Monday, January 24, 2011

US Nationals: Who I'm Watching For...

I haven't done much talking on this season's skating. I've been hit with the Olympic slump, spending more time watching football and other things than I have with skating. But it's nationals week for the US, and that always gets me excited. Ever since attending my first nationals in 2005, this event has become my favorite. I'm hoping that this time next year I will be in San Jose with my friends catching all of the action.

So, which senior skaters have me excited for this week? Let's take a look.

Ryan Bradley, Men's. After a disappointing fourth place finish last year, Ryan was on the verge of quitting. Then he got all of us excited when he started tweeting this fall that he was back in action and nationals was on his mind. He's making a "comeback" and I'm really hoping that this is HIS year. Ryan Bradley National Champion, has been on teh lips of many since 2000 (or earlier!) and this would be the perfect season to prove us all right! He's skating to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy for his short, and he's reusing last year's Mozart LP.

Keegan Messing, Men's. He's our Alaskan boy! Second year senior, it's time to make his mark. He's had an up and down season so far, but nationals is where he normally puts it down. I've loved watching this kid grow up on the ice, and I'm proud that he represents Alaska in such a powerhouse type way. I wish Alaskans knew about one of our awesome up-and-comer athletes. Guess I'll just keep shouting his name from the rooftops! He's one of the top ten from last year, here's hoping he makes a larger leap this season!

Caitlyn Yankowskas & John Coughlin, Pairs. They've had a great opening season, and are ready to make that jump onto the top of the US podium. They're not completely polished, but they're getting there. I have really enjoyed their programs so far, and with over a month of training under their belt, I expect the programs to be refined. I don't think we have any US pairs that are going to wow the judges and make top five at worlds any time soon, but with Caitlyn & John - along with Caydee & Jeremy and Amanda & Mark - we are certainly on our way up.

Maia & Alex Shibutani, Ice Dance. Ice dance is the main reason I need to get back to US nationals, I just don't know enough about the up and comers. But I've been a fan of the Shibutanis since seeing them as Juniors in 2008. They were adorable then, and they are seamless now. Igor and Marina just keep producing the highest quality of Ice Dancers America has ever seen. The Shibs are where it's at!

Ashley Wagner, Ladies. Maybe I'm not *excited* but I'm still hoping for Ashley to pull one out of her hat and get on the top teir of the podium. Who doesn't want this girl to do well? She may not be Alissa Czisny on the ice as far as artistry goes, but she's a powerhouse with a restrained elegance about her. I'm all for her finally getting the gold... if she can nail it down. GO ASHLEY!

Mirai Nagasu, Ladies. I, sadly, do not believe Ashley has a real shot even if she does skate lights out of winning. Especially if Mirai has another nationals like last year (she should be National champion for that competition). Mirai is another skater I've enjoyed watching since 2008 (where she won her first national title). If the two go one and two in either order (deservingly) I will be a happy girl.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't been following the sport so much this year either. I do think it's the Olympic slump for sure! I do agree that Mirai should have been national champ last year, no doubt about it.