Friday, October 23, 2015

Skate America 2015 Predictions

Who has two thumbs and is back to make some Skate America 2015 predictions?? THIS WOMAN!

Here are the times to watch (on IceNetwork)... and here’s when to watch on NBC and Universal Sports...

And here are my thoughts on who might shine in Milwaukee this weekend...


CONTENDERS: Yan Han, Takahito Mura, Shoma Uno, Denis Ten, Konstantin Menshov, Max Aaron, Jason Brown

GOLD: Shoma Uno (JPN)
SILVER: Takahito Mura (JPN)
BRONZE: Jason Brown (USA)

DARK HORSE: Max Aaron (USA), Han Yan (CHN)

Reigning World Bronze Medalist Denis Ten might be the favorite (??) but A) Historically speaking, he doesn’t skate well early in the season... and B) I simply can’t forget Shoma Uno’s marvelous free skate at the Japan Open a few weeks ago. Maybe he can’t replicate it here—he didn’t do so great at the U.S. Classic, after all—but if he’s anywhere close, look out! Also, keep a lookout for Mura’s SP—none other than Charlie White is listed as choreographer.

USA Alert-- Our entries are Brown, Aaron, and Ross Miner, the latter of whom is using Queen’s “Who Wants to Live Forever” for his free skate. (Fellow American Adam Rippon, who skates next week, uses the same song for his SP this season.)


CONTENDERS: Satoko Miyahara, Yulia Lipnitskaya, Evgenia Medvedeva, Karen Chen, Gracie Gold

GOLD: Satoko Miyahara (JPN)
SILVER: Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS)
BRONZE: Yulia Lipnitskaia (RUS)

DARK HORSE: Gracie Gold (USA)

Medvedeva, a junior GP star making her senior GP debut here, is currently a jumping machine! I’m giving Miyahara the nod here because of the component score expectations, but if she misses a jump or two Medvedeva could “jump” right in there.

I saw Lipnitskaia at her warm-up event (Finlandia Trophy) and think she may well be back in the hunt... but I don’t think she can beat Miy or Med just yet.

USA Alert—Gold, Karen Chen, and Mariah Bell are our entrants. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chen get into the top 5 here, especially if she can skate anything like she did at Nationals last season.


CONTENDERS: Sui/Han, Stolbova/Klimov, Asakhova/Rogonov, Scimeca/Knierim

GOLD: Sui/Han (CHN)
SILVER: Stolbova/Klimov (RUS)
BRONZE: Asakhova/Rogonov (RUS)

DARK HORSE: Scimeca/Knierim (USA)

I can’t imagine this will be that difficult for the reigning World Silver Medalists to win, even with the reigning OSMs in the hunt. Would love to see Sci/Kni get that bronze.

USA Alert—In addition to Sci/Kni we are represented by Kayne/O’Shea and Pfund/Santillan... and if you’re saying “WHO?!?” on that last one, it’s because they just replaced Donlan/Bartholomay this week due to Gretchen Donlan recovering from an illness. I can tell you Joshua Santillan competed in senior pairs with another partner last January and finished 11th; Jessica Pfund did the same in 2014 and finished 10th. What a place for a new partnership to make a senior competitive debut! Wish them luck!


CONTENDERS: Gilles/Poirier, Sinitsina/Katsalapov, Chock/Bates, Hawayek/Baker, Yanovskaya/Mozgov

GOLD: Chock/Bates (USA)
SILVER: Gilles/Poirier (CAN)
BRONZE: Yanovskaya/Mozgov (RUS)

DARK HORSE: Hawayek/Baker (USA)

C/B started a very successful season with a SkAm win last year; no reason I know of that they shouldn’t successfully defend their title. Bronze is sort of a tossup, but I’m picking the rising Russian stars over the rising U.S. stars this time.

USA Alert—Cannuscio/McManus are the other US team here; they took bronze at the Nebelhorn Trophy a few weeks ago. 

I'll be live-Tweeting as much as I can, so follow me at @KLBSt8ofSk8 or follow the event in general at #SkateAmerica or #SA2015 (I'm currently seeing both hashtags in use)!

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