Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2012 JGP Croatia: Ladies Review

I’ve got two more competitions to cover so I’m going to make this JGP Croatia Cup review quick and to the point…

The results:

Angela Wang (USA): 58.47 (SP) + 104.18 (FS) = 162.65 (1st) 
I am officially in love with this girl! Angela is the kind of skater I gravitate toward; she has a balance of all of the good qualities that make skating fun to watch. The jumps are rock-solid: she has good technique on all five triple jumps; her air position is clean and tight; she gets nice height and distance; and she exits her jumps with speed. Plus she has the difficulty many of the American women lack. Angela executed fully ratified 3Lz-3Ts in both programs, including a 3Lz-3T-2T in the FS. Her speed was excellent and even her spins (probably her weakest area) were faster and better positioned. In addition to all of that, she’s lovely to watch. Her programs are some of the best in the junior ranks and are very well done and executed. Angela has that ooze quality Lori always spoke to Michelle about. Nothing feels forced…the movement just flows very naturally from her.

Given Angela’s clean performances (only mistake in the whole competition was a popped 3F in the FS) I felt like the judges totally lowballed her in the PCS, but it doesn’t matter…I’m just so proud of her! If Angela continues like this I wouldn’t be surprised to see her crack the top 5 at nationals this year. Her win here places her 2nd in the JGP standings and with only one event left, she can plan to pack her bags for the Final in Sochi later in the year. Way to go Angela!!

Hannah Miller (USA): 51.33 (SP) + 101.88 (FS) = 153.21 (2nd) 
Hannah started off roughly in the SP, falling on her opening 3Lo-2Lo combo, but was able to recover and finish the rest of her program without error. In the FS she had no major errors but there were a number of small errors that cost her several points. I love Hannah’s speed and energy when she performs though I’m not entirely sure how her jumps will hold up under puberty. They’re aren’t super tiny a la Vanessa Lam or Satoko Miyahara, but you can tell any loss of rotation without an increase in elevation will result in quite a few URs and DGs. It was good to see her fight back from her SP and deliver solidly to take silver here. Hannah sits in 4th place in the JGP standings and has a great chance of hanging on and nabbing one of those final spots.

Anna Pogorilaya (RUS): 51.67 (SP) + 93.87 (FS) = 145.54 (3rd) 
Anna is a decent skater with nice speed and pretty good jumps…other than that her skating doesn’t really pull me in much. She had a solid SP, nailing her 3T-3T, and ended up in 2nd place going into the FS. Her FS wasn’t terrible but after her opening jumps (2A-3T-2T and 2A-3T) she started struggling to land her jumps cleanly. Other than the fall on the 3Lo it was a solid program but only scored 5th in the segment. Regardless, her strong SP carried her over and landed her on the podium.

As for the rest…

Kristina Zaseeva (RUS, 4th) bounced back from a 5th place SP to finish 3rd in the FS and move up to 4th overall…I expected Rika Hongo (JPN, 5th) to do a bit better here based on her previous performances at JGP Courchevel. All of the videos are up on the ISU’s JGP Channel (as if you don’t know).

Last stop on the JGP circuit is JGP Pokal d. Blauen Schwerter in Germany. I will never write that name again, so we’re going to call this one JGP Pokal. There are a few of skaters who can shake up the standings, namely Americans Leah Keiser and Samantha Cesario. We’ll also see Miyabi Oba of Japan as well as Anna Pogorilaya of Russia who will give it another go and see if she can secure a spot in the Final.

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