Teen Gracie Gold had a banner night Jan. 11 as she captured the gold medal at the 2014 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships in Boston and unofficially secured herself one of her category's three available berths on the 2014 Olympic team. Two-time U.S. champ Ashley Wagner, conversely, suffered two falls that left her apologizing to fans and in serious danger of not earning the trip to Sochi that many had considered a sure thing.
Gold, 18, won the Jan. 9 short program and repeated the feat during her free skate, posting an impressive 139.57 and a total mark of 211.69. In her debut senior event, silver medalist Polina Edmunds finished well behind Gold with a total score of 193.63, while 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu took the bronze with a mark of 190.74. Gold, Edmunds and Nagasu will head to Sochi if the selection committee decides to base their decision on only the results of nationals.
But reigning Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Wagner, who finished fifth at Worlds in 2013, no doubt hopes they'll take her complete body of work into consideration when naming the Olympic nominees. After falling twice during her free skate, she finished the night in fourth place with just 182.74 points.
An obviously downtrodden and repentant Wagner, 22, tweeted fans shortly after the medal ceremony, where she claimed her pewter prize. Her message was a solemn one that simply read "I am so sorry. I let you all down."
Despite Wagner's poor performance, USA Today's Christine Brennan asserted in a post-skate article that the veteran skater should still be named to the U.S. team, citing the value of her extensive international experience and relative inexperience of both Edmunds and Nagasu.
Most of the athletes selected to travel to Sochi as part of the 2014 U.S. Olympic figure skating team will be officially named on the afternoon of Jan. 12. The two men making the team will learn their status following the men's free skate later in the day.