Gracie Gold made a splash at her first senior Grand Prix competition, but it wasn’t the kind she wanted.
As Gold admitted, she had something of a belly flop because of unfamiliarity at a level in which she was out of her depth this time.
With a raft of mistakes in both the short and long programs, the figure skater who lives and trains in the Chicago suburbs wound up seventh in a 10-skater field Saturday at Skate Canada in Windsor, Ont.
"I just really need more experience competing this program at the senior level," Gold told icenetwork.com. "I was kind of taken with the crowd and the lights and the signs, and after I'd land one jump, I would get ahead of myself again and kind of mess it up. I have to work on keeping that in check."
Gold, 17, was ninth after the short program, where she fell on a double axel, botched the landing of her combination and did a sloppy final spin. She took sixth in the free skate despite landing just two clean triple jumps (a third had a wrong takeoff edge) while omitting one planned triple, doubling two others and popping her last.
She finished with 151.57 points.
Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada had a much more successful Grand Prix debut, winning with 176.45 although Osmond was second in both phases of the competition.
After a dazzling final junior season earlier this year, when she won the U.S. title and took second at worlds, Gold has struggled in her first two international events as a senior. She took second in a weak field at September’s U.S. International with significant errors in both programs,.
Gold’s second Grand Prix event will be the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow Nov. 9-11. The Skate Canada performance all but ended her chances of qualifying for the Grand Prix Final.