Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Ladies of Skating Are Actually Kids

Mirai Nagasu, a feathery 14-year-old from Arcadia, Calif., survived a fall on her opening double axel and gathered herself to land six triple jumps, including a gutsy triple lutz-triple toe combination that she landed immediately after her fall, to become the second youngest U.S. champion, 34 days older than was Tara Lipinski when she won in 1997.

Second place went to another Californian, 15-year-old Rachael Flatt, who landed seven clean triples, including a flawless triple lutz-triple toe combo, to amass 125.82 points in the long program, the most of any skater on this night of surprises. Sixteen-year-old Ashley Wagner from Alexandria, Va., another first-year senior, placed third, just .17 behind Flatt. Wagner, too, did a triple-triple -- a rare thing in these championships in years past. Fourth place went to yet another 14-year-old appearing in her first senior nationals competition, Caroline Zhang, a 4-foot-11 tot from Irvine, Calif. Of these top four finishers, only Wagner is old enough to compete at the World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, in March.

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Source: SI

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