Five favorites: Ladies
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 1
Hometown: Bowling Green, Ohio
Short-program music: The Mask of Zorro soundtrack
Free-skate music: Doctor Zhivago soundtrack
Around the rink: Won collegiate titles for Bowling Green in 2005 and 2009. Showed promise with gold at Skate Canada in 2005 but struggled after that with a pair of disappointing seventh-place finishes at nationals. Won bronze in 2007 in Spokane but was 15th at worlds and then faded to ninth at nationals in ’08 and contemplated retirement. Won the Nebelhorn Trophy competition in Oberstdorf, Germany in 2008 and 2009 and was 11th at worlds after her national title.
2009 U.S. Championship finish: Did not compete.
Hometown: Los Angeles
Short-program music: Espana Cani
Free-skate music: Moonlight Sonata
Around the rink: Two-time Olympian (fourth in 2002, second in 2006), placed second twice in worlds. Won five straight medals at nationals, capped by gold in 2006 but hasn’t competed the past three seasons and withdrew from the two events she entered this season.
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 2
Hometown: Del Mar, Calif.
Short-program music: Sing, Sing, Sing by Louis Prima
Free-skate music: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Around the rink: First started skating pairs, winning a 2004 U.S. intermediate title. Was national novice singles champion in 2005 at age 12 and was second in juniors the next year. Made her senior debut with a fifth-place finish in Spokane in 2007 and went on to win gold as a junior at the International Challenge Cup. In 2008 finished second and went on to win the world junior title because she was too young to compete at the senior level. She was second again last season and fifth at world seniors. Mentored by Dorothy Hamill.
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 4
Hometown: Alexandria, Va.
Short-program music: Once Upon a Time in America soundtrack
Free-skate music: Polovtsian Dances by Alexander Borodin
Around the rink: A military brat born in Germany, took up skating in Alaska. Won junior gold at the Triglav Trophy in Slovenia in her first major international competition. Won bronze at the 2007 world juniors after placing third in Spokane. Was third in seniors in 2008. Last year won the free skate to vault from 12th to fourth at nationals and then finished third again at world juniors.
2009 U.S. Championship finish: 5
Hometown: Arcadia, Calif.
Short-program music: Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack
Free-skate music: Carmen by Georges Bizet
Around the rink: Had a successful national debut in Spokane, winning the junior title and went on the place second in world, helping the U.S. to its first sweep with Caroline Zhang first and Ashley Wagner third. Was surprise 2008 senior champion, becoming the first to win junior and senior titles back to back since Joan Tozzer in 1937-38, and was a third behind Zhang and Rachel Flatt at worlds as U.S. swept the podium again. Last year a poor short program, generally her strength, relegated her to fifth at nationals.