We got an exciting sneak peek this weekend at what the season will hold, with several top American ladies debuting new programs at the Glacier Falls Club event. Thanks to all who shared scores, videos and info for all of us who could not be there! Here’s my thoughts on what we’ve seen so far…
Gracie Gold- Short Program Video Long Program Video
Gracie debuted two new programs for the upcoming season and I was pleasantly surprised that they were a much needed departure from the type of programs we’ve seen from her the last two seasons. Her El Choclo short program and Firebird free skate add some nice variety to her repertoire and she already looks more comfortable on the ice with these music choices. Most notable is that she (and her programs) look to be in fantastic shape for so early in the season.
Technically, she skated strong- with only a hand down on her 3Lz-3T in the short and a doubled 3Lz in the long. Artistically, I liked Lori Nicol’s overall choreography in these two numbers and Gracie finally showed some improvement in interpreting her music.
Gracie won the event with a score of 202.54 (70.39 + 132.15).
Courtney Hicks- Short Program Video Ladies Free Skate Video (all)
Courtney Hicks also debuted her two new programs at this competition, a short program to A Feeling Begins and a long program to music from Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Overall, I think her team did a good job in picking out music for this season. Courtney skates best to powerful music, to match her powerful jumps.
Speaking of which, she made a triple axel attempt in her free program, but it was downgraded and she fell on it. A bold move for Hicks, perhaps the the addition of the axel will grab some points for her as that element develops.
Courtney finished second overall SP: 65.32 LP: 107.73 .
Mariah Bell- Ladies Short Program Video (all) Ladies Free Skate Video (all)
Mariah’s short program for the year will be Storm Cry and her free skate will be to Born on the 4th of July. I was a big fan of her free skate- I liked the music and choreography and I thought she did a great job of carrying the program from beginning to end.
In the technical department, she suffered from falls in both programs but it is early, so hopefully those issues will smooth out as she adjusts to the new music.
Third place Bell had a score of 54.72 in the short and 166.41 in the long.
Polina Edmunds- Short Program Video Ladies Free Skate Video (all)
Polina’s music choices took a HUGE step forward in the maturity department this season… hallelujah! Moonlight Sonata was a good selection for her short program; the music fits her style very well. I am hoping the concept of her Gone With the Wind long program will flesh out better in the next few months before her Grand Prix events.
In the short program, she had the highest TES to take the lead. In her free skate, she only completed one triple jump. This article quotes Polina as saying that was a planned decision, to better focus on her choreography.
Polina finished fourth (72.04 + 160.09).
Karen Chen- Ladies Short Program Video (all)
Karen competed here only in the short program and then withdrew for the long program, reportedly due to competing at a small event again this weekend. Technically, she had a bit of a rough skate, but it’s early on in the season.
Her music, though, overwhelmed her in this particular performance. I’ve always admired her ability to skate to big music, but the huge, operatic vocals of this short program are a big task to live up to. I’m excited to see how this program develops as the season goes on.
Her short program score was 65.32 and had her in third place entering the free skate.
I will be back next week with a short review of the top American men's programs from Glacier Falls- See you then!
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