Saturday, January 16, 2010

U.S. Nationals (Day Two)

Scheduled Events for Today:

Senior Pairs Free Skate
Junior Pairs Short Program

Check this post for results and musings. I'll be tweeting during the Senior Pairs Free Skate at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern). You can follow me on Twitter @skating102. Remember, the final two groups of the Senior Pairs Free Skate will be shown Live on NBC. Check local listings.

The pairs competition just wrapped and what a competition it was! McLaughlin and Brubaker skated in the earlier group and put up a fight. They didn't have an easy performance and had to fight for everything they did. They made some costly errors however and were only able to pull up to 5th place. That will almost assuredly mean they will not go the Olympics. Tough break. Castille and Okolski skated a lovely program. For the first time in like years they completed side-by-side triples. Some little mistakes here and there kept them from making a huge leap forward but they did manage 4th ahead of McLaughlin and Brubaker.

The fireworks were in the final group! Evora and Ladwig started the night off with a great performance. Good fight on all their side-by-side elements, amazing lifts, and amazing determination. The only major error came when Amanda went down on a through lutz. They were pleased at the end of their program and took the lead. Denney and Barrett were next and they skated lights out! Huge everything, not a single wobble or mistake, it was so impressive! It's like they don't feel any pressure. A big lead for them. Next up was Inoue and Baldwin, after doubling side-by-side triple toes they picked up their program with a solid throw loop, twist, lifts, and then deep in the program nailed a throw triple axel! The scores came up at the end and they were only able to get to third overall but they definitely gave the selection committee some food for thought. Yankowskas and Coughlin who were stunning in the short came unglued a bit...finishing behind Keauna and Rockne. So Jim Peterson's teams, Denney and Barrett as well as Evora and Ladwig, go 1-2 with Inoue and Baldwin taking 3rd.

Full results can be seen here. Ice Network will actually broadcast the Pairs Olympic selection presser live (and free) later tonight.

UPDATE: The selection committe has named Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett along with Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig to the U.S. Olympic Team.

The final event of the day was the Junior Pairs Short Program. Taylor Toth and Felicia Zhang lead the competition despite a nasty bang up in the warm-up for Taylor. Simpson and Miller are 2nd with Alba and Knierim 3rd. Full results can be seen here.


Xan said...

Amazing competition. US Pairs laid it down today. Felt so bad for Keauna, who left the arena in tears.

wagrobanite said...

I really do not understand how Rena and John are in third are a clean (relatively) program while Evora and Ladwig are above them with a fall... I frankly think Rena and John should be above them. Plus they have much more experience than Evora and Ladwig. I will admit that those two are probably going to do great next year (if they're healthy) but should they be on the Olympic team? No, not in my opinion.

Aaron said...

Mark and Amanda have actually been skating together for some time now...8 years I think. They've just had a slow climb to the top.

It will be a tough call because Inoue and Baldwin have proved this season and at this competition they can still be competitive with the best.

The difference was that Mark and Amanda had a small lead over them in the short which helped them stay ahead in the free. Mark and Amanda also have ridiculous lifts.

It's so tough...

jumping clapping man said...

sorry, johnny should have scored ahead of evan, even if marginally. bad call judges.

BUT, this puts johnny, and evan in better position, as they skate even better when hunting, rather than being hunted.

i'm so happy our top three are (relatively) safe in top 3 position. go boys!!!

sorry to see rippon's mistake, but he has another 4+ years!

the pairs result was very moving...and i'm so excited about that team!

Anonymous said...

I think I+B got robbed of the 2nd place. They were cleaner than E+L. With that said, I can see why the judges would want to put them in front of I+B. After all, I+B goes to the Olympics just for the sake of going to the Olympics. They are retiring. They obviously will not win any medal. E+L on the other hand, can possibly do another Olympic 4 years from now so this is a good experience for them. Life is unfair so it is what it is. I+B knows the deal when they signed up for figure skating.

Aaron said...

Can I say I love that Inoue and Baldwin were classy enough to say that there shouldn't be a discussion about who should go, and stated it should absolutely be the top two teams.

Not many teams would have the personal fortitude to let an Olympic Berth like that just go when they seriously had a case to make.

I just love that they allowed Amanda and Mark to have a wonderful moment without a nasty fight.

simonbel said...

Oh Rena and John :(... they got -.6 GOE for those perfectly good sbs double toes just because they were supposed to be triples (dumb ijs quirk) and lost by exactly .6...
at least they go out on a really eloquent program at nationals... incidentally, I think international judges would've had I/B safely in front of E/L on account of the components score

Aaron said... was nicey nicey until the judging protocol came out!


Queen of the Road said...

Oy, indeed!

As for the men, I'm with jumping clapping man. I did not understand how Evan scored above Johnny. I wish the commentators would try to explain some of the judging anomolies, rather than just tell us things that are obvious (like "clean landing" or "beautiful choreography," etc.)

On the other hand, I was glad to see the commentators talking SLIGHTLY less over what are often some of the most interesting parts of the competition, ie the conversations between coaches and athletes before the skate (Frank Carroll and Evan) or after in the kiss and cry (Brian Orser and Adam). I doubt it's any kind of trend (I wish), but I thought those snippets were fascinating.