Saturday, March 2, 2013

U.S. Nationals Recap, Part 2

Part 2 will discuss the 4th, 5th, and 6th place finishers, which were Courtney Hicks, Christina Gao, and Yasmin Siraj.

4th Place:

Courtney was really the surprise 4th place finisher here. After missing the majority of the 2011-2012 season due to injury, and flying a bit under the radar during the JGP season, I didn't really know what to expect, but I think she surprised a lot of people by managing to beat out Christina Gao, Hannah Miller, Mirai Nagasu, and others for the pewter medal. Still, Courtney did a fabulous job here. Similar to Gracie and Agnes, her jumps are totally Herculean. She just launches into the air, covering so much ice while she rotates. Not to mention after a 20-foot pop on her loop, she still was able to finish the sequence with a double axel. Her artistry, posture, and overall look on the ice need some serious attention, but I loveeee that last spin!! The positions in it are very unique, very cool, and require a great deal of flexibility. It's always nice to see something different and unique. Side note: why did the screen say that she was skating to Red Violin? She skates to Concierto de Aranjuez....

5th Place:

That fall on the flying sit spin is a real shame, because this program is so gorgeous. It seems to really suit her personality well, and she does a beautiful job with the music. She's also grown a bit since last season, gaining some weight (for the better), which has gotten rid of her gangly look on the ice, and replaced it with a very clean, elegant look. The dress is also stunning.

Christina was really underscored here, and completely got the short end of the stick. I loveee the new dress she has for this program - it gives a much more elegant and sophisticated look/feel to the program. Speaking of which, this whole program has really grown in terms of artistry, elegance, and sophistication - frankly, this program was much better than Ashley, Agnes, and Courtney's long programs - I don't know why she was so blatantly underscored. She also does some very interesting, different, and unique positions in her spins, which I always appreciate. Let us all pray for Ashley and Gracie to pull a miracle and get 3 spots for next year, and for Christina to nab herself one. It's about time she skated on the World/Olympic stage.

6th Place:

Yasmin making the final group was a bit like Elene Gedevanishvili making the final group in Torino. A surprise, but this one was a pleasant one. She's not an overly special skater, but she's perfectly nice to watch - a bit like an appetizer before Gao, Zawadzki, Wagner, and Nagasu. The dress and the music are very pretty, but she could do a lot more with choreography - there's not much, and the music provides plenty of opportunities for more intricate choreography. Still, she's young (16), and she has time. I do like the combo spin right after the solo triple Lutz - being able to rotate well in both directions requires some serious skill and talent, and to be able to do both directions in one spin is extremely difficult, so hats off to her for doing that - again, very unique and very cool.

7th, 8th, and 9th (Nagasu, Cesario, and Wang) are next! Stay tuned!


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