Sunday, January 30

US Nationals - Mens Free Skate Earlier Groups

For those that have nothing better to do besides read my comments ;-)

Scott Dyer- 18th after short- 2A- solid, flying sit/change/camel/a-frame type spin, good center and speed, that fit the music and set a nice beginning. Long prep for 3Lz/3T-- Lutz had a slightly rough run-out and the toe loop had a fall out, popped 1F, Circular step sequence has some nice long, comfortable edges. His skating reminds me of Paul Wylie in a way, and that's a compliment. Flying sit into donut. All of the elements in the program have really fit the music and pacing, we don't see that much anymore vs. just throwing elements in wherever they will fit. 3Lo nice. 3Lz maybe a two-foot but run-out was fine. 3Lo/2T again nice, and a 2A again solid. Walley into 3S/2T/2Lo.. all of those jumps came really close together. Choreographed step again has some nice toe pick work and solid content throughout. Camel- fast and decent position/sit/y-spin/change/lay-over broken leg spin.. again an awesome position. I really liked him this time around, and that's honestly one of the more likable On the Waterfront programs that I've seen. 61.65/59.72 = 121.37 and 177.15 overall. Good score to start out the night.

Lloyd Ting- 22nd after short- 3Lz/2T- you can tell her wanted to go for a triple there. 2A that had a long take-off on the forward edge and a fall. Flying camel/upright crouch/change/sit pancake. 3F. 3S had a turn-out. Flying sit travels/change broken leg.. spins are a bit on the slow side. 3Lz nice height. 3F/2T, not sure about that being fully rotated. Circular step. I'm not a coach or a judge, but my advice to him would be to loosen up in the face. From the minute he started he's had this very serious and cautious look and I think it really affects to feel of the program, because this slower middle could be very nice. 3T. 2A again can't quite hold it and he turns out a bit. Kwiatkowski also says not much connection to the music. Second footwork sequence still has nice speed through it at the end of the program. Flying sit/pancake held for the entire time-- almost too long honestly because the speed really died about 3/4 of the way through. Not bad.. problems with the Axel today, but two nice Lutzes. Could have done another combination to get some more points. 51.78/45.64 -1.00 = 96.42 and 140.92 overall. Way low on the components.

Sean Rabbitt- 21st after short- 3Lz/1T, not the best of air positions in his jumps. 3S/3T, really fought for that one and the free leg swung a bit but a clean combo. Back spiral turns into 2Lz. Flying camel/ugly sit that I hate/change sit which is a nice position/y-spin. 3Lo. 3F. I like this music, and while I don't think it fits him as well as the short program Michael Jackson music did, it's not bad. Circular footwork somewhat labored. I guess my comment about him would be that he seems too loose in the upper body, and not in an effective way. It makes him look off-balance a lot and generally unfinished. 2A/2T/2T-- that flowed well. 2S-- rushed the take-off. Footwork again a bit sloppy in my opinion and there isn't much content. Spread eagle turn 2A. Camel/outside/a-frame/ change/ sit twist/scratch. Out of steam at the end of that combo. He has some interesting qualities, I just think he needs something more upbeat or 'odd' (think Phillip Glass) to match his unrefined style. There are ways to work with it! 51.93/52.36 = 104.29 and 155.71 total. Second.

Parker Pennington- 19th after short- 3A leaned and a fall. 2A/3T-- short of rotation on the toe loop. 3Lo. Flying camel- nice position into a lay-over/catch-foot donut. Spirals into a 3F. Circular step actually has some really nice choreography to go along with the music, I really liked that. Spread eagle into a 3S. Walley 3Lz/2T/2T with a hand over the head on the latter. Two different styles between the programs, which he choreographed himself. I find him to be a lot more interesting now than in the past. 3Lz free leg took a while to get out and it was landed back on the blade. 3F was severely cheated. Camel again is a beautiful position. Unfortunately he's not going to move up much if at all without the triple Axel. He's talking a lot in the kiss and cry as he waits for marks. 51.99/58.20 -1.00 = 109.19 and 164.68 overall.

Andrew Gonzales- 20th after short- 3F off-balance and fell. 2A with nice flow coming out. 3Lo/2T again the loop leaned but this one is fine. Back camel/catch-foot. Circular footwork is nice. Flying sit, all of these guys in the first group have had pretty well-centered spins. 3Lz/2T/2Lo. He can work on adding some content into the jumps and not telegraphing them as much. 3F/2T maybe short? Kwiatkowski thinks so. 1Lz-- toe completely slipped off the ice. 3S again crooked but landed just fine. Combo spin-- the sit has amazing speed and the back sit also has great speed. Maybe a half second off time on the ending. 52.05/57.06 -1.00 = 108.11 and 162.52 overall. In comparison with Dyer and Pennington, I'd go a bit lower on the components. I didn't really have an opinion of that program overall.

No changes in standings after this group.

Wesley Campbell- 14th after short- Something I didn't realize.. as high as 7th at Nationals in the past. Nice 2A that came directly out of choreography. Solid, sturdy basics and posture. 3Lz/2Lo. 3A was close but fell. Camel/layover/ change/camel/donut change edge-- good spin. 3F/3T-- lean on the first jump but adjusted for the second. 3S. And when I saw Michael Nyman in the music info I wondered about this particular piece and whether we'd hear it-- the Memorial Requiem that Grishuk/Platov used so amazingly in Nagano. One foot step at the second half of his footwork sequence-- very strong. Footwork into a 2Lo/2T/2Lo. His flow is still amazing towards the end and he goes right into the choreographed step. 2A. 2Lz. Camel/upright variation/change/ sit pancake. Nice pacing, really good skating skills, and he kept the flow throughout the program. I really liked that. 57.84/60.50 -1.00 = 117.34 and 176.69 overall. Into second behind Dyer.

Christopher Caluza- 15th after short- Just like in the short, tremendous energy from the start. 3Lz goes down. 3T. Steps into 2A and a hand down. His body, much like Rabbitt's almost seems too loose and out of control at times. Footwork and we seem him taking his time there. 3S is the best jump so far. Spiral with a change of edge, actually well done. Into spread eagle, this middle section is a complete difference than the beginning and his short program. 3Lo/2T/2Lo with both hands over the head. 3F. Fan spiral into a 3Lz/2T.. no flow on either jump but complete. 2A/2T. Ina Bauer into a flying camel and he completely loses the edge and spins on his belly. Gets back into the spin and then a combination spin right after. Choreographed step has some wobbles too as the music picks up. I get the sense that when the music is really upbeat or powerful, he rushes everything just a bit or isn't quite comfortable with trying to keep up. The middle section showed that he can take his time, and it was really nice. Maybe he needs music that relaxes him rather than excites him to the point of making everything sloppy. Lots of cool and unique moves (Ina Bauer, spiral, spread eagles) but the points at which he does them don't really add up to much. 50.58/49.86 -2.00 = 98.44 and 157.72. Fifth for now.

Alexander Johnson- 16th after short- 3A/2T nice. First triple Axel of the night. 1A, rushed that. Flying sit in a low tuck position with good centering and into a variation. Spiral- nice position there too and then a 3Lz. 2Lo. Off and on so far. Camel that doesn't really find the strong point of the blade into a back camel/catch-foot change edge-- that half was good. 2F step-out. Another skater with strong basics. 3Lz/2T/2Lo-- first two jumps had a real fight on the landing. 2S. Seriously, a clean jump and then a pop this whole way through. That's frustrating. Singles and doubles kill the score so much more than step-outs or even falls, really. 2F/2T/2Lo-- another three jump combo, that won't even count since he's done one. Final combo spin ends in a nice position but the end lost me. His score is going to be really low, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's lowest on the technical mark so far, even with the triple Axel in the beginning. I always find these chats in the kiss and cry interesting. 48.70/59.50= 108.20 and 165.50 overall. Into third.

Joshua Farris- 3A almost there but a hard fall and right by the boards. 3Lo that he had but then had to really fight to hold a solid landing. 3A again a fall and again right into the boards. So, he needs to note that one of those will be called a +SEQ and therefore one of his three combo/sequences is now done. This music, much like with Rachael Flatt and many others that have used it, requires some personality to make it more interesting, and he's another one that seems more focused on the skate than selling it. 3Lz/2T-- forward on the Lutz. Footwork is a bit on the slow side. He holds himself well, though. Back spiral into 2A and he got lost in the air on that one too, putting his hands down. Axel just isn't working today at all. Music picks up and there's a look of concern on his face-- that's never good. 3Lz and he goes down on that too, looks like it went off from an inside edge. Choreographed step doesn't have much to offer and there are some attempts and making the choreography fun but he's not really into it. 2F/2T/2Lo got a bit stuck going up into the loop and hopped around on the landing. 3S that almost LANDED right into the board. Final combo spin has a nice pancake position. And he's crying, or trying hard not to. He's 15, there's plenty of time to develop. Tough skate here though. I notice that I question a lot of the packaging from Zakrajsek's students. I wonder if they have any input in what they want to skate to, or if they are just given the program and told what to do-- I'm really thinking it's the latter. He's crying in the kiss and cry and I'm pretty sure he said that he gave up during the performance. 43.24/50.58 -3.00 = 90.82 and 151.73 and down into eighth place, will probably end up second to last overall.

Jonathan Cassar- 17th after short- I got an Emanuel Sandhu circa.. 2001? vibe from him at first glance with the hair and costume, and his basics are just as strong. Starts with a serpentine step on a really slow part of the music that matches it wonderfully until the very end where he has a little wobble. 3Lz/2T-- that was nice. 3T. 2A, all three jumps good so far. 3S that had a delay on the take-off and again a great jump. Flying sit low position to twist. He's not the fastest or flashiest, but he's getting the job done. 3Lz with a hand down. I shouldn't have typed that. Inside spread eagle, about as deep as they come. He really feels the music and makes every note count. 3F/2T a bit eeked out the entire way, and a three turn out of the toe. 3Lo/2T. Beautiful camel position into a change edge /change camel catch-foot. There really is a lot to like about his skating. Choreographed step sequence, and here's a case of him making it just as elaborate as the first rather than taking the easy way out since every skater starts on the same value. 2A is nice and turns into camel/broken leg/change / y-spin. My favorite of the night so far and he has a standing ovation. Wow. I don't think his technical content was strong enough to move him up, but his components should be the best so far. Mocks not having a chain this time around in the kiss and cry after the short program incident. 63.28/68.50 = 131.78 and 187.76 overall. Well wow, almost 7's for that? I never thought they'd go for him THAT much but I'm glad they did. And I was wrong, into first by ten points.

Cassar, Dyer, and Campbell have been the definite highlights of this first half, and they sit in 1st-2nd-3rd- right now.

1 comment:

Meri said...

I'm watching the Euros gala, and your updates from US Nats would be much appreciated!

Will you be writing anything about the Europeans, Tony?