The irony here is that most of the following are so far only available on IceNetwork… and therefore may continue to go Mostly Unseen by some of you. But if you’ve got that IceNetwork subscription burning a hole in your pocket and you’ve no idea how to catch the highlights that have little to do with the medalists… you’re in luck.
(If you DO find a post to any of these, though, please share!)
Gretchen Donlan/Andrew Speroff -- SP to O Mio Babbino Caro
With a fine 3twist, nice lift positions, and a pretty throw 3sal, I was impressed with this relatively new senior pair. They came in 5th with this performance, and 4th overall.
Mary Beth Marley/Rockne Brubaker – SP to Singin’ in the Rain
It’s music from one of my favorite musicals of all time, so I may be biased… but they created one of the best surprises of Nationals with this performance. (Even if Brubaker had to put his free hand down to steady a death spiral.)
Haley Dunne – SP to a variation on Tosca
Skating relatively early in the lineup, Dunne pulled out good jumps (though the back end of her 3T/3T was probably underrotated), a great layback position, a solid tuck on her flying sit, and really nice emotion that helped endear her to the audience. No wonder they booed when her score was only a 51.41. (She was 12th in the SP; 16th overall.)
Kiri Baga—FS to La Strada
Four out of five successful triples (she popped her lutz) helped young Miss Baga rise above a sea of subpar jumping to finish 10th in her senior debut.
Sophia Adams—SP to Tim Janis’ Music of Hope; FS to Titanic
She finished way down in 17th place—primarily because she lacks the top triples, and barely completed any of those she DID have in her FS—but when her blades were on the ice rather than in the air… that’s when I liked her work.
Angela Wang—FS to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
I mentioned Wang last time as the most notable up-and-comer among the new senior ladies… this program, with 2 clean 3lutzes and 3 other successful triples, led me to make the note “I really like her and this program… very good jumping; above average everything else.”
Jonathan Cassar – FS to I Pagliacci
In the world of unseen skaters, Cassar must be some kind of royalty. Now in his mid-20s and seemingly unable to perform a triple axel or triple/triple in competition, Cassar may never find his way into the Top 10 men at Nationals… but as a certain commentator would say, “What he DOES do he does very well.”
Scott Dyer—FS to Grand Canyon Suite
On the other hand, Dyer was also sans triple axel in this event, but managed to hold down 10th place this year with a six-clean-triples free skate. And with me he also gets bonus points for an innovative combo spin, great posture and carriage, and a lovely sweeping nature about his skating overall.
I’ve no program listed because, frankly, Farris didn’t have a great Nationals (he finished 16th)… but I wanted to mention a wickedly awkward moment when, just as we saw Farris getting off the ice and hugging his coaches, Farris’ former coach Tom Zacrajek stood off in the distance, staring straight ahead. Though they failed to mention it during any of his performances at Nationals, it was his performance last year (when Tom Z. was his coach) that ultimately had him skating on a broken fibula. Obviously he’s physically healed from that trauma, but still left Tom Z. behind shortly thereafter. Zacrajek was standing in the aforementioned shot because his current student (Brandon Mroz) was next to skate… and presumably he had his full focus on Mroz. Still…
Adam Rippon SP to Korobushka
(OK, so this is admittedly a SEEN skater. Humor me here.)
This was the kind of SP that fills me with joy, but worry tries to supplant the joy as I wonder if he’ll be able to skate it that well again the rest of the season. The most important thing, though, is that this time there actually is a rest of the season for Rippon. So I’m going to pretend not to care if he peaked with that one. Because it was AWESOME.
Kriengkrairut/ Giuletti-Schmitt FD to Walkin’ in the Sand
Quick poll here: should we refer to them in the future as K & G-S or Lynn & Logan? Because I see more GP assignments in their future at the very least, and I’ve gotta get them a nickname. Anyway, I’ve got to admit I’m not a huge fan of their FD music because this particular arrangement gets a little redundant—there’s THIS tempo, and then THAT tempo, and THIS one again, and THAT, and oh-look-here-comes THIS again… etc. But it was still refreshing, and different, and certainly beats the Popera option so many have employed. Plus, they have some killer innovative lifts (as evidenced in both performances). With D/W and the Shib Sibs presumably locking up 1st and 2nd until further notice, it would be great to see a few different teams win bronze. Let’s hope this team is one of them.
Chock/Bates FD to Chopin’s Prelude in E Minor
It was finally time to see which of the new dance partnerships of the past season turned out on top… and while Hubbell/Donohue emerged victorious in that regard, I’ve still got my eye on Chock/Bates. I wanted to dislike them on some level, actually, out of some sort of surely misplaced sympathy towards Emily Samuelson. But I can’t help it… these two created a couple of slinky, sexy, and fun dances this year and skated them with a confidence and assurance that was quite appealing.
Lichtman/Copely FD to Austin Powers
Though they only came in 10th for their senior debut, these two channeled a little bit of Navka/Kostomarov from 7 or 8 years ago and came up with a fun way to splash into the deep end of the icy pool.
Next up? Predictions for 4CC (if I can get them posted before things get going!)