U.S. Figure Skating is hosting a domestic virtual competition this year, called International Selection Pool (ISP) Points Challenge. During this event the top American skaters are debuting their 2020-2021 programs in front of national, international, and ISU-level judges for assignments in future international competitions. Each athlete sends in recordings of their program and gets ranked by the panel of judges in order by the best total score.
Unsurprisingly, the highest scorer in the men’s event was four-time national champion Nathan Chen. The Salt Lake City native who was on the verge of his third world championship before the event got cancelled in March sent in two strong performances very early in the new season. Four quads landed in the free skate and much improved artistry – especially evident in the short program, choreographed by Shae-Lynn Bourne – gave Chen a total of 315.32 points.
Second only to Chen was 25-year-old Jason Brown who is currently in Canada and training with Brian Orser. His musicality shined again and he did the best he could without quads, placing second for both programs and earning a total score of 268.31 points.
Aleksei Krasnozhon, who placed 6th at nationals in January, received 211.09 points overall and that was good enough for third at the ISP Points Challenge. He struggled in the short program and only received 60.44 points, which was only good enough for tenth position. A much stronger outing in the free skate raised the Russian-born skater into the top three.
Men’s full results:
The ladies’ event went on without two-time defending national champion Alysa Liu because the 15-year-old does not meet the age eligibility to participate in the senior level.
Last year’s national silver medalist Mariah Bell picked up where she left off last season with splendid performances. A clean free skate to ABBA jolted her lead by double digits and she finished with a total score of 202.78 points.
2018 national champion Bradie Tennell struggled in her short program, which placed her fourth behind Audrey Shin and Starr Andrews, and performed a shaky free skate for second position with a total of 190.17 points.
Audrey Shin, who was second after the short program, fell twice in the free skate and was unable to maintain her position. A late triple Lutz, triple toe loop combination may have helped last year’s junior national silver medalist to stay in the top three with a total of 171.30 points.
Interestingly, both of Gracie Gold’s performances were initially part of the competition but later her score was removed. According to viewers who watched the presentation early enough: the short program was very pixelated but was enough to score her into tenth place; her free skate lacked in endurance and included two singles at the end. The total score was 136.79 points and was enough for tenth spot but, again, was removed from the final standings.
Ladies’ full results:
Videos of the performances and full results can be found on the U.S. Figure Skating website.
Pairs’ full results:
Ice dance full results: