26. Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons USA
2017 Junior Worlds free skate
They thought they blew it - you could see it after their ending pose. They were 20 seconds away from perfection, but a muscled rotational lift at the end threatened to derail their title hopes. After all, they came into the free dance in second place with room to make up.
But their free dance is JUST. THAT. GOOD. Every other element in the program was executed flawlessly. The crispness of their steps and their connection to this piece of music built throughout this season. And this program for Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons has become a signature one in their young career. Much like Marin Honda's free skate in the ladies' event at Worlds, the Parsons' free dance was one of the finest programs I've seen on the junior ranks.
Had this program been completely clean, they would likely have become the first junior team to ever score over 100 in a free dance in international competition. And though that error on the lift kept them from doing so, they muscled through it and got the level 4 base value they needed. It's still the highest junior FD score ever, and it's a testament to just how incredibly strong this program was.
And did I mention? The Parsons will be joining the senior ranks for the Olympic season. Might there be shakeup potential in American ice dance?