Bradie Tennell Takes the Lead in Quest for Second U.S. Title
by Liz Leamy
(27 January 2019) In the opening segment of the Ladies event, Bradie Tennell, the tenacious 20 year-old from Winfield, Illinois, charged into first place among the 2019 U.S. Championship 18-member ladies contingent at the Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit.
Tennell, the 2018 U.S. Champion who will be turning 21 on January 31st, racked up a high 76.60 with her compelling interpretation to ‘Rebirth’ by Hi-Finesse in which she did a slingshot-like triple Lutz-triple toe loop (for which she earned Grade of Execution marks that ranged from plus two to plus five), triple flip, double Axel and some fast, beautifully formed spins.
“I’m happy with how I skated tonight,” Tennell said. “It was super fun to get back out there on championship ice. There is nothing quite like it and I am happy with how I performed. I was super confident coming into tonight. I practiced hard for this and I know how hard I trained. I love these programs, so I am excited to share them with everybody.”
Alysa Liu, the 13 year-old jumping jack who, back in 2018, won the 2018 U.S. junior title, catapulted into second with her high-energy program to Barbara Streisand’s ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ with a 73.89.
Liu, who trains in Oakland and lives in Richmond, California, knocked out a solid triple Axel, for which she was awarded a majority of plus-three Grade of Execution marks, a triple Lutz-triple toe loop (of which the second jump was marked as under-rotated) and a triple flip, among other elements.
“I was happy that I did my triple Axel in the short because it’s [U.S. Championships],” Liu said. “I was so happy that I did everything I wanted to do. I was a little nervous, but I was just so excited to be here.”
Liu has two triple Axels planned for her free skate, one as a solo jump and the other with double toe loop.
Mariah Bell, the 22 year-old 2017 U.S. bronze medalist, took third with a dramatic rendition of Celine Dion’s ‘I Love You More,’ skated with enthusiasm and a sense of joy, for which she earned a 70.30.
Bell hit a big triple flip, triple Lutz-triple toe loop (of which the second jump was marked as under-rotated) and a double Axel, all of which she did with attack, speed and command. She trains with Rafael Arutyunyan in Lakewood, California.
The Ladies final will take place Friday evening at the Little Ceasars Arena in Detroit.