Ah! I've put this off to the last possible second, but there's no avoiding it any longer as the event gets underway tomorrow : )
Pairs: Okay, so this pick is based on absolutely no data point whatsoever. It's just a guess/stab in the dark. Overall, I say its gonna be a messy event, with none of the top teams skating well. I will pick Kayne/OShea to have some Nationals magic again and skate the most consistently for their second title, followed by Castelli/Tran, who will surprise and make it on their first world team. Denney/Frazier will finish third, with Cain/LeDuc having a fantastic debut for fourth.
Ladies: I'm betting on Ashley Wagner to be the most consistent of the event to win her fourth title. I think she has the motivation to win and and that her free skate will be her strength. I feel like something big is coming for Mirai Nagasu. While her triple axel could play spoiler here, I'll count on consistent skates to put her in second place and on the World team. While I think this event will be a step in the right direction for Gracie Gold, I'm thinking there will still be doubt in her mind and therefore, some mistakes to finish a close third. I am a Mariah Bell fan and hoping she can pull off some Skate America magic to earn pewter. This is an important event for her; she needs to follow through on that bronze from the fall.
Dance: I don't see anything drastic happening here. Shibutanis for gold, Chock/Bates silver and Hubbell/Donohue third. Hawayek/Baker will race back to their fourth place standing with their gorgeous free dance.
Men: Well, Nathan Chen is going to win, haha. And then after that? I am really pulling for Jason Brown here for second. I think we need him for the World team. Vincent Zhou will have a great event and finish in a close third. Max Aaron will impress with his short, but not be able to follow it up in the free and end up in fourth.
Happy watching and tweeting! I'll be in Kansas City for the ladies free on Saturday and following all the other events live. Here's to a good event ; )
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Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.