Here were my thoughts on the final group in the ladies free skate.
Christina Gao: Christina Gao has been accepted to Harvard. Unlike Racheal Flatt. heh. I am so mean. Look at that triple flip//triple toe. Nicejob. She is doign stellar at the beginning of this program. Landing everything, some nice spinning. I haven't loved her posture but I will overllook it for tha tnice layback. Jump after jump...killing it. Uuuuntil that salchow, which she landed on two feet. But she really does look better than we've seen her look all year. She's all smiles during the footwork, which makes her look adorable. It isn't the fastest but I love to see her happy. 111.53, 116.36 total, 1st place for now.
MIrai Nagasu: All grown up Mirai Nagasu. She does not look like she's feeling the music, she's just thinking about jumps. Doubles the toe off the double axel unfortunately. Nice spiral as always. SAD she falls at the end of the three jump combination. And then she falls on a triple lutz. Not good. Pops a triple flip. Absolutely no ability to refocus. She starts landing some jumps again. Sandra Bezic said someone called out her name before the program and she looked to see who it was and that no other skater would look to see who it was. Interesting. I guess she is all grown up and still a little girl. Aaand then she has some lovely spins to close the program. She didn't connect with this program; she hasn't all season. 104.97 for free, 163.99 for total, 3rd for now.
Caroline Zhang: How can you not love Caroline Zhang coming in here in fourth place after the short? This is wonderful. She was 12th here last year. She even looks happy. Steps out of opening triple flip. Gigantic kick on that triple lutz but she landed it and completed the combo. Inside edge spins here. She just keeps landing everything. She's not giving the best presentation I've ever seen but she is really just ticking off these jumps like she hasn't done in years. Slow footwork as usual. Big smile after the final double axel and gorgeous spinning at the end. Wonderful, wonderful comeback for Caroline Zhang! 113.01, total 173.19, first for now.
Ashley Wagner: Wagner is such a comer when it comes to free skate. And here she is, in a good position heading into the free. She has so much feeling right from the beginning. Three jump combo off the top looks good. Then she does a double axel/triple toe, although Bezic thought it was two-footed. I didn't catch that. Great triple lutz. Lovely spiral. Great layback. Spread eagle into triple loop, awesome. She pops a salchow, bleh. Wow, she is just nailing jump after jump...too bad about that salchow. And she's still got some energy here at the end. Great, great, job for Wagner! Snaps from John Nicks. 123.96 for free skate, 187.02 total. 1st for now.
Alissa Czisny: Tough act to follow for Czisny. Right away I am reminded how gorgeous this program is. And she puts a hand down on the triple lutz landing. Does a double axel/double toe rather than triple toe. Triple flip is good. Glorious spiral. No one has the absolute control over the spins that Alissa Czisny has. Ugh, terrible second triple lutz ends in a fall. So now she must be worrying about her spot on the world team. Comes back with two triple loops, so that's good. 116.86, total 180.00. Second place.
Agnes Zawadzki: She apparently almost quit skating after last season because she wasn't having fun. Well, this short program was sure a lot of fun to watch so I hope she enjoyed it. Good opening double axel/triple toe combo. Nice layback. Ugh, a fall on the triple lutz. Almost hits the boards on the next combo, but holds on. A fall on the triple salchow. She is still trying to sell this footwork at the end. 107.86 for the free, 174.10 overall. Third places.
And my, how happy does Ashley Wagner look? What a great moment.
1) Ashley Wagner
2) Alissa Czisny
3) Agnes Zawadzki
And your fourth place feel-good story, Caroline Zhang.