U.S. Olympic hopefuls will strap on their skates and take to the ice in Boston, Mass., with the hopes of improving or solidifying their case for a berth on the 2014 Olympic team.
The competition began on Sunday, Jan. 5, and will run until Jan. 12.
Novice competitors started off the event and the drama will build throughout the week as we head toward more well-known skaters.
Skaters qualified for these championships through placement at the three sectional championships or through byes. Byes were awarded to the top five finishers from the 2013 U.S. Championships.
This is the final event before the selection committee dials in the team that will head to Sochi, and there is no performance that will weigh more heavily in the decision process of the committee.
There is a full schedule of skating coming up, and you can review the schedule and get caught up on highlighted results in the following slides.
Jeremy Abbott was second in Sunday's free skate to Jason Brown, but he had built up enough of a cushion in the short program to still take the top spot.
In the end, both men have to be content with their work, as it punched their ticket to Sochi:
Here is how the final standings for the men look:
|Place||Name||Short Program||Free Skate||Total Score|
|1||Jeremy Abbott, Detroit SC||1||99.86||2||174.41||274.27|
|2||Jason Brown, Skokie Valley SC||3||87.47||1||182.61||270.08|
|3||Max Aaron, Broadmoor SC||4||86.95||3||173.49||260.44|
|4||Joshua Farris, Broadmoor SC||5||78.37||4||169.69||248.06|
|5||Richard Dornbush, All Year FSC||2||92.04||8||144.34||236.38|
|6||Douglas Razzano, Coyotes SC of Arizona||7||75.18||5||157.25||232.43|
|7||Ross Miner, SC Of Boston||8||71.94||6||152.87||224.81|
|8||Adam Rippon, SC of New York||6||77.58||7||144.61||222.19|
|9||Brandon Mroz, Broadmoor SC||9||70.57||10||138.12||208.69|
|10||Stephen Carriere, SC Of Boston||12||64.42||9||138.83||203.25|
As you may have noticed, Max Aaron was not mentioned in the above tweet. The 2013 national champion finished 10 points behind Brown and will now watch Brown and Abbott make the trip to Sochi.
This is Abbott's second trip to the Olympics and Brown's first.
The final rounds at the United States Figure Skating Championships were filled with plenty of drama, but the best in each division usually found a way to shine.
Saturday's events featured the championship free skates for pairs, dance and ladies. Only the men's final remains for Sunday's competition.
With so many spots at Sochi on the line, here is a look at results from Jan. 11:
There was little doubt as to who would win the Championship Dance category. Meryl Davis and Charlie White had won the last five American titles, and they can now add to their trophy case with another championship:
BREAKING: 2010 Olympians Meryl Davis and Charlie White win their record sixth consecutive US Figure Skating ice dance title. #Boston2014— Jeff Pini (@jpini441) January 11, 2014
The pair scored a 119.5 on their free dance to earn a final score of 200.19. This was well ahead of second-place finishers Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who finished in second place in each competition to earn a total score of 181.44.
Of course, it was not just the judges who were impressed by the effort of Davis and White. Juliet Macur of the New York Times was one of many who could not help but be moved by the performance:
Davis & White, Oly gold favorites, just brought the house down at ice dancing Oly trials. Breathtaking. Like watching the Bolshoi but better— Juliet Macur (@JulietMacur) January 11, 2014
This team has accomplished a lot already, but now they will attempt to use this momentum to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.
After building up a commanding lead in the short program, Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir did enough to hold on to earn a victory at the U.S. Championships. As Jeff Pini of Boston.com notes, this is the second title in a row for this pairing:
BREAKING: Simon Shnapir and Marissa Castelli win the 2014 US Figure Skating Pairs Championship, their second straight US title #Boston2014— Jeff Pini (@jpini441) January 11, 2014
Castilli and Shnapir finished with 205.71 points despite only getting the third-best score in the free skate. They finished just under four points ahead of Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay. Here is a look at the top-three groups after the competition:
These results certainly pleased the fans in Boston as they were able to cheer for the local stars:
They will now hope to continue this success at the international level at the upcoming Olympic games.
They have proven to be consistent enough to put up high scores in big moments, but they must continue to improve in order to compete with the best in the world.
While most of the championship categories will not be decided until the end of the weekend, many other competitors were crowned United States champions in a busy day of figure skating action.
Here is a look at the results by category for Friday, Jan. 10:
Championship Men Short Program
Jeremy Abbott stole the show on Friday night with a nearly flawless performance. En route to a win in the men's short program, the 28-year-old also set a record, posting an obscene 99.86.
Here's the top 10 for the men's short program, courtesy of USFigureSkating.org:
What's even more astounding about Abbott's performance is that earlier in the night, Richard Dornbush set the nationals record in the men's short program, with his score of 92.04. Abbott had set the previous record, with a 90.23 in 2012.
Since Dornbush started second, for the longest time, it looked like he would earn first, and make history doing so.
Then Abbott came along and took his record back.
It's the fourth time already at the US Championships that a record has been broken, per US Figure Skating.
The U.S. records in ALL FOUR DISCIPLINES were broken at #Boston2014...Can't wait for the free skate.— U.S. Figure Skating (@USFigureSkating) January 11, 2014
Although there is still another day of competition remaining for Championship Dance, it is tough to imagine anyone topping Meryl Davis and Charlie White in this event. The ended the day with a lead of 7.28 points, something that will be tough to beat.
Here is a look at the top 10 after the short program, courtesy of USFigureSkating.org:
|1||Meryl Davis and Charlie White||80.69|
|2||Madison Chock and Evan Bates||73.41|
|3||Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani||68.00|
|4||Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue||66.69|
|5||Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton||63.71|
|6||Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt||61.22|
|7||Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus||54.63|
|8||Alissandra Aronow and Collin Brubaker||53.19|
|9||Ginna Hoptman and Pavel Filchenkov||52.68|
|10||Anastasia Olson and Ian Lorello||47.86|
Davis and White have already won the last five national championships and are looking for their sixth this year. Additionally, they are hoping to improve upon their silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Fortunately, they are off to a good start with this opening:
Although Madison Chock and Evan Bates are within striking distance and can win gold with a strong performance in the free skate, this event is likely over unless something drastic happens on Saturday.
Kellen Johnson made up for a weak short program with an outstanding showing on the free skate to come away with a national title.
The All Year Figure Skating Club member was in third place to start the day, but he scored a 72.24 on Friday to easily move into first place. His coach Becky Calvin provided a picture of Johnson after the win:
Liam Roumila finished in second place with a total score of 105.54 after coming into the free skate as the leader. Unfortunately, he could not hold on with the third-best showing of the day. Justin Wichmann earned the bronze thanks to a jump from seventh to third on the final day of action.
Those who do not know the name Tessa Hong should learn it soon. Although she is just 11 years old, she is on her way toward being the next great American figure skater.
With a total score of 116.93, Hong easily defeated Alexia Paganini and the rest of the field to win the championship in her category.
Congratulations to Tessa Hong, the 2014 U.S. intermediate champion! #Boston2014— U.S. Figure Skating (@USFigureSkating) January 10, 2014
She is led by legendary coach Frank Carroll, who is also currently training some of the best skaters in the world. Based on the potential she showed over the two days of competition, it is clear that the rest of the skating world should be on notice.
Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage left little question about who was the best team in junior pairs at the U.S. Championships.
The pair won bronze at the 2013 championships in the same category, but they cruised past their competition with a first place finish in both the short program and free skate. Their total score was over 15 points better than anyone else.
Meanwhile, there was a friendly rivalry for the remaining spots on the podium. The teams that finished second, third and fourth all trained together. While the California natives could not get gold, they certainly should be proud of their showing.
Amber Glenn had one of the most dominant performances of the entire competition with her win in the junior ladies division.
After finishing in first place in the short program, she stunned the judges in the free skate and earned a score of 122.52, which was almost 10 points better than Tyler Pierce.
In many cases, decisions by the judges leads to controversy in this sport. However, there was little debate as to who was the best in this competition. Hopefully, the Dallas native uses this title as a launching pad to a great career.
Megan Griffin and Andrew Civiello were in second place after their short program, but an outstanding performance in the free skate helped them edge their rivals by the slimmest of margins.
Alexandria Schmainda and Matthew Scoralle just missed out on the title by a margin of 0.22 points on the final score.
Still, Griffin and Civiello deserved the inaugural title in this category after an impressive final run. They certainly did enough to make the hometown fans proud in Arizona:
Coyotes Skating Club members Andrew Civiello and Megan Griffin win Intermediate Pairs Competition in Boston, MA http://t.co/575FrgGtt8— 18 Degrees (@18degrees) January 10, 2014
They will hope this leads to bigger and better things in the future.
Championship Ladies Short Program
After the short program in the ladies program, Gracie Gold is in firm command of this competition. She is more than five points ahead of second-place Polina Edmunds. Check out the top 10 courtesy of usfigureskating.org.
|1||Gracie Gold, Wagon Wheel FSC||72.12|
|2||Polina Edmunds, Peninsula SC||66.75|
|3||Mirai Nagasu, Pasadena FSC||65.44|
|4||Ashley Wagner, SC of Wilmington||64.71|
|5||Ashley Cain, Stars FSC of Texas||61.45|
|6||Christina Gao, SC Of Boston||60.91|
|7||Hannah Miller, Lansing SC||57.49|
|8||Leah Keiser, All Year FSC||57.41|
|9||Mariah Bell, Rocky Mountain FSC||56.72|
|10||Barbie Long, Illinois Valley FSC||55.55|
Gold's performance is not all that surprising. She, along with Ashley Wagner, were considered the favorites heading into this event. Wagner did not live up to her billing. Although, she is just in fourth and still in a strong position to qualify for Sochi.
It was a failed triple-triple that did her in on the short program:
Ashley Wagner can't deliver on the triple-triple, which lands her in third behind Gracie Gold and Nagasu. Zawadzki up next #Boston2014— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) January 10, 2014
Intermediate Ladies Short Program
Tessa Hong got the day started off right with a tremendous run, scoring 40.71 points to give her an early advantage in the division.
U.S. Figure Skating's Twitter feed provided a picture of the leader:
If Hong wants to take home gold, though, she will have to continue that success in the free-skate competition, which takes place on Friday afternoon.
Intermediate Dance Final
After an impressive showing in the free dance competition, Caroline and Gordon Green were able to win gold with a total score of 105.76.
Katherine Grosul and Cameron Colucci finished second with a score of 98.07, while Emma Gunter and Caleb Wein were just behind, winning bronze with a 97.39. Eleanor Babaev and Scott Wenner finished fourth.
U.S. Figure Skating gave a snapshot of the medalists:
Junior Men's Final
After a historic performance in the short program on Tuesday, Nathan Chen was the heavy favorite to take home gold, and he didn't disappoint.
The Salt Lake City native fell on his opening 3A attempt but recovered marvelously, skating to a 144.32 in the free skating competition to give him a total point tally of 223.92.
As U.S Figure Skating pointed out, it was a record-setting performance:
Jordan Moeller won silver, Jimma Ma was awarded the bronze and Chase Belmontes notched a solid fourth-place finish.
Intermediate Pairs Short Program
Alexandria Schmainda and Matthew Scoralle won the intermediate pairs short program with an impressive score of 33.97.
The free skate portion to determine the medalists will take place on Friday morning.
Junior Dance Final
Needing a top-notch performance to pass Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter, who finished with 147.50 points, Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker put on a show. U.S. Figure Skating summed it up:
Someone thinks the world of Hawayek and Baker, tossing a plush globe on the ice. They're into first with 152.26! #Boston2014— U.S. Figure Skating (@USFigureSkating) January 9, 2014
The performance transformed the duo into gold medalists, while McNamara and Carpenter were able to hold on for silver.
Boston 2014 gave a look at the final results and medalists:
Outstanding skates by Jr dancers! Medalists: 1. Hawayek & Baker 2. McNamara & Carpenter 3. Parsons & Parsons 4. Moore & Klaber #Boston2014— Boston 2014 (@BOS2014) January 9, 2014
Intermediate Men Short Program
Liam Roumila from Ice House of New Jersey FSC won the short program portion, scoring 39.91 to barely edge out Dinh Tran, who finished with a 38.52.
Kellen Johnson (37.87) finished third, while Maxim Naumov (37.02) came in fourth.
The free skate competition takes place on Friday afternoon.
Championship Pairs Short Program
Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir saved the best for last. The final pair to take the ice, the SC Of Boston duo put on an absolute show, finishing with a score of 73.13 and earning a standing ovation from the hometown crowd.
Kay Petrarca, who was in attendance, gave a picture of the scene:
2013 bronze medalists Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay finished well behind in second with a score of 66.50, while DeeDee Leng and Timothy LeDuc (66.40) are in third.
The stacked event will resume with the free skate on Saturday morning.
Seven finals were decided at TD Garden in Boston on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
Beginning with the Juvenile Boys early in the morning and ending with the Junior Ladies short program in the evening, there was no shortage of phenomenal figure skating for viewers to enjoy.
Here's a look at the results:
Juvenile Boys: Free Skate
Tommy-Jo Nyman (49.48) beat Paul Yeung (48.41) by just over one point to win the gold medal, while Max Lake (48.40) rounded out the top three.
Here's a look at the proud medalists, courtesy of U.S. Figure Skating:
Juvenile Dance: Free Dance
Josephine Hagan and JT Michel out of Louisville Skating Academy won this event with a score of 73.82 over Molly Cesanek and Maxwell Gart, who scored 73.51 points to earn the silver medal. Cherri Chen and Edward Jahoda finished in a somewhat distant third place with a score of 71.76.
Here's a great shot of medal-winning crew:
Juvenile Girls: Free Skate
Iris Zhao (56.36) out of Colonial FCS eked out a close win over Annabelle Morozov (56.22), who skates for the Ice House Of New Jersey FSC. Coming in right behind the top two was Broadmoor SC's Kaitlyn Nguyen, who scored 56.18.
It was a tightly contested battle, but there was nothing but smiles on their faces after it was over:
Intermediate Dance: Tango and Foxtrot
The first of the two dance competitions was the Tango, and the top three finishers had less than one-half a point between them.
Emma Gunter and Caleb Wein (24.74) outlasted the duo of Katherine Grosul and Cameron Colucci (24.62) and the brother/sister combo of Carolina and Gordon Green (24.27) to win the event.
Shortly afterward, the foxtrot was on center stage, and the same three duos finished in the top three, but the outcome was slightly less nerve-racking. The Green siblings (24.67) cleared the field by well over a point, with Grosul/Colucci (23.59) and Gunter/Wein (21.52) rounding out the top three.
Junior Pairs: Short Program
Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage (58.77) smoked their competition on Wednesday afternoon, wining the Junior Pairs short program by just under five points.
Coming in a ways behind in second place was the duo of Chelsea Liu and Devin Perini (53.93), who had little competition for second place over AnnaMarie Pearce and AnnaMarie Pearce (52.28).
Junior Ladies: Short Program
Amber Glenn (63.99) claimed victory over Tyler Pierce (62.38) and the rest of the field with a brilliant routine:
Amanda Shank provides a rundown of the top five finishers:
Junior Ladies SP results: 1 Amber Glenn 63.99 2 Tyler Pierce 62.38 3 Ashley Shin 57.91 4 Bradie Tennell 55.34 5 Karen Chen 51.78 #Boston2014— Amanda Shank (@team_swan) January 9, 2014
The 2014 U.S. juvenile champions: Elizabeth Tkachenko and Alexei Kiliakov (Dance) and Jasmine Fendi and Joshua Fendi (Pairs).
The first juvenile portion of the U.S. Championships wrapped up on Tuesday with three pairs being rewarded before the juniors began. Here is a picture of the medalists, according to the U.S. Figure Skating Twitter account:
Josephine Hagan and J.T. Michel, both from the Louisville Skating Academy, finished with a score of 17.78 to take home top spot of the day in the Fourteenstep. The pair was the second-to-last performance, but was clearly the most memorable.
In the Ten-Fox dance section of the dance portion, Elizabeth Tkachenko and Alexei Kiliakov were the dominant pair, posting a final score of 16.88. Thanks to a combined score of 33.51, Tkachenko and Kiliakov narrowly defeated Hagan and Michel—who finished with a 33.54—for the overall dance champs.
In the juvenile pairs, Jasmine Fendi and Joshua Fendi posted a final score of 46.44 to defeat the runner-ups Greta Crafoord and John Crafoord. The Fendi pair is from Los Angeles and pulled out the victory thanks to a higher score in the program components section.
Nathan Chen (Salt Lake Figure Skating) posted a 79.61 to win the junior men's short program.
The 2014 U.S. junior champions: Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker (Dance), Nathan Chen (Men's Short Program).
Only two events took place on Tuesday in the junior portion of the U.S. Championships: Dance and Men's Short Program. The U.S. Figure Skating official Twitter account provided a photo of Kailin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, who ultimately won the dance portion:
While it was a short day for junior results, Hawayek and Baker provided one of the most dominant performances of the day. Their score of 65.30 defeated Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter by a total of 3.02 points.
U.S. Figure Skating also shares a photo of the second-place pair following the event:
Following the dance portion, Nathan Chen from Salt Lake Figure Skating posted the highest score of the day in the men's short program. Chen's score of 79.61 not only defeated Jimmy Ma by 16.15 points, but also would have won last year's Championships by nearly 10 points, as the U.S. Figure Skating Twitter account:
Another new leader! JGP Final bronze medalist Nathan Chen posts a whopping 79.61! #Boston2014— U.S. Figure Skating (@USFigureSkating) January 7, 2014
Chen's routine capped off a tremendous day for junior ice skating and set the bar for tomorrow's events. Many more events including the ladies and pairs short program are set to take place on Wednesday.
The 2014 U.S. novice champions: Vivian Le (ladies), Paolo Borromeo (men), Ai Setoyama and David Botero (pairs) and Gigi Becker and Luca Becker (ice dance).
The opening two sessions concluded on Monday and finalized the novice champions. Ai Setoyama and David Botero won the pairs competition, per the U.S. Figure Skating Twitter account:
Gigi Becker and Luca Becker finished in fourth last year, but used a disco-inspired free dance set to music of the Bee Gees to notch a score of 71.14. Luca explained their jump in performance, via"Part of the reason we did so well is because, with our coaches, we have been working on our edges in the footwork, and I think that put us up a few points."
Thirteen-year-old Vivian Le won the ladies free skate with a stellar 138.06 points, but it was Paolo Borromeo who was the highlight of the novice class as he won the men's free skate by almost 30 points.
Borromeo did not just win—he set records. He scored the most ever for a novice men's free skate at the event with his 114.20 after seven triple jumps. His 168.27 points were also a record.
Juvenile championships take place next in Sessions No. and 4, which take place on Jan. 7 and 8, respectively.
The week will be jam-packed with skating action, but it is on the weekend when most fans will be tuning in. That is when the women's and men's free-skate program takes place.
Still, there is a lot of skating to be done until we get to that point.
There will be four groups of skaters: novice, juvenile, intermediate and senior.
Check out the full schedule as provided by Boston.com:
|Date||Session||Breakdown (all times are ET)||Location|
|Sunday, Jan. 5||Session 1||9:15 a.m., novice pattern dance; 12:20 p.m., novice ladies short program; 4:15 p.m., novice pairs short program; 6:15 p.m., novice men short program.||BCEC|
|Monday, Jan. 6||Session 2||9:40 a.m., novice free dance; 11:50 a.m., novice ladies free skate; 1:35 p.m., novice pairs free skate; 3:35 p.m., novice men free skate.||BCEC|
|Tuesday, Jan. 7||Session 3||8:30 a.m., juvenile pattern dance; 11:10 a.m., juvenile pairs free skate; 3:25 p.m., junior short dance; 6 p.m., junior men short program.||BCEC|
|Wednesday, Jan. 8||Session 4||8:30 a.m., juvenile boys free skate; 9:55 a.m., juvenile free dance; 11:30 a.m., juvenile girls free skate; 1 p.m., intermediate pattern dance; 4:10 p.m., junior pairs short program; 6:20 p.m., junior ladies short program.||BCEC|
|Thursday, Jan. 9||Session 5||8:10 a.m., intermediate ladies short program; 9:40 a.m., intermediate free dance; 1 p.m., intermediate pairs short program; 2:35 p.m., intermediate men short program.||BCEC|
|Thursday, Jan. 9||Session 6||10:45 a.m., junior men free skate; 1:05 p.m., junior dance free dance.||TD Garden|
|Thursday, Jan. 9||Session 7||4:15 p.m., championship pairs short program.||TD Garden|
|Thursday, Jan. 9||Session 8||7 p.m., opening ceremonies and championship ladies short program.||TD Garden|
|Friday, Jan. 10||Session 9||8:30 a.m., intermediate pairs free skate; 12:10 p.m. intermediate ladies free skate; 1:45 p.m., intermediate men’s free skate.||BCEC|
|Friday, Jan. 10||Session 10||8:45 a.m., junior ladies free skate; 10:50 a.m. junior pairs free skate.||TD Garden|
|Friday, Jan. 10||Session 11||1:45 p.m., championship dance short dance.||TD Garden|
|Friday, Jan. 10||Session 12||8 p.m., championship men short program.||TD Garden|
|Saturday, Jan. 11||Session 13||11:30 a.m., championship pairs free skate (Group 1) and championship free dance (Groups 1 and 2).||TD Garden|
|Saturday, Jan. 11||Session 14||2:45 p.m., championship pairs free skate (Groups 2 and 3) and championship free dance (Groups 3 and 4).||TD Garden|
|Saturday, Jan. 11||Session 15||6:45 p.m., championship ladies free skate.||TD Garden|
|Sunday, Jan. 12||Session 16||12:50 p.m., championship men free skate.||TD Garden|
|Sunday, Jan. 12||Session 17||7 p.m., Smucker’s Skating Spectacular.||TD Garden|