U.S. Nationals Novice Ladies Preview

Karen Chen blew the field away at both of her qualifying events cruising to two gold medals.  She already has a national title under her belt from last season and is entering this event as the favorite.  She has the two top scores of the qualifying season and could cruise to a victory of 10 points or more here at nationals if she can keep up the same level.  She also showed a slight improvement between events and her scores were consistent which is extremely important at this level.  She is also one of the youngest ladies in this event at only 12 years old.  


Amber Glenn and Avery Kurtz flip flopped between events winning the silver and gold medals in their regional and sectional events.  Glenn beat Kurtz by 13 points at regionals and Kurtz beat Glenn by 9 points at sectionals.  Whoever skates clean will likely take the silver medal but I think they’ll both wind up on the medal stand.


Madison Vinci and Brianna Laxson are training mates who also switched results throughout qualifying.  Laxson had a less than 5 point lead over Vinci at regionals but Vinci took a 1 point lead over Laxson at sectionals.  These two should be very close again and will likely be trying to hold off Selena Zhao for the final spot on the podium.


My medal predictions:
Gold: Karen Chen
Silver: Amber Glenn
Bronze: Avery Kurtz
Pewter: Brianna Laxson


Bios of the competitors:
Brianna Laxson: She is 12 years old and represents the Washington Figure Skating Club.  She finished 20th in Juvenile Girls in 2010 and is the 2011 Intermediate Ladies pewter medalist.  She won gold at South Atlantic Regionals and silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 9th best short program, 4th best free skate and 5th best total scores.


Olivia Serafini: She is 14 years old and represents the Albany Figure Skating Club.  She won gold at North Atlantic Regionals and bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Morgan Sewall: She is 14 years old and represents the North Atlantic Figure Skating Club.  She won gold at New England Regionals and pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Madison Vinci: She is 15 years old and represents the Washington Figure Skating Club.  She is the 2011 bronze medalist in Intermediate Ladies.  She won silver at South Atlantic Regionals and gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 4th best short program, 8th best free skate and 7th best total score.

Madison DeLuca: She is 15 years old and represents the Arctic Figure Skating Club.  She finished 9th in Intermediate Ladies in 2010.  She won gold at Eastern Great Lakes Regionals and pewter at Midwestern Regionals to qualify for nationals.  


Amber Glenn: She is 12 years old and represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  She finished 10th in Intermediate Ladies in 2011 and 12th in Juvenile Girls in 2009.  She won gold at Southwest Regionals and silver at Midwest Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 7th best short program score and 3rd best free skate and total score.


Avery Kurtz: She is 14 years old and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  She is the 2010 Intermediate Ladies pewter medalist.   She won silver at Southwest Regionals and gold at Midwest Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 3rd best short program, 2nd best free skate and 2nd best total score.


Bradie Tennell: She is 13 years old and represents the Wagon Wheel Figure Skating Club.  She finished 10th in Juvenile Girls in 2010 and 15th in Intermediate Ladies in 2011.  She won bronze at Upper Great Lakes Regionals and Midwest Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 9th best free skate score.

Karen Chen: She is 12 years old and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She won pewter in Juvenile Girls in 2010 and is the 2011 Intermediate Ladies Champion.  She won gold at Central Pacific Regionals and Pacific Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the best short program, free skate and total scores.


Amanda Gelb: She represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club.  She won gold at Southwest Pacific Regionals and bronze at Pacific Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 7th best short program, 8th best free skate and 7th best total score.


Dyllan McIntee: She is 13 years old and represents the Skating Club of Phoenix.  She is the 2010 Juvenile Girls Champion.  She finished 11th in Intermediate Ladies in 2011.  She won pewter at Southwest Pacific Regionals and silver at Pacific Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 6th best free skate and total score.


Selena Zhao: She represents the Highland Skating Club.  She won gold at Northwest Pacific Regionals and pewter at Pacific Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 8th best short program, 5th best free skate and 4th best total score.