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2015 Skate America: Ladies Short Program

by Anne Calder and George Rossano





Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) made her Grand Prix debut after a successful junior 2014-15 season.  The reigning World Junior and JGP Champion schooled the experienced seniors in how to maximize the technical scores.

First, her three required jumping passes were done after the halfway mark to receive the 10% additional bonus points available, where most competitors only place two jump elements in the second half, and often not the highest value jump combination.

Itís actually the second season that Iíve been skating with this layout of my program, and at first it was a little harder to do, but now since Iíve been doing it the second year Iím already used to it. Obviously Iím doing it to make my program harder and to get more points,Ē she explained.

Second, Medvedeva jumps with her hand held above her head, a move begun by American skater, Brian Boitano, and originally dubbed the ĎTano Lutzí. This embellishment counts as a positive factor in scoring a jump and earns the skater an increase in GoE of 1.

ďIíve been jumping with my hand up for about two years now. It was to make it harder. I can do it with the Lutz, flip and sometimes with the loop, but I donít do it in the program because itís not as consistent. Iíve tried to jump with both hands over the head, but itís more stable with one hand,Ē the fifteen year old added.

Third, all her spins and steps were executed at level four.  The only thing that Medvedeva could have done to increase the base value of her performance was to have executed a triple Lutz instead of the lesser value triple loop for her solo jump, and used the tripe loop in combination.

"Overall Iím pretty pleased with my performance," she said. "I was a little over in the combination, but I donít think that affected my performance so I can say that I am pleased."

Describing how it is training among the current strong field of young Russian ladies she remarked, "Iím looking up to the other skaters because they have been skating in the seniors not for the first year. Iíve said it before, that figure skaters on and off the ice are two different things: Off the ice we are friends, we hang out together and have a normal relationship. On the ice we are competitors and we push each other. Itís not like we are enemies. Every year there are new girls coming up and you have to be at the top of your game if you want to be a competitor. But if you work hard enough and give it everything, things will fall in to place.

Gracie Gold, 2015 U.S .silver medalist, took command of the ice in a sexy tango number with a strong opening triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination. She later doubled an intended triple flip, however, and earned zero points for the element, as triple is required in the short program.  The base score for a successful triple flip is 5.3.which was the difference between first and second place.

Speaking about her performance she said, ďIím really pleased with how I performed today, but also very very frustrated. You know, the things that I did in the program were so good, but you just canít mess up a jump in the short program. Itís just really frustrating because I did the two [jumps] that were harder for me, which would be the triple-triple and my double Axel, and I conquered those, and just didnít hit the triple flip, which is just so frustrating to me. But overall Iím pleased and itís a great start to the Grand Prix and the season in general."

Gold added, ďSo now I just regroup for tomorrow and try to keep it on the same upward slope."

Gold also lost points by giving up a level on her closing combination spin, which was called level three due to the spin having only two basic positions. In components, though, she was scored best.

Describing the consistency with her triple flip she remarked, "I wasnít really looking at it [the flip] from a track record point of view, but itís the one [jump] that, in practice, I hit all the time. I would say that the biggest mistake is ĎOh, I put my hand down,í and thatís a big surprise. I would say my triple flip is really consistent. I missed it at the Olympics, so maybe thatís something to look at, but for me, it feels like one of my easier jumps Ė triple flip and triple Lutz. It was great on warm up and great on practice and I guess itís just early in the season still. Weíre going to do it in France, so thatís whatís most important."  She then added with alaught, "Well, weíre going to do it in the long tomorrow, which is also really important, and then weíre going to do it in France."

Satoko Miyahara, 2015 World silver medalist from Japan scored just 0.27 points behind Gold in third place. She commented on her performance

ďI think it was not my best, but I am really happy to be in third place. I was a little nervous, but I didnít miss any jumps."

Though she stood up on triple flip, the jump was called under-rotated and also received an edge attention.

Miyahara gave a strong performance to "Firebird," and was scored second in components.

Karen Chen, 2015 U.S. bronze medalist was fourth with a light and lyrical performance to ďNessun Dorma.Ē  The young Californian described her skate, saying, "Iím very happy with how it went. I came here to do my best and do a clean program because Iíve been doing it at practice, and I want to treat this like a practice. So I need to calm myself down, just go for everything and be aggressive.Ē

Chen gave up points by under-rotating triple toe loop in her jump combination, and only reaching level three in her step sequence.  She was sixth in components, coming up short particularly in transitions and choreography.

Maria Bell of the U.S. had a disappointing skate in her Grand Prix debut and place eleventh.

ďThere were a little bit of nerves, but itís more than anything the pressure I put on myself. I think Iíve come a long way since summer to now, so I feel really good about it. Iíve just got to stay in the moment,Ē she noted in the Mixed Zone,Ē said the Colorado-trained skater.

Bell had a downgraded triple Lutz, with an edge call and a level two step sequence, but more significantly her program was not competitive in components to be among the leaders.

Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS), still working to come out of the doldrums after the 2014 Sinter Olympics,  placed fifth, just 0.04 points behind Chen.  She under-rotated a triple flip and also gave up levels in two spins and her step sequence, enough points in base value to be the difference between third and fifth.