Thursday, December 6

Junior Grand Prix Final - Ladies Short Program

Leah Keiser of the United States started off the day, skating to Rondo Capriccioso. She fell on her opening triple Lutz, but came back with a triple flip and double Axel. She has cautious, average-level skating at this point, and she needs to work on her basic camel position. I didn't feel like she was very into the program after the mistake.

I knew I was going to like Hannah Miller the second she gave a little eyebrow lift right before her music started. She skated to Tanguera and was powerful and exciting from the very beginning! All of her jump elements (double Axel, triple flip, and triple loop/double loop late in the program) were clean and everything else was also very solid. She's under two points of of first place, and she definitely was the performance of the day for me.

Satoko Miyahara of Japan amazes me because she manages to gain speed out of nowhere and skates with power. Looking at her, you think she'd crawl across the ice! She had a severely leaning triple Lutz and she fell out of it, but came back with a triple flip and double Axel. I think she might struggle with the jumps a bit when she grows, but I am really impressed with her level of basic skating.

Anna Pogorilaya of Russia skated to Songs from the Victorious City and landed all of her jump elements: a triple Lutz-triple toe, triple flip, and double Axel, but she has a looseness about her revolutions that is a little distracting. Her footwork got way off balance towards the end and she really had to fight to not fall, and everything else was just alright for me. I thought she was actually scored very high, even with the triple-triple.

Angela Wang had a nicely choreographed program, but started off with a triple Lutz-single toe after she landed the first jump far back on her blade. She came back with a triple flip and double Axel. I thought she lacked a little spark, but she looked really mature in her movements and quality compared to some of the other girls here.

Elena Radionova had an energetic and almost frantic program to The Fifth Element. She landed a triple Lutz-triple toe, triple flip, and had to step out of a double Axel. Great stretch through her spins (a la Lipnitskaia), and she carries a lot of speed across the ice. Her posture and overall skating quality still has a long, long way to go, but then again she's only 13. I like the amount of energy she put into her performance-- she really gets into it and has fun!

Standings after the short program:

1. Radionova 60.90
2. Miller 59.18
3. Pogorilaya 57.94
4. Wang 51.16
5. Miyahara 49.60
6. Keiser 47.23

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