MILWAUKEE (AP) — Max Aaron became the first U.S. winner at Skate America in six years Saturday night.
The 23-year-old Aaron landed two quad and six triple jumps and finished with 258.95 points. Japan’s Shoma Uno was second at 257.43.
Performing his “Black Swan” program, Aaron moved from element to element without any problems until he hit a snag with the landing of his final jump, a double Axel.
“Basically I wanted to stay in my mindset the whole time, stay focused on every element and listen to the music,” Aaron said. “That was my goal and what I came here to do. Obviously at the end I had a little slip up. I started to think about the overall picture and that was a mistake, but I’m glad I got that far. I want to improve the next time I compete and get better and better.”
The victory was the first for a U.S. man at Skate America since 2009, when 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek took gold in Lake Placid, New York.
U.S. champion Jason Brown failed to land his opening quad, but earned the bronze medal with 238.47.
The 17-year-old Uno is the World junior champion.
“Some of my jumps were a little shaky, but I was happy I held on,” Uno said.
Aaron set himself up to make his first Olympic team by winning the 2013 U.S. title but fell to third at the 2014 U.S. Championships, missing the two-man Sochi team, and fourth at last season’s U.S. Championships, missing the three-man World Championships team.
Aaron scored the first Grand Prix title for an American man since Jeremy Abbott in 2011.
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