Some of the most elite figure skaters in the nation are competing in the U.S. figure skating championships, the final event before the Olympic team is determined.
Nathan Chen has a strong lead entering Saturday night’s free skate. Chen finished in first place with a 104.45 score, which placed him well ahead of Adam Rippon (96.52) and Jason Brown (93.23), a 2014 team bronze medalist at the Sochi Olympics.
Although Chen didn’t cleanly land his triple axel, he hit two quads in a dominant short program. The reigning national champion landed a quadruple flip, triple toe combination plus a quadruple toe and a triple Axel to secure the second-highest short program score in nationals history. The highest is the score Chen set last year when he became the first skater to land five quadruple jumps in one program.
Neither Rippon nor Brown attempted a four-revolution jump Thursday.
NBC Sports Network will air the men’s free skate from 8-11 p.m.
One pair and three men — not necessarily the top finishers from nationals — will be named to the Olympic team on Sunday.
Here are the results heading into the men’s free skate:
Nathan Chen, Salt Lake Figure Skating 104.45
Adam Rippon, SC of New York 96.52
Jason Brown, Skokie Valley SC 93.23
Grant Hochstein, SC of New York 92.18
Vincent Zhou, SC of San Francisco 89.02
Ross Miner, SC of Boston 88.91
Timothy Dolensky, Atlanta FSC 85.06
Aleksei Krasnozhon, Dallas FSC 82.58
Andrew Torgashev, Panthers FSC 81.32
Alexander Johnson, Braemar-City 79.60
Jimmy Ma, SC of New York 75.28
Max Aaron, Broadmoor SC 74.95
Sean Rabbitt, Glacier Falls FSC 73.22
Emmanuel Savary, University of Delaware 64.65
Tomoki Hiwatashi, DuPage FSC 63.48
Sebastien Payannet, Los Angeles FSC 61.29
Scott Dyer, All Year FSC 60.17
Daniel Kulenkamp, Southern California 60.15
Ben Jalovick, Centennial 7k SC 56.12
Jordan Moeller, Northern Ice SC 55.35
Kevin Shum, SC of Boston 52.04