Intermediate Ladies Medalists
Intermediate Men Medalists
Intermediate Pairs Medalists
Intermediate Dance Medalists
photo by Carly Gold

2018 U.S. National Championships

29 December - 7 January 2018, San Jose, CA


The "Usual Suspects" Headline Dance Championships - Maia & Alex Shibutani, the 2016 and 2017 U.S. champions and three-time World medalists, Madison Chock & Evan Bates, the 2015 U.S. titlists and two-time World medalists and Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue, the four-time U.S. bronze medalists, collectively comprise some of the three strongest American dance entries to ever be facing off against one another at a U.S. Championships, especially during an Olympic season, which ought to make this a more exciting showdown than ever.

U.S. Pair Teams Vie for One Olympic Berth - The country’s premiere pair teams, helmed by Alexa Scimeca Knierim & Chris Knierim, the 2015 U.S. champions and Deanna Stellato & Nathan Bartholomay of Ellenton, Florida, the 2017 U.S. fourth-place finishers are some of the teams at the helm of this year’s U.S. pair roster at the U.S. Championships in San Jose, which kicks off on Thursday, January 4th at the SAP Center.

U.S. Men Ready for Showdown in San Jose - The leading U.S. men seem as fired up as ever as they prepare to face off against one another at the U.S. Championships in San Jose this week in hopes of scoring a medal and one of three sought-after U.S. Olympic spots.

Top American Ladies in the Hunt for U.S. Olympic Berths in San Jose - It's show time this week for Karen Chen, the 2017 U.S. champion, Ashley Wagner, the 2016 World silver medalist and three-time U.S. titlist, Mirai Nagasu, the 2008 U.S. champion, Bradie Tennell, the 2015 U.S. junior gold medalist, along with several other premiere American ladies, to score a coveted U.S. Olympic team spot at the U.S. Championships in San Jose.

Olympic and World Team Selections

U.S. Olympic Team nominations(1) and World Team selections following the National Championships roughly followed order of finish, though with one unsurprising exception.  The guiding principle for Olympic selections is to choose those skaters who are most likely to gain the U.S. the largest number of medals at the 2018 ISU Olympic Winter Games.  The guiding principle for World and World Junior selections is to choose those skaters who are most likely to gain the U.S. the largest number of entries for the subsequent 2019 ISU Championships.

For the men, silver medalist Ross Minor was bypassed for Adam Rippon (pewter medal) for the Olympic and World Championships, and as a further slap in the face he was named only the second alternate for the Olympic Team.  Minor was assigned to the Four Continents Championships but withdrew on 12 January 2018.

For the ladies, it was speculated that pewter medalist Ashley Wagner might be selected over one of the higher placing ladies, but it was ultimately thought by the International Committee of U.S. Figure Skating that Wagner had a lesser body of work for the season and was not selected to the Olympic or World Teams.  She was assigned to the Four Continents Championships, but on 12 January 2018 U.S. Figure Skating announce she too had withdrawn from that competition.

In a quirk of the Olympic rules, the U.S. has two entries for the 2018 World Championships, but only one for the Olympic Winter Games.  As expected, Knierem & Knierem were named the sole nomination for the Olympic Team.

In Dance, the top three teams, who have been at each others heels all season, were named to the Olympic and World teams.

Follow the link for all assignments.

(1)  U.S. Figure Skating nominates Olympic Team members to the USOC which actually selects the entire Olympic Team representing the U.S. in the Olympic Winter Games.  U.S. Figure Skating selects the team members to the various ISU Championships.

Senior Championships

Senior Ladies Senior Men Senior Pairs Senior Dance

Mirai Nagasu (2)
Bdarie Tennell (1)
Karen Chen (3)
Ashley Wagner (4)

Ross Minor (2)
Nathan Chen (1)
Vincent Zhou (3)
Adam Rippon (4)

Tarah Kayne & Danny O'Shea (2)
Alexa Scimeca-Knierem & Chris Knierem(1)
Deanna Stellato & Nathan Bartholomy (3)
Ashley Cain & Timothy LeDuc (4)

Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani (2)
Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue (1)
Megan Chock & Evan Bates (3)
Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker (4)


Senior Ladies Short Program

Senior Ladies Free Skate

Senior Men Short Program

Senior Men Free Skate
Senior Pairs Short Program Senior Pairs Free Skate
Senior Dance Short Dance Senior Dance Free Dance

Junior Championships

Junior Ladies Junior Men Junior Pairs Junior Dance

Pooja Kalyan (2)
Alysa Liu (1)
Ting Cui (3)
Hanna Harrell (4)

Dinh Tran (2)
Camden Pulkinen (1)
Maxim Naumov (3)
Ryan Dunk (4)

Sarah Feng & TJ Nyman (2)
Audrey Lu & Misha Mitrofanov (1)
Laiken Lockley & Keenan Prochnow (3)
Nadine Wang & Spencer Howe (4)

Caroline Green & Gordon Green (2)
Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko (1)
Chloe Lewis & Logan Bye (3)
Eliana Gropman & Ian Somerville (4)


Junior Ladies
Junior Men
Junior Pairs
Junior Dance

Novice Championships

Novice Awards Photos by Carly Gold

Novice Ladies Novice Men Novice Pairs Novice Dance

Emilea Zingas (2)
Beverly Zhu (1)
Violeta Ushakova (3)
Calista Choi (4)

Max Lake (2)
Goku Endo (1)
Nicholas Hsieh (3)
Lucas Altieri (4)

oanna Hubbart & William Hubbart (2)
Hom & Franz-Peter Jerosch (1)
Mokhova & Ivan Mokhov (3)
Ellie McClellan & Jim Garbutt (4)

Gianna Buckley & Jeffrey Chen (2)Katarina Wolfkostin & Howard Zhao (1)
Caroline Liu &
Kenan Slevira (3)
Tkachenko & Alexei Kiliakov (4)


Novice Ladies
Novice Men
Novice Pairs
Novice Dance

Juvenile Singles and Pairs Lead off 2018 Championships

The Juvenile and Intermediate Championships kicked off the 2018 National Championships at the Solar4America Ice arena in San Jose, CA on Friday, December 29.  The 2018 Championships are several weeks earlier than usual due to this being an Olympic season.  The schedule is also a day longer than in the past, starting a day earlier and filling up 10 days of competition.  Juvenile singles and pairs competitions were completed on this first day, and the Intermediate singles and pairs skated their short programs.  Attendance varied during the day, but was generally 200-300 spectators.  Only about 450 seats are available, and for the Junior Short programs, we predict a lot of unhappy all event ticket holders will be unable to get into the arena.  Why the Junior short programs are even in the secondary arena at all, though, in itself makes no sense.

Isabeau Levito, from New Jersey, led the way on both the technical side and component side to win the Juvenile Girls title.  She gave a strong, dynamic, outgoing performance that was clearly above the rest of her group, earning 65.39 points, with Performance in Interpretation scores in the fives - excellent scores for a Juvenile skater.  She opened with a strong double Axel, then filled time with her Choreographic step sequence, to allow the remaining jumps to be executed in the second half.  Her second double Axel, in combination with half loop and double flip was not as clean as the first, with the half loop called under-rotated.  Both of her spins reached level 4.  At 10 years old, Levito is the kind of Juvenile skater the U.S. needs to be developing at her age.

Skating to music from "Peter Pan," New York native Keita Horiko  won the Juvenile Boys title with a strong skate. Most of his lead (2.58 points) came on the technical side, though he still managed to lead in components by 0.53 points.  He landed two double Axels, though with a handful of negative GoEs.  One of these was in combination with half loop and double loop.  Both his spins reached level 4.  Like Lovato, his program was back loaded with an opening double flip, then a time-killing spin and Choreographic step sequence followed by four jump elements in a row - not particular creative choreography, but good for racking up points.

Natasha Mishkutionok (Dallas FSC) & Daniel Tioumentsev (Albuquerque FSC) skated a Russian gypsy themed program. They scored 48.63 points, 5.05 ahead of the rest of the group.  The team scored level four on their opening group2 lift and closing pair spin.  Their side-by-side change combination spin was scored level 3.  Their components averaged near 4.25.  While well skated, like all the Juvenile pairs, their program is hampered by ruled that restrict the Juvenile pairs to mostly trivial pairs elements.  Compared to Juvenile singles and dance, Juvenile pairs is handcuffed by rules that hold back the development of U.S. pairs.

The Intermediate Championships for singles and pairs will finish on Saturday, December 30 with the skating of their long programs.

Estimated Attendance - Current attendance estimates and comparison to previous U.S. Nationals.

Photos © 2017, 2018 by George Rossano

Juvenile Girls Medalists
Juvenile Boys Medalists
Juvenile Pairs Medalists
Juvenile Dance Medalists