Friday, January 25, 2008

U.S. Nationals Day 3

So here we's Friday and it's been a pretty relaxed day. Spent some time at Mall of America, exploring the downtown area some more, and basically relaxing. So the poll I took it looks like most people thought Caroline Zhang would be our National Champ with Kimmie getting the second most. Well Caroline is in 7th and Kimmie in 4th so we'll have to wait and see if either can pull it off. They skate tomorrow night!

Had the opportunity to check out the Junior Men's Free Skate this afternoon. What a talented group of men. The winner was Adam Rippon (without curly hair per his coach!). He just oozed across the ice with great speed, great jumps, great spins, he was the full package...a credit to his coach Nikolai Morozov. Brandon Mroz also skated very well to take the silver and Andrew Gonzalez skated well for the bronze. Great skating all the way around.

But the headline event for today was the men's short program and they didn't disappoint one bit! First off almost all the men skated well! The point spread between 6th and 14th place is about 4 points...seriously! Scott Smith squeaked out above 8 other skaters to get into that 6th place (seriously, it is going to be a battle royale on Sunday!) with a conservative but mostly solid effort. Then there is a three way battle for third amongst Jeremy Abbott who is in 5th, Ryan Bradley who's in 4th, and Stephen Carriere (I think I pegged this around the time of NHK trophy!) who's in 3rd. These three men all skated extremely well and are separated by about three points. Then we have the leaders. In second place is Evan Lysacek. He had a bit of two foot on his quad (which is far better than his warm-up where he crashed and burned on it three times in a row!) and a shaky landing on his axel. However, Evan's footwork was fantastic and drew big cheers from the crowd! The leader then of course is Johnny Weir who did not have the quad, but had a beautiful Triple Lutz-Triple Toe combo, gorgeous Axel, beautiful footwork, speed, speed, and more speed, and elegant line. He has just over a point lead over Evan. But the rest of the pack is close enough that if either of these two make mistakes, there will be those waiting to capitalize!

For the love, I can't tell you when I've seen a better men's short program. These men really showed up to compete! Final on Sunday.

Full results here.

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