2007 U.S. Nationals

Senior Ladies


Text and photos copyright 2007 by George S. Rossano


Place Skater SP FS
1 Kimmie Meissner 1 3
2 Emily Hughes 3 2
3 Alissa Czisny 5 1
4 Beatrisa Liang 2 4
5 Rachael Flatt 6 5
6 Danielle Kahle 10 6
7 Juliana Cannarozzo 9 7
8 Katy Taylor 4 12
9 Michelle Boulos 11 8
10 Christine Zukowski 7 15
11 Megan Oster 12 9
12 Melissa Bulanhagui 6 14
13 Megan Williams-Stewart 17 10
14 Taylor Firth 19 11
15 Kylie Gleason 15 13
16 Erin Reed 14 18
17 Margaret Wang 16 17
18 Becky Hughes 13 20
19 Megan Hyatt 20 16
20 Angie Lien 18 21
21 Ambar Kaiser 21 19


Short Program

Starting Order - Short Program
  1. Taylor Firth

  2. Margaret Wang

  3. Ambar Kaiser

  4. Megan Williams-Stewart

  5. Michelle Boulos

  6. Emily Hughes

  7. Kimmie Meissner

  8. Erin Reed

  9. Megan Hyatt

  10. Katy Taylor

  11. Christine Zukowski

  12. Beatrisa Liang

  13. Juliana Cannarozzo

  14. Megan Oster

  15. Melissa Bulanhagui

  16. Danielle Kahle

  17. Rachael Flatt

  18. Kylie Gleason

  19. Alissa Czisny

  20. Becky Hughes

  21. Angie Lien


Short Program Placements
Place Skater
1 Kimmie Meissner
2 Beatrisa Liang
3 Emily Hughes
4 Katy Taylor
5 Alissa Czisny
6 Rachael Flatt
7 Christine Zukowski
8 Melissa Bulanhagui
9 Juliana Cannarozzo
10 Danielle Kahle
11 Michelle Boulos
12 Megan Oster
13 Becky Hughes
14 Erin Reed
15 Kylie Gleason
16 Margaret Wang
17 Megan Williams-Stewart
18 Angie Lien
19 Taylor Firth
20 Megan Hyatt
21 Ambar Kaiser

This morning when I was thinking about what I wanted to say in this story, I had a great lead; but two events into Friday for the life of me I can't remember it.  At this point in the competition my brain is Swiss cheese.

Let's see now.  Kimmie won, opening a 3.03 lead in the event.  Meissner got credit for triple Lutz - triple toe loop, and triple flip, as well as double Axel. Her spins and sequences were called level 4, except for the layback which consisted of the basic layback position and a hair cutter -- one feature, for a level 1.  Five judges also gave her negative GoEs for the element.  She was scored best in element points and also best in program components.  It was a decent skate, but not the slam dunk victory one would expect from the reigning World Champion.  As she described it, "I've been working really hard and tonight I think I did what I've been practicing.  I'm very excited, very happy."  The calling of her triple-triple combination proved controversial.  More on that later.

While expected to place well, few would have predicted the second place finish of Beatrisa Liang.  She was scored second in elements and fourth in Program Components.  Five judges gave her negative GoEs for her triple flip, but other wise it was a clean skate.  Performing in a dark blue unitard, she looked as trim and fit as we can remember her, and skated with confidence and enthusiasm.  On placing second she said, "It's definitely exciting.  You know, I just need to make sure I keep my focus on the long program, and just keep my mind straight."  Liang received one of several standing ovations for her program, something Meissner did not.

Just 0.34 points behind Liang, lies Emily Hughes.  She was scored third in elements and third overall.  It was a nearly clean skate, with two judges giving GoEs of -1 on her trple LUtz wich had a very very minor step out of the landing.  On her performance she said, " The crowd was amazing here and everyone has been so nice in Spokane. ... I felt really good out there, after the music started I was just really into it."

Katy Taylor also had a nearly clean program, with two judges giving her GoEs of -1 for her triple flip.  She was scored fourth in both elements and Program Components.  She landed the standard Ladies Short Program elements -- triple Lutz - double toe, triple flip and double Axel.  A weakness in the program, however, was a level 2 circular step sequence, and a level 2 layback spin.  She is currently 3.6 points behind third place.  Early in the season Taylor's skating look lethargic and her jump were inconsistent when they bothered to accompany her to a competition at all.  But in this Short Program she was back in form, and competitive for a medal.

Alissa Czisny placed fifth, 0.57 points behind Taylor.  She received four GoEs of -1 for her triple flip - double toe combination. But more damaging, she singled a Lutz.  Since a double or triple is required, that is an automatic GoE of -3, which left the skater just 0.3 points from an element that should have garnered at least 6 points.  She was scored sixth in Program Components which is a bad omen for attempting to move up in the Free Skate.

Sixth place was taken by Rachael Flatt.  She attempted triple Lutz - triple toe loop, but the toe loop was downgraded to a double.  And there in lies the controversy in this event.

After she skated, there was a loooong pause while the technical panel reviewed her elements, so it can be assumed they studied the replay intensely.  Further, six judges gave GoEs of -1 and -2, so clearly there was something wrong with the element; however, the jump was thrown deep in the Lutz corner so I could not see it.  Many observers question whether the jump was cheated or not, and many more question why Meissner's triple toe loop was not downgraded also.

Flash forward to today, and a video of the jumps on YouTube.  Looks to me like both skaters cheated their triple toes, but my opinion doesn't count.  So the calls stand that Meissner gets credit for the triple-triple and Flatt does not.

We also noticed on the internet that there has been a lot of discussion about whether the skater or coach can ask for a review.  Under the rules of U.S. Figure Skating, the calls are field of play decision that are not subject to revision, with downgrades explicitly called out in the rules as not subject to change.  Despite comments apparently made on TV, the marks can only be changed if one of the following is found: a calculation error, a data entry error, or an error in the application of the rules.


Free Skate

Starting Order - Free Skating
  1. Megan Williams-Stewart

  2. Ambar Kaiser

  3. Taylor Firth

  4. Angie Lien

  5. Megan Hyatt

  6. Becky Hughes

  7. Kylie Gleason

  8. Margaret Wang

  9. Erin Reed

  10. Megan Oster

  11. Christine Zukowski

  12. Melissa Bulanhagui

  13. Michelle Boulos

  14. Danielle Kahle

  15. Juliana Cannarozzo

  16. Alissa Czisny

  17. Rachael Flatt

  18. Katy Taylor

  19. Kimmie Meissner

  20. Emily Hughes

  21. Beatrisa Liang


Free Skating Placements
Place Skater
1 Alissa Czisny
2 Emily Hughes
3 Kimmie Meissner
4 Beatrisa Liang
5 Rachael Flatt
6 Danielle Kahle
7 Juliana Cannarozzo
8 Michelle Boulos
9 Megan Oster
10 Megan Williams-Stewart
11 Taylor Firth
12 Katy Taylor
13 Kylie Gleason
14 Melissa Bulanhagui
15 Christine Zukowski
16 Megan Hyatt
17 Margaret Wang
18 Erin Reed
19 Ambar Kaiser
20 Becky Hughes
21 Angie Lien


This was an event that even Sasha Cohen could have won.  So many ladies, so may mistakes.

Kimmie Meissner held on to win her first National title, with a Free Skate performance that was third best.  Nicely expressive in some sections, several errors ruined the mood -- most notably a hand down and step out of triple Lutz, and a poorly controlled landing on the second jump of triple Lutz - triple toe.  Her flying sit spin also received four GoEs of -1.  The program was scored third best in elements and second best in Program Components.  Also troubling, in view her prospects at Worlds this year, her spins and sequences were called levels 2 and 3, with no level 4s.  Program Components were only high 6s to low 7s, where she really needs to be up in the 8s.  "I'm very happy I was able to keep a hold of the lead," she said.  "It was a tough competition tonight.  I'm excited."

Emily Hughes, who skated after Meissner, had a chance to take the gold, but it slipped away from her when she fell on a triple flip.  It was the only element that received negative GoEs.  She did not let the error through her off and she skated well for the majority of the program.  The program was enthusiastically presented, and the audience responded with a standing ovation.  She was scored first in elements, but third in Program Components, receiving scores of 5.75 through 7.50.  Said Hughes, "I've learned a lot over the last season and I've had some good skates and bad skates and I realize that even if I fall, if I get up and keep going I can still do well, and I was really proud of myself that I did that."

Alissa Czisny, won the Free Skate, and moved up from fifth in the short to third overall.  Three of her jump elements had negative GoE, including a two footed and cheated attempt at triple flip.  The quality of her spins and step sequences, however, (which received GoEs of 2s and 3s) more than made up for the losses in jumps.  She was scored second in elements, and first in Program Components, with scores in the range 6.50 to 8.00.  Had she gotten around on the triple flip, she would have taken the gold medal.  Her performance was elegant and fluid, and the audience loved it, responding with the biggest ovation of the afternoon.  Said Czisny, "I really wasn't thinking about it [the audience reaction] until my last jump and I was like 'I'm doing it; it's actually happening.'  Then I tried to focus on my last jump and after that the whole crowd was lifting me up."

Skating last, Beatrisa Liang, who was second in the short, had her chance not only t medal, but to win, but did not have a good skate.  She was sluggish and the routine itself is a bit thin in choreography and transitions.  She missed triple flip twice, falling both times.  A week landing on triple loop also pulled down her score.  Her Program components were only in the mid 6s.  She was scored fifth in elements and fourth in Program Components.

Katy Taylor who was fourth in the Short Program, self destructed in the Free Skate.  She missed five jump elements, with two falls and three jumps singled.  She dropped to twelfth in the Free Skate to eighth overall.

Finally, a bit of mathematical trivia, under the former method of combining event segments, Czisny would have won the gold medal, Hughes the silver and Meissner the bronze, since the three would have been tied in total factored place, and the Free Skate would have decided the results.


Alissa Czisny Emily Hughes Kimmie Meissner


2007 Senior Ladies Medalists

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