Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This and That


Nathan Chen won his second Novice National Title by a whopping 35 points!  His coach told Lynn Rutherford that he is landing triple axels on the ground.  Nathan remains an utter effervescent delight and we can only hope that his future will be filled with many bright performances.

Courtney Hicks is the new HBIC of ladies skating.  She is dominating the Junior Ladies event, as she has all season on the west coast.  John Nicks has done it again!  The master has created another skategasm.  Hicks leads Katarina Kulgeyko by seven points.  Lauren Dinh is third and Mary Beth Marley is fourth.  Nina Jiang landed her jumps cleanly, but did not have the technical content of the other ladies.  A fall on simple stroking has her in seventh place.  Her PCS were only average, despite performing brilliant choreography with effortless speed and loads of class and style.

Courtney Hicks has ever ingredient necessary to compete with the very best skaters in the world.  She is absolutely a skater who could throw a wrench in Mother Russia's plan to sweep the 2014 Olympic Games.

Videos from Canadian Nationals after the jump!







16 comments:

  1. Look at the height he gets in that shot!!
    Peter Pan! :)

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  2. I have watched Courtney since juvenile. I knew then, under the right guidance, that she would be unbelievable. Her jumps have always been high, high, high! Nicks is a perfect coach to bring her to the upper ranks of world class skating!

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  3. Blacks skating to Porggy & Bess... how original

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  4. I don't know maybe I'm hung up on Adelina Sotnikova's immaculate lines, presentation and high jumps because I'm not that impressed with Courtney Hicks. Her 3-3 was nice but I don't see much else in her skating to be overly excited about. Her spins are a bit above average but nothing jaw-droppingly spectacular(her Biellmann is rather weak to be honest); her jumping technique needs work (to be expected of a Nicks student); and though she was skating to Sasha's music while wearing her dress under the guidance of her old coach...this chick is no second coming of Sasha. Her lines, presentation and musicality don't match up though she does have Sasha beat in that ability to stay on her feet thing.

    Courtney has talent and undoubtedly she'll mature and get better...but until then I'm not that impressed just yet.

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  5. I'm not as impressed with Hicks as I think I should be. Her jumps are nice/tight, love her beginning pose and I love her spin at the end of her prg but when she strokes across the ice it's nothing special. She's a little hunch but she can improve of course. Since people were saying she would give the Russian girls a run for their money I was excited to see but she doesn't impress me as much as Adelina S. However she can challenge some of the other Russians for sure. That's still good.

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  6. I like the Jr Ladies better than the Sr Ladies this year! The field is wonderful this year (there are some years where basically no Jr girls have triple lutzes)... No, these girls are not without flaw... But they are young and there's no rush. Hicks was 5th in Novice last year, so she's making nice improvements. Hopefully the quality of her skating can continue to improve because I agree since has her weaknesses. I'm impressed how good Marley's singles skating is despite the fact that she apparently only practices singles 45 minutes a day. Imagine if she actually devoted real time to it. I hope she doesn't wear herself out with all the pairs stuff.

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  7. Should an 11 yr old be doing triple axels, even just on the ground? I wonder if Nathan Chen is progressing too fast. Hopefully he can be paced properly. He's so much fun to watch!

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  8. It is unpredictable how Jr Ladies will pan out since some get quite tall in sudden growth spurts and have trouble adjusting to that, but this is a great crop right now. Top 6 ish were all good. Actually, they all were pretty talented.

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  9. Nathan's amazing FS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCURjcilXUY

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  10. I don't think Sotnikova has immaculate lines or that great presentation yet either.

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  11. @4:53 Check out her FS this year. I actually hate her SP but her FS shows amazing control, elegance, flow, command and presence for someone who is only 14 years old. I don't know about immaculate but she's very pretty on the ice: wonderful stretch and extension. I'm not crazy about her spins though; all of her spins could use some improvement and she often loses speed on her landings but given that those are all things that can be worked out, I'd say Adelina's waaaaay ahead of the curve when it comes to the junior girls.

    I think Nina Jiang is another junior with wonderful flow and presentation on the ice (though I am sick to DEATH of hearing Sceherazade (sp?)). She has got to up ante in the technical content of her programs. It used to be that juniors were all toe loops and salchows but now they're bustin' out the 3-3s before they even get to seniors. Nina's gotta catch up if she plans on being competitive.

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  12. Sotnikova's spin positions need some work, but she's a great Jr. Nina Jiang is very young, but has already grown tallish... It may be delaying her progress in landing some harder triples... But she's only what, 13? No rush.

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  13. John Nicks teaches great jump technique. Sasha's jump technique (aside from a flutz, which was the result of her being physically weak), she had rather good techniqye on everything. Naomi didn't listen to anyone, but if you look back at all of Nicks' students over the years, they are good. Hicks hasn't been with him for that long. He is cleaning up her skating a lot and giving her positions, but she still has work to do on posture and step sequences. The Bielman isn't good, but the rest of her spin positions are rather fab. She is definitely someone with the talent to make a push for the Olympic podium. It will take work and improving, but she has ''it.''

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  14. I was very impressed with Courtney last night.

    I totally disagree about Jiang, though.Among that field, she didn't stand out at all. Weak technical elements, bland presentation and no interpretation. I don't see the hype. The choreography in her program was anything but brilliant.

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  15. Hick does have potential so we will see. Still loving that spin at the end. There are a few junior ladies to enjoy and see potential. I wonder if there is someone in the jr men's field to look out for because I didn't see any. They seem a little stocky. I hope they get taller. I watch a few of the skaters at the top and I'm not excited so far. I don't see a Amodio or Brezina

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