Friday, December 7

Non-Grand Prix Events This Weekend: NRW, Australian Nationals

There are several other competitions taking place this weekend while some of the worlds best juniors and seniors are in Sochi for the Grand Prix Final.

NRW Trophy
The pairs short program just wrapped up, and World Champions Savchenko & Szolkowy of Germany have a big lead, scoring 73.55 points. They decided to skate in this competition as a preparation for Europeans after Savchenko's illness prevented them from competing in a second regular-season Grand Prix event (and cost them a trip to Sochi). James & Cipres (FRA) are in second with 60.49 points. They are improving rapidly in only their second year as a team. Italians Berton & Hotarek sit third with 58.85 points.

Savchenko & Szolkowy's short program. They have apparently ditched the rainbow-brite swirl costumes we saw at Skate Canada.

Australian National Championships
Chantelle Kerry won the senior ladies title today, followed by Brooklee Han and 2002 Olympic Games competitor Stephanie Zhang, who has come back after ten seasons of retirement. It doesn't sound like a great day for any of the ladies, seeing how Han managed to stay in second after a five-fall free skate. Kerry and Han are the only ladies eligible for Four Continents, while none of them are eligible for Worlds at this time.

David Kranjec pulled up to convincingly win the senior mens title ahead of Brendan Kerry and Jordan Dodds. Kerry, like his female silver-medal counterpart, fell to fifth in the free skate but remained second based on a strong short program in which he got positive grades of execution for a quad toe loop. Kranjec and Kerry are eligible for Four Continents.

O'Brien & Merriman won the senior dance title easily, and they round out the group of five that we will likely see at the Four Continents Championships.

The rest of my Grand Prix thoughts will come throughout the day.

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