Bradie Tennell stole the spotlight at the 2018 U.S National Figure Skating Championships with a near-perfect free skate Friday night. Her stunning performance earned her a national title and most likely a spot on the U.S. team.
It’s been a special season for Tennell, who won a surprise bronze medal at Skate America in November — her first-ever Grand Prix event.
Earlier this week, Tennell set a new U.S. championship record of 73.79 points with a flawless short program.
Tennell tallied 219.51 points after Friday’s free skate to win the event, 5.67 points ahead of Mirai Nagasu who narrowly missed an Olympic spot four years ago. Karen Chen, who won the national title a year ago, finished third with 198.59 points.
Two-time Olympian Ashley Wagner missed the podium with a fourth place finish and total score of 196.19. The position is a familiar one for Wagner who placed fourth at nationals in 2014. However, the selection committee voted in Wagner’s favor, sending her to Sochi.
A selection committee will meet to consider the Olympic criteria and will inform the chosen athletes. The Olympic team will be announced on TV early Saturday.
Here are the final results after Friday’s long program:
1 Bradie Tennell, Skokie Valley SC 219.51
2 Mirai Nagasu, Pasadena FSC 213.84
3 Karen Chen, Peninsula SC 198.59
4 Ashley Wagner, SC of Wilmington 196.19
5 Mariah Bell, Rocky Mountain FSC 192.34
6 Starr Andrews, Los Angeles FSC 189.91
7 Angela Wang, Salt Lake Figure Skating 188.01
8 Amber Glenn, Dallas FSC 168.06
9 Courtney Hicks, All Year FSC 165.48
10 Tessa Hong, Los Angeles FSC 156.86
11 Caroline Zhang, All Year FSC 156.38
12 Franchesca Chiera, Panthers FSC 150.99
13 Hannah Miller, Lansing SC 149.14
14 Kaitlyn Nguyen, Los Angeles FSC 146.20
15 Brynne McIsaac, Broadmoor SC 145.54
16 Emmy Ma, SC of Boston 18 138.02
17 Megan Wessenberg, SC of Boston 131.73
18 Katie McBeath, Westminster FSC of Erie 124.64
19 Vivian Le, Los Angeles FSC 122.60
20 Emily Chan, Dallas FSC 104.43
The U.S. Figure Skating Championships are underway in San Jose, California.
The women’s short program brought a few surprises on Wednesday night. Veteran Ashley Wagner, the heavily promoted face of NBC’s Olympic previews, had a tough time.
A sloppy jump and a few other mistakes in her short program left her fifth in the competition that will decide whether she gets one more Olympic chance.
Another veteran, Mirai Nagasu, flubbed the landing of a difficult triple axel jump, but still managed a second place finish with a score of 73.09. Last year’s national champion, Karen Chen, is coming off a difficult season, but had an impressive skate that placed her in third with 69.48.
The star of the night, however, was 19-year-old Bradie Tennell, who holds the highest international score of any U.S. woman this season. Tennell was confident and calm in a short program that was flawless. She stood in first place with 73.79 points going into Friday’s free skate.