Monday, January 19, 2009

Back In The U.S.A.: Nationals Predictions for Senior Dance & Pairs

From the they’re-dropping-like-flies file: Emily Hughes has withdrawn from U.S. Nationals too… another injury. And so, the 2007 Silver medalist joins 2007 Gold medalist Kimmie Meissner on the bench… let’s hope 2007 Bronze medalist Alissa Czisny doesn’t make it a trifecta.

Since U.S. Nationals got off the ground with Novice/Junior action today, I’m going to get a move-on with the first part of my Nats predictions.


Gold- Davis/White
Silver- Samuelson/Bates
Bronze- Summersett/Gilles

Wow—wouldn’t it be astounding if, after the past couple weeks of buildup, Davis & White somehow fumbled their clear shot at gold? But I don’t anticipate such a surprise—we have two truly remarkable senior dance teams (in D/W and the injured Belbin/Agosto), but we don’t have three. At least, not yet.

Samuelson & Bates had a pair of decent showings in the GP this season, which is why I see them in second. Putting Summersett & Gilles over Navarro & Bommentre might be seen as unusual, but the two had compatible scores at their most recent events—I’m putting S/G ahead primarily because the N/B free dance seems a little dated this year. Like they’re “dancing” in 1999 instead of 2009.


Gold- McLaughlin/Brubaker
Silver- Inoue/Baldwin
Bronze- Vise/Trent

I was very big on McBru early in the season, so I can only hope they’re ready and rarin’ to go for gold this week. Inoue & Baldwin showed they can still turn in a respectable performance just last month, when they made the podium at NHK, but between ever-inconsistent side-by-side triple toes, an even less consistent throw triple axel, and no chance of matching McBru’s speed and power, I think it would take a complete meltdown from the younger team to put I/B back on top. As for bronze—it’s not that I’m forgetting former champs Castile & Okolski, it’s just that I haven’t seen them in so long and don’t know what to expect. They could easily be on the podium, but I find myself crossing my fingers for Vise & Trent, a pair that seems to have a lot more going for them than the throw quadruple salchow they quietly made history with in 2007.

The V/T free skates from this season’s GP can’t be found on You Tube, but their 2007 skate with the quad can be found on this
Clip of the Day. Tune back in soon for the last batch of predictions!

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