US Figure Skating Championships 2022: Results, Latest Schedule After Saturday

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 9, 2022

Nathan Chen competes in the men's short program during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

Nathan Chen set the U.S. National Figure Skating Championship men's short program record Saturday en route to a dazzling performance that highlighted Day 5 of the action at Nashville, Tennessee's Bridgestone Arena.

Chen's 115.39 points broke the record he previously set in 2020 (114.13 points).

Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc dazzled once again to win the pairs program, as they took first in the free skate after landing first in the short program two days earlier.

In the ice dance, Madison Chock and Evan Bates won gold after holding off a strong challenge from Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.

Saturday's action will lead to the final event of the championships, with the men's free skate occurring Sunday at 12:15 p.m. ET.

For now, here's a look at the Saturday results as well as some highlights and notes.

Men's Free Skate (Top 5)

1. Nathan Chen (115.39)

2. Vincent Zhou (112.78)

3. Ilia Malinin (103.46)

4. Jason Brown (100.84)

5. Jimmy Ma (91.62)

Full results here.

Championship Pairs: Total (Top 5)

1. Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc: 225.23 (79.39 Short Program, 145.84 Free Skate)

2. Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson: 209.87 (77.48 Short Program, 132.39 Free Skate)

3. Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov: 191.54 (68.11 Short Program, 123.43 Free Skate)

4. Emily Chan and Spencer Howe: 177.25 (61.94 Short Program, 115.31 Free Skate)

5. Katie McBeath and Nathan Bartholomay: 167.10 (50.11 Short Program, 116.99 Free Skate)

Full results here.

Championship Ice Dance (Top 5)

1. Madison Chock and Evan Bates: 227.37 (91.94 Rhythm Dance, 135.43 Free Dance)

2. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue: 225.59 (89.39 Rhythm Dance, 136.20 Free Dance)

3. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker: 205.68 (79.39 Rhythm Dance, 126.29 Free Dance)

4. Caroline Green and Michael Parsons: 203.27 (80.85 Rhythm Dance, 122.42 Free Dance)

5. Emily Bratti and Ian Somerville: 187.98 (76.70 Rhythm Dance, 111.28 Free Dance)

Full results here.

Men's Free Skate

Chen nailed a pair of quads en route to his mind-blowing performance. Highlights can be found below.

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

NATHAN CHEN 👑<a href="https://twitter.com/nathanwchen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nathanwchen</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/LsqvXRG4N1">pic.twitter.com/LsqvXRG4N1</a>

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

Nathan Chen in slow motion is absolutely mind-blowing. 🤯<a href="https://twitter.com/nathanwchen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nathanwchen</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/EOoo2ChTKN">pic.twitter.com/EOoo2ChTKN</a>

"Chen looked at home in his return to 'La Boheme,' opening with a quadruple flip before hitting a triple Axel and closing with a quad Lutz-triple toe-loop combination.," Nick McCarvel of Olympics.com wrote.

"He earned Level 4s for each of his spins and his step sequence, helping him to a 48.46 overall in Program Components, second only to the ethereal [Jason] Brown (49.15)."

Chen is searching for his sixth straight national title and second consecutive Olympic appearance. He's also been on fire the last four years.

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

.<a href="https://twitter.com/nathanwchen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nathanwchen</a>'s resume is 💯<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/09T5bDthKf">pic.twitter.com/09T5bDthKf</a>

He rebounded from a 17th-place finish in the short program to take first in the free skate en route to fifth overall.

Vincent Zhou appears well in line to grab an Olympic spot alongside Chen and a to-be-determined third teammate.

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

That was just *chef's kiss*<a href="https://twitter.com/govincentzhou?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@govincentzhou</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/I59Tz9fPYl">pic.twitter.com/I59Tz9fPYl</a>

Jackie Wong of Rocker Skating gave more insight into Zhou's performance Saturday:

Jackie Wong @rockerskating

Vincent Zhou<br>4Lz3T, 4S, 3A(q?)<br>TES 64.82, PCS 47.96, SP 112.78 into 2nd - on review, the axel was just under a quarter, they called it clean<a href="https://t.co/SLJBzb800J">https://t.co/SLJBzb800J</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a>

Ilia Malinin, 17, is in third place, with Jason Brown ending fourth. Malinin was a surprise third-place finisher, but he was sensational Saturday. It appears he'll be going all out Sunday to earn the final Olympic spot, too:

Anything GOEs @AnythingGOE

Malinin: “I definitely know if I try my best, and do what I know I can do, I know I can make it to that Olympic spot.” <br><br>Says he’s planning 4 quads in the Free.

Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi shouted out the top four American competitors:

Kristi Yamaguchi @kristiyamaguchi

So impressive those men’s short programs. Blown away with <a href="https://twitter.com/nathanwchen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nathanwchen</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/govincentzhou?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@govincentzhou</a> . And certainly future in good hands with Ilia Malinin! Jason Brown stunning as always.

Fourteen skaters will take part in the free skate Sunday.


Cain-Gribble and LeDuc finished what they started on Thursday, taking first overall after a first-place finish in the free skate Saturday.

The Cain-Gribble/LeDuc pair, which also took first in the short program, shone once again:

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

A performance for a pair of champions. 🏆<a href="https://twitter.com/icegirlash?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@icegirlash</a> x Timothy LeDuc | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/YQrpIq5q3L">pic.twitter.com/YQrpIq5q3L</a>

"I don’t have a lot of words. It’s just crazy," Cain-Gribble said, per Dave Skretta of the Associated Press.

"We've visualized this moment so many times and to have done a performance like that, and the whole week the way it went—it's just surreal."

LeDuc, who came out publicly as nonbinary earlier this year, also had a message to share following the team's victory:

On Her Turf @OnHerTurf

"My hope is that the narrative shifts more to 'Queer people can be open and successful in sports.' We've always been here...we just haven't always been able to be open."<br><br>Timothy LeDuc, who came out as non-binary this year, and Ashley Cain-Gribble won their second U.S. title ✨ <a href="https://t.co/tOJX4Qdyr9">pic.twitter.com/tOJX4Qdyr9</a>

Two American pairs will be headed to the Olympics, with LeDuc and Cain-Gribble assuredly one of them, as noted by Wong and Bally Sports' Maggie Hendricks:

Jackie Wong @rockerskating

Cain-Gribble/LeDuc will be your 2022 US champs and there's really no way they won't be headed to the Olympics after that performance<a href="https://t.co/GQ4IUow59S">https://t.co/GQ4IUow59S</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a>

Maggie Hendricks @maggiehendricks

Cain-Gribble/LeDuc win the pairs title. They skated gorgeously. We’ll find out about the Olympic team later, but my educated guess is that the pairs Olympic team will be Knierim-Frazier, who didn’t skate here because COVID, and Cain-Gribble/LeDuc.

Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson closed the pairs competition, and as Wong noted, the group needed to be perfect. They were not, but they were very good in their own right en route to a second-place finish.

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

A performance for the podium. 🥈<a href="https://twitter.com/JessicaCalalang?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JessicaCalalang</a> x Brian Johnson | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/2DOv0X0Pju">pic.twitter.com/2DOv0X0Pju</a>

Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov, who finished third in the short program, also took third in the free skate to win the bronze.

Ice Dance

Bates and Chock are now three-time U.S. national champions after their victory:

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

3 x U.S. ice dance championship titles 🏆🏆🏆<a href="https://twitter.com/chockolate02?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@chockolate02</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/Evan_Bates?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Evan_Bates</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToyotaUSChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToyotaUSChamps22</a> <a href="https://t.co/iePDa2UeBf">pic.twitter.com/iePDa2UeBf</a>

Per OlympicTalk, Bates will become the first U.S. figure skater to take part in four Olympic Games.

You can also learn more about the duo here:

Olympics @Olympics

"Can I do a triple Axel? No." ❌<br>"But we can do a triple twizzle." ⛸️<br><br>Madison Chock and Evan Bates are here to answer the web's burning questions about ice dance ahead of <a href="https://twitter.com/Beijing2022?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Beijing2022</a> <br><br>What tidbit surprised you? ⬇️<a href="https://twitter.com/chockolate02?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@chockolate02</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/Evan_Bates?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Evan_Bates</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ISU_Figure</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamUSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamUSA</a> <a href="https://t.co/W8LVL1WP0y">pic.twitter.com/W8LVL1WP0y</a>

The gold medalist's training partners, Hubbell and Donohue, finished a close second in their last-ever national performance:

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

The final embrace and the final bows at the national championships in the careers of <a href="https://twitter.com/MadiHubbell?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MadiHubbell</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/ZachTDonohue?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZachTDonohue</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/XABHVPmMhS">pic.twitter.com/XABHVPmMhS</a>

Robert Samuels of the Washington Post complimented the duo as they made their nationals exit:

Robert Samuels @newsbysamuels

They started their partnership as super sexual, hip swivlers. And now, in their final national championships, they are assured, powerful, confident. Thank you, Hubbell and Donohue for allowing us to see your skating journey. It's been fascinating, and satisfying. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USChamps22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USChamps22</a>

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker held off Caroline Green and Michael Parsons to finish third.