Saturday, January 23, 2016

2016 US Figure Skating Championships: Pairs Recap

The Senior Pairs event was supposed to be a slam dunk for Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim, based on their International season, but when has a US Pairs event even been that simple? They made mistakes in both programs which opened the door for Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea, who were not only clean, but gave transcendent performances that could make a splash at Worlds if performed in that manner. 

Let's revisit the questions I posed before the event and recap how these things shook down.
  1. Will Scimeca & Knierim allow their Skate America and NHK medals and GPF qualification to propel them to a 2nd consecutive US Title?
    1. Not so much...I think they were way too confident coming in and they did not perform up to the best of their abilities. They will get a chance to redeem themselves at Worlds.
  2. Looking forward, can Delilah Sappenfield coach a World Medalist?
    1. This is to be determined, but in my opinion, the best pairs coaches are in Florida.
  3. Will Kayne & O’Shea or Aaron & Settlage, or Castelli & Tran perform in a way that establishes a clear 2nd place US Team?
    1. Kayne & O'Shea and Scimeca & Knierim are clearly the top 2 in the US, but 4 Continents and Worlds should give us a clearer picture of who is the 1 and who is the 2. 
  4. Will Calalang & Sidhu be able to factor in? 
    1. They led until the top group took the ice and that's about it, though they did top Aaron & Settlage in the free skate.
  5. Can Mervin Tran ever achieve the success he once had with Narumi Takahashi again, and with Marissa Castelli? Will they stay together long enough for any of this to matter?
    1. She looks so much happier skating with him than Simon and they seem to be a good match. If they spend another year together and they could make some noise. 
  6. Which junior medalists from last year will sneak onto the podium? 
    1. Fields & Utah Stevens unfortunately did not even come close. They finished 11th overall after an extremely messy free.
  7. Who will give us that classic great half of a free skate and then crumble in the second?
    1. Unfortunately this was Castelli and Tran. They started so strong and then we had Mervin's fall, the fall on the throw, and the loss of synchronization on the spins.
  8. And last but not least, how many of these teams will still be together next season?
    1. To be determined....

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