The Senior events begin tomorrow and my next blog post will be from Greensboro! Be sure to follow me here as well on Twitter for updates!
The Pairs competition in Greensboro could be close. The prevailing faves, Denney and Barrett, have not skated up to par this season despite having more sophisticated programs from David Wilson (perhaps that's the issue). Their rock solid consistency is brought into question and we are left to wonder if they will deliver. If you ask me, the good money is still on them, but they may be challenged here. One of those challenging teams will likely be Yankowskas and Coughlin who have looked their best this season with strong results on the Grand Prix. Artistically they are the class of the field but consistency has been an issue in the past. If they are clean, they can waltz past Denney and Barrett. The other team in the mix is Evora and Ladwig, Denney and Barrett's former training partners and Olympic Teammates. They represent the middle ground of technical content and artistry amongst the three top teams and perhaps that steady consistency between technicality and artistry may prevail.
The men is what I'm looking forward to the most. Up front and center...Jeremy Abbott. He is the class of the field...hopefully with equipment issues behind him he can successfully defend his title and go for the 3-peat. Toughest competition will likely come from Adam Rippon who has shown flashes of brilliance this season. If he can keep his composure and skate well...he'll figure in nicely. The other guy that could give Abbott a run for the money...Brandon Mroz. He has looked solid this season, especially so in Beijing when he had the skate of his life. If he has the success with the quad he had in China, he may be the one to spoil Abbott's party. Behind these three is a talented group of men that includes Ryan Bradley (is he really there...couldn't believe it when I saw him on the list!), Armin Mahbanoozadeh (great showing at Skate America), Ross Miner (junior turned senior on the rise), and several other successful junior level skaters. It'll be fun!
Next stop Greensboro!