2010 U.S. Nationals

Senior Ladies




Place Skater SP FS
1 Rachael Flatt 3 1
2 Mirai Nagasu 1 3
3 Ashley Wagner 4 2
4 Sasha Cohen 2 4
5 Christina Gao 5 5
6 Amanda Dobbs 6 7
7 Beatrisa Liang 10 6
8 Alexe Gilles 9 8
9 Emily Hughes 8 10
10 Alissa Czisny 7 11
11 Caroline Zhang 11 9
12 Melissa Bulanhagui 14 12
13 Becky Bereswill 15 13
14 Samantha Cesario 16 15
15 Laney Diggs 18 16
16 Kristiene Gong 12 21
17 Blake Rosenthal 17 18
18 Chelsea Morrow 13 20
19 Christina-Maria Sperduto 23 14
20 Tatyana Khazova 19 19
21 Ellie Kawamura 21 17
22 Rebecca Stern 22 22
-- Kayla Howey 20 w

Photos copyright 2010 by George S. Rossano


Short Program

Starting Order - Short Program
  1. Tatyana Khazova

  2. Rebecca Stern

  3. Rachael Flatt

  4. Alissa Czisny

  5. Samantha Cesario

  6. Christina Gao

  7. Mirai Nagasu

  8. Chelsea Morrow

  9. Alexe Gilles

  10. Ellie Kawamura

  11. Caroline Zhang

  12. Amanda Dobbs

  13. Laney Diggs

  14. Melissa Bulanhagui

  15. Sasha Cohen

  16. Christina-Maria Sperduto

  17. Beatrisa Liang

  18. Emily Hughes

  19. Becky Bereswill

  20. Blake Rosenthal

  21. Kayla Howey

  22. Kristiene Gong

  23. Ashley Wagner


Short Program Placements
Place Skater
1 Mirai Nagasu
2 Sasha Cohen
3 Rachael Flatt
4 Ashley Wagner
5 Christina Gao
6 Amanda Dobbs
7 Alissa Czisny
8 Emily Hughes
9 Alexe Gilles
10 Beatrisa Liang
11 Caroline Zhang
12 Kristiene Gong
13 Chelsea Morrow
14 Melissa Bulanhagui
15 Becky Bereswill
16 Samantha Cesario
17 Blake Rosenthal
18 Laney Diggs
19 Tatyana Khazova
20 Kayla Howey
21 Ellie Kawamura
22 Rebecca Stern
23 Christina-Maria Sperduto

So many ladies, so few Olympic berths!

Twenty three ladies started the Ladies event and five of these began the Short Program with a reasonable chance of making the Olympic team.  After it was completed only three remain in serious contention to make the team and one other retains an outside chance of moving up into the top two.

The event got down to serious business in the first warmup group where Rachael Flatt skated third and Alissa Czisny fourth.  Flatt has placed her hopes on including triple flip - triple toe loop in both the short and long programs.  Her strength has been her jumps, and they form the basis of her competition strategy here.  The same is also true Wagner who also relies heavily on the jumps for her points.  In contrast Cohen's and Czisny's strengths lie in spins, sequences and components.  Completing the top group of contenders, Nagasu showed herself to be a more balanced skater, not necessarily the strongest any one area, but sufficiently strong in all areas to score well and take the leas in the Short Program.

Flatt opened with triple flip - triple toe loop, followed by triple Lutz.  Both were called and marked clean, with one judge going to -1 on the triple-triple.  Later in the program her double Axel was clean with six +1 GoEs from the judges.  Her spins were mostly well done, but her layback spin, always the weakest of the three, did not even reach its usual level 2.  The two features in this spin are eight rotations in the layback followed by a change to sideways position.  She did not get credit for at least one of this tonight.  The first half of her program was a bit slow, but she picked up the pace in the second half, and her straight line step sequence was well done with GoEs of +2 and +3.  The step sequence and the closing spin contribute significantly to the presentation value of the program.  Her components were mostly in the mid to upper sevens.  Not Olympic medal territory, but respectable.  Her total score for the segment was 69.35.

Skating next, Czisny opened with a fall on a downgraded triple Lutz for her intended combination.  On the following flip out of footwork she doubled the jump, wic also did not have a clean landing edge.  After a superb spiral seqence she followed with a nice double Axel that was scored with +1s.  Her spins were also well done with the layback spin (level 3) receiving +2s and +3s.  The errors in the two jump elements, however, were fatal and also pulled down her component scores.  Her component marks averaged near seven, with Transitions and Performance/Execution in the sixes.  Her total score of 54.18 put her over 14 points behind Flatt and it was clear she had dug such a deep hole for herself she is virtually out of the running regardless of how well she skated in the Free Skate.

Mirai Nagasu was the only contender in the second warmup group, skating second in the group.  She also opened with a clean triple Lutz - double toe loop, though one judge scored it at -2.  The combination was followed by a clean triple flip with one judge marking it at -1.

Nagasu's program was laid out very similar to Czisny's  the only differences in the element layout being a circular step sequence for element seven instead of a straight line and a closing change sit spin instead of change combination spin.  Her program was well presented, skated with confidence which grew as the program progressed.  She appeared to be the fastest of the top ladies in the event.  Her component marks were mainly in the mid sevens with a few lower marks for transitions and a few marks reaching 8.25.  Her marks were also not Olympic medal territory, but respectable.  Her total score of 70.06 put her 0.71 points ahead of Flatt and set the bar for the rest of the event. Ultimately she was not overtaken and ended the event in possession of  first place.

After nearly a year of speculation and rumor, Sasha Cohen showed her old form, skating fourth in the third warmup.  Like most of the top ladies before her she opened with triple Lutz - double toe loop followed by triple flip.  Three judges gave negative GoEs for the combination, perhaps because they though the Lutz was flutzed, or because of a less than solid landing on the double toe loop.  The Technical Panel, however, did not make an edge call for the element.

After a nice flying sit spin (level 4) she landed double Axe, both of which received marks of mostly +1.  Her following signature spiral sequence was scored with +2s and +3s and was as solid and spectacular as ever.  Her layback spin was also well done, but the closing change foot combination spin was the crème of the crop with a level 4 and GoEs of +2s and +3 (except for one stingy judge at +1).   Her performance was vintage Cohen, and the judges responded with components that averaged in the mid sevens, with one judge going to 8.75, but also two marks below seven for Transitions.  With a total segment score of 69.63, Cohen squeaked past Flatt by 0.28 points.

Ashley Wagner was the last to skate, and had the benefit of long knowing how the other top ladies had been scored before her.  She planned to open with triple flip - triple toe loop, but executed a triple-double instead.  It was scored mainly at +1, with two +2s and one -1.  Following the combination Wagner fell on triple Lutz.  In the middle section of the program she then executed the two required sequences and two spins with level 3s and 4s, all scored with GoEs of +1s and +2s.  She closed with the layback spin which was called level 3, though she attempted level 4.  It received GoEs ranging from -1 though +2.  Go figure.  Ecxept for the fall, her program was cleanly skated with reasonable, and some attempt at expressing the music.  But overall it was a cold performance.  Her component marks ranged from the mid sixes to the mid sevens with Skating Skills and Choreography scored the highest at Transitions the lowest.  Her total segment score of 62.44 put her in fourth place, 7.08 points behind second palce.

The three highest scoring ladies are essentially tied, so anything remains possible in the Free Skate.  At seven points back, Wagner has the greater challenge in trying to move up.  It is not an insurmountable deficit to overcome, but a significant deficit nonetheless.

Emily Hughes placed eighth in the Short Program due to doubling a triple Lutz, and non-competitive components ranging from 4.00 through 7.50, but averaging in the low sixes.

Carline Zhang placed eleventh in the Short Program due to an edge call on triple flip and a fall on a downgraded triple loop, combined with component scores averaging in the low sixes.


Free Skate

Starting Order - Free Skating
  1. Kayla Howey

  2. Christina-Maria Sperduto

  3. Rebecca Stern

  4. Laney Diggs

  5. Ellie Kawamura

  6. Tatyana Khazova

  7. Melissa Bulanhagui

  8. Blake Rosenthal

  9. Chelsea Morrow

  10. Kristiene Gong

  11. Becky Bereswill

  12. Samantha Cesario

  13. Caroline Zhang

  14. Beatrisa Liang

  15. Alissa Czisny

  16. Emily Hughes

  17. Alexe Gilles

  18. Amanda Dobbs

  19. Christina Gao

  20. Ashley Wagner

  21. Sasha Cohen

  22. Rachael Flatt

  23. Mirai Nagasu


Free Skating Placements
Place Skater
1 Rachael Flatt
2 Ashley Wagner
3 Mirai Nagasu
4 Sasha Cohen
5 Christina Gao
6 Beatrisa Liang
7 Amanda Dobbs
8 Alexe Gilles
9 Caroline Zhang
10 Emily Hughes
11 Alissa Czisny
12 Melissa Bulanhagui
13 Becky Bereswill
14 Christina-Maria Sperduto
15 Samantha Cesario
16 Laney Diggs
17 Ellie Kawamura
18 Blake Rosenthal
19 Tatyana Khazova
20 Chelsea Morrow
21 Kristiene Gong
22 Rebecca Stern
w Kayla Howey


A thrilling Ladies final capped off the 2010 Championships.  The pressure was palpable as the ladies fought for the National title and for the two berths on the Olympic team.  Three good skates saw the top three places move among the final three, while Sashs Cohen's comeback came to an end after only one competition this season.

In the third warmup, Alssia Czisny and Sarah Hughes attempted to redeem themselves to the extent they could, as neither was in contention for the podium at this point.

Beatrisa Linag had an excellent skate and moved up to sixth in the long and seventh overall.  It was a nicely performed energetic and enthusiastic skate.

BeBe was followed by Alissa Czisny, whose program was a disaster.  She had major errors on five jump elements, including a fourth combination which received zero points. The remainder of the program was also off with her program components averaging an anemic 6.75

Czisny was followed by Emily Hughes who had major errors (downgrades) in four jump elements and fell twice. She skated with decent speed and power with some drama in the presentation to "Gone with the Wind", but not enough to help her move up.  Her components averaged near 6.25, dropping her to 10th in the long and ninth overall.

In the final warmup group newcomers Christine Gao and Amanda Dobbs both showed they will be players in the next generation.  They ended up in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Dobbs had two falls and a step out of double Axel. Nevertheless is was still a strong skate which made a strong positive impression.  She also placed seventh her in Senior Paris.  A big future potentially awaits her.   Her component scores averaged 6.25-6.50.

Christine Gao had one fall, and edge call on triple Lutz, and a double Axel gone bad, but otherwise it was a strong skate.  She skated with good speed and promising expression.  She will be part of the next generation.  Her components averaged around 6.25, but her elements are currently her greater strength, being scored fourth in TES.

Of the top four ladies, Ashley Wagner then skated first.  It was a strong lovely skate and she showed herself to be a fighter after being seven points back in the Short Program..  Wagner did not throw the triple-triple and skated with good speed and presentations.  She had an edge alert on a triple Lutz, and a triple Salchow was scored with GoEs of -1s and -2s  (two footed?).  Her components averaged near 7.50 with her Choreography scored at 7.79.  She placed second in the Free Skate, but could not sufficiently overcome her deficit in the short to move higher than third place overall.

Skating next, Sasha Cohen needed to deliver a strong Free Skate, but did not.  From the start it was clear she did not have a strong enough program to hold her position from the Short Program and was not on top of her game.  She had one fall on triple flip and four other jumps were scored negative.  It was a brave performance but short of the mark in Transitions and in Presentation, with some pretty skating in places but did not attack to the extent needed.  Her components averaged 7.25-7.50.  While Cohen looked ready for the Short Program, she was not for the long.  With another six months work this would have been a wonderful program, but six months is something she did not have.

Rachell Flatt followed Cohen with a solid performance with a few minor jump issues.  SHe landed triple flip - triple toe loop, with six of the judges going to -1 for the GoE, for a less than secure landing edge on the triple toe loop.  The program had some nice moments in the step and spiral sequences.  The program was a tad slow, but got the job done.  It is a decently choreographed program, but not as captivating as the Short Program where she really gets into character.  Her components averaged 7.75.  She moved up to first in the Free Skate and captured her first National title.

Skating last with a chance to recapture the National title, Mirai Nagasu, gave a splendid solid performance.  It was not perfectly performed but still superb. But when the results were posted she was in third place for the long and second overall, to the confusion of all.  Later when the protocol came out the result was more understandable.  She had an edge alert on her opening triple Lutz and downgrades on two triple toe loops and a triple Lutz.

The downgrades must have been very close because the audience missed them, most of the press missed them, I missed then, Scott Hamilton missed them, and even David Kirby doing the Skatebug commentary did not call them -- though he did say they would need to be reviewed.  The three downgrades easily cost her the 11.33 margin of victory for Flatt.  Nagasu's PCS was the highest of the group and her components averaged around 7.75.  With a second place finish she was named to the Olympic Team, along with Flatt.


2010 Senior Ladies Medallists
Mirai Nagasu, Rachael Flatt, Ashley Wagner, Sasha Cohen

Return to title page