US Figure Skating Championships 2022: Thursday Results and Updated Schedule

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 7, 2022

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 06: Mariah Bell skates in the Ladies Short Program during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Bridgestone Arena on January 06, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Day 3 of the United States Figure Skating Championships featured the junior ladies' free skate and short programs for championship pairs and championship ladies.

The junior ladies' free skate followed the short program the morning before. In the end, Clare Seo took home the gold after finishing first overall (first in short program, second in free skate). Katie Shen won the free skate on Thursday to move to fourth overall.

The pairing of Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc has the slight edge over Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson going into the free skate. Cain-Gribble and LeDuc earned 79.39 points, and their closest challengers had 77.48. No other pair had more than 68.11 points.

The evening capped off with the beginning of the championship ladies program with the free skate. Mariah Bell has the slight lead over Karen Chen after earning a 75.56-point performance in the free skate. Chen is right there, however, getting 74.55 points.

Here's a look at some results from the evening, the remaining schedule and some highlights and notes from Thursday's action at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.


Junior Ladies (Top 5; Overall)

1. Clare Seo: 185.53 (67.38 Short Program, 118.15 Free Skate)

2. Ava Ziegler 175.50 (60.24 Short Program, 115.26 Free Skate)

3. Josephine Lee 172.08 (60.61 Short Program, 111.47 Free Skate)

4. Katie Shen 170.77 (51.20 Short Program, 119.57 Free Skate)

5. Elyce Lin-Gracey 166.96 (62.53 Short Program, 104.43 Free Skate)

Full results here.


Championship Pairs: Short Program (Top 5; Free Skate to Come)

1. Ashley Cain-Gribble; Timothy LeDuc: 79.39

2. Jessica Calalang; Brian Johnson: 77.48

3. Audrey Lu; Misha Mitrofanov: 68.11

4. Emily Chan; Spencer Howe: 61.94

5. Kate Finster; Matej Silecky: 54.68

Full results here.


Championship Ladies: Short Program (Top 5; Free Skate to Come)

1. Mariah Bell: 75.56

2. Karen Chen: 74.55

3. Alysa Liu: 71.42

4. Isabeau Levito: 71.00

5. Lindsay Thorngren: 70.22

Full results here.


Schedule (All Times ET)

Friday, Jan. 7

3 p.m.: Championship Ice Dance / Rhythm Dance

7:20 p.m.: Championship Ladies / Free Skate


Saturday, Jan. 8

12:45 p.m.: Championship Pairs / Free Skate

1:42 p.m.: Championship Ice Dance / Free Dance

3 p.m.: Championship Men / Short Program


Sunday, Jan. 9

12:15 p.m.: Championship Men / Free Skate


Full schedule here.

Highlights and Notes

Mariah Bell, who won silver at U.S. nationals in 2020 and bronze in 2017 and 2019, put forth a phenomenal performance on Thursday:

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

MARIAH👏BELL👏DELIVERED👏<a href="https://twitter.com/USFigureSkating?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USFigureSkating</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/Oj58hLPBxO">pic.twitter.com/Oj58hLPBxO</a>

"I had chills," Bell said on the USA Network broadcast (h/t OlympicTalk). "I have this part of me that’s just, like, so gritty. When I really need to do something, I can tap into it."

Bell landed the triple flip-triple toe combination that Olympic gold medalist and analyst Tara Lipinski said she didn't land cleanly in practice all week. That ultimately vaulted her into the top as she searches for her first national title.

Bell, who is coached by former Olympic skater Adam Rippon, has some fierce competition at her heels.

Chen did well in her own right, safely sliding into second:

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

YES KAREN CHEN!<a href="https://twitter.com/Karebearsk8?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Karebearsk8</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/tVySt3LfYC">pic.twitter.com/tVySt3LfYC</a>

Alysa Liu is in third and got there despite falling on a triple axel attempt. One would figure she'll be right in the mix again during the free skate.

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

Alysa Liu dazzles on ice. ✨<a href="https://twitter.com/USFigureSkating?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USFigureSkating</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/TSSaRaRby7">pic.twitter.com/TSSaRaRby7</a>

Gracie Gold, a two-time national champion who won Olympic bronze at the team event in 2014, got a standing ovation from the Nashville crowd and excelled en route to sixth place:

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

After a spectacular short program performance, <a href="https://twitter.com/GraceEGold?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GraceEGold</a> receives a standing ovation from the crowd in Nashville. 🥰<a href="https://twitter.com/USFigureSkating?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USFigureSkating</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/wfMHxzsUr4">pic.twitter.com/wfMHxzsUr4</a>

In pairs, it's all about the top two right now. DeLuc and Cain-Gribble got a standing ovation for their work:

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

.<a href="https://twitter.com/icegirlash?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@icegirlash</a> and Timothy LeDuc brought the magic on ice. ✨<a href="https://twitter.com/USFigureSkating?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USFigureSkating</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/KIH83A2aCU">pic.twitter.com/KIH83A2aCU</a>

It's been an incredibly tough road for Cain-Gribble in particular at this point, with the skater telling reporters afterward that she developed asthma after testing positive for COVID-19 in August.

FigureSkatersOnline @fsonline

Cain-Gribble was asked about her own bout with COVID-19 back in August at the pairs SP press conference. "I saw a pulmonologist &amp; it turned out I had developed asthma from having COVID." Now she takes a daily steroid &amp; uses an inhaler twice a day to manage the asthma <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USChamps22</a>

In addition, DeLuc is looking to become the first openly out non-binary athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics. You can learn more about them in a recent edition of the My New Favorite Olympian podcast.

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

Timothy LeDuc could become the first publicly out non-binary athlete to compete at a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WinterOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WinterOlympics</a>.<br><br>Get to know <a href="https://twitter.com/USFigureSkating?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USFigureSkating</a>'s non-binary trailblazer on the latest episode of <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCLX?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBCLX</a>'s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MyNewFavoriteOlympian?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MyNewFavoriteOlympian</a> podcast: <a href="https://t.co/422eiZ010U">https://t.co/422eiZ010U</a> <a href="https://t.co/GfHF690kNM">pic.twitter.com/GfHF690kNM</a>

Johnson and Calalang are right behind the leaders, with the former skater getting a shoutout for his strength from former Olympian and analyst Johnny Weir:

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

"Brian Johnson is the friend I would call if I needed help moving my fridge. He is so strong." 😂 <a href="https://twitter.com/JohnnyGWeir?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JohnnyGWeir</a><a href="https://twitter.com/USFigureSkating?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USFigureSkating</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/66tD496nsw">pic.twitter.com/66tD496nsw</a>

They also got a standing ovation.

It's been a tough road for Calalang, who was cleared of testing positive for a banned substance earlier this year that was attributed to a makeup she uses.

"I really had no option other than to be strong and to make it through," the 26-year-old said, per Nick McCarvel and Scott Bregman of the Olympics' website.

"We're a partnership and it's us together. For something like that to happen, that's solely on me...I'm just very thankful that Brian is the person that he is, [coming] to the rink every day into the rink, positive attitude. That made us so strong as partners and just as people."

Afterward, McCarvel commented on their respective performances:

Nick McCarvel @NickMcCarvel

Just a simple "Good job" from Timothy LeDuc to Ashley Cain-Gribble after that sensational short. They mean business. <br><br>Both of this team and Calalang/Johnson came with fire in their bellies - and have delivered 🔥 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USChamps22</a>

As for the junior ladies, Seo is now a juniors champion in two different countries, having also won in South Korea:

Peter O'Brien @ohforpetesskate

Clare Seo<br>2020 South Korean Junior National Champion<br>2021 U.S. Junior National Bronze Medalist<br>And now, 2022 U.S. Junior National Champion<br><br>Her consistency is remarkable, especially considering the challenges amateur athletes have endured during the pandemic.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZJyXPVPs58">https://t.co/ZJyXPVPs58</a>

Ava Ziegler, who told Jillian L. Martinez of U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone that she got her first pair of skates at just 15 months old, finished a close second.

She was one of just three skaters to finish top four in both the free skate and short program, with the other being Josephine Lee.