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2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships: Chen, Knierims take leads

U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen (Jay Adeff/U.S. Figure Skating)
U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen (Jay Adeff/U.S. Figure Skating)

COLORADO SPRING, Col. – Reigning U.S. champion Nathan Chen (Salt Lake Figure Skating) landed two quads en route to 104.45 points and the short program lead Thursday night at the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, California.

Chen, who broke the short program record last year at the U.S. Championships in Kansas City, Missouri (106.39), received Level 4s on all of his spins and footwork. He’ll lead the 21-man field into Saturday afternoon’s free skate at SAP Center.

Adam Rippon (SC of New York), the 2016 U.S. champion, is second with a score of 96.52 points. Jason Brown (Skokie Valley SC) finished third with 93.23 points, ahead of Grant Hochstein (SC of New York), who generated a score of 92.18 to place fourth.

In the pairs short program event, Alexa Scimeca-Knierim (DuPage FSC) and Christopher Knierim (Broadmoor SC) posted the top score of 71.10. The 2015 U.S. champions lead the 15-team field heading into Saturday afternoon’s free skate.

Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea (Southwest Florida FSC) are second with 68.93 points. The 2016 U.S. champions are competing for only the second time this season. Kayne underwent knee surgery in early 2017, postponing their return until late last fall.

Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay (Southwest Florida FSC), who won the pewter medal last year in their U.S. Championships debut, are third with 67.84 points, ahead of reigning U.S. champions Haven Denney (SC of New York) and Brandon Frazier (All Year FSC), who are fourth with 63.63.

Competition resumes Friday with the short dance and ladies free skate. The men's and pairs free skates are both set for Saturday, January 6.
 

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U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen (Jay Adeff/U.S. Figure Skating)