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US National Championships Update: Ladies short program quick thoughts

The ladies short program just finished at the US National figure skating championships. Here were my quick thoughts of the girls I saw.

Group 1

Yasmin Siraj: missed. falls on triple lutz 51.96

Mirai Nagasu raring to go: had what looked like attack but then she had a wacky landing on her triple loop. The combo and the double axel were fine, though. She doesn't have the best speed in the rest of the program and I don't love this program. Interesting spins. She should still score well despite the troubles on the loop landing. 59.02

Haley Dunne: Triple toe/triple toe, but commentator thinks may be underrotated. Don't love this footwork. Gotta respect the emotion and solid skating. Nice layback. Great senior debut and way to try the triple/triple. 51.41. Pretty low compared with Siraj.

Morgan Bell: Awesome spread eagle into double axel right off the top - forward on double axel but that impressed me. Messed up the combo end, Fall on the triple lutz, kind of a terrible-looking takeoff. Little too much "upper body movement" for me at the beginning of the footwork but I like the close. 38.55

Group 2

Alissa Czisny: This was a lovely, beautiful, gorgeous skate. And the first two jumping passes were perfect. And then she popped the axel, maybe caught an edge or something. But wow, she is just miles ahead of everyone else in presentation and I'mgoing to look at the pop as a fluke. Darn! Things were going so well up til then. 63.14

McKinzie Daniels: missed. 49.96

Nina Jiang: Wow, she is only 14 but definitely is mature for her years. This is an impressive debut. Elegant dress, she landed all of her jumps. 53.66 puts her in third,nice.

Joelle Forte: HOlds onto triple lutz landing and does complete the combo. Slow footwork but stays on one foot for awhile. Her other jumps are fine. Not an amazingly choreographed program but she looks lovely out there. Nice smile. 48.13 for seventh place. Not fab.

Angela Wang: missed. 49.98

Group 3

Aimee Buchanan (last minute replacement for Samantha Cesario - sad! Could not seem to land any of her jumps. She was a very last minute replacement so I am sure that is really jarring. But good for her for taking the challenge. 37.77. Tenth place.

Agnes Zawadzki: Love the eye contact with the audience. Beautiful triple toe/triple toe! Gorgeous triple lutz! Wow! Great double axel, nice spins. This is just the best we've seen her all season. What a wonderful short program. 66.24. Well-deserved with that program. How great!

Vanessa Lam: She does a spread eagle into double axel...then triple lutz/double loop combo. It looked a little odd but it was clean I think. Triple flip. Pretty good speed in this program. 54.47

Caroline Zhang: Great triple loop/triple loop (COME AGAIN???). Double axel. Dare I say she looks lovely out there? She is still almost at a standstill during footwork but she powers through. Her spins are solid. Ack I hope that second triple loop is not underrotated. She needs points for trying something actually challenging. I can't believe what I just saw, I mean, great job for Caroline Zhang. What improvement! This is a very interesting night! 60.18. She could not quite compete with Czisny but she is in third place.

Ashley Wagner: She is following up after some very impressive skates. Great triple flip/double two combo, nice entry into triple loop and solid double axel. She's got a great presence out there tonight. Nice execution of the footwork and spread eagle. Another awesome job! I am LOVING this competition. Lots of great skating going on. 63.06 for third place. I would have maybe had her ahead of Czisny tonight, but I guess at least they are close. a night of great comebacks...could Rachael Flatt be next? We shall see....

Group Four

Rachael Flatt has friends in the stands. That is nice. Good triple lutz/double toe, good triple flip. Seemed very tired and singled the axel. I hate this footwork sequence with every fiber of my being. Program started out great, fizzled a bit. 52.71, eighth place. not good.

Sophia Adams: Jumps all landed, nice spins. Pleasant enough program. Nice debut for Adams. 51.40.

Kiri Baga: Nice triple lutz. Triple toe/double toe. She is tiny! Holds onto the double axel. Very odd spin. Or some might say interesting. Wow. Another odd position. Like a spider has broken its leg in that sit spin. That is what it looks like to me. This footwork is ok but she does not look particularly refined. Still, this was a nice program with good energy at parts. Well done. 50.15 for twelfth place.

Christina Gao: Triple flip (not great landing)/double toe. Triple loop close to the boards. She is still very slouchy. She looks much better than she did earlier in the season. It wasn't amazing but it was a good effort. 54.83, in sixth place for now. Not bad for her.

Leah Keiser: Falls on back end of triple lutz/triple toe combo. Good triple flip. Finishes up nicely. 52.44 into tenth place.

So your top six for the ladies final:

1) Agnes Zawadski 66.24

2) Alissa Czisny 63.14

3) Ashley Wagner 63.06

4) Caroline Zhang 60.18

5) Mirai Nagasu 59.02

6) Christina Gao 54.83