US Figure Skating is running a fantasy league. I am not participating but some have recommended that I provide my thoughts on who will win the various pools. Here goes nothing! And for those of you familiar with my predictions, take this with a grain of salt.
Pool A (Carolina Kostner, Alissa Czisny, Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, Kanako Murakami).
Ok, so I predicted Czisny would win the competition and I'll stand by that here. Carolina Kostner has gotten the highest scores this season but she already has a Grand Prix Final berth and this is just kind of an add-on competition for her. Czisny and Tuktamisheva have more to fight for here. So while Kostner may best them all, I'm picking Czisny because if she's clean, she'll win the program components score over Tuktamisheva.
Pool B (Viktoria Helgesson, Mae Berenice Meite)
I have to go with Helgesson on this one. She's already got a medal under her belt.
Pool C (Lena Marrocco, Sonia LaFuente, Yretha Silete)
I will go with Sonia LaFuente. She came in ninth at Nebelhorn this year and she has the highest previous personal best of the three ladies.
Pool A (Michal Brezina, Patrick Chan, and Nobunari Oda)
I am going to pick Patrick Chan. Duh.
Pool B (Florent Amodio, Nan Song, Adam Rippon)
I will give this one to Adam Rippon. He has to live up to that amazing potential at some point. Imagine if he lands that quad...this could really go to any of the three, I think.
Pool C (Chafik Bresseghier, Alexander Majorov, Kevin Reynolds)
Chafik Bresseghier surprised us in the short program at last year's Trophee Eric Bompard and landed fifth at the end of the competition. Kevin Reynolds is trying a lot of quads but he doesn't get great placements. This one is hard for me...I guess I will go with Reynolds but only because he is more established. And he is trying three quads in his free skate.
Pool A (Bazarova and Larionov and Volosozhar and Trankov)
Volosozhar and Trankov. No explanation needed.
Pool B (Evora and Ladwig, Duhamel and Radford, Stulbova and Kilmov)
From the year's performances so far, it's Duhamel and Radford.
Pool C (Dong and Wu, Dube and Wolfe, James and Cipres)
I will go with Dube and Wolfe. I think they have the most scoring potential.
Pool A (Virtue and Moir, Pechalat and Bourzat, Ilinykh and Katsalapov)
Virtue and Moir.
Pool B (Cappelini and Lanotte, Chock and Bates, Gorshkova and Butikov)
I will give this one to Cappelini and Lanotte. They looked good in their debut.
Pool C (Hurtado and Diaz, Huang and Zheng)
Huang and Zheng, if only because this is their second Grand Prix appearance of the season, they have a higher personal best, and I have never seen Hurtado and Diaz.