2017 Skate Canada Ladies Preview

Three of last season’s Grand Prix Final qualifiers are competing at this event while three ladies are making their Grand Prix debut, including World Junior Silver Medalist Marin Honda.  Honda is the youngest lady in the field at 16 years old, while Ashley Wagner is the oldest at 26.  Five of these ladies have scored over 200 points while two additional competitors have hit 199.

Interestingly enough, this event looks like a battle between Swan Lakes and Moulin Rouges.  Maria Sotskova is skating to Swan Lake for her short program, while Kaetlyn Osmond and Anna Pogorilaya are using Swan Lake for their free skate.  Karen Chen is using Moulin Rouge for her short program and Ashley Wagner and Kailani Craine are using Moulin Rouge for their free skate.

Kaetlyn Osmond has had a bit of an uneven career plagued with injuries.  She won a gold medal at her Grand Prix debut at this event in 2012, but did not compete on the Grand Prix again until 2015.  She has won three medals and qualified for the Grand Prix Final for the first time last season.  She won gold at the Autumn Classic International to start her season.  Her short program includes a triple flip + triple toe and a triple lutz.  She had all positive GOEs, earning her 8 points, and her program components were in the high 8s and low 9s.  Her free skate was largely clean with a triple flip + triple toe and a double axel + triple toe.  Her opening combination almost earned all positive +3 GOEs and netted her 11.56 points overall.  She only has four jumping passes planned in the bonus and she singled an axel at the end of her program.  She again earned all positive GOEs, earning 14 points and had PCS marks in the high 8s and low 9s.  She did lose a point for a fall outside of her required elements.  Her biggest issue in the past was skating a clean free skate, and skating two clean programs in the same event, so this was a big step for her coming off of her World medal, to be able to skate such solid programs at the beginning of the season.  She has the 2nd best short program, 4th best free skate, and 4th best total scores.

Maria Sotskova is starting her sophomore season on the Grand Prix, after winning two medals last season and qualifying for the Grand Prix Final.  She won gold at Finlandia Trophy with personal best free skate and total scores to kick off her season.  Her short program includes a triple lutz + triple toe and a triple flip.  She earned all positive GOEs and had program components in the mid 7s to low 8s.  She lost one point for going over time.  Her free skate includes a triple lutz + triple toe and a triple flip + single loop + triple salchow with five jumping passes in the bonus.  Her only error was under-rotating the double axel at the end of the program.  Her program components were better, in the mid 8s.  She has the 9th best short program, 6th best free skate, and 6th best total scores.

Marin Honda is making her Grand Prix debut after winning a World Junior Championship and the World Junior Silver Medal last season.  In her two seasons on the Junior Grand Prix, she won three silver medals and one gold, and qualified for the Final twice, winning bronze in 2015 and withdrawing last season due to illness.  She started her senior career with a gold medal at the US International Figure Skating Classic.  She landed a triple flip + triple toe and a triple loop in her short program with all positive GOEs and program components in the mid 7s.  Her free skate includes a triple flip + triple toe and a double axel + triple toe with five jumping passes in the bonus.  Her only major error was doubling a salchow near the end of the program.  She had all positive GOEs and her program components were stronger, ranging from 7.85 to 8.20.  She has the 10th best short program, 9th best free skate, and 8th best total scores.

Karen Chen will be competing for the third season on the Grand Prix, but she has never finished higher than 5th place.  She won a bronze at the US International Figure Skating Classic to start her season.  Her short program had an under-rotated triple lutz + triple toe and a triple loop.  Her program components were slightly better than Honda, who beat her at this event, in the high 7s and low 8s.  Her triple lutz + triple toe was again under-rotated in the free skate as was her triple flip (edge call), triple salchow at the end of her three jump combo and her triple lutz.  However, she has since scrapped this program and has a brand new free skate that she choreographed herself and has only been working on for two weeks.  In fact, this will be her third free skate program of the season.

Anna Pogorilaya will compete on the Grand Prix for her 5th season, where she has 6 total medals, and has qualified for the Final three times, winning the bronze medal last year.  She sat in 4th place at the World Championships after the short program but a 15th place free skate dropped her to 13th overall.  One of the most consistent Russian ladies since the last Olympics, she has been reportedly struggling with her performance at that event and hasn’t competed since.

Ashley Wagner is starting her 11th season on the Grand Prix, where she has won 13 medals, but she had her worst ever finish last year, placing 6th at Cup of China.  She has qualified for the Grand Prix Final five times, and had a four year streak which was broken last year.  She had a free skate to La La Land planned for this season, but decided to scrap it and go back to the Moulin Rouge program that won her a silver medal at the World Championships.  This will be her third time using this program in the last four years, but it is undeniably a signature piece and suits her style and personality like nothing she has skated before or since.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Kaetlyn Osmond

Silver: Ashley Wagner

Bronze: Maria Sotskova

 

Bios of the competitors:

Kailani Craine, AUS: She finished 24th at Worlds and 16th at Four Continents.  This is her Grand Prix debut.  Her personal best is 167.45.  She is 19 years old.

Larkyn Austman, CAN: This is her Grand Prix debut.  Her personal best is 136.82.  She is 19 years old.

Alaine Chartrand, CAN: She placed 11th at Four Continents.  She finished 5th at Skate Canada and 10th at NHK Trophy last season.  Her personal best is 186.11.  She is 21 years old.

Kaetlyn Osmond, CAN: She is the reigning World Silver Medalist and placed 4th at Four Continents.  She won silver at Skate Canada and silver at Cup of China last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she finished 4th.  Her personal best is 218.13.  She is 21 years old.

Laurine Lecavelier, FRA: She finished 18th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans.  She placed 6th at Trophee de France last season.  Her personal best is 188.10.  She is 21 years old.

Marin Honda, JPN: She is the reigning World Junior Silver Medalist.  She won silver at JGP Japan and silver at JGP Slovenia last season to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final.  This is her Grand Prix debut.  She is the 2016 World Junior Champion.  Her personal best is 201.61.  She is 16 years old.

Rika Hongo, JPN: She placed 16th at Worlds and 10th at Four Continents.  She finished 6th at Skate Canada and 5th at Cup of China last season.  She is the 2015 and 2016 Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 199.15.  She is 21 years old.

Anna Pogorilaya, RUS: She finished 13th at Worlds and is the reigning European Silver Medalist.  She won gold at Rostelecom Cup and gold at NHK Trophy last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she won bronze.  She is the 2016 World Bronze Medalist, 2015 and 2016 European Bronze Medalist, and 2013 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 216.47.  She is 19 years old.

Maria Sotskova, RUS: She placed 8th at Worlds and 4th at Europeans.  She won silver at Trophee de France and bronze at NHK Trophy last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she finished 5th.  She is the 2016 World Junior Silver Medalist.  Her personal best is 205.30.  She is 17 years old.

Karen Chen, USA: She finished 4th at Worlds and 12th at Four Continents.  She placed 7th at Cup of China and 6th at NHK Trophy last season.  Her personal best is 199.29.  She is 18 years old.

Courtney Hicks, USA: She won bronze at Rostelecom Cup and placed 9th at Cup of China last season.  Her personal best is 183.12.  She is 21 years old.

Ashley Wagner, USA: She placed 7th at Worlds.  She won gold at Skate Canada and finished 6th at Cup of China last season.  She is the 2016 World Silver Medalist, 2012 Four Continents Champion, and 2007 and 2009 World Junior Bronze Medalist. Her personal best is 215.39.  She is 26 years old.

2017 World Championships Ladies Results

Short Program

Pl. Qual. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Q Evgenia MEDVEDEVA RUS 79.01 42.10 36.91 9.11 9.04 9.39 9.21 9.39 0.00 #32
2 Q Kaetlyn OSMOND CAN 75.98 41.23 34.75 8.61 8.43 8.86 8.71 8.82 0.00 #26
3 Q Gabrielle DALEMAN CAN 72.19 39.19 33.00 8.32 8.04 8.46 8.29 8.14 0.00 #33
4 Q Anna POGORILAYA RUS 71.52 37.21 34.31 8.54 8.36 8.64 8.64 8.71 0.00 #37
5 Q Karen CHEN USA 69.98 38.35 31.63 7.82 7.64 8.11 7.96 8.00 0.00 #28
6 Q Maria SOTSKOVA RUS 69.76 38.14 31.62 8.00 7.75 7.93 7.96 7.89 0.00 #35
7 Q Ashley WAGNER USA 69.04 35.27 33.77 8.50 8.14 8.61 8.39 8.57 0.00 #34
8 Q Carolina KOSTNER ITA 66.33 32.44 33.89 8.54 8.32 8.21 8.61 8.68 0.00 #8
9 Q Wakaba HIGUCHI JPN 65.87 36.84 29.03 7.39 6.96 7.36 7.21 7.36 0.00 #23
10 Q Elizabet TURSYNBAEVA KAZ 65.48 36.65 28.83 7.14 7.07 7.29 7.25 7.29 0.00 #31
11 Q Dabin CHOI KOR 62.66 35.46 27.20 6.89 6.64 6.86 6.86 6.75 0.00 #27
12 Q Rika HONGO JPN 62.55 31.45 31.10 7.82 7.61 7.75 7.86 7.82 0.00 #36
13 Q Mariah BELL USA 61.02 32.16 28.86 7.11 6.96 7.25 7.25 7.50 0.00 #19
14 Q Ivett TOTH HUN 61.00 33.60 27.40 6.79 6.54 7.00 6.93 7.00 0.00 #22
15 Q Mai MIHARA JPN 59.59 30.88 29.71 7.50 7.25 7.39 7.46 7.54 1.00 #24
16 Q Xiangning LI CHN 58.28 33.49 24.79 6.36 5.89 6.43 6.18 6.14 0.00 #10
17 Q Loena HENDRICKX BEL 57.54 30.71 26.83 6.71 6.43 6.86 6.68 6.86 0.00 #17
18 Q Nicole RAJICOVA SVK 57.08 29.93 27.15 6.79 6.54 6.86 6.79 6.96 0.00 #30
19 Q Kailani CRAINE AUS 56.97 31.54 25.43 6.29 5.96 6.64 6.36 6.54 0.00 #13
20 Q Zijun LI CHN 56.30 29.73 26.57 6.79 6.43 6.71 6.68 6.61 0.00 #21
21 Q Angelina KUCHVALSKA LAT 55.92 28.24 27.68 6.89 6.75 6.96 7.07 6.93 0.00 #29
22 Q Laurine LECAVELIER FRA 55.49 29.77 26.72 6.75 6.43 6.57 6.79 6.86 1.00 #20
23 Q Anastasia GALUSTYAN ARM 55.20 30.63 24.57 6.21 5.89 6.21 6.11 6.29 0.00 #5
24 Q Nicole SCHOTT GER 54.83 29.64 26.19 6.71 6.39 6.50 6.50 6.64 1.00 #25
25 Shuran YU SGP 52.87 30.31 22.56 5.89 5.25 5.68 5.68 5.71 0.00 #7
26 Joshi HELGESSON SWE 52.07 27.85 25.22 6.39 5.89 6.32 6.39 6.54 1.00 #2
27 Helery HÄLVIN EST 51.94 28.21 23.73 6.14 5.64 5.96 5.96 5.96 0.00 #14
28 Amy LIN TPE 51.86 28.03 23.83 6.04 5.64 6.04 6.00 6.07 0.00 #12
29 Emmi PELTONEN FIN 50.74 25.18 25.56 6.61 6.11 6.25 6.36 6.61 0.00 #6
30 Isadora WILLIAMS BRA 50.65 27.79 22.86 5.75 5.54 5.75 5.82 5.71 0.00 #18
31 Kerstin FRANK AUT 50.54 27.83 22.71 6.07 5.25 5.71 5.71 5.64 0.00 #16
32 Natasha MCKAY GBR 50.10 25.58 24.52 6.04 5.82 6.32 6.14 6.32 0.00 #15
33 Yasmine Kimiko YAMADA SUI 47.86 26.57 21.29 5.46 5.18 5.29 5.36 5.32 0.00 #11
34 Anne Line GJERSEM NOR 46.99 25.30 21.69 5.50 5.21 5.32 5.54 5.54 0.00 #1
35 Anna KHNYCHENKOVA UKR 46.98 26.30 21.68 5.64 5.07 5.39 5.50 5.50 1.00 #3
36 Dasa GRM SLO 46.63 25.03 22.60 5.79 5.39 5.61 5.68 5.79 1.00 #4
37 Michaela-Lucie HANZLIKOVA CZE 32.21 16.55 19.66 5.21 4.79 4.57 5.14 4.86 4.00 #9

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Evgenia MEDVEDEVA RUS 154.40 78.27 76.13 9.43 9.25 9.68 9.54 9.68 0.00 #22
2 Kaetlyn OSMOND CAN 142.15 70.21 71.94 8.93 8.68 9.14 9.00 9.21 0.00 #24
3 Gabrielle DALEMAN CAN 141.33 71.73 69.60 8.71 8.32 9.00 8.68 8.79 0.00 #23
4 Mai MIHARA JPN 138.29 74.40 63.89 8.18 7.46 8.29 8.00 8.00 0.00 #12
5 Carolina KOSTNER ITA 130.50 59.47 71.03 8.82 8.68 8.71 9.00 9.18 0.00 #17
6 Karen CHEN USA 129.31 65.98 64.33 8.25 7.64 8.21 8.04 8.07 1.00 #20
7 Dabin CHOI KOR 128.45 69.72 58.73 7.50 7.07 7.46 7.39 7.29 0.00 #13
8 Elizabet TURSYNBAEVA KAZ 126.51 68.36 58.15 7.39 6.89 7.32 7.39 7.36 0.00 #15
9 Mariah BELL USA 126.21 65.29 60.92 7.68 7.39 7.68 7.61 7.71 0.00 #11
10 Ashley WAGNER USA 124.50 56.33 68.17 8.54 8.32 8.43 8.57 8.75 0.00 #16
11 Maria SOTSKOVA RUS 122.44 58.65 64.79 8.29 7.89 8.00 8.18 8.14 1.00 #19
12 Wakaba HIGUCHI JPN 122.18 59.47 63.71 8.14 7.57 8.04 8.04 8.04 1.00 #18
13 Xiangning LI CHN 117.09 62.69 54.40 7.00 6.39 6.93 6.75 6.93 0.00 #9
14 Loena HENDRICKX BEL 115.28 58.65 56.63 7.11 6.71 7.32 7.07 7.18 0.00 #8
15 Anna POGORILAYA RUS 111.85 53.00 62.85 8.21 7.79 7.25 8.07 7.96 4.00 #21
16 Nicole RAJICOVA SVK 108.47 55.67 52.80 6.86 6.25 6.68 6.57 6.64 0.00 #7
17 Laurine LECAVELIER FRA 107.50 55.18 53.32 6.86 6.21 6.71 6.79 6.75 1.00 #2
18 Rika HONGO JPN 107.28 50.96 57.32 7.39 6.75 7.04 7.36 7.29 1.00 #14
19 Nicole SCHOTT GER 106.58 51.66 54.92 6.82 6.54 6.93 7.00 7.04 0.00 #5
20 Zijun LI CHN 103.50 53.96 49.54 6.46 5.93 6.18 6.14 6.25 0.00 #1
21 Ivett TOTH HUN 99.77 47.10 53.67 6.86 6.46 6.50 6.93 6.79 1.00 #10
22 Angelina KUCHVALSKA LAT 99.10 49.08 50.02 6.54 5.93 6.36 6.25 6.18 0.00 #4
23 Anastasia GALUSTYAN ARM 98.27 49.82 48.45 6.21 5.75 6.07 6.07 6.18 0.00 #6
24 Kailani CRAINE AUS 95.97 47.93 49.04 6.36 5.79 6.18 6.07 6.25 1.00 #3

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Evgenia MEDVEDEVA
RUS
233.41 1 1
2 Kaetlyn OSMOND
CAN
218.13 2 2
3 Gabrielle DALEMAN
CAN
213.52 3 3
4 Karen CHEN
USA
199.29 5 6
5 Mai MIHARA
JPN
197.88 15 4
6 Carolina KOSTNER
ITA
196.83 8 5
7 Ashley WAGNER
USA
193.54 7 10
8 Maria SOTSKOVA
RUS
192.20 6 11
9 Elizabet TURSYNBAEVA
KAZ
191.99 10 8
10 Dabin CHOI
KOR
191.11 11 7
11 Wakaba HIGUCHI
JPN
188.05 9 12
12 Mariah BELL
USA
187.23 13 9
13 Anna POGORILAYA
RUS
183.37 4 15
14 Xiangning LI
CHN
175.37 16 13
15 Loena HENDRICKX
BEL
172.82 17 14
16 Rika HONGO
JPN
169.83 12 18
17 Nicole RAJICOVA
SVK
165.55 18 16
18 Laurine LECAVELIER
FRA
162.99 22 17
19 Nicole SCHOTT
GER
161.41 24 19
20 Ivett TOTH
HUN
160.77 14 21
21 Zijun LI
CHN
159.80 20 20
22 Angelina KUCHVALSKA
LAT
155.02 21 22
23 Anastasia GALUSTYAN
ARM
153.47 23 23
24 Kailani CRAINE
AUS
152.94 19 24
Shuran YU
SGP
FNR 25
Joshi HELGESSON
SWE
FNR 26
Helery HÄLVIN
EST
FNR 27
Amy LIN
TPE
FNR 28
Emmi PELTONEN
FIN
FNR 29
Isadora WILLIAMS
BRA
FNR 30
Kerstin FRANK
AUT
FNR 31
Natasha MCKAY
GBR
FNR 32
Yasmine Kimiko YAMADA
SUI
FNR 33
Anne Line GJERSEM
NOR
FNR 34
Anna KHNYCHENKOVA
UKR
FNR 35
Dasa GRM
SLO
FNR 36
Michaela-Lucie HANZLIKOVA
CZE
FNR 37

2017 World Championships Ladies Preview

Evgenia Medvedeva has not lost an event since Rostelecom Cup in 2015.  She is the reigning World Champion, two-time European Champion and two-time Grand Prix Final Champion.  She holds world record scores for the short program, free skate and total.  Her personal best was set at Europeans where she scored 229.71.  She’s as close to a shoe-in as there is at these World Championships.  She has the top four total element scores in the short program, top three program component scores, top two total element scores in the free skate, and top two program component scores.  She is truly the complete package, with top levels, positive Grades of Execution, difficult jumps and top program component scores.  She backloads her short program, putting all the jumps in the bonus.  And while her free skate is not the most difficult technically being attempted at this event, she is so consistent and so good at all of her jumps that she is able to achieve top technical scores.  She has the best short program, best free skate, and best total scores.

Anna Pogorilaya entered this season with a new surge of confidence from her World Bronze medal last season.  She is the reigning European Silver Medalist.  She qualified for the Grand Prix Final with two gold medals and won bronze at the Final.  Her personal best came at the Final this year when she scored 216.47.  What is most striking is how she has developed as an artist this season.  She’s always been known as a strong jumper and flew a bit under the radar in a crowded Russian field.  But she used her consistency to consistently make World and European teams.  But this season, she’s really seen growth in her program component scores as she’s found her voice in her programs and learned to bring an audience in to the performance.  Her free program is slightly more difficult than Medvedeva’s but she isn’t as clean in her jumps and her progam components are still around 4 points less than what Medvedeva is receiving.  She has the 4th best short program, 3rd best free skate, and 3rd best total scores.

Carolina Kostner returned to competition after taking some time off after Sochi and then serving a suspension for her role in her former boyfriend’s doping case.  She is the reigning European Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best was sent in Sochi, where she scored 216.73.   Kostner has always been known for her strong artistic presence on the ice, and that hasn’t been lost in her time away.  In her first major competition back, she was keeping pace with Medvedeva on the program components side.  Where Kostner loses ground is on her jump content.  Her short program is worth about two points less than the other top ladies as she attempts the less difficult triple toe + triple toe combination.  She only has one triple+triple in the free skate, no lutz, and only one flip.  Because she is not doing the harder jumps, she’s starting off 5-6 points behind the rest of the top ladies.  She has the 7th best short program, 4th best free skate, and 5th best total scores.

Kaetlyn Osmond is having the best season of her career, winning two silver medals on the Grand Prix and placing 4th at the Grand Prix Final.  She finished 4th at Four Continents, her best career placement.  Her personal best came at the Grand Prix Final, where she scored 212.45.  She credits her success this season, to finally being healthy.  However, she hasn’t been able to put two clean programs together at an event.  She’s a very strong short program skater, and is often near the top of the leaderboard after that segment of competition.  But often she makes a mistake in the free skate and can’t quite seem to recover.  The layout of her programs gives her the technical ability to compete for the podium, it’s just the execution that’s holding her back.  She also has the capability to earn high program components, but when she makes mistakes, the performance side slips as well, so she gives up points on both sides.  She has the 2nd best short program, 5th best free skate, and 4th best total scores.

Maria Sotskova is in her first senior season.  She won a silver and bronze on the Grand Prix to qualify for the Final where she finished 5th.  Her personal best came at Trophee Eric Bompard where she scored 200.35.  She finished 4th at Europeans.  As deep as the Russian field is, just making the team is a huge accomplishment.  With Medvedeva and Pogorilaya the three spots for the next Olympics should be safe, so she’ll just be skating for herself to prove she can handle the pressure and try to secure her place in what is only going to be a deeper Russian pool next season.  Her scores have been bouncing back and forth throughout the season and her outing at Europeans was not the best.  She has a triple lutz + triple toe, giving her a bit of a technical advantage on paper.  She has the 8th best short program, 8th best free skate, and 8th best total scores.

Mai Mihara is also in her first senior season.  She won a bronze medal at Skate America and is the reigning Four Continents Champion.  Her personal best came at Four Continents, where she scored 200.85.  Unlike Sotskova, Mihara still skates very juniorish and her free program and costuming don’t do much to help that image.  In the short program, she’s scoring about 5 points less than Medvedeva in program components and between 10-12 points in the free skate.  She gives up a lot of points on the technical side in the grade of execution as well.  She has very difficult programs, but with the gap on the artistic side she can’t afford to be giving up any points technically with less than perfect landings.  With the withdrawal of Satoko Miyahara, she is the top ranked Japanese lady at this event, and the pressure is on her to place as high as she can to give Japan a chance at keeping three spots at next year’s Olympics.  She has the 7th best free skate and 7th best total scores.

Ashley Wagner ended the US ladies medal drought last season by winning the silver medal at Worlds.  She started her season with a gold medal at Skate America and had a pretty low bar to meet to qualify for the Grand Prix Final for the 5th consecutive season, but she had two disastrous programs and finished 6th overall and had to sit at home come December.  She had decent outings at US Nationals to win the silver medal and chose to sit out of Four Continents.  This is the spot she likes to be in though, coming in as an underdog and having to fight to prove she belongs with the top ladies.  Her personal best is 215.39, which she set last year at Worlds.  Her programs are very different from each other but really showcase her maturity and artistry.  Even in her tough outing at Cup of China, she was still receiving top program component marks.  Exogenesis is such a difficult piece of music to skate to and it almost demands perfection.  If she can skate a clean free skate, I expect her program components to go through the roof.  What you have to watch for with Ashley is two-footing and under-rotating jumps and little mistakes she’ll make toward the end of programs that just give points away here and there.  She has the 10th best short program and 10th best total scores.

Gabrielle Daleman is the reigning Four Continents Silver Medalist.  She set her personal best at that event, scoring 196.91.  She has slightly easier technical content, since she only does a triple toe + triple toe, however, her jump is good that she routinely receives +3 GOE from all the judges, making it worth as much as some of the more difficult combinations.  She has the 6th best short program and 9th best total scores.

Mariah Bell was the surprise silver medalist at Skate America.  She finished 6th at Four Continents.  She has such a sparkling, infectious personality on the ice and it’s hard not to fall in love with her.  Her short program to music from Chicago is absolutely perfect for her, however, where she really shines is in the free skate.  She tends to perform better when she competes alongside her training mate, Wagner, so I expect that this will be a good event for her.  She doesn’t have much international experience and almost no Championship experience.  She has the 10th best free skate score.

Other ladies in contention for the top 10 include Wakaba Higuchi (3rd at Trophee de France), Rika Hongo (10th at Four Continents), Karen Chen (US Champion), Laurine Lecavelier (5th at Europeans), Elizabet Tursynbaeva (8th at Four Continents), Da Bin Choi (5th at Four Continents), and Nicole Rajicova (6th at Europeans).

Those with top 10 scores not competing here include Satoko Miyahara (3rd best short program, 2nd best free skate, 2nd best total scores, 2nd at Grand Prix Final): injury; Elena Radionova (9th best short program, 6th best free skate, 6th best total score, 6th at Grand Prix Final): did not qualify for Russian team; Mirai Nagasu (5th best short program, 9th best free skate, 3rd at Four Continents): did not qualify for the US team.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Evgenia Medvedeva

Silver: Anna Pogorilaya

Bronze: Carolina Kostner

2017 US Nationals Senior Ladies Results

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 17 Karen Chen, Peninsula SC 1 72.82 1 141.40 214.22
2 18 Ashley Wagner, SC of Wilmington 3 70.94 2 140.84 211.78
3 14 Mariah Bell, Rocky Mountain FSC 6 63.33 3 134.59 197.92
4 19 Mirai Nagasu, Pasadena FSC 2 71.95 4 122.95 194.90
5 13 Caroline Zhang, All Year FSC 7 62.55 5 120.27 182.82
6 15 Gracie Gold, Wagon Wheel FSC 5 64.85 9 114.77 179.62
7 9 Angela Wang, Salt Lake Figure Skating 11 58.16 7 116.97 175.13
8 6 Amber Glenn, Dallas FSC 12 56.34 8 116.29 172.63
9 10 Bradie Tennell, Wagon Wheel FSC 9 59.77 11 110.21 169.98
10 16 Tessa Hong, Broadmoor SC 4 65.02 14 103.72 168.74
11 12 Paige Rydberg, All Year FSC 8 61.60 12 105.32 166.92
12 3 Courtney Hicks, All Year FSC 18 46.02 6 119.17 165.19
13 11 Livvy Shilling, Sun Valley FSC 10 59.73 15 102.17 161.90
14 2 Megan Wessenberg, SC of Boston 16 48.96 10 112.81 161.77
15 7 Franchesca Chiera, Panthers FSC 13 53.97 13 104.44 158.41
16 8 Katie McBeath, Westminster FSC of Erie 15 49.33 17 91.87 141.20
17 4 Rebecca Peng, SC of Boston 19 41.08 16 93.28 134.36
18 1 Hannah Miller, Lansing SC 17 48.73 18 85.51 134.24
19 5 Ashley Shin, Dallas FSC 14 49.86 19 78.01 127.87

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 NHK Trophy Ladies Results

Short Program

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Anna POGORILAYA RUS 71.56 36.30 35.26 8.68 8.54 9.00 8.86 9.00 0.00 #2
2 Maria SOTSKOVA RUS 69.96 37.78 32.18 8.00 7.82 8.25 8.07 8.07 0.00 #3
3 Satoko MIYAHARA JPN 64.20 32.08 33.12 8.43 8.11 8.21 8.32 8.32 1.00 #5
4 Mirai NAGASU USA 63.49 32.42 31.07 7.82 7.54 7.75 7.86 7.86 0.00 #10
5 Wakaba HIGUCHI JPN 62.58 32.04 30.54 7.79 7.39 7.57 7.71 7.71 0.00 #9
6 Yura MATSUDA JPN 60.98 31.33 29.65 7.50 7.21 7.43 7.46 7.46 0.00 #8
7 Karen CHEN USA 58.76 28.52 30.24 7.61 7.29 7.57 7.61 7.71 0.00 #6
8 Alaine CHARTRAND CAN 58.72 29.44 29.28 7.29 7.18 7.21 7.43 7.50 0.00 #1
9 Elizabet TURSYNBAEVA KAZ 55.66 26.92 28.74 7.14 7.00 7.14 7.36 7.29 0.00 #11
10 Nicole RAJICOVA SVK 53.43 26.11 27.32 6.82 6.61 6.86 6.89 6.96 0.00 #4
11 Dabin CHOI KOR 51.06 25.54 25.52 6.50 6.29 6.36 6.39 6.36 0.00 #7

Free Skate

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Anna POGORILAYA RUS 139.30 68.62 70.68 8.71 8.57 8.82 9.04 9.04 0.00 #9
2 Satoko MIYAHARA JPN 133.80 64.64 69.16 8.50 8.43 8.75 8.68 8.86 0.00 #10
3 Maria SOTSKOVA RUS 125.92 58.83 67.09 8.36 8.14 8.43 8.43 8.57 0.00 #11
4 Wakaba HIGUCHI JPN 122.81 61.62 61.19 7.82 7.39 7.61 7.64 7.79 0.00 #7
5 Karen CHEN USA 119.69 60.31 59.38 7.54 7.18 7.50 7.46 7.43 0.00 #3
6 Elizabet TURSYNBAEVA KAZ 119.45 60.80 59.65 7.57 7.25 7.46 7.54 7.46 1.00 #5
7 Yura MATSUDA JPN 117.28 57.15 60.13 7.68 7.36 7.54 7.50 7.50 0.00 #8
8 Mirai NAGASU USA 116.84 55.71 61.13 7.75 7.43 7.75 7.64 7.64 0.00 #6
9 Dabin CHOI KOR 114.57 61.93 52.64 6.64 6.36 6.68 6.68 6.54 0.00 #1
10 Nicole RAJICOVA SVK 106.27 52.23 54.04 6.89 6.46 6.82 6.82 6.79 0.00 #2
11 Alaine CHARTRAND CAN 101.50 43.53 57.97 7.36 7.18 7.04 7.36 7.29 0.00 #4

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Anna POGORILAYA
RUS
210.86 1 1
2 Satoko MIYAHARA
JPN
198.00 3 2
3 Maria SOTSKOVA
RUS
195.88 2 3
4 Wakaba HIGUCHI
JPN
185.39 5 4
5 Mirai NAGASU
USA
180.33 4 8
6 Karen CHEN
USA
178.45 7 5
7 Yura MATSUDA
JPN
178.26 6 7
8 Elizabet TURSYNBAEVA
KAZ
175.11 9 6
9 Dabin CHOI
KOR
165.63 11 9
10 Alaine CHARTRAND
CAN
160.22 8 11
11 Nicole RAJICOVA
SVK
159.70 10 10

2016-2017 Top Senior Ladies U.S. Qualifying Scores

Short Program

  1. Karen Chen: 72.82 (US Nationals)
  2. Mirai Nagasu: 71.95 (US Nationals)
  3. Ashley Wagner: 70.94 (US Nationals)
  4. Angela Wang: 69.52 (Pacific Coast Sectional)
  5. Tessa Hong: 65.02 (US Nationals)
  6. Gracie Gold: 64.85 (US Nationals)
  7. Mariah Bell: 63.33 (US Nationals)
  8. Caroline Zhang: 62.55 (US Nationals)
  9. Paige Rydberg: 61.60 (US Nationals)
  10. Bradie Tennell: 59.77 (US Nationals)

Free Skate

  1. Karen Chen: 141.40 (US Nationals)
  2. Ashley Wagner: 140.84 (US Nationals)
  3. Mariah Bell: 134.59 (US Nationals)
  4. Mirai Nagasu: 122.95 (US Nationals)
  5. Caroline Zhang: 120.27 (US Nationals)
  6. Courtney Hicks: 119.17 (US Nationals)
  7. Angela Wang: 116.97 (US Nationals)
  8. Amber Glenn: 116.29 (US Nationals)
  9. Gracie Gold: 114.77 (US Nationals)
  10. Tessa Hong: 114.38 (Midwestern Sectional)

Total (one score per skater listed)

  1. Karen Chen: 214.22 (US Nationals)
  2. Ashley Wagner: 211.78 (US Nationals)
  3. Mariah Bell: 197.92 (US Nationals)
  4. Mirai Nagasu: 194.90 (US Nationals)
  5. Angela Wang: 185.97 (Pacific Coast Sectional)
  6. Caroline Zhang: 182.82 (US Nationals)
  7. Gracie Gold: 179.62 (US Nationals)
  8. Angela Wang: 175.13 (US Nationals)
  9. Amber Glenn: 172.63 (US Nationals)
  10. Bradie Tennell: 169.98 (US Nationals)

Total (multiple scores per skater listed)

  1. Karen Chen: 214.22 (US Nationals)
  2. Ashley Wagner: 211.78 (US Nationals)
  3. Mariah Bell: 197.92 (US Nationals)
  4. Mirai Nagasu: 194.90 (US Nationals)
  5. Angela Wang: 185.97 (Pacific Coast Sectional)
  6. Caroline Zhang: 182.82 (US Nationals)
  7. Caroline Zhang: 180.64 (Pacific Coast Sectional)
  8. Gracie Gold: 179.62 (US Nationals)
  9. Caroline Zhang: 175.25 (Southwest Pacific Regional)
  10. Angela Wang: 175.13 (US Nationals)
  11. Amber Glenn: 172.63 (US Nationals)
  12. Livvy Shilling: 169.84 (Pacific Coast Sectional)
  13. Bradie Tennell: 169.98 (US Nationals)
  14. Tessa Hong: 168.80 (Midwestern Sectional)
  15. Tessa Hong: 168.74 (US Nationals)
  16. Paige Rydberg: 166.92 (US Nationals)
  17. Franchesca Chiera: 166.65 (Eastern Sectional)
  18. Bradie Tennell: 166.46 (Upper Great Lakes Regional)
  19. Courtney Hicks: 165.19 (US Nationals)
  20. Hannah Miller: 162.23 (Midwestern Sectional)

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.

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 Cup of China Ladies Preview

Mao Asada is making her return to competition after taking off last season.  Mistakes in the short program cost her a chance at medaling in the Sochi Olympics.  But she came back with a personal best free skate to finish 6th overall.  At the 2014 Worlds, she won gold, nearly 10 points ahead of the next nearest competitor, with personal best short program and total scores.  She has medaled at 15 Grand Prix events and qualified for 6 Finals, winning gold or silver at all of them.  She is capable of landing the triple axel and has landed multiple ones in competition.

Elena Radionova had a slightly disappointing finish at Worlds last year, finishing 3rd after only losing to Elizaveta Tuktamysheva all season.  She finished a surprising 6th in the free skate at that event.  She has qualified for the Grand Prix Final each of her two seasons on the circuit.

After a breakout season in 2014, Anna Pogorilaya hit a bit of a skid last season.  She slipped to a distant 13th at Worlds, with problems in both her short program and free skate.  She has qualified for the Final in each of her two seasons on the circuit.  She has impressive athleticism and jumps, but her artistry is lagging behind some of the other top competitors.  If her jumps aren’t there, there isn’t a lo for her to fall back on.  She started her season with a silver medal at Ondrej Nepela Trophy and a gold medal at the Mordovian Ornament.  She set personal best scores in all segments of competition at that event, but her scores seemed a bit inflated.  She currently holds the 2nd best short program, best free skate and best total scores of the season.

Rika Hongo finished 5th at her Grand Prix debut last year, 10 points from the podium.  She proved to be a quick study at the senior level and claimed gold at her second event, performing well enough to earn a spot in the Final after Gracie Gold withdrew.  Her 6th place finish at Worlds left her only 7 points from the podium.  She started her season with a gold medal at Finlandia Trophy.  She has the 5th best short program, 8th best free skate and 8th best total scores of the season.

Karen Chen finished 5th at her Grand Prix debut, but was a good ways off from the podium.  Her short program was the stronger of the two and she’ll need more clean jump landings if she wants to move up the standings here.  She has the 10th best short program of the season.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Elena Radionova

Silver: Mao Asada

Bronze: Rika Hongo

 

Bios of the competitors:

Zijun Li, CHN: She placed 19th at Worlds and 5th at Four Continents.  She placed 6th at Cup of China and 7th at NHK Trophy last season.  She is the 2014 Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 183.85.  She is 18 years old.

Ziquan Zhao, CHN: This is her Grand Prix debut.  Her personal best is 146.22.  She is 17 years old.

Lu Zheng, CHN: This is her international debut.  She is 16 years old.

Mao Asada, JPN: She is the 2010 Olympic Silver Medalist; 2008, 2010 and 2014 World Champion; 2007 World Silver Medalist; 2013 World Bronze Medalist; 2008, 2010 and 2013 Four Continents Champion; 2011 and 2012 Four Continents Silver Medalist; 2009 Four Continents Bronze Medalist; 2005 World Junior Champion; and 2006 World Junior Silver Medalist.  Her personal best is 216.69.  She is 25 years old.

Rika Hongo, JPN: She placed 6th at Worlds and is the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  She finished 5th at Skate Canada and won gold at Rostelcom Cup to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she placed 6th.  Her personal best is 187.45.  She is 19 years old.

So Youn Park, KOR: She placed 12th at Worlds and 9th at Four Continents.  She finished 9th at Skate America.  Her personal best is 176.61.  She is 18 years old.

Anna Pogorilaya, RUS: She finished 13th at Worlds and is the reigning European Bronze Medalist.  She won gold at Skate Canada and silver at Rostelecom Cup last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she placed 4th.  She is the 2013 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 214.07.  She is 17 years old.

Elena Radionova, RUS: She is the reigning World Bronze Medalist and European Silver Medalist.  She won gold at Skate America and gold at Trophee Eric Bompard last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where she won silver.  She is the 2013 and 2014 World Junior Champion.  Her personal best is 209.54.  She is 16 years old.

Nicole Rajicova, SVK: She finished 15th at Worlds, 11th at Europeans and 11th at Junior Worlds.  She placed 7th at Skate America.  Her personal best is 167.32.  She is 20 years old.

Karen Chen, USA: She finished 8th at Junior Worlds.  She placed 5th at Skate America.  Her personal best is 179.08.  She is 16 years old.

Courtney Hicks, USA: She placed 4th at Skate Canada and 4th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Her personal best is 174.51.  She is 19 years old.

Hannah Miller, USA: This is her Grand Prix debut.  Her personal best is 170.26.  She is 19 years old.