free skate had a triple lutz + triple toe, triple lutz + double toe + double loop, and a double axel + triple toe.  She earned Level 4 on her spins and Level 3 on the step sequence with all positive GOEs netting her 10 points.  Her program components ranged from the mid 7s to mid 8s.  At Lombardia Trophy, she also had a clean short program but her program components were lower in the high 6s, but this was an earlier event in the season.  Her free skate was mostly clean with only a slight negative GOE on her solo loop.  Again, her program components were slightly lower.
Ashley Wagner rebounded from a 7th place short program at Skate Canada to take home the bronze medal.  She hasn’t had the greatest season this year as she then had to withdraw from Skate America during her free skate due to an infection.  She is reusing two old programs, yet did not skate them cleanly.  After Skate America, she decided to scrap her free skate and has gone back to La La Land which she had choreographed over the summer but never competed.  It is a big gamble, but she didn’t have many competitions under her belt anyway and her programs weren’t seeing huge successes.  Her short program had an under-rotated triple flip + triple toe and a double axel and triple loop (under-rotated) in the bonus.  She earned Level 4 on one of her spins with Level 3 on everything else.  Her program components were in the low to mid 8s.  Her free skate has a triple flip + triple toe, double axel + double toe, and triple loop + double toe.  She under-rotated three jumps at Skate Canada, the triple + triple, triple loop, and triple loop combo, while receiving an edge call on her triple lutz.  She received Level 4 on two spins and Level 3 on the other and her step sequence.  Her program components were in the low to high 8s.  At Skate America, her combination and solo jump were under-rotated although she did earn Level 4 on everything in the short program.
Mirai Nagasu has a big wild card in her programs this season: the triple axel.  She has been hitting it consistently in practice this week, but she is not known for being able to perform under pressure.  She has quite the perseverance, however, considering that she is very much in the mix for the Olympic team and she last qualified for the Olympics 8 years ago, and won her only US title 10 years ago.  At Rostelecom Cup, she stood up on her triple axel attempt but it was under-rotated.  She also fell on a downgraded triple flip + triple toe and under-rotated the triple lutz in the bonus.  She earned Level 4 on her spins and Level 3 on the step sequence with program components in the mid to high 7s.  In her free skate, she again stood up on an under-rotated triple axel, and landed a triple flip + triple toe and triple loop + double toe + double toe.  She under-rotated a triple salchow and her double axel + triple toe.  She received Level 4 on all of her spins and Level 3 on her step sequence.  Her program components were in the mid to high 7s.  At NHK Trophy, she received full credit for the triple axel in her short program, but under-rotated her other two jumps.  She again stood up on the axel in the free skate, but it was under-rotated.  Otherwise, the rest of the program was clean with program components in the mid 7s to low 8s.
Karen Chen has seemed a bit unsettled this season after winning her first national title last year.  She has changed her free skate several times this season, and when most skaters would be settling in and fine tuning their programs, she seems to be starting from scratch.  She has never medaled at a Grand Prix event, and while she finished 4th at Worlds last year, she did not skate cleanly, and benefitted from several other skaters imploding.  Her short program at Skate Canada included a triple lutz, triple loop + double toe, and a double axel.  She earned Level 4 on two spins and Level 3 on the other spin and her step sequence.  Her program components were in the mid 7s.  In the free skate, she had a triple lutz + double toe but under-rotated her double axel + single loop + triple salchow and only had two combinations.  She also under-rotated a triple flip with an edge call, under-rotated a triple lutz, and had a downgraded triple salchow.  She earned Level 4 on two spins and Level 3 on the other spin and step sequence.  Her program components were in the mid to high 7s. At Skate America, she went for the triple lutz + triple toe in her short program, but it was under-rotated and her triple loop was downgraded.
Angela Wang did not compete on the Grand Prix, but had two Challenger Series assignments.  Her short program has a triple flip + triple toe and a double axel and triple loop in the bonus.  She received Level 3 on two of her spins and the step sequence.  Her program components were in the low to mid 7s.  Her free skate has a triple flip + triple toe + double toe but she had problems with her other two combinations in Finlandia Trophy, singling the axel in her triple loop + double axel sequence and under-rotating her triple flip + double toe.  She earned Level 4 on one of her spins and Level 3 on the the others with program components in the mid to high 7s.  At Tallinn Trophy, she missed her triple + triple in the short program but earned all positive GOEs worth 5 points.  Her free skate was a bit of a mess, missing her opening combo after a fall, singling a loop, doubling a salchow, and under-rotating and falling on a planned triple flip combination.
Courtney Hicks just missed the podium at Skate Canada.  She landed a triple flip + triple loop in her short program in addition to a triple lutz and double axel in the bonus.  She received Level 4 on her layback spin and Level 3 on everything else.  Her program components were in the high 8s to mid 7s.  In the free skate, she hit a triple flip + triple loop and double axel + double toe, before botching her triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow combination (which she also missed at the Autumn Classic International.  She also under-rotated a double axel.  She earned Level 4 on two spins with Level 3 on the other and the step sequence.  Her program components were in the mid to high 7s.  At the Autumn Classic International, she only had a triple + double in her short program but she hit Level 4s on all of her elements.
Mariah Bell had her first trip to Worlds last season, finishing 12th.  At Rostelecom Cup, she under-rotated the triple lutz + triple toe in her short program but did land a triple flip and double axel.  She received Level 4 on her spins and step sequence with program components in the mid 7s.  In her free skate, she landed a triple lutz + triple toe, double axel + single loop + triple salchow, and a triple flip + double toe.  She received negative GOEs on two of her jumps but had Level 4 on two of her spins and Level 3 on the other spin and the step sequence.  Her program components were in the mid 7s.  At NHK Trophy, she under-rotated her combo in the short program and doubled her flip, receiving no credit.  She re-arranged the layout of her free skate with some different combinations, opting for a triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow.  She under-rotated that combo and a solo triple flip, falling on both, and missed her opening triple + triple, having to tack on a double toe later in the program.  She received Level 4 on her layback spin and step sequence with Level 3 on her flying camel spin.
Emmy Ma is the lone US lady to win a medal on the Junior Grand Prix this season.  Her short program includes a triple lutz, triple flip + double toe, and a double axel.  She earned all positive GOEs at JGP Latvia with program components in the mid 6s to low 7s.  Her free skate includes a triple loop + double toe + double loop, triple lutz + double loop, and a triple flip + double toe.  She only has three jumps in the bonus, and no combinations.  She under-rotated her solo loop and double axel at JGP Latvia.  Her program components were in the mid 6s to mid 7s.  At JGP Poland, she missed the second half of the combination and fell in her short program but earned Level 4 on all of her spins and Level 3 on the step sequence.  Her program components were in the high 5s to mid 6s.  In the free skate, she under-rotated her first combination and had the second downgraded.  She did earn Level 4 on all of her spins and Level 3 on the step sequence with program components in the mid 6s.  At Golden Spin, she had errors on all of her jumps in the short program, under-rotating her lutz; under-rotating, downgrading, and falling on her combination, and under-rotating her axel.  She had a rough opening to her free skate at Golden Spin with her first two combinations under-rotated, but the program was clean after that.
Starr Andrews holds the top score from qualifying events this season.  At Pacific Coast Sectionals, she landed a triple toe + triple toe in her short program, with her triple loop and double axel in the bonus.  She earned Level 4 on all of her spins and the step sequence.  She had all positive GOEs worth nearly 7 points and program components in the high 6s to mid 7s.  Her free skate has a triple toe + triple toe, triple loop + double toe + double loop, and triple salchow + double toe.  She has five jumps in the bonus, including two combinations.  Her only error at sectionals was popping a solo loop into a double.  She earned Level 4 on her step sequence and spins with all positive GOEs worth nearly 10 points.  Her program components were in the mid 6s to low 7s.  At Golden Spin, she upgraded some of jumps in her free skate, going for a triple lutz + double axel sequence and replacing one of the double axels.  However, she under-rotated two jumps and got an edge call on her lutz in addition to falling.
Tessa Hong set the second highest score during qualifying.  Her short program is backloaded with all of her jumps in the bonus.  Her solo triple lutz was a bit messy and her triple flip + triple toe had the first jump under-rotated and the second downgraded.  She earned Level 4 on her spins and step sequence with program components in the mid 6s to mid 7s.  Her free skate is set up to have most of the jumps in the bonus, including all three combos, but she seemed to rush a bit on her first combo and missed the mark to receive credit for the bonus.  Her triple lutz + triple toe was downgraded but she did hit a triple flip + double toe and a triple salchow + double toe.  Everything but the triple + triple received a positive GOE, netting 8 points.  She earned Level 4 on her spins with program components in the high 6s to mid 7s.

Mirai Nagasu has the highest base value for jumps in the short program with 24.70 points.  This is thanks to her triple axel, however, she has not landed it cleanly with positive GOEs in any of her programs this season, and it has often effected her other jumps.  Courtney Hicks and Tessa Hong both have short programs with a base jump value of 20 points.  While Bradie Tennell’s short program base value is 19.54 points with five ladies having a base value equal to or higher than hers, she is the only one to skate a clean short program all season with positive GOEs.

In the free skate, Nagasu again has the most difficult short program planned with a base value of 48.79.  However, even with the advantage of the triple axel, the rest of the program is not as difficult as some of the other competitors.  Tennell has a base value of 47.72, Hicks has a base value of 47.91, and Bell has a base value of 47.41.  Again, Nagasu hasn’t hit a clean triple axel and Hicks and Bell have yet to skate clean programs.

Wagner starts off at a disadvantage on the technical side, with a total base value 12 points behind Nagasu and 6 points behind Tennell.  She also has been plagued with popped jumps and under-rotation calls in the past.  So while she needs to skate as cleanly as possible to keep up, she has an advantage on the program component side.  Only she and Tennell have received 8s on program components this season, and Wagner’s have been higher.  Wagner and Tennell have only skated head to head once this season, at Skate America.  Wagner had problems with most of her jumps but still had all 8s on her program components totaling 33.68 points.  Tennell had a completely clean program but her program components only totaled 29.38.  If Wagner skates clean, expect her program components to be even higher.  However, Tennell’s PCS scores have been rising throughout the season and she will be skating in front of a national audience.

In a field that has been wildly inconsistent over the last few seasons, my money is on Tennell who hasn’t made a mistake yet.  This will be the true test though, to see how she handles the pressure of skating cleanly at nationals when Olympic team spots are on the line.  With a lot of the attention on Tennell and not having skated great this year, Wagner is in her favorite spot as the underdog having to fight to earn her place.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Bradie Tennell

Silver: Ashley Wagner

Bronze: Mirai Nagasu

Pewter: Karen Chen

 

Bios of the competitors:

Starr Andrews: She is 16 years old and represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club.  She placed 12th at Junior Worlds last season.  She finished 5th at JGP Austria.  She placed 6th at Golden Spin of Zagreb.  She is the reigning Junior Silver Medalist, finished 6th as a novice in 2016 and is the 2014 Juvenile Girls Pewter Medalist.  She won gold at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best short program, best free skate and best total scores from qualifying.

Mariah Bell: She is 21 years old and represents the Rocky Mountain Figure Skating Club.  She finished 12th at Worlds and 6th at Four Continents last season.  She placed 6th at Rostelecom Cup and 9th at NHK Trophy.  She finished 5th at the US International Figure Skating Classic.  She is the reigning Bronze Medalist, finished 11th in 2016, 6th in 2015, 13th in 2014, is the 2013 Junior Silver Medalist, finished 5th in juniors in 2012, is the 2011 Novice Bronze Medalist and finished 8th in intermediate in 2010.

Emily Chan: She is 20 years old and represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  She is the 2016 Junior Champion, 2015 Novice Champion, finished 9th as a novice in 2014, and 6th as a novice in 2013.  She won silver at Southwestern Regionals and bronze at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Karen Chen: She is 18 years old and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She placed 4th at Worlds and 12th at Four Continents last season.  She placed 7th at Skate Canada and 8th at Skate America.  She won bronze at the US International Classic.  She is the reigning National Champion, placed 8th in 2016, is the 2015 Bronze Medalist, 2013 Junior Pewter Medalist, 2012 Novice Champion, 2011 Intermediate Champion and the 2010 Juvenile Pewter Medalist.

Franchesca Chiera: She is 20 years old and represents the Panthers Figure Skating Club.  She finished 15th last season, 12th in 2016, 16th in 2015 and 17th in 2014.  She won silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best short program, best free skate and best total scores from qualifying.

Polina Edmunds: She is 19 years old and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She placed 10th at Internationaux de France.  She placed 13th at Finlandia Trophy.  She is the 2015 Four Continents Champion.  She is the 2016 Silver Medalist, 2015 Pewter Medalist, 2014 Silver Medalist, 2013 Junior Champion, finished 6th in juniors in 2012, 7th in juniors in 2011 and 6th in novice in 2010.

Amber Glenn: She is 18 years old and represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  She finished 10th at Cup of China.  She placed 8th at Lombardia Trophy.  She finished 8th last season, 13th in 2015, is the 2014 Junior Champion, finished 5th as a junior in 2013, is the 2012 Novice Ladies Silver Medalist, finished 10th as an intermediate in 2011 and 12th as a juvenile in 2009.

Courtney Hicks: She is 22 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She placed 4th at Skate Canada.  She placed 4th at the Autumn Classic International and won bronze at the Warsaw Cup.  She finished 12th last season, 9th in 2016, 8th in 2015, 6th in 2014, is the 2013 Pewter Medalist, 2011 Junior Champion, finished 5th in novice in 2010, is the 2009 Intermediate Silver Medalist and finished 6th in juvenile in 2008.

Tessa Hong: She is 15 years old and represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club.  She placed 6th at JGP Belarus.  She finished 10th last season, is the 2014 Intermediate Champion, and 2012 Juvenile Silver Medalist.  She won silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best free skate and best total scores from qualifying.

Vivian Le: She is 17 years old and represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club.  She is the 2016 Junior Silver Medalist, 2015 Junior Bronze Medalist, and 2014 Novice Champion.  She won gold at Southwest Pacific Regionals and bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Ashley Lin: She is 14 years old and represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  She finished 6th at JGP Latvia.  She is the reigning Junior Bronze Medalist, 2016 Novice Pewter Medalist, finished 7th in intermediate ladies in 2015 and 7th in juvenile girls in 2013.  She won pewter at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best free skate and best total scores from qualifying.

Emmy Ma: She is 16 years old and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  She won bronze at JGP Latvia and finished 5th at JGP Poland.  She placed 5th at the Golden Spin of Zagreb.  She is the reigning Junior Pewter Medalist, 2013 Intermediate Bronze Medalist and placed 9th in juvenile in 2012.  She won gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best short program, best free skate and best total scores from qualifying.

Brynne McIsaac: She is 18 years old and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  She finished 8th in juniors last season, 11th in juniors in 2016, 7th in juniors in 2015, 10th in novice in 2013 and 11th in juvenile in 2010.  She won gold at Southwestern Regionals and silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Katie McBeath: She is 23 and represents the Westminster Figure Skating Club of Erie.  She finished 16th last season, 13th in 2016, and 18th in 2015.  She won gold at North Atlantic Regionals and bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Hannah Miller: She is 21 years old and represents the Lansing Skating Club.  She finished 8th at Golden Spin.  She placed 18th last season, 7th in 2016, 9th in 2015, 9th in 2014, 10th in 2013, 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 Eastern Great Lakes Regionals and gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best short program, best free skate, and best total scores from qualifying.

Mirai Nagasu: She is 24 years old and represents the Pasadena Figure Skating Club.  She is the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  She placed 9th at Rostelecom Cup and 4th at NHK Trophy.  She won silver at the US International Figure Skating Classic.  She is the 2016 Four Continents Silver Medalist, 2011 Four Continents Bronze Medalist, 2007 World Junior Silver Medalist and 2008 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  She is the reigning Pewter Medalist, 2016 Pewter Medalist, finished 10th in 2015, is the 2014 Bronze Medalist, placed 7th in 2013, 7th in 2012, is the 2011 Bronze Medalist, 2010 Silver Medalist, finished 5th in 2009, is the 2008 Champion and 2007 Junior Champion.

Kaitlyn Nguyen: She is 14 years old and represents the Los Angeles Skating Club.  She placed 5th at JGP Australia and 5th at JGP Croatia.  She is the reigning Junior Ladies Champion and is the 2014 Juvenile Girls Bronze Medalist.  She won pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best short program, best free skate, and best total scores from qualifying.

Bradie Tennell: She is 19 years old and represents the Skokie Valley Figure Skating Club.  She placed 7th at Junior Worlds last season.  She won bronze at Skate America.  She placed 4th at Lombardia Trophy.  She placed 9th last season, 6th in 2016, is the 2015 Junior Champion, 2014 Junior Pewter Medalist, 2013 Novice Bronze Medalist, finished 10th as a novice in 2012, 15th in intermediate in 2011 and 10th in juvenile in 2010.

Ashley Wagner: She is 26 years old and represents the Skating Club of Wilmington.  She finished 7th at Worlds last season.  She won bronze at Skate Canada and withdrew from Skate America.  She is the 2016 World Silver Medalist, 2012 Four Continents Champion and 2007 and 2009 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  She is the reigning Silver Medalist, 2016 Bronze Medalist, 2015 Champion, 2014 Pewter Medalist, 2013 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.

Angela Wang: She is 21 years old and represents the Salt Lake Figure Skating Club.  She finished 4th at Finlandia Trophy and 5th at Tallinn Trophy.  She placed 7th last season, 10th in 2016, 15th in 2015, 15th in 2014, 9th in 2013, 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.

Megan Wessenberg: She is 19 years old and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  She finished 14th last season, is the 2016 Junior Bronze Medalist, finished 9th in juniors in 2015, 10th as a junior in 2014, 9th in novice in 2013 and 12th in juvenile in 2011.  She won gold at New England Regionals and pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best short program, best free skate and best total scores from qualifying.

Caroline Zhang: She is 24 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She finished 6th at Ondrej Nepela Trophy and 4th at Tallinn Trophy.  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 5th last season, 17th in 2015, 19th in 2014, 11th in 2013, 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.

2017 US Nationals Senior Ladies Preview

As a group, these ladies have won 58 national medals.  They hold one World medal, five Four Continents medals and eight Junior Worlds medals.  They won three medals on the Grand Prix and six in the Challenger Series.  The podium from last season is competing (except for Polina Edmunds who withdrew due to injury) along with the 5th-13th place finishers.  The Junior Ladies Bronze and Pewter medalists along with the 10th place finisher from last season have qualified to compete as seniors.  The short program will be held on Thursday, January 19th with the free skate on Saturday, January 21st.

To compete internationally, these ladies will need a triple + triple in both programs, preferably two in their free skate, in addition to great program components and spins.

Ashley Wagner ended the US ladies medal drought last season, winning the silver medal at the World Championships.  She looked strong at the start of her season with a gold medal at Skate America, but fell short at her second assignment and failed to qualify for the Grand Prix Final.  She has shrugged this off as a bad day at the office and assures that she is ready to compete and win back the title she lost last season.  Her programs suit her perfectly with the sassy short program that is full of personality and fire and the free skate set to Exogenesis really shows off the full range of her artistic capabilities.  However, the music is so subtle yet powerful it demands a perfect program in order to really capture the audience.  She has the 10th best short program and 7th best total scores internationally.  At Skate America, her short program included a triple flip + triple toe (under-rotated), triple loop and double axel, giving her a base value for her jumps of 18.84.  Between her two events, she received 6 under-rotation calls on her triples in the free skate, one edge call, and one edge warning.  Her planned free skate includes a double axel, triple flip + triple toe (under-rotated at both events), double axel, triple loop + single loop + triple salchow (under-rotated at Cup of China and missed at Skate America), triple flip (under-rotated at both), triple loop (under-rotated at Cup of China), and triple lutz + double toe (missed combo and under-rotated at Cup of China, edge call at Skate America).  At Skate America she earned Level 3s and 4s on her spins and steps and had program components ranging from 8.43 to 9.04.

Mariah Bell was the surprise silver medalist at Skate America after being assigned to the event only a week prior.  She has the 7th best free skate score internationally.  Her short program to music from Chicago fits her to a tee and it is hard to tell what has more sparkle: her or her outfit.  She won the free skate at Skate America but hasn’t been able to replicate that effort elsewhere this season.  She trains alongside Wagner, and this was the one event where they competed together, so it’s possible that competing with Ashley again will give her the boost she needs to skate a clean long program.  Her short program includes a triple lutz + triple toe (under-rotated), triple flip and double axel.  Her free skate includes a triple lutz + triple toe, triple loop, double axel + double toe, triple flip + single loop + double salchow (intended triple), triple lutz, double axel, and triple flip.  She earned an impressive 8.5 points on GOE at that event with program components ranging from 7.75-8.32.

Mirai Nagasu has the 5th best short program score internationally, but it was set way back at the Autumn Classic International and she has not been able to repeat that since.  Her best short program came at NHK Trophy where she landed a triple flip + triple toe (under-rotated), triple loop and double axel.  Her free skates have been her biggest nemesis this season with eight under-rotated and one downgraded jumps in her free skates on the Grand Prix series; only four of her fourteen jumps were clean.  Her planned content is triple flip + triple toe, triple lutz, triple salchow, double axel + triple toe + double toe, triple loop, triple loop + double toe, and double axel.  None of the jumps were skated cleanly at both events.  Her spins earned mostly Level 3s, which is a bit of a downgrade for her.  At best, her program components ranged from 7.43-7.75.

Gracie Gold took her 4th place finish at Worlds exceptionally hard.  She did not train most of the summer and showed up at Skate America not fully trained and looking like her heart just wasn’t in it.  After two more poor assignments, she went back to Chicago to train with her old coach and has said that it has completely changed her skating.  She has forgiven herself for “failing” at Worlds and is ready to get back out there and defend her title.  Her package for the free skate is stunning from the nude/gold costume to the makeup and hair piece and it truly could be a good vehicle for her if she can project the performance qualities this piece demands.  Her planned short program includes a triple lutz + triple toe (under-rotated at Trophee de France, triple flip (under-rotated at Skate America, doubled at Trophee de France) and double axel (singled and under-rotated at Trophee de France).   Her free skate includes a double axel, triple lutz + triple toe (missed at both events), triple loop, double axel + triple toe + double toe (only two jumps at Trophee de France), triple lutz (singled at Trophee de France), triple flip (doubled and edge call at Skate America, under-rotated at Trophee de France) and triple salchow + double toe.  She earned Level 3s and 4s on her spins and steps between the two events.  She earned 4 points from GOE at Skate America despite two falls and had program components ranging from 7.93-8.21.

Karen Chen burst onto the scene at the 2015 nationals, where she won the bronze medal, but she was too young to compete at Junior Worlds.  She finished just 8th last season and has yet to medal on the Grand Prix.  Her short program includes a triple lutz + triple toe (under-rotated at both Grand Prix events), triple loop (under-rotated at Cup of China and singled at NHK  Trophy), and double axel.  Her free skate includes a triple lutz + triple toe (under-rotated at both events), triple flip (edge call at both events), double axel + single loop + triple salchow, triple loop (under-rotated at NHK Trophy), triple salchow + double toe, triple lutz (under-rotated at Cup of China), and double axel.  She earned Level 4 on all of her spins and Level 3 on the steps.  At best, she earned 4.5 points from GOE and had program components ranging from 7.32-7.71.

Courtney Hicks took home the bronze medal despite a strong Russian field at Rostlecom Cup.  Her short program includes a triple flip + triple toe, triple loop and double axel.  At Rostelecom Cup she skated a clean program with Level 4 spins and Level 3 steps with all positive GOEs, but she still found herself in 6th place overall after the short.  Her free skate was mostly clean at Rostelecom Cup with a triple flip + double toe (intended triple), triple salchow, double axel, triple lutz, triple loop + single toe (intended double), triple loop + double axel sequence, and a triple flip.  She had all Level 3s and 4s on her spins and steps and earned nearly 6 points from GOE.  Her program components ranged from 7.32-7.50.

Amber Glenn did not have the best outing at Sectionals, but she did set the 30th best total score internationally of the season, including juniors and seniors.  Her short program includes a triple lutz, triple flip + triple toe and double axel.  Her free skate includes a triple lutz + triple toe, triple flip, double axel + triple toe, triple loop, triple flip + double toe, triple salchow and double axel.

Caroline Zhang set the 2nd highest score during qualifying in her comeback season.  She was credited with a triple loop + triple loop in both of her programs.  The jump’s base value is 10.20 in her short program and 11.22 in the free skate where she executes it in the bonus.

Angela Wang had to withdraw from Skate America at the start of the season, but she set the highest score during qualifying.  She does not execute a triple lutz and she missed her three jump combo which is her sole triple + triple combination at sectionals.  She did however, receive Level 4 on all of her spins and steps and earned 9 points from GOEs.

These ladies all have jump base values that are remarkably similar.  For the short program, they’re between 18.84 and 19.76 points.  It’s a similar story in the free skate where the base values range between 44.162 and 47.28.  However, very few of these ladies have put a clean skate out this season and most of the GOEs are very slight positives or negatives overall.  The spin and step levels have also been concerning, with several Level 2s popping up as well as Level 3 spins.

Mirai Nagasu has been practicing and landing triple axels which could be a game changer for her.  While a double axel is worth a base value of 3.3 points, a triple axel is worth 8.5 points.  If she lands one in each program, that increases her technical score by 10 points overall.  She has not fully committed to going for the triple axel and it will be interesting to see what her strategy is in approaching the jump.  She hasn’t been skating cleanly this season without the triple axel, so the risk might not be worth the reward.

For all of these ladies fully rotated jumps are going to be the difference maker.  Under-rotation calls and doubling and singling jumps were killer at their international events.  But jumps alone are not going to cut it.  To compete with the Russians and get a spot on the podium, all of the technical elements need to be there, the Levels need to be 4 and the program components need to be at least in the 8s.  As Hicks showed, even a squeaky clean short program was barely enough to keep her in the final warmup group in a Grand Prix field, as her program components are so much lower.  Interestingly enough, she is known as a jumper yet she has an easier planned jump content than many of the other top ladies at this event.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Ashley Wagner

Silver: Gracie Gold

Bronze: Mariah Bell

Pewter: Mirai Nagasu

 

Bios of the competitors:

Mariah Bell: She is 20 years old and represents the Rocky Mountain Figure Skating Club.  She won silver at Skate America.  She won silver at the US International Classic, bronze at Ondrej Nepela Trophy and placed 4th at Tallinn Trophy.  She finished 11th last season, 6th in 2015, 13th in 2014, is the 2013 Junior Silver Medalist, finished 5th in juniors in 2012, is the 2011 Novice Bronze Medalist and finished 8th in intermediate in 2010.

Karen Chen: She is 17 years old and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She placed 12th at Four Continents last season.  She placed 7th at Cup of China and 6th at NHK Trophy.  She won bronze at the US International Classic and placed 7th at the Golden Spin of Zagreb.  She placed 8th last season, is the 2015 Bronze Medalist, 2013 Junior Pewter Medalist, 2012 Novice Champion, 2011 Intermediate Champion and the 2010 Juvenile Pewter Medalist.

Franchesca Chiera: She is 19 years old and represents the Panthers Figure Skating Club.  She placed 8th at the Autumn Classic International.  She finished 12th last season, 16th in 2015 and 17th in 2014.  She won gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 9th best short program, 5th best free skate and 5th best total scores from qualifying.

Amber Glenn: She is 17 years old and represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  She placed 5th at Nebelhorn Trophy and 4th at Golden Spin of Zagreb.  She finished 13th in 2015, is the 2014 Junior Champion, finished 5th as a junior in 2013, is the 2012 Novice Ladies Silver Medalist, finished 10th as an intermediate in 2011 and 12th as a juvenile in 2009.  She won bronze at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 7th best free skate and 8th best total scores from qualifying.

Gracie Gold: She is 21 years old and represents the Wagon Wheel Figure Skating Club.  She placed 4th at Worlds and 5th at Four Continents.  She placed 5th at Skate America and 8th at Trophee de France.  She placed 6th at Golden Spin.  She is the 2012 World Junior Silver Medalist.  She is the reigning Champion, 2015 Silver Medalist, 2014 Champion, 2013 Silver Medalist, 2012 Junior Champion and 2010 Novice Pewter Medalist.

Courtney Hicks: She is 21 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She won bronze at Rostelecom Cup and placed 9th at Cup of China.  She placed 6th at Finlandia Trophy.  She finished 9th last season, 8th in 2015, 6th in 2014, is the 2013 Pewter Medalist, 2011 Junior Champion, finished 5th in novice in 2010, is the 2009 Intermediate Silver Medalist and finished 6th in juvenile in 2008.

Tessa Hong: She represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  She placed 5th at JGP Estonia.  She is the 2014 Intermediate Champion and 2012 Juvenile Silver Medalist.  She won gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 3rd best free skate and 4th best total scores from qualifying.

Katie McBeath: She is 22 and represents the Westminster Figure Skating Club of Erie.  She finished 13th last season and 18th in 2015.  She won gold at North Atlantic Regionals and bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Hannah Miller: She is 20 years old and represents the Lansing Skating Club.  She placed 7th last season, 9th in 2015, 9th in 2014, 10th in 2013, 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 Eastern Great Lakes Regionals and silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 6th best short program, 9th best free skate and 7th best total scores from qualifying.

Mirai Nagasu: She is 23 years old and represents the Pasadena Figure Skating Club.  She finished 10th at Worlds last season and is the reigning Four Continents Silver Medalist. She placed 9th at Skate Canada and 5th at NHK Trophy.  She won bronze at Lombardia Trophy and gold at the Autumn Classic International.  She is the 2011 Four Continents Bronze Medalist, 2007 World Junior Silver Medalist and 2008 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  She is the reigning Pewter Medalist, finished 10th in 2015, is the 2014 Bronze Medalist, placed 7th in 2013, 7th in 2012, is the 2011 Bronze Medalist, 2010 Silver Medalist, finished 5th in 2009, is the 2008 Champion and 2007 Junior Champion.

Rebecca Peng: She is 17 years old and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  She is the reigning Junior Pewter Medalist, finished 6th in juniors in 2015, is the 2014 Novice Bronze Medalist and finished 7th in novice in 2013.  She won gold at New England Regionals and pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Paige Rydberg: She is 17 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She placed 5th at the US International Figure Skating Classic.  She finished 10th in juniors last season, 8th in 2015, is the 2014 Novice Silver Medalist and finished 5th in intermediate in 2013.  She won pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 4th best short program score from qualifying.

Livvy Shilling: She won gold at Northwest Pacific Regionals and bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 3rd best short program, 6th best free skate and 3rd best total scores from qualifying.

Ashley Shin: She is 18 years old and represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  She finished 20th in 2015, is the 2014 Junior Bronze Medalist, finished 11th as a novice in 2013 and is the 2012 Intermediate Ladies Champion.  She won silver at Southwestern Regionals and pewter at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Bradie Tennell: She is 18 years old and represents the Wagon Wheel Figure Skating Club.  She placed 11th at Junior Worlds last season.  She won bronze at Tallinn Trophy.  She placed 6th last season, is the 2015 Junior Champion, 2014 Junior Pewter Medalist, 2013 Novice Bronze Medalist, finished 10th as a novice in 2012, 15th in intermediate in 2011 and 10th in juvenile in 2010.

Ashley Wagner: She is 25 years old and represents the Skating Club of Wilmington.  She is the reigning World Silver Medalist.  She won gold at Skate America and placed 6th at Cup of China.  She is the 2012 Four Continents Champion and 2007 and 2009 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  She is the reigning Bronze Medalist, 2015 Champion, 2014 Pewter Medalist, 2013 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.

Angela Wang: She is 20 years old and represents the Salt Lake Figure Skating Club.  She placed 10th last season, 15th in 2015, 15th in 2014, 9th in 2013, 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.  She won gold at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best short program, 2nd best free skate, and best total scores from qualifying.

Megan Wessenberg: She is 18 years old and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  She placed 6th at JGP Czech Republic.  She is the reigning Junior Bronze Medalist, finished 9th in juniors in 2015, 10th as a junior in 2014, 9th in novice in 2013 and 12th in juvenile in 2011.  She won silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 10th best short program, 10th best free skate and 10th best total scores from qualifying.

Caroline Zhang: She is 23 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  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 17th in 2015, 19th in 2014, 11th in 2013, 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 gold at Southwest Pacific Regionals and silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 2nd best short program, best free skate and 2nd best total scores from qualifying.

2016 Cup of China Ladies Preview

Only Evgenia Medvedeva has secured her spot in the Grand Prix Final and this event looks to be a bloodbath with five medalists from previous events competing here.

Ashley Wagner won the gold medal at Skate America with a confident performance.  She didn’t cross the 200 point threshold, however, and finished well below her personal best.  She had two jumps marked under-rotated including her triple flip + triple toe.  She singled a jump in combination and received an edge call.  She also only received Level 4 on one of her spins and her program components were good, but not as high as she normally receives.  She needs a gold, silver or bronze to qualify for the Final.   She has the 8th best short program, 9th best free skate, and 6th best total scores.

Kaetlyn Osmond destroyed her personal best and scored above 200 points for the first time in her career to take the silver medal at Skate Canada.  Her only mistake was a fall on an under-rotated triple loop.  She earned Level 4s on all of her elements and mostly positive GOEs.  She needs a gold medal to qualify for the Final.  She has the 2nd best short program, 4th best free skate and 4th best total scores.

Elena Radionova won the silver at Rostelecom Cup.  Her only jump error was a fall on an under-rotated triple loop that did not include a combination.  She also received only a Level 2 on her step sequence.  She needs a gold medal to qualify for the Final.  She has the 6th best short program and 7th best total scores.

Mai Mihara won the bronze medal in her Grand Prix debut at Skate America.  Her free skate gave her a very juniorish feel, and that was reflected in her program components, where she earned 8 points less than Ashley Wagner.  She has two triple lutz + triple toe combinations in her free skate, including one in the bonus, but the second was downgraded at Skate America.  She needs a gold medal to qualify for the Final.  She has the 10th best free skate score.

Courtney Hicks was a surprise bronze medalist at Rostelecom Cup.  She did not have a triple + triple in her free skate at that event and singled one of the jumps in a combination.  She needs a gold medal to qualify for the Final.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva finished 4th at Skate Canada.  She is skating to Cleopatra for her free skate and while she looks the part and is packaged well, the program itself doesn’t really have a memorable impact.  She didn’t have a triple + triple in her free skate and she doubled an axel.  Her program components were also in the 7s, especially shocking considering she was a World Champion in 2015.  A gold medal will give her a chance to qualify for the Final.

Zijun Li finished 4th at Rostelecom Cup.  A gold medal will keep her in the running for the Final.

The best short program score of the season is 78.52 with the top 10 scoring above 68 points.  The best free skate score is 144.41 with the top 10 scoring above 135.  The best total score is 221.54 with the top 10 scoring above 191.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Ashley Wagner

Silver: Kaetlyn Osmond

Bronze: Elena Radionova

 

Bios of the competitors:

Kaetlyn Osmond, CAN: She placed 6th at Four Continents.  She won silver at Skate Canada.  Her personal best is 206.45.  She is 20 years old.

Xiangning Li, CHN: She finished 20th at Junior Worlds.  She placed 6th at JGP Austria and 6th at JGP Latvia last season.  This is her Grand Prix debut.  Her personal best is 146.55.  She is 16 years old.

Zijun Li, CHN: She placed 11th at Worlds and 10th at Four Continents.  She placed 4th at Rostelecom Cup.  She is the 2014 Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 184.52.  She is 19 years old.

Ziquan Zhao, CHN: She finished 23rd at Worlds and 16th at Four Continents.  She placed 11th at Cup of China last season.  Her personal best is 147.79.  She is 18 years old.

Rika Hongo, JPN: She placed 8th at Worlds and is the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  She placed 6th at Skate Canada.  She is the 2015 Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 199.15.  She is 20 years old.

Mai Mihara, JPN: She won bronze at Skate America.  Her personal best is 189.28.  She is 17 years old.

Elena Radionova, RUS: She finished 6th at Worlds and is the reigning European Silver Medalist.  She won silver at Rostelecom Cup.  She is the 2015 World Bronze Medalist, 2015 European Silver Medalist, and 2013 and 2014 World Junior Champion.  Her personal best is 211.32.  She is 17 years old.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, RUS: She placed 4th at Skate Canada.  She is the 2015 World Champion, 2015 European Champion, 2013 European Bronze Medalist, and 2011 Junior World Silver Medalist.  Her personal best is 210.40.  She is 19 years old.

Joshi Helgesson, SWE: She placed 30th at Worlds and 9th at Europeans.  She finished 10th at Skate Canada.  Her personal best is 169.07.  She is 23 years old.

Karen Chen, USA: She placed 12th at Four Continents.  She finished 5th at Cup of China and 5th at Skate America last season.  Her personal best is 179.08.  She is 17 years old.

Courtney Hicks, USA: She won bronze at Rostelecom Cup.  Her personal best is 183.12.  She is 20 years old.

Ashley Wagner, USA: She is the reigning World Silver Medalist.  She won gold at Skate America.  She is the 2012 Four Continents Champion and 2007 and 2009 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 215.39.  She is 25 years old.

 

2016 Rostelecom Cup Ladies Results

Short Program

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Anna POGORILAYA RUS 73.93 39.24 34.69 8.61 8.43 8.71 8.79 8.82 0.00 #5
2 Elena RADIONOVA RUS 71.93 37.50 34.43 8.54 8.39 8.61 8.71 8.79 0.00 #10
3 Julia LIPNITSKAIA RUS 69.25 36.46 32.79 8.18 7.89 8.36 8.18 8.39 0.00 #4
4 Elizabet TURSYNBAEVA KAZ 64.31 35.34 29.97 7.54 7.32 7.43 7.50 7.68 1.00 #12
5 Zijun LI CHN 63.89 34.71 29.18 7.36 7.04 7.32 7.46 7.29 0.00 #7
6 Courtney HICKS USA 63.68 35.18 28.50 7.14 6.93 7.14 7.18 7.25 0.00 #9
7 Yura MATSUDA JPN 61.57 32.92 28.65 7.29 7.00 7.21 7.18 7.14 0.00 #2
8 Nicole RAJICOVA SVK 57.91 30.28 27.63 6.86 6.57 7.00 6.96 7.14 0.00 #3
9 Anastasia GALUSTYAN ARM 55.93 28.81 27.12 6.86 6.54 6.79 6.82 6.89 0.00 #11
10 Kanako MURAKAMI JPN 55.25 27.14 28.11 7.18 6.75 7.14 6.96 7.11 0.00 #1
11 Angelina KUCHVALSKA LAT 54.29 27.64 26.65 6.68 6.43 6.68 6.79 6.75 0.00 #6
12 Roberta RODEGHIERO ITA 52.57 25.31 27.26 6.93 6.61 6.75 6.93 6.86 0.00 #8

Free Skate

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Anna POGORILAYA RUS 141.28 70.76 70.52 8.79 8.57 9.04 8.86 8.82 0.00 #12
2 Elena RADIONOVA RUS 123.67 57.92 66.75 8.46 8.21 8.25 8.36 8.43 1.00 #11
3 Courtney HICKS USA 119.30 59.99 59.31 7.50 7.32 7.43 7.39 7.43 0.00 #9
4 Zijun LI CHN 117.94 57.90 60.04 7.54 7.21 7.57 7.57 7.64 0.00 #8
5 Elizabet TURSYNBAEVA KAZ 117.01 56.67 60.34 7.64 7.43 7.54 7.57 7.54 0.00 #7
6 Yura MATSUDA JPN 116.08 57.86 58.22 7.57 7.04 7.32 7.21 7.25 0.00 #5
7 Nicole RAJICOVA SVK 109.65 53.41 56.24 7.07 6.68 7.18 7.04 7.18 0.00 #4
8 Roberta RODEGHIERO ITA 107.23 52.57 54.66 6.89 6.57 6.82 7.00 6.89 0.00 #2
9 Anastasia GALUSTYAN ARM 103.33 49.25 55.08 6.96 6.68 6.89 6.93 6.96 1.00 #6
10 Angelina KUCHVALSKA LAT 96.80 45.89 50.91 6.57 6.04 6.29 6.46 6.46 0.00 #1
11 Kanako MURAKAMI JPN 95.78 39.88 55.90 7.21 6.79 6.86 7.04 7.04 0.00 #3
12 Julia LIPNITSKAIA RUS 78.88 31.56 53.32 7.46 6.79 5.93 6.46 6.68 6.00 #10

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Anna POGORILAYA
RUS
215.21 1 1
2 Elena RADIONOVA
RUS
195.60 2 2
3 Courtney HICKS
USA
182.98 6 3
4 Zijun LI
CHN
181.83 5 4
5 Elizabet TURSYNBAEVA
KAZ
181.32 4 5
6 Yura MATSUDA
JPN
177.65 7 6
7 Nicole RAJICOVA
SVK
167.56 8 7
8 Roberta RODEGHIERO
ITA
159.80 12 8
9 Anastasia GALUSTYAN
ARM
159.26 9 9
10 Angelina KUCHVALSKA
LAT
151.09 11 10
11 Kanako MURAKAMI
JPN
151.03 10 11
12 Julia LIPNITSKAIA
RUS
148.13 3 12

2016 Rostelecom Cup Ladies Preview

Like the men’s event, there is a big gap between the top two competitors and the rest of the field here based on scores put up earlier this season at Challenger Series events.

Anna Pogorilaya is not the most well known of the Russian teenagers, but she won the bronze medal at Worlds last season.  She is capable of scoring over 200 points, but hasn’t bested the score she put up at Mordovian Ornament last year, an event that proved to be overscored.   She didn’t have the best Grand Prix series last year, finishing as low as 9th at one of her assignments.  She started her season with a bronze at Finlandia Trophy but didn’t have incredibly high scores at that event.  However, she is the only one at this event who has any scores in the top 10 for the season.  She has the 5th best short program score.

Elena Radionova finished ahead of Pogorilaya at the European Championships but had problems at Worlds and dropped to 6th place after medaling the year before.  She is also capable of scoring over 200 points and her personal best was set at this event last season.  She has medaled at every Grand Prix event she has entered and qualified for the Final each of her first three seasons competing.  She has yet to compete this season.

Zijun Li had a solid junior career but hasn’t been able to translate that success to the senior level.  She has never won a medal on the Grand Prix, with her best finish coming back in 2012 when she placed 4th.  Although she finished outside the top 10 at Worlds, she set new personal best short program and total scores.  She has not competed yet this season.

Julia Lipnitskaia finished 7th at Russian nationals and was not sent to the European or World Championships.  She was first eligible to compete as a senior during the Olympic year where she had a ton of success, but hasn’t been able to replicate it since.  She changed coaches at the end of last year and this will be the first opportunity to really see how that has paid off.  She won silver at Ondrej Nepela Trophy to start her season but does not have any top 10 scores.  She is capable of crossing the 200 point mark.

Yura Matsuda is making the jump to seniors after only three career JGP events: one in 2012, one in 2013 and one last season.  She finished 12th as a senior at Japanese nationals last year and has never been to a Championship event.  She won gold at the Asian Open this summer, a senior B event.

Courtney Hicks won a silver at NHK Trophy last season, her first career Grand Prix medal.  She set new personal best short program and total scores at that event.  She finished a disappointing 9th at US Nationals last year, her worst finish as a senior skater.  She placed 6th at Finlandia Trophy to start her season.

Also in the mix are Nicole Rajicova who placed 5th at Ondrej Nepela Trophy and Elizabet Tursynbaeva who  placed 7th at the US International Classic and won bronze at the Autumn Classic International.

Even Roberta Rodeghiero, Kanako Murakami and Angelina Kuchvalska who had the three lowest finishes at Skate America could medal here based on past performance and scores from the group as a whole this season.

 

The best short program score of the season so far is 76.24 with the top ten all scoring above 64 points.  The best free skate score is 144.41 with the top 10 scoring above 121.  The best total score is 220.65 with the top 10 scoring above 186.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Elena Radionova

Silver: Anna Pogorilaya

Bronze: Julia Lipnitskaia

 

Bios of the competitors:

Anastasia Galustyan, ARM: She finished 24th at Worlds, 15th at Europeans, and 16th at Junior Worlds.  She placed 11th at JGP USA and 9th at JGP Spain last season.  This is her Grand Prix debut.  Her personal best is 162.68.  She is 17 years old.

Zijun Li, CHN: She placed 11th at Worlds and 10th at Four Continents.  She placed 9th at Cup of China and 7th at NHK Trophy last season.  She is the 2014 Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 184.52.  She is 19 years old.

Roberta Rodeghiero, ITA: She finished 16th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans.  She placed 9th at Skate America.  Her personal best is 170.76.  She is 26 years old.

Yura Matsuda, JPN: She won bronze at JGP Spain last season.  This is her Grand Prix debut.  Her personal best is 178.98.  She is 18 years old.

Kanako Murakami, JPN: She placed 7th at Four Continents.  She finished 10th at Skate America.  She is the 2014 Four Continents Champion, 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalist, and 2010 World Junior Champion.  Her personal best is 196.91.  She is 21 years old.

Elizabet Tursynbaeva, KAZ: She finished 12th at Worlds and 5th at Junior Worlds.  She placed 4th at Skate America and 7th at Skate Canada last season.  Her personal best is 183.62.  She is 16 years old.

Angelina Kuchvalska, LAT: She finished 15th at Worlds, 4th at Europeans and 7th at Junior Worlds.  She placed 11th at Skate America.  Her personal best is 176.99.  She is 17 years old.

Julia Lipnitskaia, RUS: She placed 6th at Skate America and won silver at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  She is the 2014 World Silver Medalist, 2014 European Champion, 2012 World Junior Champion, and 2013 World Junior Silver Medalist.  Her personal best is 209.72.  She is 18 years old.

Anna Pogorilaya, RUS: She is the reigning World Bronze Medalist and reigning European Bronze Medalist.  She placed 4th at Cup of China and 9th at NHK Trophy last season.  She is the 2015 European Bronze Medalist and 2013 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 214.07.  She is 18 years old.

Elena Radionova, RUS: She finished 6th at Worlds and is the reigning European Silver Medalist.  She won bronze at Cup of China and gold at Rostelecom Cup last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she won bronze.  She is the 2015 World Bronze Medalist, 2015 European Silver Medalist, and 2013 and 2014 World Junior Champion.  Her personal best is 211.32.  She is 17 years old.

Nicole Rajicova, SVK: She finished 13th at Worlds and 12th at Europeans.  She placed 7th at Skate America and 7th at Cup of China last season.  Her personal best is 173.05.  She is 21 years old.

Courtney Hicks, USA: She finished 6th at Cup of China and won silver at NHK Trophy last season.  Her personal best is 183.12.  She is 20 years old.

2016 US Nationals Senior Ladies Preview

As a group, these ladies have won 45 national medals.  They won four medals on the Grand Prix and five in the Challenger Series.  The entire podium from last season is competing along with the 6th-10th, 14th-16th, 18th, 19th and 21st place finishers.  Bradie Tennell, the reigning Junior Ladies Champion is the only one moving up.  The short program will be held on Thursday, January 21st with the free skate on Saturday, January 23rd.

To compete internationally, these ladies will need a triple + triple in both programs, preferably two in their free skate in addition to great program components and spins.

Gracie Gold qualified for her second Grand Prix Final this year, but was able to compete for the first time after withdrawing last year.  She has a triple lutz + triple toe in her short program, triple flip (doubled at Skate America) and a double axel.  She received Level 3 and 4 on her spins and Level 4 on her steps.  She had all positive GOEs earning her about 6 points.  Her program components ranged from 8.04-8.46.  In her free skate, she has a triple lutz + triple toe, triple loop, double axel, double axel + triple toe + double toe, triple flip + double toe, triple lutz, and double salchow (likely triple).  She received Level 4 on all of her spins and the step sequence at Skate America.  She again earned all positive GOEs earning 9 points.  Her program components ranged from 8.36-8.79.

Ashley Wagner had a great start to her season, defeating the reigning World Champion at Skate Canada before struggling at NHK Trophy.  Her struggles continued at the short program at the Grand Prix Final and a great free skate wasn’t enough to put her on the podium for a 4th consecutive year.  Her short program includes a triple flip + triple toe (missed at NHK Trophy), double axel and triple loop.  She received Level 4 on her spins and Level 3 on the step sequence at Skate Canada.  She also earned all positive GOEs earning her 5 points.  She had fairly similar program components ranging from 8.07-8.68 between the two events.  Her free skate includes a double axel, triple flip + triple toe (under-rotated at Skate Canada, landed in the 2nd half but downgraded at NHK Trophy), double axel + double toe (missed at NHK), triple loop + loop + triple salchow (under-rotated at Skate Canada, downgraded at NHK Trophy), triple flip, triple loop and triple lutz.  She had better spin levels at NHK, earning 3s and 4s and she earned Level 3 on her steps at Skate Canada.  At Skate Canada she earned 5 points from GOE.  Her best program components came at Skate Canada where she earned 8.32-8.79.

Polina Edmunds has struggled to live up to her potential internationally after having a breakthrough season and qualifying for the Olympics in 2014.  She has yet to win a Grand Prix medal, despite winning Four Continents last season.  Her biggest problem this season is under-rotation calls.  Her short program has a triple lutz + triple toe (under-rotated at Skate Canada), triple flip and double axel (under-rotated at Skate Canada).  She received Level 4 on al of her spins at Rostelecom Cup and Level 3 on her step sequence.  She earned all positive GOEs at that event.  She had fairly similar program components between the two events, ranging from 7.21-7.68.  Her free skate has a triple lutz + triple toe, triple flip + loop + triple salchow (under-rotated at both Grand Prix events), triple loop (under-rotated at Skate Canada), flip flip (under-rotated at both events and fall at Skate Canada), double axel (under-rotated at Skate Canada), triple loop + double toe (under-rotated at Rostelecom Cup) and a double axel.  She received Level 4 on all of her spins at Rostelecom Cup and Level 4 on her step sequence at Skate Canada.  Her best program components came at Rostelecom Cup where she earned 7.32-7.68.

Karen Chen made the podium in her first trip to senior nationals last year, but was too young to be assigned to Worlds or Four Continents.  Her short program has a triple lutz + triple toe (under-rotated at Skate America, downgraded and a fall at Cup of China), triple loop and double axel.  She earned Level 4 on her spins at Skate America and Level 4 on her step sequence at Cup of China.  She had fairly similar program components between events, ranging from 6.57-7.07.  Her free skate has a triple lutz + triple toe (doubled at Cup of China and missed combo at Skate America), triple flip, double axel + loop + triple salchow, triple loop (fall at Skate America), triple salchow + double toe, double axel and triple lutz (fall at Skate America).  She received Level 4 on her spins and steps at Cup of China, also earning 6 points from GOE.  Her best program components came at Skate America, where she earned 7.11-7.43.

Courtney Hicks won a surprise silver medal at NHK Trophy.  Her short program has a triple flip + triple toe (doubled at Cup of China), triple lutz and double axel.  She received Level 4 on all her spins and steps at NHK Trophy.  She earned all positive GOEs at Cup of China.  Her best program components came at NHK Trophy where she earned 7.21-7.54.  Her free skate layout changed between events.  Her NHK Trophy layout included a triple flip + triple toe, triple lutz (fall), triple lutz + double toe, triple loop, double axel, triple flip, and double axel.  She received Level 3 and 4 on her spins and Level 3 on her step sequence.  Her program components ranged from 7.32-7.71.

Mirai Nagasu only earned one Grand Prix assignment this season, competing at NHK Trophy.  Her short program includes a triple flip + triple toe (under-rotated), triple loop and double axel.  She earned Level 3 and 4 on her spins with Level 3 on the step sequence.  Her program components ranged from 6.93-7.39.  In the free skate, she had a triple flip + triple toe (under-rotated), double axel + triple toe (downgraded), triple loop, triple lutz, triple salchow (under-rotated), triple loop + double toe + double toe (under-rotated), and a double axel.  She earned Level 4 on all of her spins.  Her program components ranged from 7.07-7.50.

Angela Wang was assigned to Trophee Eric Bompard, but was only able to compete her short program at that event due to the Paris attacks.  She took home a bronze medal on the Challenger Series and from a senior B.  Her short program includes a triple toe + triple toe (fall at Golden Spin), triple loop and double axel.  She earned Level 3 and 4 on her spins at Golden Spin with Level 3 on the step sequence.  She earned all positive GOEs at the US International Classic.  Her best program components also came at the US International Classic, earning 6.80-7.25.    Her free skate includes triple loop, triple lutz + triple toe, triple flip (edge at Golden Spin), triple toe + double axel (doubled the toe at US International Classic and did not complete the combo at Golden Spin), triple loop + double toe (singled and downgraded at US International Classic, singled loop and no combo at Golden Spin), triple salchow and double axel.  She received Level 3 on all her spins and Level 4 on the step sequence at the US International Classic.  Her best program components came at Golden Spin, where she earned 7.00-7.35.

Tyler Pierce earned two Challenger Series assignments this year, medaling at both of them.  Her short program includes a triple toe + triple toe (under-rotated at Ice Challenge), double axel and triple loop.  She received a Level 4 on all of her spins and the step sequence at Ice Challenge and earned all positive GOEs netting 5 points at Tallinn Trophy.  Her best program components came at Tallinn Trophy where she earned 6.45-7.05.  Her free skate includes a triple lutz + double toe (no combo at Ice Challenge), triple flip (under-rotated and fall at both events), double axel + triple toe, triple lutz (fall at both events, under-rotated at Ice Challenge), triple loop, triple salchow + double toe + double loop and double axel.  She received Level 3 and 4 on her spins and Level 3 on her step sequence at both events.  She had fairly similar program components, ranging from 6.40-6.85.

Mariah Bell had a breakout performance at nationals last year, placing 6th, and earning her a spot at Skate America.  She has a triple flip + triple toe, double axel and triple lutz (downgraded, fall and edge call) in her short program.  She earned Level 4 on all of her spins.  Her program components ranged from 6.21-6.54.  Her free skate includes a triple flip + triple toe (downgraded and call), double axel + loop + triple salchow, triple loop, triple lutz + double toe, triple lutz (under-rotated), triple flip and double axel.  She earned Level 4 on some of her spins and Level 3 on her step sequence.  Her program components ranged from 6.46-6.68.

Bradie Tennell is the only junior lady from last season competing in this event.  She earned one JGP assignment this fall and made her senior debut at Midwestern Sectionals.  Her short program includes a triple lutz + triple toe (under-rotated), triple loop and double axel.  She earned Level 4 on her spins and Level 3 on her step sequence.  Her program components ranged from 6.10-6.40.  Her free skate includes a triple lutz + triple toe, double axel, triple loop, triple flip (downgraded), triple lutz (under-rotated and fall), double axel + double toe, and double salchow.  She earned Level 4 on her spins and Level 3 on her step sequence.  Her program components ranged from 5.95-6.65.

Hannah Miller competed in two Grand Prix events this season.  Her short program includes a triple toe + triple toe (downgraded at both events), triple flip (under-rotated at Rostelecom Cup) and double axel (downgraded at Rostelecom Cup).  She earned Level 4 on her spins and Level 3 on her step sequence at Cup of China.  Her best program components came at Cup of China where she earned 6.21-6.79.  Her free skate layout changed between events.  At Rostelecom Cup, she had a triple toe + loop + triple salchow (under-rotated), double axel + double toe, double lutz, single flip, triple loop (under-rotated), triple flip + double toe (under-rotated), and triple toe.  She earned Level 4 on her spins and Level 3 on her step sequence.  Her best program components came at Cup of China where she earned 6.75-6.96.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Ashley Wagner

Silver: Gracie Gold

Bronze: Polina Edmunds

Pewter: Karen Chen

 

Bios of the competitors:

Mariah Bell: She is 19 years old and represents the Rocky Mountain Figure Skating Club.  She finished 8th at Skate America.  She placed 6th at the US International Classic and 13th at Ondrej Nepela Trophy.  She finished 6th last season, 13th in 2014, is the 2013 Junior Silver Medalist, finished 5th in juniors in 2012, is the 2011 Novice Bronze Medalist and finished 8th in intermediate in 2010.

Ashley Cain:  She is 20 years old and represents the Skating Club of New York.  She placed 14th last season, 12th in 2014, 12th in 2013, is the 2012 Junior Silver Medalist, finished 6th in juniors in 2011 and is the 2010 Novice Ladies Silver Medalist.  She won bronze at North Atlantic Regionals and silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 5th best short program, 9th best free skate and 7th best total scores from qualifying.

Karen Chen: She is 16 years old and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She placed 8th at Junior Worlds last season.  She placed 5th at Skate America and 5th at Cup of China.  She placed 4th at the US International Classic and won bronze at the Golden Spin of Zagreb.  She is the reigning Bronze Medalist, 2013 Junior Pewter Medalist, 2012 Novice Champion, 2011 Intermediate Champion and the 2010 Juvenile Pewter Medalist.

Franchesca Chiera: She is 18 years old and represents the Panthers Figure Skating Club.  She finished 16th last season and 17th in 2014.  She won gold at South Atlantic Regionals and gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 2nd best short program, 2nd best free skate and 2nd best total scores from qualifying.

Christina Cleveland: She is 19 years old and represents the Strongsville Skating Club.  She finished 21st last season.  She won pewter at Eastern Great Lakes Regionals and pewter at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals. She has the 10th best short program score from qualifying.

Polina Edmunds: She is 17 years old and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She finished 8th at Worlds last season and is the reigning Four Continents Champion.  She placed 6th at Skate Canada and 4th at Cup of China.  She is the reigning Pewter Medalist, 2014 Silver Medalist, 2013 Junior Champion, finished 6th in juniors in 2012, 7th in juniors in 2011 and 6th in novice in 2010.

Alexis Gagnon: She represents the Coyotes Skating Club of Arizona.  She won pewter at Southwest Pacific Regionals and pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Carly Gold: She is 20 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She won gold at Southwest Pacific Regionals and gold at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 9th best short program score from qualifying.

Gracie Gold: She is 20 years old and represents the Wagon Wheel Figure Skating Club.  She placed 4th at Worlds and 4th at Four Continents.  She won silver at Skate America and gold at Trophee Eric Bompard to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she finished 5th.  She is the 2012 World Junior Silver Medalist.  She is the reigning Silver Medalist, 2014 Champion, 2013 Silver Medalist, 2012 Junior Champion and 2010 Novice Pewter Medalist.  She has the 3rd best short program, 6th best free skate and 6th best total scores, internationally.

Courtney Hicks: She is 20 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She placed 6th at Cup of China and won silver at NHK Trophy.  She won bronze at Nebelhorn Trophy.  She finished 8th last season, 6th in 2014, is the 2013 Pewter Medalist, 2011 Junior Champion, finished 5th in novice in 2010, is the 2009 Intermediate Silver Medalist and finished 6th in juvenile in 2008.

Avery Kurtz: She is 18 years old and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  She finished 8th in novice in 2012 and is the 2010 Intermediate Ladies pewter medalist.   She won gold at Southwestern Regionals and silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 3rd best short program and 8th best total score from qualifying.

Katie McBeath: She is 21 and represents the Westminster Figure Skating Club of Erie.  She finished 18th last season.  She won pewter at North Atlantic Regionals and bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 6th best free skate and 9th best total scores from qualifying.

Alexie Mieskoski: She is 20 years old and represents the Columbus Figure Skating Club.  She won gold at Eastern Great Lakes Regionals and bronze at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 6th best short program, 4th best free skate and 3rd best total scores from qualifying.

Hannah Miller: She is 19 years old and represents the Lansing Skating Club.  She finished 10th at Cup of China and 11th at Rostelecom Cup.  She placed 6th at Finlandia Trophy.  She placed 9th last season, 9th in 2014, 10th in 2013, is the 2012 Junior Bronze Medalist, 2011 Novice Champion, finished 5th in intermediate in 2010 and 8th in juvenile in 2009.

Heidi Munger: She is 19 years old and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  She won gold at New England Regionals and pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 8th best free skate score from qualifying.

Mirai Nagasu: She is 22 years old and represents the Pasadena Figure Skating Club.  She placed 5th at NHK Trophy.  She placed 5th at Nebelhorn Trophy and won gold at Ice Challenge.  She is the 2011 Four Continents Bronze Medalist, 2007 World Junior Silver Medalist and 2008 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  She finished 10th last season, is the 2014 Bronze Medalist, placed 7th in 2013, 7th in 2012, is the 2011 Bronze Medalist, 2010 Silver Medalist, finished 5th in 2009, is the 2008 Champion and 2007 Junior Champion.

Tyler Pierce: She is 17 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She placed 19th at Junior Worlds last season.  She finished 4th at the Autumn Classic International, won bronze at Ice Challenge and bronze at Tallinn Trophy.  She finished 7th last season, is the 2014 Junior Silver Medalist, 2013 Novice Champion and 2012 Intermediate Bronze Medalist.

Elena Pulkinen: She represents the Coyotes Skating Club of Arizona.  She won bronze at Southwest Pacific Regionals and bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Bradie Tennell: She is 17 years old and represents the Wagon Wheel Figure Skating Club.  She placed 11th at JGP Austria.  She is the reigning Junior Champion, 2014 Junior Pewter Medalist, 2013 Novice Bronze Medalist, finished 10th as a novice in 2012, 15th in intermediate in 2011 and 10th in juvenile in 2010.  She won gold at Upper Great Lakes Regionals and gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best short program, best free skate and best total scores from qualifying.

Ashley Wagner: She is 24 years old and represents the Skating Club of Wilmington.  She placed 5th at Worlds last season.  She won gold at Skate Canada and placed 4th at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she placed 4th.  She is the 2012 Four Continents Champion and 2007 and 2009 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  She is the reigning Champion, 2014 Pewter Medalist, 2013 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.  She has the 7th best short program, 4th best free skate and 7th best total scores, internationally.

Angela Wang: She is 19 years old and represents the Salt Lake Figure Skating Club.  She placed 8th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  She won bronze at the US International Classic, bronze at the Autumn Classic International and finished 5th at Golden Spin of Zagreb.  She placed 15th last season, 15th in 2014, 9th in 2013, 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.

Maria Yang: She is 18 and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She finished 19th last season, placed 7th as a junior in 2014, 9th as a junior in 2013 and 8th in juvenile in 2010.  She won gold at Central Pacific Regionals and silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 5th best free skate and 6th best total scores from qualifying.

NHK Trophy Ladies Results

Short Program

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Satoko MIYAHARA JPN 69.53 37.50 32.03 8.00 7.75 8.25 8.11 7.93 0.00 #11
2 Courtney HICKS USA 65.60 36.09 29.51 7.43 7.21 7.54 7.43 7.29 0.00 #7
3 Ashley WAGNER USA 63.71 30.25 33.46 8.32 8.14 8.36 8.43 8.57 0.00 #9
4 Mao ASADA JPN 62.50 30.80 32.70 8.29 7.89 7.89 8.43 8.39 1.00 #6
5 Mirai NAGASU USA 61.10 32.20 28.90 7.39 6.93 7.39 7.25 7.18 0.00 #5
6 Zijun LI CHN 60.78 32.21 28.57 7.18 6.89 7.32 7.11 7.21 0.00 #4
7 Alena LEONOVA RUS 59.63 29.80 30.83 7.54 7.32 7.71 7.96 8.00 1.00 #8
8 Kaetlyn OSMOND CAN 57.07 28.71 29.36 7.43 7.14 7.18 7.43 7.54 1.00 #1
9 Maria ARTEMIEVA RUS 55.68 28.79 27.89 7.07 6.68 7.00 7.07 7.04 1.00 #3
10 Mariko KIHARA JPN 54.96 28.88 27.08 6.96 6.39 6.89 6.82 6.79 1.00 #2
11 Anna POGORILAYA RUS 47.35 22.49 27.86 7.36 6.86 6.54 7.18 6.89 3.00 #10

Free Skate

  Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Satoko MIYAHARA JPN 133.58 67.70 65.88 8.14 8.00 8.46 8.21 8.36 0.00 #11
2 Mao ASADA JPN 120.49 54.43 66.06 8.36 7.89 8.00 8.54 8.50 0.00 #8
3 Courtney HICKS USA 117.52 59.29 60.23 7.71 7.32 7.61 7.46 7.54 2.00 #10
4 Anna POGORILAYA RUS 117.28 58.30 58.98 7.54 7.18 7.32 7.46 7.36 0.00 #1
5 Ashley WAGNER USA 115.62 50.20 65.42 8.11 7.89 8.21 8.21 8.46 0.00 #9
6 Mirai NAGASU USA 114.54 55.57 58.97 7.46 7.07 7.50 7.36 7.46 0.00 #7
7 Kaetlyn OSMOND CAN 111.41 53.12 60.29 7.61 7.32 7.29 7.71 7.75 2.00 #4
8 Mariko KIHARA JPN 108.23 54.82 54.41 7.07 6.36 7.04 6.75 6.79 1.00 #2
9 Alena LEONOVA RUS 106.12 48.48 58.64 7.29 7.07 7.43 7.43 7.43 1.00 #5
10 Zijun LI CHN 105.62 49.26 56.36 7.14 6.86 7.18 7.11 6.93 0.00 #6
11 Maria ARTEMIEVA RUS 102.65 47.09 56.56 7.14 6.75 7.04 7.14 7.29 1.00 #3

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Satoko MIYAHARA
JPN
203.11 1 1
2 Courtney HICKS
USA
183.12 2 3
3 Mao ASADA
JPN
182.99 4 2
4 Ashley WAGNER
USA
179.33 3 5
5 Mirai NAGASU
USA
175.64 5 6
6 Kaetlyn OSMOND
CAN
168.48 8 7
7 Zijun LI
CHN
166.40 6 10
8 Alena LEONOVA
RUS
165.75 7 9
9 Anna POGORILAYA
RUS
164.63 11 4
10 Mariko KIHARA
JPN
163.19 10 8
11 Maria ARTEMIEVA
RUS
158.33 9 11

Cup of China Ladies Results

Short Program

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Mao ASADA JPN 71.73 37.08 34.65 8.64 8.43 8.71 8.71 8.82 0.00 #7
2 Rika HONGO JPN 65.79 35.69 30.10 7.54 7.36 7.54 7.57 7.61 0.00 #10
3 Courtney HICKS USA 62.38 33.40 28.98 7.32 7.04 7.36 7.25 7.25 0.00 #9
4 Anna POGORILAYA RUS 61.47 31.37 31.10 7.89 7.64 7.64 7.79 7.93 1.00 #12
5 Zijun LI CHN 58.62 31.05 27.57 6.93 6.68 7.07 6.86 6.93 0.00 #5
6 Elena RADIONOVA RUS 58.51 27.06 31.45 8.00 7.68 7.64 7.89 8.11 0.00 #11
7 Karen CHEN USA 58.30 31.85 27.45 6.93 6.57 6.93 6.89 7.00 1.00 #4
8 Hannah MILLER USA 55.25 29.13 26.12 6.54 6.21 6.57 6.54 6.79 0.00 #3
9 Nicole RAJICOVA SVK 54.76 27.64 27.12 6.89 6.57 6.82 6.75 6.86 0.00 #8
10 So Youn PARK KOR 52.47 27.61 25.86 6.61 6.25 6.50 6.43 6.54 1.00 #6
11 Ziquan ZHAO CHN 48.66 25.49 23.17 5.96 5.50 5.86 5.89 5.75 0.00 #2
12 Lu ZHENG CHN 47.23 26.74 20.49 5.29 4.89 5.29 5.04 5.11 0.00 #1

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Rika HONGO JPN 129.97 64.71 65.26 8.04 7.82 8.25 8.32 8.36 0.00 #11
2 Elena RADIONOVA RUS 125.77 61.28 65.49 8.25 8.00 8.18 8.18 8.32 1.00 #7
3 Mao ASADA JPN 125.75 58.15 69.60 8.71 8.50 8.54 8.82 8.93 2.00 #12
4 Anna POGORILAYA RUS 122.69 59.66 65.03 8.18 7.96 8.00 8.21 8.29 2.00 #9
5 Karen CHEN USA 117.63 60.03 57.60 7.25 6.93 7.32 7.18 7.32 0.00 #6
6 So Youn PARK KOR 111.81 60.91 51.90 6.71 6.18 6.57 6.36 6.61 1.00 #3
7 Nicole RAJICOVA SVK 110.50 54.77 55.73 7.00 6.61 7.00 7.04 7.18 0.00 #4
8 Courtney HICKS USA 103.62 47.23 57.39 7.36 7.11 6.96 7.25 7.18 1.00 #10
9 Zijun LI CHN 100.51 43.55 56.96 7.25 6.82 7.18 7.14 7.21 0.00 #8
10 Hannah MILLER USA 96.48 41.56 54.92 6.93 6.75 6.75 6.93 6.96 0.00 #5
11 Ziquan ZHAO CHN 91.11 46.40 45.71 5.89 5.43 5.75 5.71 5.79 1.00 #2
12 Lu ZHENG CHN 83.09 43.14 39.95 5.25 4.61 5.14 5.04 4.93 0.00 #1

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Mao ASADA
JPN
197.48 1 3
2 Rika HONGO
JPN
195.76 2 1
3 Elena RADIONOVA
RUS
184.28 6 2
4 Anna POGORILAYA
RUS
184.16 4 4
5 Karen CHEN
USA
175.93 7 5
6 Courtney HICKS
USA
166.00 3 8
7 Nicole RAJICOVA
SVK
165.26 9 7
8 So Youn PARK
KOR
164.28 10 6
9 Zijun LI
CHN
159.13 5 9
10 Hannah MILLER
USA
151.73 8 10
11 Ziquan ZHAO
CHN
139.77 11 11
12 Lu ZHENG
CHN
130.32 12 12

2015 US Nationals Senior Ladies Short Program

Group 1

Caroline Zhang: 55.40

Ashley Shin: 53.67 and into 2nd place

Amber Glenn: 63.04 and into 1st place

Angela Wang: 51.02 and into 4th place

  • Popped opening lutz
  • Nice triple loop + double toe with a tight air position and nice pointed toes
  • Good speed in her sit spin with a nice stretched leg and pointed toe
  • Double axel out of a nice step pattern
  • Good flow and edges in the step sequence
  • Good layback but her arms could have more stretched and she slightly loses speed in the Biellman
  • Nice performance quality and finish to the program after the opening jump mistake

Madison Vinci: 24.69 TES + 21.69 PCS -1.00 = 45.38 and into 5th place

  • I love her whole look from the way her hair is done to the costume
  • Triple loop + double loop with the arms over the head and a lot of height on the first jump
  • Lots of speed in the triple salchow and almost landed in the splits
  • Good speed in the sit spin
  • Spread eagle into double axel off in the air but lands it
  • Really nice layback position into a haircutter
  • A little on top of her edges in the step sequence
  • Nice speed in the combination spin with good changes of position

 

Group 2

Christina Cleveland: 25.41 TES + 19.83 PCS = 45.24 and into 6th place

  • Big triple lutz + double toe with the arms overhead in the second jump
  • Nice triple toe with a good landing position
  • Good low sit position with nice speed
  • Nice choreography in the step sequence but a bit choppy in places and she could be into her knees a bit more
  • Nice Russian split into a spiral and into a nice high double axel but a bit forward on the landing
  • Good speed in the combination spin with a nice exit out of it
  • Picking up speed in the the layback spin but losing it a bit in the Biellman
  • Really nice performance and feel for the music

Katie McBeath: 24.59 TES + 20.77 PCS = 45.36 and into 6th place

  •  Russian split into a double axel but has to hang on to the landing a bit
  • Triple loop + double toe timed nicely with the music
  • Slipped on the edge going into her spin, steps back up into it but she may or may not get credit for it
  • Triple flip a little down on her side on the landing
  • Nice position in the camel into a good twisted sit position
  • She had such a nice spark and feeling for the performance quality of this program at the beginning but doesn’t have it here at the end
  • Her sit spin position could be a bit more stretched

Leah Keiser: 33.71 TES + 27.18 PCS =60.89 and into 2nd place

  • Lots of height and ice coverage in the triple toe + triple toe
  • Really nice triple lutz with a held landing position
  • Good sit spin position with nice toe point
  • Lovely light quality in her step sequence and she’s really showing off her maturity here–she looks like a senior lady
  • Nice double axel with good flow out of it
  • Good donut position in the combination spin
  • Nice layback into a fully stretched Biellman
  • What a great program from her!

Courtney Hicks: 37.15 TES + 27.86 PCS = 65.01 and into 1st place

  • Triple flip + triple toe such fast rotation
  • Nice layback position with interesting arm variations
  • Camel has a bent free leg but good speed
  • Big triple lutz with nice deep knee bend on the landing
  • Great double axel
  • Nice speed and deep edges in the step sequence with good energy and commitment to her performance
  • Good donut position into her signature Tw-Hicks spin
  • Great program from her, solid from start to finish
  • Partial standing ovation

Franchesca Chiera: 29.66 TES + 23.25 PCS =52.91 and into 6th place

  • Double axel
  • Triple flip puts her free leg down on the landing
  • Interesting position variations in her combination spin
  • Triple lutz + double toe (first jump might have been slightly two-footed)
  • Good speed in the haircutter and interesting one arm Biellman

 

Group 3

Polina Edmunds: 36.41 TES + 29.63 PCS = 66.04 and into 1st place

  • Nice triple lutz + triple toe
  • Great speed in the layback and a fully stretched Biellman
  • Triple flip with a nice ride out of the jump
  • This is the first time she’s landed all the jumps in her short this season and that has to give her a huge confidence boost
  • Spiral into a nice double axel
  • Nice positions in the combination spin
  • Lots of changes of direction and edges in her step sequence but her performance seems a bit tentative

Tyler Pierce: 34.37 TES + 25.91 PCS = 60.28 and into 5th place

  • Nice triple toe + triple toe
  • Great layback camel position
  • Nice double axel
  • Solid triple lutz
  • Pretty layback into a nice Biellman
  • It’s a shame the US ladies had so few spots on the JGP this season as Pierce didn’t have the chance to compete and would have done well with a program like this
  • Lipnitskaia like flexibility in her final spin
  • Solid program from her in her senior debut

Ashley Wagner: 38.33 TES + 33.71 PCS = 72.04 and into 1st place

  • Triple lutz + triple toe two footed on the second jump
  • Nice camel variation with the arms coming up and flowing out of it well with the music
  • Nice low twisted sit spin position
  • Nice double axel
  • Nice spread eagle into a triple flip and good flow out, all timed with the music
  • Great expression, posture, flow and changes of edges in the step sequence
  • Layback into a fully stretched Biellman
  • Really nice program and she looked so relaxed out there
  • The problem with this program is that even when it’s done flawlessly clean, there’s nothing for the crowd to really get excited about and get them on their feet

Maria Yang: 22.85 TES + 21.94 PCS -2.00 =42.79 and into 14th place

  • Triple salchow + triple loop tight on the landing and hands down
  • Nice triple flip
  • Nice positions in her camel spin but slightly on the slower side
  • Random fall on some transitional steps
  • Spread eagle into a double axel
  • Nice low sit spin into an upright catch foot but losing speed after the change of foot
  • This is such a lovely piece of music and she could give more expression which would help her program components
  • Nice layback but losing her centering on the Biellman
  • A tough program with the falls but a good effort in her senior debut

Ashley Cain: 28.75 TES + 26.60 PCS -1.00 = 54.35 and into 8th place

  • Triple lutz fall
  • Big triple loop, not sure why she didn’t try and put a combo on that, instead she’ll take a deduction for not having a combo
  • Great layback position with a stretched out leg into a fast Biellman
  • Good speed on the sit spin
  • Nice musical accents in her step sequence
  • Double axel has to sneak out her free leg
  • She has such gorgeous lines and uses every inch of her long limbs to her advantage

Samantha Cesario: 31.30 TES + 27.91 PCS = 59.21 and into 7th place

  • Triple loop + triple loop with a gorgeous landing position
  • Nice layback spin into a good Biellman but losing speed
  • She needs more stretch in her sit spin position but the other two variations are nice
  • Double axel nice landing with good flow out of it
  • Triple flip very solid
  • This is where she really excels, playing to the audience and giving a performance in the step sequence
  • Great camel spin into a decent illusion and ending with a nice upright catchfoot

 

Group 4

Hannah Miller: 30.95 TES + 28.86 PCS = 59.81 and into 7th place

  • I really love this Firebird program for her and it really suits her personality
  • Nice opening camel spin
  • Triple toe + triple toe a little tight on the second landing
  • Good speed on the combination spin
  • Good triple flip
  • Nice layback into Biellman
  • Good variety of movement in the step sequence
  • Final double axel really nice

Christina Gao: 25.79 TES + 26.00 PCS -1.00 =50.78 and into 14th place

  • Great height and jump position on the triple toe + triple toe
  • Double axel stepped out on the landing
  • Slowing down a bit on the sit spin
  • I think this vocal program really does a lot to bring the performance aspect out of her
  • Triple loop hand down and a fall
  • Nice camel spin position in her combination spin
  • Nice layback but she could work on her arm position
  • I really love the feel of this program and how she performs it, and it’s a shame the jumps weren’t there today

Gracie Gold: 33.97 TES + 33.05 PCS = 67.02 and into 2nd place

  • Triple lutz + double toe and two footed landing–that’s an uncharacteristic mistake for her and it will cost her
  • Really nice layback into a Biellman
  • Good camel with nice speed
  • Great triple loop with a beautiful air position
  • Great double axel
  • Great flow and stretch through her legs and arms in the step sequence and perfectly capturing the feel of the music
  • Camel spin into a nice sit spin
  • That first combo is going to cost her being in first place, but hopefully no more than that with her GOE, program components and levels

Mariah Bell: 29.84 TES + 27.51 PCS = 57.35 and into 10th place

  • Triple toe + triple toe a little forward on the landing
  • Nice height on the triple lutz
  • Good stretched sit spin position
  • Really solid double axel
  • Pretty layback position into a nice Biellman, but slowing down
  • She has so much personality and this music really lets her do her thing
  • Great choreography in her step sequence and really well timed to the music
  • Great donut position in her final spin
  • I loved that program from her!

Karen Chen: 36.46 TES + 28.20 PCS = 64.66 and into 5th place

  • Great triple lutz but triple toe was two footed
  • Beautiful donut position into a catchfoot
  • Beautiful sit spin with fully stretched free leg and a pointed toe
  • Nice triple loop with a great landing position
  • Double axel right on the music
  • Nice intensity in the step sequence and speed and flow across the ice
  • This is a big piece of music and it’s not overwhelming her in the slightest
  • Great speed and gorgeous stretch in the Biellman

Mirai Nagasu: 35.19 TES + 30.09 PCS = 65.28 and into 4th place

  • Triple flip + triple toe two-footed and looked under
  • Nice donut position in her camel spin
  • Nice to see her giving a performance and facials and looking happy out on the ice
  • Gorgeous catchfoot position in the camel in her combination spin and such ease in her upright catch foot position
  • Triple loop with a solid landing position
  • Spread eagle into a really nice double axel
  • She’s looking down a bit in this step sequence which is a shame because the choreography is really nice
  • Great layback into a beautiful Biellman
  • Partial standing ovation for her effort
Place Start Name Score
1 13 Ashley Wagner, SC of Wilmington 72.04
2 19 Gracie Gold, Wagon Wheel FSC 67.02
3 11 Polina Edmunds, Peninsula SC 66.04
4 22 Mirai Nagasu, Pasadena FSC 65.28
5 9 Courtney Hicks, All Year FSC 65.01
6 21 Karen Chen, Peninsula SC 64.66
7 3 Amber Glenn, Dallas FSC 63.04
8 8 Leah Keiser, All Year FSC 60.89
9 12 Tyler Pierce, All Year FSC 60.28
10 17 Hannah Miller, Lansing SC 59.81
11 16 Samantha Cesario, SC of New York 59.21
12 20 Mariah Bell, Rocky Mountain FSC 57.35
13 1 Caroline Zhang, All Year FSC 55.40
14 15 Ashley Cain, SC of New York 54.35
15 2 Ashley Shin, Dallas FSC 53.67
16 10 Franchesca Chiera, Panthers FSC 52.91
17 4 Angela Wang, Salt Lake Figure Skating 51.02
18 18 Christina Gao, SC of Boston 50.78
19 5 Madison Vinci, Washington FSC 45.38
20 7 Katie McBeath, Westminster FSC of Erie 45.36
21 6 Christina Cleveland, Strongsville SC 45.24
22 14 Maria Yang, Washington FSC 42.79

2015 US Nationals Senior Ladies Preview

Twenty of these ladies have competed at nationals previously and have won a combined 53 national medals.  Nine competed on the Grand Prix this season with one competing at the Grand Prix Final, while three competed on the Junior Grand Prix.  Despite this being a post-Olympic season, last year’s 1st-6th, 8th-10th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 17th and 19th place finishers in seniors are competing here, along with the 1st-3rd and 7th place finishers in juniors.

To be competitive on the international level, these ladies will need at least one triple + triple combination in addition to quality spins.  The US has three spots available at the World Championships while some of these ladies are still young enough to compete at Junior Worlds.

Ashley Wagner struggled with the Olympic pressure last season and finished just 4th at nationals.  She made the most of the opportunity given her to compete at the Olympics and Worlds and has come back this season with the goal of making the Worlds podium.  She rebounded from a weak short program at the Grand Prix Final to win the bronze medal in a tough field of talented Russian ladies.  She’s been upgrading her elements throughout the season, but rarely is credited with a clean triple + triple. At Skate Canada she tried a Double Axel + Triple Toe which was under-rotated.  At Trophee Eric Bompard she went for a Triple Lutz + Triple Toe in the bonus which was downgraded.  At the Grand Prix Final she landed a Triple Flip + Triple Toe in addition to a Triple Loop + Half Loop + Triple Salchow which was under-rotated.  She consistently earned Level 3s and 4s on her spins and steps and at the Final she earned 8 points from GOE in her free skate.  Her short program has a Triple Flip + Triple Toe which has yet to be landed cleanly in competition this season.  Her program components are strong ranging from 7.82-8.36.  Her Moulin Rouge free skate perfectly complements her skating style and the song choices can boost her and get the audience behind her if she’s skating cleanly, but can also give her inspiration to continue if she’s made a mistake.

After a coaching change last season, Gracie Gold showed a new side of herself at nationals and won her first national title.  She had a strong performance at the Olympics, finishing just off the podium in 4th place and became America’s sweetheart.  She had to pull out of the Final due to a stress fracture in her foot and wasn’t allowed to train any jumps for several weeks.  This should be a competitive field this year and the lost training time could hurt her.  She has received some criticism about her free skate not being strong enough for her personality but I think the music suits her well and she does a good jump portraying the emotions of Christine from Phantom in “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.”  Her free skate has a Triple Lutz + Triple Toe and a Double Axel + Triple Toe. She earned 6 points from GOE from both of her Grand Prix assignments along with Level 4 spins and steps.  At Skate America, she had an invalid three jump combination which cost her some points while at NHK Trophy she doubled a flip.  Her program components were strong ranging from 7.61-8.21.  Her short program also has a Triple Lutz + Triple Toe.

Courtney Hicks won the pewter medal in her senior debut in 2013 but fell to 6th place last season.  She is known for strong, high jumps but hasn’t developed the artistry of some of the other senior competitors.  She hasn’t landed the triple + triple in her Grand Prix assignments this season, but did have a Triple Flip + Double Toe and a Triple Lutz + Double Toe.  She received all Level 3s and 4s in her free skate with program components ranging from 6.71-7.21.  Because her program components are lower, she’ll need every jump she can get, especially if the other ladies are landing their triple + triples.  Her short program does have a Triple Flip + Triple Toe which she landed at Skate Canada but did not land at Trophee Eric Bompard.

Karen Chen is making her senior debut.  After competing at the Junior Grand Prix Final last season, she seemed to be ready to win the junior title at nationals, but had to withdraw after the short program due to injury.  She won two medals on the Junior Grand Prix this season and should be a strong contender for the podium at Junior Worlds if she is assigned there.  She has a Triple Lutz + Double Toe and a Double Axel + Triple Toe.  At sectionals, she received an edge call on her flip and fell on her solo lutz.  She did receive all Level 3s and 4s and earned 7 points from GOE.  She is one of only two 15 year olds in this field and is a dark horse for the podium.

Polina Edmunds won the silver medal at nationals last year in her senior debut.  She was the youngest member of the entire US Olympic team in Sochi.  She had strong performances at the Olympics and Worlds, especially considering she was making her senior international debut on such a big stage.  She has been dealing with growth spurts and puberty this season and has had to rework some of her jump technique.  Her free skates have been strong this season but missing her combo in her short program cost her any chance of winning a medal on the Grand Prix.  Her free skate has a Triple Lutz + Triple Toe, Triple Flip + Half Loop + Triple Salchow.  She under-rotated her solo lutz at both events.  She received a Level 1 on her steps at Cup of China but improved to a Level 4 at NHK Trophy.  Her program components were a little low considering her performance ranging from 6.29-7.04.  She missed her lutz combo in the short program at both events.  She also improved her step levels in her short program.  She is a strong competitor and shouldn’t be counted out, despite any troubles she had internationally this season.

Samantha Cesario has an unforgettable look on the ice and a presence that is well beyond her years.  Her triple loop is her best jump and she often attempts difficult combinations with it.  She is skating her free skate to Carmen, music that she has used before but that she portrays very well.  She doesn’t have as many difficult jumps as the other ladies and her spins and steps don’t receive the same levels, so she’s relying on skating a clean program with positive GOEs to keep her in the mix.  Her free skate has a Triple Loop + Half Loop + Triple Salchow which she didn’t complete cleanly at either Grand Prix.  Her spins and steps consistently gained Level 2s.  Her short program has a Triple Flip + Triple Loop which was also not credited cleanly on the Grand Prix.  Her program components range from 6.61-7.50 which is a bit low for her performance quality but accounts for some of the problems with her levels and jumps.

Mirai Nagasu had a disappointing season last year.  After finishing 3rd at nationals, she was not named to the Olympic team.  She went to nationals last season without a coach and has since moved to Colorado Springs to train.  Her jumps have always been a problem area and while it appears she skated cleanly, she gets dinged on under-rotation calls.  She also can be hit or miss performance-wise and can sometimes come off as bored and cold on the ice.  Her free skate includes a Triple Flip + Triple Toe, Double Axel + Triple Toe and a Triple Salchow + Double Toe + Double Loop, all of which had under-rotated jumps at Skate America.  She also had two other under-rotated jumps.  She did receive Level 4 spins and Level 3 steps but her program components were a disappointing 6.32-6.75.  Her short program at Skate America lost points on the Grade of Execution and also had program components in the low-mid 6s.  She has the ability to put out a strong, clean program, but it’s difficult to know when it’s going to happen as her consistency is an issue.

Hannah Miller is in her third season competing at nationals as a senior and could see herself moving up in the standings.  Her free skate has a Triple Toe + Half Loop + Triple Salchow and a Double Axel + Triple Toe.  She was credited with all Level 4 elements in her free skate at Lombardia Trophy with program components ranging from 6.55-7.00.  She doesn’t have a triple + Triple in her short and her triple flip was under-rotated with a fall at Lombardia Trophy earning her just .60 points.  Despite winning the gold at Ice Challenge, she was hit with three under-rotation calls and one downgrade in the free skate.  At Ice Challenge she went for the Triple Toe + Triple Toe in the short and received an under-rotation call, but both of her other jumps did not have enough rotations to be counted and received no credit.  Her short programs have been an issue for her in the past and she’s had to rely on a strong free skate to catch up.

Mariah Bell is in her second season as a senior and while her regional and international performances were ok, she had a great competition at Sectionals.  She had a Triple Lutz + Double Toe + Double Loop planned, but only completed two of the three jumps in her free skate.  She also had a Double Axel + Triple Toe, which was under-rotated.  She did receive Level 3s and 4s on her steps and spins but her real advantage came from her clean elements.  Her GOE gave her 6 points.  Her program components were also strong, ranging from 6.85-7.25.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Ashley Wagner

Silver: Gracie Gold

Bronze: Polina Edmunds

Pewter: Karen Chen

 

Bios of the competitors:

Mariah Bell: She is 18 years old and represents the Rocky Mountain Figure Skating Club.  She placed 5th at Nebelhorn and 8th at Golden Spin of Zagreb.  She finished 13th last season, is the 2013 Junior Silver Medalist, finished 5th in juniors in 2012, is the 2011 Novice Bronze Medalist and finished 8th in intermediate in 2010.  She won silver at Southwestern Regionals and gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 4th best short program, best free skate and best total scores from qualifying.

Ashley Cain:  She is 19 years old and represents the Skating Club of New York.  She finished 10th at Cup of China and 8th at Rostelecom Cup.  She won bronze at Nebelhorn Trophy and bronze at Ondrej Nepela Trophy.  She placed 12th last season, 12th in 2013, is the 2012 Junior Silver Medalist, finished 6th in juniors in 2011 and is the 2010 Novice Ladies Silver Medalist.

Samantha Cesario: She is 21 years old and represents the Skating Club of New York.  She finished 8th at Four Continents last season.  She placed 4th at Skate America and 7th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  She finished 5th last season, 8th in 2013, 14th in 2010, 6th in juniors in 2009 and 8th in juvenile in 2005.

Karen Chen: She is 15 years old and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She placed 9th at Junior Worlds last season.  She won bronze at JGP Czech Republic and silver at JGP Croatia.  She is the 2013 Junior Pewter Medalist, 2012 Novice Champion, 2011 Intermediate Champion and the 2010 Juvenile Pewter Medalist.  She won gold at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Internationally as as junior, she has the 4th best short program, 8th best free skate and 6th best total scores.  She has the 7th best short program, 2nd best free skate and 2nd best total scores from qualifying.

Franchesca Chiera: She represents the Panthers Figure Skating Club.  She finished 17th last season.  She won silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 9th best short program scores from qualifying.

Christina Cleveland: She represents the Strongsville Skating Club.  She won bronze at Eastern Great Lakes Regionals and pewter at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Polina Edmunds: She is 16 years old and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She finished 9th at the Olympics and 8th at Worlds last season.  She placed 4th at Cup of China and 8th at NHK Trophy.  She is the reigning Silver Medalist, 2013 Junior Champion, finished 6th in juniors in 2012, 7th in juniors in 2011 and 6th in novice in 2010.  Internationally, she has the 9th best short program and 10th best total scores.

Christina Gao: She is 20 years old and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  She placed 9th at Cup of China and 9th at NHK Trophy.  She placed 8th last season, 5th in 2013, 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.

Amber Glenn: She is 15 years old and represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  She finished 7th at Junior Worlds last season.  She won bronze at JGP France and placed 6th at JGP Estonia.  She is the reigning Junior Champion, finished 5th as a junior in 2013, is the 2012 Novice Ladies Silver Medalist, finished 10th as an intermediate in 2011 and 12th as a juvenile in 2009.  She won silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best short program, 10th best free skate and 5th best total scores from qualifying.

Gracie Gold: She is 19 years old and represents the Wagon Wheel Figure Skating Club.  She placed 4th at the Olympics and 5th at Worlds.  She won bronze at Skate America and won gold at NHK Trophy.  She is the 2012 World Junior Silver Medalist.  She is the reigning Champion, 2013 Silver Medalist, 2012 Junior Champion and 2010 Novice Pewter Medalist.  Internationally she has the 2nd best short program, 6th best free skate and 4th best total scores.

Courtney Hicks: She is 19 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She placed 5th at Four Continents last season.  She finished 4th at Skate Canada and 4th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  She finished 6th last season, is the 2013 Pewter Medalist, 2011 Junior Champion, finished 5th in novice in 2010, is the 2009 Intermediate Silver Medalist and finished 6th in juvenile in 2008.  Internationally, she has the 10th best free skate score.

Leah Keiser: She is 17 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She won bronze at JGP Slovenia and finished 8th at JGP Germany.  She placed 10th last season, 12th in 2012, is the 2010 Novice Champion and 2008 Juvenile Champion.  She won silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 3rd best short program, 3rd best free skate and 3rd best total scores from qualifying.

Katie McBeath: She represents the Westminster Figure Skating Club of Erie.  She won gold at North Atlantic Regionals and bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 8th best free skate and 9th best total scores from qualifying.

Hannah Miller: She is 18 years old and represents the Lansing Skating Club.  She won silver at Lombardia Trophy and gold at Ice Challenge.  She placed 9th last season, 10th in 2013, is the 2012 Junior Bronze Medalist, 2011 Novice Champion, finished 5th in intermediate in 2010 and 8th in juvenile in 2009.  Internationally, she has the 8th best free skate score.

Mirai Nagasu: She is 21 years old and represents the Pasadena Figure Skating Club.  She placed 10th at Four Continents.  She placed 6th at Skate America and placed 4th at Rostelecom Cup.  She placed 5th at the US International Figure Skating Challenge.  She is the 2011 Four Continents Bronze Medalist, 2007 World Junior Silver Medalist and 2008 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  She is the reigning Bronze Medalist, placed 7th in 2013, 7th in 2012, is the 2011 Bronze Medalist, 2010 Silver Medalist, finished 5th in 2009, is the 2008 Champion and 2007 Junior Champion.

Tyler Pierce: She is 16 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  She placed 14th at Junior Worlds last season.  She is the reigning Junior Silver Medalist, 2013 Novice Champion and 2012 Intermediate Bronze Medalist.  She won gold at Southwest Pacific Regionals and bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 5th best short program, 4th bet free skate and 4th bet total scores from qualifying.

Ashley Shin: She is 16 years old and represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  She finished 7th at the US Figure Skating Classic.  She is the reigning Junior Bronze Medalist, finished 11th as a novice in 2013 and is the 2012 Intermediate Ladies Champion.  She won gold at Southwestern Regionals and bronze at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 2nd best short program, 5th best free skate and 6th best total scores from qualifying.

Madison Vinci: She is 18 years old and represents the Washington Figure Skating Club.  She finished 6th in juniors in 2013, is the 2012 Novice Ladies Pewter Medalist and the 2011 Intermediate Ladies Bronze Medalist.  She won gold at South Atlantic Regionals and gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 8th best short program, 7th best free skate and 7th best total scores from qualifying.

Ashley Wagner: She is 23 years old and represents the Skating Club of Wilmington.  She placed 7th at the Olympics and 7th at Worlds last season.  She won silver at Skate Canada and bronze 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 Pewter Medalist, 2013 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 8th best short program, 3rd best free skate and 5th best total scores.

Angela Wang: She is 18 years old and represents the Salt Lake Figure Skating Club.  She placed 9th at Rostelecom Cup.  She won bronze at Lombardia Trophy and silver at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic.  She placed 15th last season, 9th in 2013, 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.

Maria Yang: She represents the Washington Figure Skating Club.  She placed 7th as a junior last season, 9th as a junior in 2013 and 8th in juvenile in 2010.  She won bronze at South Atlantic Regionals and pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Caroline Zhang: She is 21 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  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 19th last season, 11th in 2013, 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 silver at Southwest Pacific Regionals and pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 6th best short program, 6th best free skate and 10th best total scores from qualifying.