US Figure Skating Championships 2019: TV Schedule, Top Contenders and Event Info

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2019

Nathan Chen of United States competes in the Men Short Program during the Internationaux de France ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Grenoble, central-eastern France, on November 23, 2018. (Photo by JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images)
JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/Getty Images

The 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships will reach its conclusion on Sunday, January 27, with this year's event taking place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.

Nathan Chen and Bradie Tennell will defend their men's and ladies' titles, respectively, and are in a strong position to repeat as champions.

NBC will provide full coverage of the event, beginning on Thursday, January 24. For a look at the complete schedule and TV or live-stream info, click here.

Nathan Chen of the US competes in the Mens Free Skating during the Internationaux de France ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Grenoble, central-eastern France, on November 24, 2018. (Photo by JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JE
JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/Getty Images

In the men's event, Chen is the clear favourite to repeat as national champion. The 19-year-old is the current world champion and this year's winner of the Grand Prix Final, despite balancing skating with attending Yale.

Chen's focus this year has been less on raw athleticism―which made him one of the biggest stars at the Winter Olympics last year, despite several key mistakes―and more on the artistic side of skating. Mistakes still plagued him at the Grand Prix Final, but his overall brilliance was enough to seal the deal.

Should he falter in Detroit, 2015 champion Jason Brown and Olympic standout Vincent Zhou will like their chances.

The former has rediscovered his form after a difficult spell and is peaking at the right time, courtesy of a coaching change:

Tennell's win last year was something of a surprise, beating Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen to the top spot thanks to remarkable consistency and a sensational short program.

No longer an underdog, she took the win at the Autumn Classic and Golden Spin this season and seems in a prime position to repeat.

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue are the clear favourites in the ice dancing competition, but the pairs contest could be wide open this year.

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the US perform in the Senior Ice Dance program at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2018-19 in Vancouver, British Columbia on December 8, 2018. (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP)        (Photo credit should read
DON MACKINNON/Getty Images

The current champions are Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim, who have enjoyed a solid season so far but fell short of expectations at Skate America. The pair has skated well in most events, consistently finishing in the top four, but are without a major win this winter.

Last year's runners-up and 2016 champions Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea have been building up form throughout winter, with a silver medal at the Grand Prix event in France and another second place in Estonia.

Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc were among the standouts at Skate America and have won major events this winter, but their season was interrupted by an unfortunate injury for Cain, per Thomson Reuters (for CBC).

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