Ashley Wagner is on her way to becoming the first American woman since Michelle Kwan in 2005 to win back-to-back national figure skating championships after taking the lead in Omaha with a solid short program performed to “Red Violin” Thursday night.
“I felt really solid,” the eight ranked skater in the world said after her skate. “I did exactly what I planned on doing. I feel like I owned every jump, spin, and element that I had in that program.”
Despite a training regimen that her coach called “anything but ideal” as he admitted she was concerned more about sparkles and music than preparation, Wagner scored a 67.57 and leads Agnes Zawadzki by more than two points heading into Saturday’s long program.
Vancouver Olympian Mirai Nagasu sits in third, 0.92 points behind in her comeback to the sport.
“I feel like I’ve been like that little girl from ages ago who wanted to go to the Olympics and medal,” Nagasu said. “I feel like I’ve been trying to regain that memory. Sometimes it’s hard but it’s been a great journey.”