BOSTON — Saturday night in Boston it was a gold for Gold.
Two-time national champion Ashley Wagner fell twice in her free skate, opening the door for teenager Gracie Gold – with a name to match – to capture her first U.S. Championships at TD Garden.
Fifteen-year-old Polina Edmunds scored a 193.63, bettering Wagner by 10 points to seal silver. 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu also finished ahead of Wagner, taking the bronze medal.
“It’s embarrassing as two-time national champion to put out a performance like this,” Wagner said after her free skate. “As soon as they called my name my legs felt like lead. I couldn’t shake it out.”
The U.S. Figure Skating Association will name the three women to its Olympic team Sunday at a press conference. A committee selects the team on the past year’s results, not just those from Nationals.
Wagner has been in the top six at the World Championships the last two years and has won medals at the Grand Prix Final, including a bronze in December.
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“We’ll see what happens after this,” Wagner said. “Luckily I had a decent season so that definitely helps my case.”
Edmunds, whose mother grew up in Russia, stated her case for the team.
“I think tonight was the night where we had to prove ourselves and I did prove myself,” said the teenager, who was skating in her first-ever senior event. “I think Ashley is a phenomenal skater, but everyone has been working hard for these Nationals. The results are the results. Everyone has a dream to go to Sochi.”
She added: “I would be pretty disappointed because I was in second place.”
Gold was the one who undoubtedly proved herself the most on Saturday night, only bobbling on one triple jump but staying upright for the four-plus minutes of her free skate to “Sleeping Beauty.”
After landing her second double Axel of the free skate, Gold pumped her fists as she skated, obviously overcome with the reality of her effort.
“I knew that was it,” she said. “It was kind of unreal. It was like a fairy tale.”
Gold, Nagasu and Wagner all skated two Grand Prix events this season while Edmunds competed in the junior ranks.
“Going to Sochi would be a dream come true,” Gold, who’s coached by the legendary Frank Carroll, told reporters.
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1. Gracie Gold – 211.69
2. Polina Edmunds – 193.63
3. Mirai Nagasu – 190.74
4. Ashley Wagner – 182.74
5. Samantha Cesario – 173.97
“Tonight I felt strangely calm,” says new national champ @GraceEGold #Boston2014 pic.twitter.com/zEj85g3T2U
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) January 12, 2014