KANSAS CITY — Gracie Gold was left off the world championships team for the first time in her five-year senior career on Sunday.
A U.S. Figure Skating selection committee named the top three finishers from the U.S. Championships on Saturday night — Karen Chen, Ashley Wagner and Mariah Bell — to worlds in Helsinki in two months.
Gold placed sixth at nationals, her first time outside the top two, continuing a plunge since topping the 2016 World Championships short program and then finishing off the podium in fourth last March. Gold commented on her rough performance and disastrous season Saturday night.
Despite finishing sixth, Gold was still eligible for the three-woman worlds team. The committee decides based on not just nationals, but recent results starting with the 2016 U.S. Championships.
Gold won last year’s nationals, but after her fourth at worlds she had an awful fall season and didn’t come close to defending her U.S. title this past week.
U.S. champion Chen and Bell will make their worlds debuts in Helsinki. Wagner heads to her seventh worlds, one year after ending a 10-year U.S. women’s medal drought with a silver.
Gold is the second alternate behind Mirai Nagasu.
The U.S. team for worlds also includes pairs Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier and Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Christopher Knierim and ice dance couples Maia and Alex Shibutani, Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.
The Knierims successfully petitioned for a place on the worlds team despite not competing this season due to her September stomach surgery. They were the top U.S. pairs at the 2016 Worlds, placing ninth.
Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran, who were second at nationals in pairs, were left off the worlds team.
The two men on the worlds team will be named after Sunday’s free skate.Follow @nzaccardi