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Alysa Liu Seeks to Regain U.S. Women's Title at 2022 US Nationals

by Liz Leamy



( 26 December 2021)  Alysa Liu, the 16 year-old two-time U.S. champion, seeks to score another national title at the U.S. Championships in Nashville in January.  The high-energy Clovis, California native, who came on the championship-level skating scene at age 13 when she took gold at the 2019 U.S. Championships with a triple Axel, is poised to reach the top of the podium again. She repeated as U.S. Champion in 2020, but was dethroned by Bradie Tennell in 2021.

Liu, who made history in 2019 as the youngest woman to have ever won a U.S. ladies title (at 13), will be using ‘Gypsy Dance’ from Don Quixote for her short program and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ‘Violin Concerto,’ performed by Joshua Bell, for her free skate this season, both of which received high marks in international competitions leading up to this event. Liu was fourth at the NHK Trophy and fifth at Skate Canada during the ISU Grand Prix this season.

At 2022 Nationals, Liu will be facing off against leading contenders Bradie Tennell, the 2018 and 2021 U.S. champion and Mariah Bell, a three-time U.S. medalist, all of who will be looking to qualify for one of the three ladies spots on the 2022 U.S. Winter Olympic team.  One of those three spots was earned for the U.S. by Liu with her victory at the Nebelhorn Trophy competition last September.  Liu placed 11th in the overall 2021 ISU grand Prix standings, the highest U.S. woman.  Mariah Bell placed 14th, while Bradie Tennell missed both her Grand Prix events due to injury.

For Liu, it’s all about doing her job, and staying focused on her goal.  “I feel the best [I ever have] going into these Nationals because I’ve started to feel less about the expectations and pressure,” said Liu. “I’ve just matured and I’m just not caring about what other people say and were saying.”

Since achieving the 2019 Championship under the guidance of her former longtime coach Laura Lipetsky, Liu has made several coaching changes and has previously worked with eight additional coaches and Choreographers on her support team.  In November, Liu made her most recent coaching change, switching from Jeremy Abbott and Massimo Scali in Detroit to Christy Krall, Drew Meekins and Viktor Pfeifer at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.  Asked about how things are going, Liu said she’s been enjoying Colorado.  “New experiences are good to have,” said Liu. “You always have to learn something new.”

Following her 2020 championship, growth spurts put a crimp on Liu’s success with triple Axel and quad jumps.  Liu is the second women skater to land a quadruple Lutz (at the 2019 Junior Grand Prix in Lake Placid), and the first American.  She is also the first woman skater to land a triple Axel and a quad in the same program (at the 2019 Junior Grand Prix in Lake Placid).  At the 2019 Junior Grand Prix in Poland she became the first women skater to land two triple Axels and a quad in the same program.

Since 2020 Liu, has been dedicated to recovering her technical content, to again be a contender among the leading female skaters from Russia and Japan who are doing quads and clean triple Axels.

The ladies competition will be held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Thursday January 6th at 6:30 pm and Friday January 7th at 6:30 pm.