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2014 U.S. figure skating nationals: Stunning results see Gracie Gold on top

Figure skater Gracie Gold placed first during the short program at the 2014 U.S. national championships on Jan. 9 in Boston.
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

With the naming of the 2014 U.S. Olympic figure skating team set for Jan. 12, surprises abounded as the senior ladies hit the ice to skate their short programs at the 2014 Prudential U.S. National Figure Skating Championships in Boston on Jan. 9. Underdog Gracie Gold posted a staggering score to take the lead, Ashley Wagner placed a disappointing fourth, and 2010 Olympians Mirai Nagasu and Rachael Flatt made a pair of vastly different impressions on the judges.

Gold, 18, who finished second to Wagner, 22, at the 2013 national championships, posted a personal best mark of 72.12 to claim first place. Reigning U.S. junior champion Polina Edmunds also bettered her high water mark, posting a score of 66.75, which was good enough to give her put her in silver medal position. Nagasu, who finished fourth at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, posted her best short program mark (65.44) since 2010 worlds, and finished a strong as she worked to earn her second Olympic berth.

But the night wasn't a great one for all of the competitors. Wagner, who skated in the final group, posted a 64.71, which puts her chances of defending her 2012 and 2013 national titles in jeopardy, especially with the hard-charging Gold at the top of the heap. Despite the disappointing result, Wagner is still likely to make the Olympic team, given that she was the only U.S. woman to qualify for the 2013-14 Grand Prix Final event, and has significant experience with international competition.

Eliminated from Olympic consideration was Flatt, whose attempted comeback fell far from the desired mark. The former two-time national champion turned Stanford student's short program scored just 46.57 points, landing her in 20th place in a field of 21 ladies.

The full short program results are as follows:

  1. Gracie Gold, 72.12
  2. Polina Edmunds, 66.75
  3. Mirai Nagasu, 65.44
  4. Ashley Wagner, 64.71
  5. Ashley Cain, 61.45
  6. Christina Gao, 60.91
  7. Hannah Miller, 57.49
  8. Leah Keiser, 57.41
  9. Mariah Bell, 56.72
  10. Barbie Long, 55.55
  11. Samantha Cesario, 54.88
  12. Angela Wang, 54.40
  13. Agnes Zawadzki, 54.18
  14. Kiri Baga, 54.02
  15. Franchesca Chiera, 52.81
  16. Courtney Hicks, 51.69
  17. Joelle Forte, 50.53
  18. Vanessa Lam, 48.98
  19. Caroline Zhang, 47.87
  20. Rachael Flatt, 46.57
  21. Yasmin Siraj, 44.67

The ladies' event at the 2014 national championships will conclude Jan. 11, and the three-woman Olympic-bound team will be revealed a day later on Jan. 12.