Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Clear of mind, Gold wins second title

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Gracie Gold bounced back from a shaky short program with a flawless free skate to win her second U.S. women's title Saturday night.

Gold trailed Polina Edmunds by 7.69 points going into the long program, but she landed seven triple jumps cleanly and earned high artistic marks to overtake Edmunds. She scored 147.96 points for a total of 210.46. Edmunds had 137.32 points in her free skate for a 207.51 total.

"I had to clear my mind of all of the (negative stuff) and skate like it was an 11 p.m. run-through at home," Gold said.

Three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner was cruising through her program with one more jump to land when she did only one rotation of a planned triple lutz. In the end, those lost points didn't matter. She would have finished third behind Gold and Edmunds even with them.

Earlier, new champions in ice dance and pairs were crowned, with Maia and Alex Shibutani and Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea each winning their first national title.

The Shibutani siblings overtook defending champs Madison Chock and Evan Bates with a rousing free dance after trailing them by .47 points after the short dance. The Shibutanis earned a standing ovation for their program to Fix You by Coldplay, receiving 115.47 points for a 190.14 total.

Chock and Bates, the 2015 world silver medalists, had 111.79 points for their free dance for a total of 186.93.

The Shibutanis won the world bronze medal in 2011 but had been unable to match that level of result since. "It's all been building to this point," Alex said.

In pairs, Kayne and O'Shea took the ice last needing only to skate cleanly. They did and clinched a lopsided win with a record score. They earned 142.04 points for the long program for 211.65 total, the highest mark ever at nationals, to beat defending champs Alexa Scimeca and Christopher Knierim.

Men: Jumps vs. art: Max Aaron, Ross Miner and Adam Rippon were the top three after the men's short program Friday, but the biggest buzz came from the skater in fourth, Nathan Chen, 16, who became the first American to land two quadruple jumps in the short. Chen lost major points on one of his spins, finishing behind Miner and Rippon even though neither of those two tried a quad, but both had much higher marks for expression and choreography. The final is today.

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