SAN JOSE, Calif. /January 4, 2018 (AP)(STL.News) — Nathan Chen made it look easy on the ice and in the standings Thursday night, running away with the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
The defending champion and America’s best hope for an Olympic gold medal next month at the Pyeongchang Games, the 18-year-old Chen spun his usual quad magic, hitting two of the four-rotation jumps, one in competition. His energy lit up the SAP Center, and though his triple axel was funky, Chen earned 104.45 points.
That’s territory none of his countrymen can reach.
Coming closest was veteran Adam Rippon, who had a career-best 96.52. Jason Brown, a 2014 team bronze medalist at the Sochi Olympics, was third heading to Saturday’s free skate.
Grant Hochstein put on the performance of his life, nailing every element and drawing the first standing ovation of the competition to wind up fourth at 92.18.
By BARRY WILNER, AP Sports Writer,By Associated Press – published on STL.News by St. Louis Media, LLC (ZS)
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