Ashley Wagner placed third in the Trophee Bompard short program Friday as she seeks to clinch a Grand Prix Final berth in Bordeaux, France.
Wagner, who was seventh at the Sochi Olympics and March’s World Championships, scored 61.35 points Friday. She trailed Russian leaders Yelena Radionova and Yulia Lipnitskaya, who scored 67.28 and 66.79, respectively.
Wagner lost points for underrotated landings on her triple flip-triple toe loop combination and a triple loop. The 23-year-old scored 63.86 in her short program at Skate Canada, her only other Grand Prix series event this season. Wagner finished second there.
If Wagner finishes first or second at Trophee Bompard after the free skate Saturday, she will clinch a berth in the Grand Prix Final in three weeks in Barcelona. She could still make the Grand Prix Final with a finish lower than second, depending on results from other skaters this week and at NHK Trophy in Japan next week.
The Grand Prix Final field includes the top six skaters per discipline from the six-event Grand Prix series, which finishes next week.
Wagner is hoping to become the second U.S. woman to qualify for three straight Grand Prix Finals, joining Michelle Kwan, who is the only U.S. woman with more Grand Prix Final berths than Wagner.
Radionova and Lipnitskaya are also looking to qualify for the Grand Prix Final, which will likely include three or four Russian women.
Radionova, 15, was too young for the Sochi Olympics. She won Skate America last month.
Lipnitskaya, 16, was the star of the Sochi Olympic team event, where Russia won gold. She finished second at Cup of China earlier this month.
Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan led the men’s short program with 91.78, topping Japanese World silver medalist Tatsuki Machida by 3.08. American Richard Dornbush was fourth.
NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will air Trophee Bompard coverage Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET.
Trophee Bompard Short Program
1. Yelena Radionova (RUS) — 67.28
2. Yulia Lipnitskaya (RUS) — 66.79
3. Ashley Wagner (USA) — 61.35
6. Courtney Hicks (USA) — 55.7
7. Samantha Cesario (USA) — 55.19
1. Denis Ten (KAZ) — 91.78
2. Tatsuki Machida (JPN) — 88.7
3. Konstantin Menshov (RUS) — 87.47
4. Richard Dornbush (USA) — 80.24
7. Adam Rippon (USA) — 76.98
11. Douglas Razzano (USA) — 64.98