Wagner still in line for Olympic spot

Defending U.S. champion Ashley Wagner sits in fourth place after the short program.
Defending U.S. champion Ashley Wagner sits in fourth place after the short program. (MATTHEW STOCKMAN / Getty)
Posted: January 12, 2014

BOSTON - Ashley Wagner stumbled in her short program Thursday night, jeopardizing her shot at a third straight national title but almost certainly not a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

Wagner, who once trained at the Skating Club of Wilmington, chose not to add any tougher jumps on the fly after her early miscue. She stood in fourth place with a score of 64.71 points heading into Saturday night's free-skate finale at these 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

"I decided to play it safe rather than be sorry," said Wagner, 22, who now trains in California. "I decided just to leave it at that."

Three women will be named to the U.S. team Sunday. Rules permit the selection committee to be guided but not bound by the results here.

Leading the ladies competition is teenager Gracie Gold, who scored a career-best 72.12 to build a sizable cushion over second-place Polina Edmunds (66.75) and Mirai Nagasu (65.44).

"It's a new short program and there were a couple of unknowns going into this event," said Gold, 18. "I'm really glad I was able to trust my training, and I think I've worked really hard."

At the 2013 nationals, Gold was sixth after the short program, then won the free skate to finish second.

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