The 2020 United States Figure Skating Championships continued Friday with the championship rounds of the Ladies Free Skate and Rhythm Dance competitions at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, North Carolina.
A full recap of the evening's action can be found below, while a full list of scores is available at the competition's official website.
Ladies Free Skate
Alysa Liu, who became the youngest U.S. champion in figure skating history last season, successfully defended her title Friday night. The 14-year-old became the first repeat winner at the U.S. Championships since Ashley Wagner won back-to-back titles in 2013.
The rise of Liu has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. In order to repeat this year, she pulled off an epic comeback after trailing Bradie Tennell by 3.56 points following the Short Program. Liu’s Free Skate score of 160.12 pushed her into first place, giving her a total of 235.52 and a lead of 10 points over second-place finisher Mariah Bell (225.21).
Tennell finished third (220.85).
Liu executed a quad lutz, triple axel-plus-toe tap and a triple loop in her free skate, completely winning over the judges as she captured the gold medal.
Friday evening marked the return to the U.S. Championships for skating icon Gracie Gold, and there was no shortage of love shown for her efforts.
Gold has missed this event for the last three years and was the focus of one of the night’s most emotional moments as she received a massive ovation after completing her Free Skate program.
Gold’s Free Skate performance earned her a 107.24 from the judges, bringing her total score to 161.75 after she notched a 54.51 in her Short Program. The 24-year-old from Illinois finished 12th overall.
In the Rhythm Dance bracket, the pairing of Madison Chock and Evan Bates (87.63) narrowly took home the top prize over two-time defending champions Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue (86.31).
The two couples began training together recently following Chock and Bates' move to Montreal after Chock’s ankle surgery in the wake of the Pyeongchang Olympics.
“We’re just finding our groove right now,” Bates said per NBC Sports. “It feels like we’re just having a bit of a renaissance with our career.”
That’s not to say Hubbell and Donohue didn’t win over the crowd during their performance. Dressed as the late Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio—in pinstripes, of course—the pair scored a 9.57 on interpretation of music as they landed sequential twizzles and a midline step sequence among their elements.
The pairing of Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker (82.59) finished third.