U.S. Nationals Junior Men’s Preview

This is an accomplished group of men.  Six of them are returning to the junior level at nationals from last season.  Six of them competed on the Junior Grand Prix, and Timothy Dolensky won a bronze medal.  David Wang won the 2007 Intermediate title and Emmanuel Savary won the 2009 Intermediate title.  Nathan Chen became the first man to win back to back novice titles in 2010 and 2011.

Harrison Choate set the highest score through the qualifying competitions and also had some of the highest scores for U.S. men on the JGP.  His best finish is 4th place in 2008, but he is repeating as a junior this season and that experience should bump him up to the medal stand if he can replicate his performances.

Nathan Chen is still too young to compete on the JGP, so he doesn’t have the international experience of some of the other top competitors.  He is very calm under pressure, has great technical prowess and good skating skills.  He is also working on a triple axel and could be debuting it at nationals.  He is always a tough competitor and he’ll be looking to set himself up for his JGP debut next season.

Timothy Dolensky had the best results of this field on the international scene with his bronze medal at JGP Latvia and following it up with a 4th place finish in Austria.  He is also the only man in this field who ranks in the top 20 internationally.  His sectional score should be good enough for the podium, but he’ll have to step it up if he wants to land on the top.

Phillip Warren also had a solid JGP season and followed it up with two good results in the qualifying circuit.  Jay Yostano and David Wang did well on the JGP but their scores in qualifying were well below those marks.  If they perform like they did earlier this season they could make the podium.  Emmanuel Savary showed great improvement, increasing his scores throughout qualifying and setting marks nearly 20 points above his JGP score.

It is going to be close between these men and for the podium and it will come down to clean skates, technical elements and program components.  Most junior men don’t attempt a triple axel, but doing so can give them an edge over the field.  Nathan Chen is known for great performances and the others will have to keep pace if they want to beat him.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Harrison Choate
Silver: Nathan Chen
Bronze: Timothy Dolensky
Pewter: Philip Warren


Bios of the competitors:
Harrison Choate: He is 18 years old and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  He placed 6th at JGP Romania.  He finished 5th in Juvenile in 2007, is the 2008 Intermediate Men’s pewter medalist, finished 6th in Novice in 2010 and 8th in Juniors in 2011.  He won gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the top short program, free skate and total score of the season.

Timothy Dolensky: He is 19 years old and represents the Atlanta Figure Skating Club.  He won bronze at JGP Latvia and finished 4th at JGP Austria.  He finished 9th in Juvenile in 2005, 15th in Intermediate in 2006, 15th in Intermediate in 2007 and is the 2010 Novice Men’s bronze medalist.  He won silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 5th best short program and 3rd best total score.  He has the 19th best total international score.

Andrew Nagode: He represents the University of Delaware Figure Skating Club.  He finished 6th in Intermediate Men’s in 2008 and 7th in Novice Men in 2011.  He won gold at the South Atlantic Regional and pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Emmanuel Savary: He is 14 years old and represents the University of Delaware Figure Skating Club.  He placed 14th at JGP Latvia.  He finished 6th in Juvenile in 2007, is the 2009 Intermediate Men’s Champion, the 2010 Novice Men’s silver medalist and finished 5th in Juniors in 2011.  He won gold at North Atlantic Regionals and bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 9th best free skate and 8th best total score.

Ryan Hartley: He is 18 years old and represents the Queen City Figure Skating Club.  He finished 11th in juniors in 2011, 10th in Novice Men in 2008 and is the 2006 Juvenile Boys Bronze Medalist.  He won silver at Eastern Great Lake Regionals and pewter at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 8th best free skate and 9th best total score.

Lukas Kaugars: He represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  He finished 6th in Intermediate Men in 2009, 8th in Novice Men in 2010 and 5th in Novice Men in 2011.  He won gold at Southwestern Regionals and bronze at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 7th best short program, 6th best free skate and 7th best total score.

Timothy Koleto: He is 20 years old and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  He finished 11th in novice men in 2010 and 10th in junior men in 2011.  He won gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 4th best short program and 5th best free skate and total score.

Troy Tomasello: He represents the Strongsville Skating Club.  He finished 19th in Intermediate Men in 2008, 12th in Novice Men in 2010 and 8th in Novice Men in 2011. He won gold at Eastern Great Lake Regionals and silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 6th best short program, 7th best free skate and 6th best total score.

Nathan Chen: He is 12 years old and represents the Oval Figure Skating Club.  He placed 10th in Juvenile in 2007, is the 2008 Juvenile Boys bronze medalist, 2009 Intermediate Men’s silver medalist and 2010 and 2011 Novice Men’s Champion.  He won gold at Central Pacific Regionals and Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 3rd best short program, 2nd best free skate and 2nd best total score.

David Wang: He is 17 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  He is the 2006 Juvenile Boys pewter medalist, 2007 Intermediate Men’s Champion, 2008 Novice Men’s bronze medalist, finished 13th in Juniors in 2009 and 7th in Juniors in 2011.  He won silver at Southwest Pacific Regionals and bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Philip Warren: He is 18 years old and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  He placed 6th at JGP Australia and Austria.  He finished 12th in Intermediate Men in 2008, is the 2010 Novice Men’s pewter medalist and finished 6th in Juniors in 2011.  He won gold at Southwest Pacific Regional and silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 2nd best short program, 4th best free skate and total score.

Jay Yostanto: He represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  He is the 2008 Intermediate Men’s bronze medalist and 2009 Novice Men’s pewter medalist.  He won pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.