2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby Dragonlady » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:42 pm

I’m beyond disgusted with the USFA’s team selections. First they dump Ashley’s PCS scores to keep her off the team, and then hand a spot to Adam Rippon over Ross Miner, who finished 2nd. There is no basis for this. Either go with the placements or don’t, but don’t pretend the Championship results mattered here because they didn’t.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby sms29s66 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:09 pm

chuckie, considering that Adam will NEVER medal and Vincent is very unlikely to medal, sending Ross would not hurt our chances one damn bit.

I don't have one bit of sympathy for Ashley. She is another one who feels entitled (such as Adam Rippon, Hubbell and Donohue). She skated has-been programs all season and then withdrew from Skate America. She regularly two-foots her landings and had the gall at Socchi to complain about being dinged for them since the audience doesn't care. I've got news for her--I care.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby Jonas » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:55 pm

<sigh, deep breath> A lot to process amidst all this emotion amongst us fans:

Now that the USFSA's selections for Pyeongchang are officially out, lemme say that I find the selections to be definitely justifiable and, truly and honestly, to be expected. Is the selection totally fair?? We can argue forever that, no, it's NOT totally fair.

After the melodramatic debacle four years ago, it has been made abundantly clear to everyone that the 2018 US Nationals will NOT be the sole determinant. It's very important, but not the be all end all. Specifically, USFSA did list specific events in various tiers in the order of relative importance that will be considered in making the selections. Even w/this list, it is still a mere guideline: the selection committee can exercise discretion in considering the team, so unfortunately the ultimate decision will always be subject to some scrutiny. With the committe's discretion also comes the possibility of the criteria being applied somewhat selectively. Yeah, that's life. :?

The Body of Work criteria pointed to Ross not being selected. Ross just simply didn't have anything else to back him up. Bringing it back to 2017 Nationals, Ross was in perfect position (as he was at 2016 Nationals as well) to make it the podium. But, like 2016, he tanked enough to drop him to 5th. Ross's season ended then, while Jason Brown went on to Four Continents and Worlds, and Vincent Zhou went on to win Jr. Worlds. This past fall internationals' season, Ross was hardly setting anything on fire. He finished well behind both Adam and Vincent in their head to head to head at Finlandia. The judges here in San Jose had their pre-event favorites, for sure, but those favorites had the current, pertinent points on their resumes, whereas Ross simply didn't.

Having said all this, I will reiterate that I would've personally named Ross on the Olympic Team. I personally would put more weight on US Nationals, in general.

What I'm not understanding at all is how Jason Brown gets the first alternate's crack over Ross. I don't see any compelling, overriding reason here. And THIS is actually what is adding unnecessary saltiness to the decision: it adds to the perception that Ross's silver medal finish here doesn't matter at all.

Your thoughts...
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby Maleeva » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:52 pm

I think Tanith Belbin said it best on today’s NBC broadcast. The Olympic selection criteria is actuallly designed on purpose to account for a skater having the weekend of their life at US nationals, keeping a more dependable/successful skater off an Olympic/worlds team. That is why the USFSA/NBC tells everyone whenever they can that US nationals is NOT an Olympic trials. The USFSA uses a skater’s recent body of work rather than one nationals because they well know that there are some skaters who do well at nationals but for various reasons cannot replicate those performances internationally.

I love Ross’s skating, always have, Wish he was going to Pyeongchang, but if i had to bet my house, who would finish higher in Pyeongchang, Ross or Adam, I’d pick Adam every time.

Now Jason being an alternate before Ross...hell if I know LOL!!!
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby sms29s66 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:57 pm

Much as I love Jason, I see no reason based on his performance this year to be ahead of Ross as first alternate. Let's be honest: The top men in the world had to lay down and die on the ice for either Jason OR Adam to make it to the Grand Prix finals. Adam's touting his season is a bit rich for me. :roll:
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby Maleeva » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:11 am

OMG ICE DANCE!!! The top three teams just .50 separating gold from bronze. The Shibs were just desolate on TV once they knew they had not defended their title. I’m beginning to believe who the US sends to Pyeongchang as dance champs may not matter as much as in other disciplines.

I’m saying that simply because these three teams have been so close score wise almost all season long, that I think when an ISU panel is scoring them at the Olympics they will just go with with the team who skates best on that day.

And Lordy, Hawayek and Baker received all level fours and had the highest base value of the event! I loved their free dance and it was such redemption from last year’s debacle.

Sorry but I have to say again, as much as I love the Shib’s short dance, I cannot abide their free dance. I intensely dislike the Coldplay song “Paradise” so I realize I have to see past that, but this dance just does not do it for me. They tried to make music edits and small changes to the program since the GPF, but I still do not care for it.

I think it is way cool that Hubbell/Donohue won here. Props for this tech panel and judges being open to truly judging what they saw before them. I actually enjoy Madison’s hubris-nice to shake up things in the staid world of figure skating. She is a competitive athlete for goodness sake not some dainty wall flower.

Chock and Bates Imagine program improves each time out and I swear I’d never thought I’d say this, but it has grown on me and now I actually enjoy it.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby Jonas » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:04 am

Maleeva wrote:I love Ross’s skating, always have, Wish he was going to Pyeongchang, but if i had to bet my house, who would finish higher in Pyeongchang, Ross or Adam, I’d pick Adam every time.


Adam has had more momentum internationally over these last two seasons and is really riding a wave of confidence after a series of consistent performances, so I'd tend to agree with you. Sometimes however it takes just one event to transfer the momentum the other way, and for Ross that event was the 2018 US Nationals. THAT was the FS of his life complete with an upright, one-footed quad. Yeah, it should've gotten a carrot, but it's also far better than any of Adam's quad attempts all season. If only they were both selected to the team as we would've preferred, it would be very interesting to see how it would've played out. All in all, Adam and Ross are very evenly matched, so as your internet board buddy (LOL!!), I'd advise you to NOT bet your house on that statement!

Despite his stellar performances, the USFSA clearly has no more confidence in Ross at all. I just saw that Ross is ALSO 2nd alternate to Worlds as well -- again behind Jason Brown, who, mind you, has struggled w/his 3Axel all season and went 0 for 3 on it this week. Yeah, I JUST SERIOUSLY CANNOT!! :? :roll: :evil:

Your thoughts...
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby Jonas » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:49 am

I'm not knowledgeable in ice dance at all and, no joke, I think the last time I watched a dance event at US Nationals, was back in 2010. I never realized just how cutthroat the competition really is among the Shibutanis, Chock & Bates, and Hubbell & Donohue. :shock: I watched the free dance this afternoon and it was surprisingly intense among the top three teams, who all performed one after the other. Truly and honestly, they all knew they were Pyeongchang bound, but they all wanted to fly over there as THE reigning US Champion.

The Shibutanis have an awesome Original Dance (I saw it at Skate America), but their Free Dance doesn't do anything for me either. Maybe it's just my personal taste, but I think it's kinda boring. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of ColdPlay at all so...

Hubbell & Donohue, OTOH, were packing some serious heat in their performance. WOOH, absolutely loved it! Again, maybe it's just my personal taste, but I was hoping they would pass the Shibutanis -- which I wrongly presumed would never happen because I figured the USFSA would promote the Shibutanis as THE top US dance team going to Pyeongchang.

I might actually go back and watch the dance event at the Grand Prix Final and see where our trio stacks up against the three World Champion dance teams of this Oympiad.

Your thoughts...
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby sms29s66 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:18 am

Aside from H/D's hubris, I find their programs bordering on if not actually jumping into **** on ice. Same for V/M. I thought the same about their coaches when they were still competing so I tend to blame it on them. Too much info for me. I was disappointed for the Shibs. My favorites are Jean Luc and Kaitlyn (sorry, I can't manage her last name). They finally redeemed themselves after the past two disastrous seasons. So I will be rooting for the French team, since my other favorites, Gilles and Poirrier don't stand a chance.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby Winnipeg » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:21 pm

Dragonlady wrote:I’m beyond disgusted with the USFA’s team selections. First they dump Ashley’s PCS scores to keep her off the team, and then hand a spot to Adam Rippon over Ross Miner, who finished 2nd. There is no basis for this. Either go with the placements or don’t, but don’t pretend the Championship results mattered here because they didn’t.



Really? I would think Ashley has had her chance and she has not really been stellar this season? If there is any question, should it not go to the top 3? What basis to let her go over Karen?
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby chuckiem » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:52 am

Ashley had a public hissy fit because the Nationals judges didn't give her PCS scores as high as what she was getting from the international judges. But guess what? Ashley had never performed La La Land before international judges, and was performing it for the very first time ever at Nationals! She decided to do LLL right after SA, and had very little practice time on it before Nationals. The choreography was rather stripped down so she could concentrate on getting the technical elements done, and even then she singled a salchow and URd the lutz. Ashley took a huge risk by putting what could only be described as a "work in progress" on the ice at Nationals, and she shouldn't have been so shocked that the judges found it not up to par (for her).
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby Andy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:24 am

My only observation about the Chen vs Wagner issue is the following: neither of them is a queen of consistency, nor either of them had a great season thus far. Ashley would have a very slim chance to make the top 5 at Olys, but Chen has none in my opinion. The reasons are very simple: Wagner has the experience, presence and charisma to partially compensate for her tech shortcomings. Chen has less experience, less charisma and (sorry) no presence whatsoever on the ice.
And I think the lack of charisma and presence is the main problem now with the US Ladies team: Tennel has still to find her identity, and to me she is still very much a junior, but her technical ability, if sustained, may carry her to a very good result in South Korea.
Mirai - I'd be the happiest person to see her finally shine, but I keep it real. Technically, she my be on or off: if she is off, everything is a disaster. If the jumps are on, she might show some emotional connection to her program and to the audience. So there are two ifs for her.
This leaves Chen: again, struggles with consistencies and has little to no presence on the ice. All the rest being the same, Wagner is the one who always throws down a performance and owns the ice. That said, I hope for the US team I am proved wrong.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby chuckiem » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:16 pm

Fact is, Karen CHEN is the one who placed 4th at 2017 Worlds. Ashley was 7th. That is why Ashley wasn't given the Olympic and Worlds spot over Karen---plain and simple. And Karen was sick at Nationals---she got the bug that was making the rounds, the same bug I am fighting to recover from right now.

Ashley's only excuse for a subpar performance was she was underprepared.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby chuckiem » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:04 pm

Dragonlady wrote:I’m beyond disgusted with the USFA’s team selections. First they dump Ashley’s PCS scores to keep her off the team, and then hand a spot to Adam Rippon over Ross Miner, who finished 2nd. There is no basis for this. Either go with the placements or don’t, but don’t pretend the Championship results mattered here because they didn’t.


First of all, the judges didn't dump Ashley's PCS scores to keep her off the team. I was at Nationals, and IMO she got the PCS scores she earned for her performance there. She decided right after Skate America in late November to dump her FS for a new La La Land freeskate. She had withdrawn from SA with injury and didn't resume practice until early December, so she had less than a month with the new program. She hadn't had enough preparation time, and much of that was spent working the technical aspects.

Based on body of work (which included the previous season plus the current one) there was no reason to bump Karen Chen for Ashley, as Karen placed 4th at 2017 Worlds and Ashley placed 7th.

Ross Miner is another matter entirely. Last season, Ross was #48 on the Seasons Best list. Jason Brown was #8 and Adam Rippon was #10 (before withdrawing from 2017 Nationals due to injury). The last year Ross won international medals was 2015---a bronze at the US International Classic and a bronze at CoR. Ross was 2nd at Nationals in 2013 and went to Worlds, where he was 14th. He also went to Worlds 2011 after a bronze at Nationals 2011; he was 11th.

Since 2015, Ross has had one mediocre result after another internationally. At Finlandia this year, he finished behind Zhou and Rippon. Meanwhile, both Rippon and Brown made it to the GPF this season and had good results in 2016-2017. Based on body of work, Ross didn't qualify for the 2018 Olympic and World teams.

Ross will turn 27 at the end of this month. He reached his peak in the years between 2012-2015, but finished 7th at 2014 Nationals and didn't make the Olympic team then. If he had finished 2nd at 2014 Nationals, he would surely have been chosen for the team.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby sms29s66 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:50 pm

Had two of the best men in the world skated up to par and the other not been injured, there is no way Adam (or Jason) would have had the Grand Prix season they had. So much for that "body of work". Adam is also 26. And let's not pretend that Adam will contend for an Olympic medal. As for Jason, I would bet on him over Adam to keep a third spot for our men come World's. If National's means so little that the silver medalist (to say nothing of the gold) is not assured a reward, what is the point of even having the competition? I certainly hope this new latitude in naming the Olympic and World team is revisited.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby chuckiem » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:16 pm

The only US potential medalwinner is Nathan Chen. But it is possible that Adam or Vincent could place high enough at Worlds to help keep the 3 men's places for Worlds 2019.

And as for Jason being named first alternate: let's not forget that at Worlds 2017 it was JASON BROWN who helped Nathan win back that third men's place for 2018 Olympics and Worlds. It is well known that Adam Rippon is prone to injury and should he become injured, it is better that Jason replace him than Ross, who has never placed higher than 11th at Worlds.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby Virginia » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:12 pm

sms wrote:
"Adam is also 26."


Actually, Adam turned 29 last November, just for the record. DOB 11 November 1989.

Edited to correct: he's 28, not 29. Virginia's math skills are lacking.
Last edited by Virginia on Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby sms29s66 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:51 pm

Thanks, Virginia! That is even MORE reason that Ross should have been chosen! Since Nathan is our only realistic chance for an Olympic medal, there is no reason not to send Ross. I would be willing to listen when it comes to Worlds. That's why I was never that anxious for Jason to be sent to the Olympics--World's is where he can do us the most good.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby Virginia » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:40 am

sms, I actually think Adam is the better choice (sorry!). I'm basing that on their records over the past year -- which is what the International Committee is supposed to do.

1) as 2016 national champion, Adam was named to the 2017 world team (although his injury prevented his participation). In 2015 he was 2nd at Nationals, in 2014 8th. Miner's placements at those four nationals were 5th, 5th, 6th and 7th. Advantage: Rippon.

2) Rippon took the silver medal at both NHK and Skate America this fall, qualifying for the final, where he placed fifth. Miner only got invited to Skate America, where he finished sixth. No GP final. Advantage: Rippon.

3) Miner, of course, outskated Adam at San Jose this week, finishing 2nd to Adam's 4th. Advantage: Miner.

4) Rippon placed 6th at the 2016 worlds, 8th in 2015. Miner hasn't qualified for a world championship since 2013, when he finished 14th. Advantage: Rippon.

So if you consider ONLY the events at San Jose, of course the decision looks unfair to Miner. But if you take the longer view, RIppon has clearly performed better in international competition over the past quadrennial, and he's much better known by the international judges.

Regarding their ages: RIppon turned 28 in November; Miner will have his 27th birthday in two weeks. I don't consider this a significant difference. There are skaters who remain competitive into their 30s (Aliona Savchenko comes to mind) and I think Adam is in the best shape of his life.

And about injury? I happen to take the view that ANY athlete can get injured, and in fact I think Chen and Zhou are much more likely to fall prey to injuries, given the pounding they're giving their bodies with all those quads. Look at Hanyu, for heaven's sake!
Last edited by Virginia on Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018 US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Postby Virginia » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:10 am

And now, my thoughts on the ladies:

chuckiem wrote:
"Ashley had a public hissy fit because the Nationals judges didn't give her PCS scores as high as what she was getting from the international judges. But guess what? Ashley had never performed La La Land before international judges, and was performing it for the very first time ever at Nationals! She decided to do LLL right after SA, and had very little practice time on it before Nationals. The choreography was rather stripped down so she could concentrate on getting the technical elements done, and even then she singled a salchow and URd the lutz. Ashley took a huge risk by putting what could only be described as a "work in progress" on the ice at Nationals, and she shouldn't have been so shocked that the judges found it not up to par (for her)."


Chuckie, since you were in the arena (you lucky dog) you didn't hear the interview Wagner gave to Andrea Joyce on her way in the building. She said, in effect, that the judges were making it clear that she needed to prove that she was capable of doing a clean triple-triple and delivering a clean program, so that's what she was planning to do.

Then what did she do? She went out on the ice, got a UR call on her lutz and singled the salchow. Those mistakes cost her BIG. At Boston she did a clean 3 loop-1/2 loop-3 sal that earned her 12.2 points (11 points plus 1.2 GOE). In San Jose the value of that combination dropped to 6.7 with the popped sal. Those 5.5 points would have given her the bronze over Karen Chen -- the final score difference between them was 2.4 points.

Or if she'd landed the lutz cleanly, she'd have scored over 6 points (in Boston it got 6.9) rather than the 3.02 she got for the downgraded UR. That, too, would have put her over Chen.

The conclusion is undeniable: if Ashley had done a clean salchow or a clean lutz she'd have won the bronze and made the Olympic team, period. (Or if she'd had a better short program, of course.) She just made too many mistakes.

Then there are her PCS complaints. I don't think she did herself any favors switching back and forth between two long programs this season, either. Chuckie, your remarks about the program being underdeveloped are right on target. If she'd skated La La Land at her two GP events (and maybe the final) she'd have been more comfortable with the choreography, would have developed more and might have "sold" it better.

Another thought: I always find that I have to watch Ashley's programs several times before I feel I understand them; they're complex and nuanced. I don't fully appreciate them the first time out. I suspect the judges may not, either, but none of us had gotten to see that program before Nationals, when it mattered most. They might have given her higher scores if they'd seen her lay it down a few times, especially if she laid it down clean.

No matter which theory you prefer, I think that if Ashley had stuck with La La Land all season she might have gotten high enough PCS to make up that 2.4 points and make the podium -- and the Olympic team.
Last edited by Virginia on Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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