What a night of figure skating! Just when the short programs at the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships seemed like they couldn’t get any more exciting, the men took to the ice with some brilliant skating.
Only the second skater, out of nineteen, to take to the ice was Richard Dornbush. Dornbush won the silver medal at the U.S. Championships back in 2011, but then placed thirteenth in 2012 and last year landed in sixth place. He’s had a bumpy start to the season, so not many were looking for him to be a contender, but after tonight’s performance he has truly put his hat in the ring.
Landing a fantastic quad salchow along with a gorgeous triple axel, Dornbush was on fire tonight, starting the night off with a U.S. record breaking score of 92.04, putting him clearly in the lead at the start of the night.
The night continued to heat up as Jason Brown took to the ice landing a big triple axel and giving a compelling performance that brought the audience to their feet. He is a true artist and was rewarded nicely for it. He is currently in third place and that is even without attempting a quad, which only proves just how remarkable his skating really is.
Adam Rippon has recently entered into the Olympic conversation as he had one of the more consistent seasons of the U.S. men. Rippon had so much confidence going into this skate and sadly it did not go as well as he had hoped. Adam chose not to attempt his quad, which was not crippling, but his triple-triple combo was flawed and he fell on his triple axel. He was still graciously awarded 77.58 points, but is currently holding in sixth place.
Following Adam Rippon, was veteran Jeremy Abbott who has won the U.S. Championships back in 2009, 2010 and 2012, but recently has struggled quite a bit, but this was not the case tonight. Jeremy started his program out with a flawless quad toe-triple toe combo and it just kept getting better from there. His spins were beautiful, his footwork captivating and his artistic connection has somehow only gotten better. It was the skate of the night, giving him a whopping U.S. record breaking score of 99.86. With this type of lead it will be difficult for him not to medal, even if he does struggle in his free skate.
Directly following Abbott was reigning junior world champion, Joshua Farris. Farris opted not to include his quad in his short, but the rest of his program was beautiful and it was enough for him to currently sit in fifth place, not too bad for his first senior national debut.
Reigning U.S. Champion, Max Aaron, came out with some fight tonight after a very trying season. Max does not have the artistry of some of the other men, but he landed a solid quad salchow-double toe combo and turned on the charm for the audience which put him currently in fourth place.
It was a great night of skating as some of the top men skated the best that they have all season long, while others will need to make up some ground during the free skate. Be sure to tune into the free skate which will be airing live on NBC on Sunday. Check your local listings for exact times. There is a lot at stake as these men compete for the national title at this event and it does serve as a qualifier for the Olympic Games, so be sure to watch as the fight to the top continues.
Current short program standings:
1. Jeremy Abbott - 99.86 WATCH
2. Richard Dornbush - 92.04 WATCH
3. Jason Brown - 87.47 WATCH
4. Max Aaron - 86.95 WATCH
5. Joshua Farris - 78.37 WATCH
6. Adam Rippon - 77.58 WATCH
7. Douglas Razzano - 75.18
8. Ross Miner - 71.94
9. Brandon Mroz - 70.57
10. Grant Hochstein - 64.62
11. Lukas Kaugars - 64.57
12. Stephen Carriere - 64.42
13. Timothy Dolensky - 61.76
14. Keegan Messing - 61.15
15. Sean Rabbitt - 60.58
16. Philip Warren - 55.80
17. Scott Dyer - 55.78
18. Daniel Raad - 52.98
19. Robbie Przepioski - 47.00