Polina Edmunds

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Gracie Gold qualifies for nationals, Polina Edmunds shut out

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2014 Olympian Gracie Gold qualified for the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships by virtue of a third-place finish at the Eastern Sectional Singles Final on Saturday in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

“Bronze: so hot this fall,” Gold posted on Instagram. She last competed at U.S. nationals in 2017, when she finished sixth. She won the national title in 2014 and 2016.

Gold sat second after the short program with 63.55 points, and ultimately finished third overall with 109.90 points in the free skate for 173.45 points. The top four at the event qualify for the national championships in Greensboro, North Carolina in January.

Her free skate included a fall on the opening triple Lutz and an under-rotation on the triple Lutz, double toe loop combination. She also put a hand down on the landing of a double Axel. The rest of the program, though, was clean.

Her performance, set to “She Used to be Mine” by Sara Bareilles, can be found at the 2:05 mark of the on-demand stream of the event for NBC Gold Pass subscribers.

Meanwhile, her Sochi teammate Polina Edmunds was shut out of nationals based on a fifth-place finish at the Pacific Coast Sectional Singles Final (top four qualify). Her performance can be found for NBC Gold Pass subscribers at the 1:50 mark of the on-demand stream for the event. Edmunds last competed at Nationals in 2016, when she earned the silver medal behind Gold.

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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Bronze: so hot this fall 🥉

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Polina Edmunds takes season off, plans figure skating return

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Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds has been off the ice for nearly nine months with a long-term right foot injury and will not compete this season. Her goal is to return to competitive figure skating next season.

Edmunds, the youngest U.S. competitor across all sports in Sochi, has suffered from a bone bruise for more than two and a half years, missing the entire 2016-17 season. She withdrew after a seventh-place short program at last season’s U.S. Championships in January in her hometown of San Jose, citing the injury.

“I had a lot of MRIs done in the past three years,” Edmunds said by phone Thursday. “The bone bruise that I had was very deep and very serious for such a small bone in my foot. It required a lot of time off the ice, off really physical activity impact on my foot to really heal it properly. I never really allowed myself to have that time just with the craziness of Olympic season last year. Ever since my last nationals and me taking the time off the ice, I’ve actually allowed myself the proper healing time and the proper way to go about it. Even if I wasn’t skating, I wouldn’t be running or doing other things that would harm it.”

Edmunds is focused this fall on her junior year at Santa Clara University, where she is a communication major.

As a skater, Edmunds was the revelation of the 2014 U.S. Championships, taking silver behind Gracie Gold in her first senior competition to earn her way onto the Sochi Olympic team at age 15. Edmunds, on skates since age 2 when her Russian-born mother, Nina, began coaching her, had been profiled by The New York Times at the 2010 U.S. Championships and won the U.S. junior title in 2013.

She then placed ninth at the Sochi Winter Games and eighth at that season’s world championships.

Edmunds notched her biggest win at the 2015 Four Continents Championships, then took another U.S. silver medal in 2016 in her last competition before the injury struck.

“I haven’t lived up to my competitive potential,” Edmunds said Thursday. “My career internationally has been so short. I really feel like there’s more that I can do, more that I can bring. This time I’ve had off, this physical and mental growth, coming back I can be even better than I was before.”

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Bradie Tennell wins U.S. title; Mirai Nagasu 2nd; Ashley Wagner 4th

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Bradie Tennell is your U.S. champion. Silver medalist Mirai Nagasu appears headed back to the Olympics after tearfully being left off the 2014 team.

And bronze medalist Karen Chen will round out the three-woman U.S. Olympic team over fourth-place Ashley Wagner, should a committee stick to the standings from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Friday night.

But that’s not a sure thing.

Wagner, the three-time national champion and face of U.S. women’s skating, placed fourth for the second straight nationals in an Olympic year.

In 2014, Wagner was placed on the Olympic team over third-place Nagasu. Will a committee using this criteria of results from the past year put Wagner on the team again?

Wagner said she was underscored and deserved a spot on the Olympic team.

VIDEO: Wagner ‘furious’ about nationals scores

The Olympic team of three women — again, not necessarily the top three at nationals — will be announced Saturday at 8 a.m. ET on TODAY.

The U.S. Championships continue Saturday with the pairs and men’s free skates on NBC and NBCSN and streaming on NBCOlympics.com.

NATIONALS: Full Results | TV Schedule

Tennell, 19, has been a revelation since placing ninth at the 2017 Nationals. She took bronze in her Grand Prix debut at Skate America on Thanksgiving weekend and entered nationals with the two highest scores among Americans this season.

Tennell’s jumping was nearly impeccable in both programs where every other top U.S. woman had struggles.

She topped the short program by seven tenths of a point and the free skate by nearly five points, with Nagasu runner-up both nights.

“I can’t believe it,” Tennell, the 2015 U.S. junior champion, said on NBC. “I can’t put it into words. … I think the sky’s the limit for me.”

Nagasu, 24, matched her best finish at nationals since winning her only title in 2008. She made the 2010 Olympic team, was fourth at those Winter Games, and topped the 2010 Worlds short program but never reached those levels internationally again.

Her most memorable skate may have been the 2014 U.S. Championships exhibition, when she tearfully performed hours after she was left off the Olympic team in favor of Wagner.

She added the triple Axel this season and landed it messy in both programs but was given credit for the jump. Quite the longevity for the Californian who fell on a double Axel in her 2008 Nationals free skate.

Chen won last year’s national title and was fourth at the 2017 Worlds, two results that boost her resume in the eyes of the selection committee.

In 2014, Wagner had the credentials as defending U.S. champion and top U.S. woman in international competition. She has not been at that level in more than one year.

Wagner, in her first time competing her “La La Land” free skate on Friday, singled a planned triple Salchow as part of a combination. She also under-rotated a late triple Lutz, two-footing the landing.

When she received her score, lower than her free skate at the last three nationals, Wagner shook her head from left to right and raised her eyebrows in concern.

Wagner was in danger after placing fifth in Wednesday’s short program. She has had two poor seasons — by her standards — since winning the 2016 World silver medal.

It may have been her final competition.

It appears none of the Sochi Olympians will make it back for PyeongChang.

Gracie Gold, the top U.S. woman in Sochi, is sitting out nationals after receiving treatment for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. Gold is in San Jose to support the competing skaters and tweeting up a storm.

The third 2014 U.S. Olympian, Polina Edmunds, withdrew before the free skate due to right foot pain, according to her social media.

Edmunds, the youngest U.S. competitor across all sports in Sochi, was seventh in the short program. She missed the entire 2016-17 season due to a bone bruise in her right foot and was ranked 13th among U.S. women this season going into nationals.

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