Friday, January 7, 2011

Countdown to US Figure Skating Championships: 15 Days!

Armin Mahbanoozadeh (Washington FSC)

  • 2007 US Novice Champion
  • 2007 Junior Grand Prix Final Bronze Medalist
  • 2008 Junior Grand Prix Final Silver Medalist
  • 2010 US Nationals 8th
  • 2010 Skate America Bronze Medalist

Get ready to work on you pronunciation because Mahbanoozadeh is about to become a household name. Armin had International success as a junior on the Grand Prix circuit but struggled at Nationals and failed to ever qualify for Junior Worlds. In his senior debut, he placed a respectable 8th last season. With Lysacek and Weir out for the season, Armin has an opportunity to move up in the National ranks but nobody expected him to move up so early in the season. His bronze at Skate America was one of the biggest surprises of the Grand Prix season and left many wishing he would have received a second Grand Prix assignment. Perhaps the most important aspect of his bronze medal was that he upset top US contender Adam Rippon, establishing him as a strong medal threat in Greensboro at the end of the month. According to his coach Priscilla Hill, Skate America was about skating clean, which he did, and he will attempt to add more difficulty into his programs at National, including the quad. Ironically, after the quad controversy at the 2010 Olympics, it seems that the quad may define the Mens event in Greensboro. Abbott, Mroz, and Bradley all have it, but its a craps shoot of they will be landed cleanly. On the flip side, Rippon and Mahbanoozadeh are arguably the more artistic skaters of the bunch so only time will tell if technique or presentation will take the cake in Greensboro.

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