Joshua Farris skated a personal-best short program, while U.S. champion Jason Brown and Adam Rippon struggled at the Four Continents Championships in Seoul on Thursday.
Farris, the 20-year-old who was third at last month’s U.S. Championships, scored 84.29 points without a quadruple jump for fifth place. He trails leader Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, who did land a quad, by 13.32.
“I was thinking about doing [a quad] in the short, but from Nationals to now wasn’t enough time to train it, and it wasn’t super consistent with the footwork going into it,” Farris said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “I’m going to work on it, and 100 percent guaranteed will do it at [World Championships].”
Brown, who won his U.S. title without a quad, added a quad toe loop Thursday but two-footed his landing and totaled 75.86 for ninth place.
Brown said his coach, Kori Ade, told him right after the U.S. Championships that he would add a quad for Four Continents, the top international event before the World Championships in March.
“My goal was that I wanted to integrate a quad and do it to the best of my ability in that moment, and once it was over, leave it there and continue on,” Brown said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “There is no better time to try it than right now and leading up to worlds and try to see how it goes. If it does get more consistent for Worlds, I can look back and know that I’ve tried it before in competition.”
Rippon, the U.S. silver medalist, put his hands down on two jumps, including a quadruple Lutz. He scored 68.37 for 12th place.
“It was bad today,” Rippon said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “I wanted to go out and do the quad Lutz, which is the hardest being attempted in competition today. I really wanted to do that to challenge the best skaters in the world. When I had a bad attempt on it, it kind of threw the program off.”
Farris, Brown and Rippon will go to the World Championships in Shanghai in March trying to keep the U.S.’ three spots for the 2016 World Championships. To do that, the top two U.S. men’s finishes at Worlds must add up to no greater than 13 (for example, sixth and seventh).
What happened Thursday shows how tough that will be. Farris and Brown add up to 14 in a field that doesn’t include World Championships favorites Yuzuru Hanyu, Javier Fernandez and Russians Sergey Voronov and Maksim Kovtun.
Earlier Thursday, U.S. Olympians Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Maia and Alex Shibutani went one-two in the short dance. U.S. pairs champions Alexa Scimeca and Christopher Knierim were fifth in their short program.
The Four Continents Championships continue with the women’s short program Friday, including Gracie Gold.