Max Aaron was as surprised as everyone else in Omaha Sunday after jumping from fourth after the short program all the way to his first national title.
The 20-year-old, who also won the U.S. Classic back in September, finished with 255 points to outscore runner-up Ross Miner by nearly four point.
“It feels kind of weird,” Aaron told NBC after winning. “It’s like it’s just another event and just happened to click. I want to give it my all at every event.”
The former hockey player from Scottsdale, Ariz. earned a spot at worlds and put himself in the driver’s seat for a shot in Sochi next February.
Three-time champ national Jeremy Abbot came in with a commanding lead after a near flawless first night of competition, but dropped to third after a poor showing in the free skate.
15-year-old Alina Zagitova won the first gold medal for the Olympic Athletes from Russia on Thursday night in the ladies’ free skate in PyeongChang.
Yevgenia Medvedeva, her training partner and the two-time world champion, earned silver by a margin of 1.31 points. That’s the exact margin Zagitova led Medvedeva by after the short program on Tuesday.
This marks the first time two women from the same country have shared the ladies’ figure skating podium since Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan in 1998. Speaking of Lipinski – Zagitova is less than a month older than Lipinski was when she won gold in Nagano, and Zagitova is now the second-youngest individual ladies’ Olympic champion in history.
Kaetlyn Osmond earned bronze – Canada’s first Olympic medal in ladies’ figure skating since 2010.
Gold: Alina Zagitova (OAR)
Silver: Yevgenia Medvedeva (OAR)
Bronze: Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN)
9. Bradie Tennell (USA)
10. Mirai Nagasu (USA)
11. Karen Chen (USA)
Click here to read the full recap and watch highlights from the ladies’ free skate program
Canadian skiers Kelsey Serwa and Brittany Phelan took the top spots in women’s ski cross at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, giving Canada its third consecutive gold medal in this event.
Switzerland’s Fanny Smith edged out Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund in the big final to claim the final spot on the podium.
Read the rest of the story and watch video at NBCOlympics.com