Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nationals Preview, or A Patchwork Sampler of Great (or at least "Better") American GP Performances

As I write this, it is 15 degrees (Fahrenheit) in Cleveland Ohio. The 10-day outlook promises temperatures will rise to almost twice that by the time the Senior events start taking place at U.S. Nationals late next week. Having been out in 15 degree weather with kids and sleds for at least ½ an hour today, I will keep my fingers crossed for all fans attending that the forecasts are accurate.

In the meantime, I came up with this little guide to help us decide who we think will win next week. Unfortunately, this “guide” might only work for those of you with IceNetwork subscriptions, or who taped things off of the CBC or Eurosport, or have located remote corners of the WWW where the broadcasts continue to run freely.

I hope that accounts for a good amount of you (if not all)!

In ALPHABETICAL order, I’ve listed the 5 or 6 U.S. skaters competing in each discipline that have racked up the most notable scores on the GP circuit this season, and I’m listing their highest-scoring performance. This is not to say these are going to be the top skaters; I’m not making any predictions… yet. (Check back with me as we get a little closer.) This is just a chance to, if your resources are such, see the best these talents have to offer and imagine how things might shake down if everyone had a “best case scenario” awaiting them in Cleveland. (Yeah, I know. But imagine if they did!)

Alissa Czisny/Skate Canada
Rachael Flatt/ Cup of Russia
Katrina Hacker/ NHK Trophy
Mirai Nagasu/Skate America
Ashley Wagner/NHK (note: her best FS was at TEB)
Caroline Zhang/Trophee Eric Bompard

Jeremy Abbott/Grand Prix Final
Ryan Bradley/Skate Canada
Stephen Carriere/Cup of China
Evan Lysacek/Skate America
Adam Rippon/Cup of Russia
Johnny Weir/Skate America (though his NHK performance was scored similarly)

Evora/Ladwig//Cup of China
Inoue/Baldwin//NHK Trophy
McLaughlin/Brubaker//Skate America
Vise/Trent//Skate Canada
(NOTE: Castile/Okolski had to withdraw from their GP events due to injury.)

Davis/White//Skate Canada
Navarro/Bommentre//Skate Canada
Samuelson/Bates//Skate America
Summersett/Gilles//Skate America
Wester/Barantsev//Trophee Eric Bompard

Hope I got all these right... let me know if I didn't!

To get you started, the
Clip of the Day features the Grand Prix Final-winning free skate of JeremEEE… still available on You Tube, thank goodness.

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