Monday, January 21, 2013

2013 U.S. Nationals Predictions: Next Up-- The MEN

I've received a request to preview the MEN of Senior U.S. Nationals ’13 next...

So let’s start with some stats for this year’s field (you might also know it as trivia):

Oldest competitor: Jeremy Abbott (27)

Youngest competitors: Jason Brown & Joshua Farris (both 18)

Most appearances as a Senior: Abbott, who has been here for 7 years straight starting in 2007.

Longest time competing at Nationals as a Senior: 26 year-old Wesley Campbell, who made his debut back in 2005.

Senior Rookies: Both Philip Warren & Harrison Choate were juniors last year (finishing 3rd and 4th, respectively).

New Withdrawal: Evan Lysacek was officially scratched from this event over the weekend (still recovering from groin injury)
Who’s in The Hunt? The top 9 from last year’s event are all present and accounted for
(Abbott/Rippon/Miner/Mahbanoozadeh/Razzano/Carriere/Messing/Aaron/Brown)... plus I’m guessing Richard Dornbush and Joshua Farris are both considered to be at least top 6 challengers.

Who’s got the most consistent quads? While I really need to start working up batting averages for these guys... I would say Ross Miner, Doug Razzano, Keegan Messing, Max Aaron, and (maybe) Dornbush.

Who has component scores on their side? Abbott, Adam Rippon, and Jason Brown are the ones that spring to mind first. (We'll have to see if Brown goes for the triple axel at last; he's yet to try one at Senior Nats.)

Can any of these guys beat Abbott? Yes... especially if he has an off day on the jumps. We’ve seen it happen before. But we’ve also seen Abbott give his best of the season at many a Nationals—more often than not, to be sure.

My predictions:

GOLD: Jeremy Abbott
SILVER: Ross Miner
BRONZE: Max Aaron

... and before you say What about Rippon???—believe me, I’d love to see him stay in the Top 2. But his Mad Men free skate this season hasn’t been a smash hit, and I really haven’t seen progression in his jumps. In fact, I’d swear they were stronger last year. So I’d not be at all surprised to see Miner (who had a monster-good free skate in his last GP appearance) make the hop up to silver. And Aaron looked very strong whenever I saw him compete this past fall. Unless it was an ill-timed “peak” for him, I can’t imagine him doing any worse than Top 5—and, in fact, I can see him doing a little better than even that.

I'm crazy, yes? It's OK, you can tell me... ;-)
So what predictions would you like next?

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