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Who will be the ladies breakout stars of 2014-15?

Icenetwork predicts which ladies will come into their own this season
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Will Russia's Elena Radionova, competing for a country filled with world-class skaters, rise to the top in ladies this season? -Getty Images

Icenetwork asked its contributors to select their ladies breakout stars for the 2014-15 season.

Jean-Christophe Berlot

United States

Virtually no one knew about Samantha Cesario as she entered the Paris-Bercy arena for Trophée Eric Bompard last November. Yet everyone in attendance knew about her when she left the rink, just a few days later. Cesario has proved to be one of the most consistent American skaters on the senior circuit. She missed her short program at the 2014 U.S. Championships but took a deserved fourth place in the free (ahead of Ashley Wagner). Cesario's technical elements are of world standard, but they also have a unique feature: They are built from one of the strongest foundations of skating skills in the field, which makes them both reliable and open to further progress. Her skating skills are indeed remarkable, and they should rapidly be recognized by judges on the world stage.

Overall

May I have two "ex-aequo" for this category? Ladies figure skating seems to have entered a new age of fight: On one side are all those young girls reaching international acclaim via their expertise and flexibility on the technical elements; on the other side are the more mature-looking ladies. The time might have come for Anna Pogorilaya of Russia and Gracie Gold from the U.S. to rule the skating world. Both are young, both are blonde and both have decided to skate in a mature, athletic, yet very fluid and feminine way. Either one might emerge as the 2014-15 breakout star of ladies skating.

Vladislav Luchianov

United States

Ashley Cain. The 2012 U.S. junior silver medalist became an "object of desire" for American male pairs skaters, with many of them looking for new partners. However, this 19-year-old Texan rejected their proposals. According to her, she has a clear goal: making the 2018 Olympic team. Taking into account her recent performances, I think she will have a say in the new season.

Overall

It's very difficult to choose just one lady among so many great talents, but I'll venture to guess that Anna Pogorilaya, who already has experience at big competitions, will get more than a pewter medal at the 2015 World Championships.

Sarah S. Brannen

United States

If Polina Edmunds hadn't already had her breakout last season, she might be the breakout star in the upcoming one. She looked fantastic at Glacier Falls -- her polished programs were packed with effortless triple jumps and triple-triple combinations. She looks ready to medal on the Grand Prix and threaten for the U.S. title in January. If she doesn't quite fit the criteria for the "2014-15 breakout star," then Ashley Cain, who looks ready for a great season, might be the one. Cain's triple Lutz-triple loop and double Axel-triple loop combinations look good, and her programs are strong. 

Overall

Elena Radionova. It seems likely that another young Russian lady will have a great season, and although the talent pool is deep, none have demonstrated steady consistency. Radionova, the reigning world junior champion, seems as good a guess as any.

Nick McCarvel

United States

If you missed Polina Edmunds Peter Pan free skate at Glacier Falls in early August, it was epic. The surprise of the 2014 U.S. Championships is improving in leaps and bounds even after Sochi. 2015 U.S. champion? Why not.

Overall

We may have had a different breakout Olympic champion had Elena Radionova -- just 15 -- been old enough to skate in Sochi. But her senior career begins in full this year, when she could very well rise to the top of a crowded Russian field. (And let's pray for some better costumes, shall we?)

Amy Rosewater

United States

U.S. junior champion Amber Glenn is moving up to the senior ranks this season. She is capable of landing two triple-triple combinations in a program and has a lot of speed and spunk to go along with her technical toughness. She won Skate Detroit this summer and could shake things up this season. 

Overall

Elena Radionova is no stranger to the international scene but was too young to compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The two-time world junior champion -- just 15 -- is good enough to give her compatriots, Julia Lipnitskaia and reigning Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova, fits.

Lynn Rutherford

United States

Lots of up-and-comers to choose from here, but I'll go with Ashley Cain. The Texan's combination of long, stylish lines and brutal work ethic could vault her to the top. If plans to add triple flip-triple loop and/or triple Lutz-triple loop combinations to her programs succeed, she's at an entirely different level. U.S. junior champion Amber Glenn's impressive programs at Skate Detroit showed she intends to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final and go on to improve on her seventh-place finish at the 2014 World Junior Championships.

Overall

One obvious choice here is two-time Russian junior champion Elena Radionova, who is age-eligible for the 2015 World Championships. But I'll go with Polina Edmunds, who nailed her programs at Glacier Falls Summer Classic, hitting two triple-triples in her free skate and earning more than 200 points. Her programs are intricate and mature, and make her more than capable of medaling on the Grand Prix.

FINAL TALLY

United States


Ashley Cain - 2

Polina Edmunds - 1.5

Amber Glenn - 1.5

Samantha Cesario - 1

Overall

Elena Radionova - 3

Anna Pogorilaya - 1.5

Polina Edmunds - 1

Gracie Gold - 0.5