US Nationals Senior Pairs Preview

Denney and Coughlin sat out the bulk of last season recovering from an injury in preparation for this Olympic season.  They are looking to reclaim the title they first won in 2012.  They took home the bronze from Trophee Eric Bompard and were the only US team to medal on the Grand Prix this season.  While their spot on the Olympic team seems fairly safe barring some major disaster, their bigger battle will be cleaning up their elements and program components enough to put themselves in the conversation for top 10 at the Olympics.

Castelli and Shnapir claimed their first national title last season and face the tall task of defending it on home ice.  They have been toying with the throw quad this season and have yet to land it cleanly in competition.  Their programs are well constructed to show off their strengths but have been criticized as being too similar to ones they’ve done in the past.

After taking home the silver medal last season and finishing as the top US team at Worlds, Scimeca and Knierim seemed poised to challenge for the top of the podium this season with more experience under their belt.  However, injuries kept them from training time this off season but they were healthy in time to compete at their Grand Prix assignments.  Their injuries still seemed to be having an effect as they placed just 5th and 6th at their two assignments and didn’t match their scores from the previous season.

Kayne and O’Shea did not receive a Grand Prix assignment this season but did very well in their international B assignments and are definitely not a team to be overlooked.  They have a very nice look on the ice and have clean elements.  They are looking at their first national medal and could even end up on the Olympic team if they keep the pace they’ve set for themselves.

Donlan and Speroff also had a good international season, despite not competing on the Grand Prix.  Their side by side jumps have long plagued their programs and have kept them from reaching their full potential, however, they seem to have overcome these problems so far this season.  Their Nutcracker free skate should play in well to their strengths as their style on the ice is more reminiscent of the Russian school.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Denney/Coughlin

Silver: Castelli/Shnapir

Bronze: Scimeca/Knierim

Pewter: Donlan/Speroff

 

Bios of the competitors:

Calalang/Sidhu: She is 17 and he is 21.  She represents the DuPage Figure Skating Club and he represents the Las Vegas Figure Skating Club.  They placed 9th at Junior Worlds.  They are the reigning Junior Silver Medalists, 2012 Junior Pewter Medalists and finished 8th in juniors in 2011.  They won gold at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Castelli/Shnapir: She is 23 and he is 26 and they represent the Skating Club of Boston.  They placed 13th at Worlds last season and are the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They placed 6th at Skate America and 4th at NHK Trophy.  They are the 2009 World Junior bronze medalists.  They are the reigning Champions, placed 5th in 2012, 5th in 2011, 10th in 2010, are the 2009 Junior Bronze Medalists, 2008 Novice Bronze Medalists and placed 9th in novice in 2007.

Davis/Brubaker: She is 21 and he is 27.  They placed 6th at Skate Canada and 7th at Rostelecom Cup.

Denney/Coughlin: She is 19 and he is 28.  They placed 4th at Skate America and won bronze at Trophee Eric Bompard.  They are the 2012 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They are the 2012 Champions.

Denney/Frazier: She is 18 and he is 21.  She represents the Broadmoor Skating Club and he represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  They are the reigning World Junior Champions.  They placed 5th at Skate Canada and 5th at NHK Trophy.  They finished 5th last season, are the 2012 Junior Champions and 2008 Intermediate Bronze Medalists.

Donlan/Speroff: She is 20 and he is 25 and they represent the Skating Club of Boston.  They finished 6th last season, are the 2012 Pewter Medalists, finished 8th in 2011 and 8th in juniors in 2010.

Kayne/O’Shea: She is 19 and represents the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club and he is 21 and represents the Skokie Valley Skating Club.  They placed 7th last season.

Leng/LeDuc: She represents the DuPage Figure Skating Club.  He is 23 and represents the Eastern Iowa Figure Skating Club.   They placed 9th last season.

Pfund/Reiss: She is 16 and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club and he is 21 and represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club. They finished 6th in juniors last season and 5th as juniors in 2012.  They won silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Scimeca/Knierim: She is 22 and represents the DuPage Figure Skating Club.  He is 26 and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  They placed 9th at Worlds.  They finished 5th at Cup of China and 6th at Rostelecom Cup.  They are the reigning Silver Medalists.

Shaughnessy/Morgan: She is 21 and he is 22.  They represent the Skating Club of Boston.  They placed 10th as juniors last season, are the 2012 Novice Bronze Medalists and finished 5th in novice in 2011.

Zhang/Bartholomay: She is 20 and represents the Skating Club of New York.  He is 24.  They finished 4th at Four Continents last season.  They placed 7th at Skate America and 6th at Cup of China.  They are the reigning Bronze Medalists and finished 8th in 2012.

Comments

  1. Flawless analysis and prediction.