The figure skating season thus far has been a bit of a wash for the U.S. ladies.
Our last two U.S. Champions (Nagasu and Meissner) were not able to place any higher than 5th (Nagasu at Skate America) in Grand Prix competition. Inconsistency continues to plague the likes of Czisny and Liang.
Jump downgrades have been the name of the game this season and Zhang and Wagner have felt the brunt of that wrath.
Katrina Hacker is still a bit green and lacking in the technical department and Emily Hughes has...well...she barely did...
Our one ray of hope this season has been Rachael Flatt. She's managed to be (mostly) consistent. She also achieved the highest placement on the Grand Prix by any U.S. lady, a silver in Russia. She's had to deal with the occasional downgrade as well but seems to be working through the problems better than the others.
As I look forward to U.S. Nationals, I'm gonna peg Rachael as the one to watch...and potentially...beat. More than any of the other U.S. ladies, she's bringing the goods this season. She's managed to work through the technical content while still bringing some style and elegance to the ice; a feat few U.S. women have accomplished this season. Mark my words...keep an eye on her.
Here's her SP from Cup of Russia...it's not perfect, but shows that she is definitely a competitor.