Tennell’s challenge continues: The 2018 U.S. champion faces Trusova at Skate Canada this weekend. Trusova broke the free-skate record (163.78 points) at a Challenger event in Slovakia last month, hitting three quads. Needless to say, she won.
“Of course, we practice together and see what (the) other girls are jumping,” she said. “Every day we want to improve more and more, because we see the other girls do more quads.”
Tennell took positives from Vegas, including a personal-best short program (75.10). But at the final press conference, she couldn’t hide a bit of frustration to this reporter’s admittedly leading question about how difficult it was to mute the quad talk.
“When you hear something over and over, it’s kind of like reprimanding a child. They just start tune it out,” Tennell said. “Everybody is so quad-crazy. … For me, it’s just better to tune out all of the buzz and focus on what I can do well.”
Skaters, check your protocols: Not only did the 21-year-old Tennell have quads to contend with, but a scoring error by the technical panel shaved several points off of her free skate. The error had no impact on the Skate America standings, but points earned during Grand Prix events are used to break ties to decide who competes at the Grand Prix Final.
Tennell opened her free skate with her most difficult element, a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination. She executed the same combination in the second half of her program, but the panel identified it as a triple-double. Since no appeal was filed prior to the medal ceremony – Tennell was the final skater, and the hour was late – the score stood.
An ISU technical specialist, who consented to be interviewed about procedures, explained.
“Technical specialists call (identify) elements, which data entry operators enter into the judging system,” the technical specialist said. “At the end of the program, the data entry operator reads the list of elements, and the technical controller and assistant technical controller review the list for accuracy. Somehow, the error escaped notice.”
Bradie Tennell (USA) The U.S. silver medalist qualified for her first Grand Prix Final, junior or senior, due to a tie-breaker as four skaters had 22 points from their two events. The 21-year-old is a consistent skater and has improved her performance skills, however, without a quad or triple Axel, it will be a challenge for her to reach the podium unless the top ladies make some major mistakes. However, making the Final alone was big step forward for the skater from Illinois.