Thursday, December 30, 2010

Countdown to US Figure Skating Championships: 23 Days!

Brandon Mroz (Broadmoor SC)

  • 2006-07 Junior Grand Prix Final Silver Medalist
  • 2007-08 US Junior Silver Medalist
  • 2009 US Silver Medalist
  • 2010 US Nationals 6th
  • 2010 Cup of China Silver Medalist
  • 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard Silver Medalist

Though Brandon stood on the podium at the 2009 Senior Nationals between Jeremy Abbott and Evan Lysacek, I still consider him among the "next generation" of US male figure skaters along with Adam Rippon, etc. At only 20 years old, he is still a baby in terms of internationally successful male figure skaters. With Lysacek and Weir sitting this season out, the 2011 Nationals will be a great opportunity for the younger skaters, like Brandon, to move up and make the world team. Based on his Grand Prix scores, Brandon should have no trouble finishing in the top 6 or 7 at worlds, though he must make the world team before he can compete there. I still think the mens podium will be Abbott, Rippon, and Mroz, not necessarily in that order, but Armin Mahbanoozadeh or returning veteran Ryan Bradley could easily throw a wrench into that plan. Brandon's highest total score this season was a 216.80 at Cup of China which puts him about 2 points below Jeremy Abbott and about 17 below Adam Rippon. However, Mroz has arguably been the most consistent of the three as Rippon had somewhat of a meltdown at Skate America and Abbott struggled to put together two clean programs at either of his events. Mroz has also shown that he can do the quad which Rippon has yet to show us in competition and Abbott has not done consistently. He has come into his own this season in terms of presentation with his debonair Bernstein free skate, but look for that quad to be a major factor that just may catapult Brandon Mroz to the top this year at Nationals.

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