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Senior Ladies Preview

Well, I missed the preview boat on the ice dancing. Tomorrow starts the ladies senior competition from the U.S. Championships in Cleveland, Ohio. I have absolutely no idea how to predict this one. I believe Philip Hersh guessed former Junior World Champion Caroline Zhang. Zhang is a really beautiful skater, but nothing I've seen from her this season would have me believe that she's going to take this one. I have to go with Rachael Flatt, who's been the strongest ladies skater all season, in my opinion. Reigning Champ Mirai Nagasu lost training time with an ankle injury and has also been learning to deal with a growth spurt, and she hasn't looked like she's in championship form yet this season. I would also keep my eye on Ashley Wagner, who has been skating pretty explosively, if not entirely cleanly. I'm not going to give exact podium predictions this time, but I expect Flatt, Zhang, Wagner to be in the mix, with an outside chance of some momentum for Alissa Czisny and Mirai Nagasu, but they would both have to skate cleaner than we're used to seeing them lately. I don't see Beatrisa Liang or any of the relative newbies (which is a funny thing to say considering how young Zhang, Nagasu, and Flatt are) winning the competition, but we shall see. The short program is tomorrow!