It was a long day with an early travel morning, and I saw a lot of skating, so I'll try to hit the highlights of what stood out for me on the first day of the competition.
At dance practice, I was struck by the power and crispness of Nicole Orford and Thomas Williams. They are improving every year at a fast pace. Thomas has always seemed to emulate Charlie White, and I could see that in O/W's Paso Doble run-through as his strong carriage reminded me of Charlie's.
In the pairs short program, Jessica Calalang and Zach Sidhu really impressed me. They're another team who has improved leaps and bounds. I thought they had a ton of personality in their short program, and they've tightened up a lot of their technical elements. I hope they can continue to learn and grow!
Finally, in the men's short program, I loved Jordan Moeller's skating. He's very tall, but he skates like he's very light on his feet. I've seen comparisons to Jeremy Abbott, and I agree. They both sort of ooze across the ice when they move. I'm looking forward to seeing much more of Jordan on the senior circuit!
Here are my photos from dance and ladies' practices, the pairs short program, and the men's short program: PHOTOS