Alysa Liu Take 2018 Junior Ladies Title
by George Rossano
Alysa Liu, St. Moritz ISC
The Junior Ladies title was won by Alysa Liu, a wunderkind who is exactly what U.S. Figure Skating needs - a 12-year-old with all the triples through triple Lutz, a clean Triple Lutz - Triple Toe loop combination, and the style and personality to go with it. She won both the short and long, and ran away with the title with a 17.65 point margin of victory.
In the short, skating to "Spanish Flame", Liu landed triple flip - triple toe loop, triple Lutz and double Axel. All three spins were level four while the step sequence was level three. Except for an edge attention on the flip, it was a clean, dynamic skate with no insecurity. In the long, the student of Laura Lipetsky, with choreography by Cindy Stuart, skated to music from Le Miz, she landed seven triples and two double Axels. Only an opening double Axel was in the first half of the program. Two spins were level four, while the the third and the step sequence where level three. For both programs her components were in the mid-sixes, though some judges had her in the high sevens.
Pooja Kalyan gave two mature performances to finish second. She edged out Ting Cui by 1.02 points. Cui was eleventh in the short and second in the long. In the short she fell on double Axel and had only triple toe loop - double toe loop for her combination In the long she landed seven triples and two double Axels, with all three spins level four and the step sequence level three. Kalyan had six triples in the long and two double Axels, with two level four spins. Hannah Harrell placed fourth. She landed five triples and fell on two others. She also singled an Axel. She had three level four spins and level three on the step sequence.