Teen Gold grabs US women's figure skating crown
Gracie Gold competes in the free skate program during the Prudential US Figure Skating Championships, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 11, 2014
Gold won Saturday's free skate with 139.57 points to claim the overall crown with 211.69 points, a triumph she compared to a fairy tale.
"This is unreal," Gold said. "I can't believe that just happened. I'm so in shock."
Reigning US junior champion Polina Edmunds, only 15, was second in the free skate on 126.88 and overall at 193.63 with Mirai Nagasu third in the free skate at 125.30 and overall on 190.74.
A USA Figure Skating selection panel will choose the final roster for the Sochi Olympics on Sunday, when the men's free skate final will be staged, and the committee will not be bound by results from the meet.
That offers some hope for two-time US champion Ashley Wagner, who was fourth overall on 182.74 after a disappointing fifth-place free skate on 118.03.
The Americans will send three women and three ice dance teams to Sochi but only two men and two pairs couples.
Reigning world ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White captured their sixth consecutive US ice dance crown.
Davis and White took the free dance triumph with 119.50 points and claimed the overall title with a personal best total score of 200.19.
"We're proud of everything we've accomplished," White said. "We're excited to win that title and carry the momentum into the Olympics."
Davis and White figure to be the top US hope for gold next month in Russia, although they will be tested by their training partners, reigning Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.
"We're working to earn gold," Davis said. "We're working really hard for it."
Madison Chock and Evan Bates were second overall on 181.44 with siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani third on 170.44.
Hometown favorites Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir won their second US pairs title in a row despite only managing a third-place finish in the free skate.
Shnapir, a tall Moscow-born skater whose parents emigrated to the United States when he was a baby, and Castelli took the overall crown with 205.71 points.
"It was just amazing," Castelli said of the cheers after their performance. "The crowd was spectacular. It was such a magical moment."
Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, the 2012 US champions, won the free skate with 136.03 but finished third overall on 201.43 points.
Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay finished second in the free skate with 135.22 points, edging Denny and Coughlin for second overall on 201.72.
"We left our hearts out there," Zhang said. "We did the best that we could."
The mixed bag of results threw into doubt exactly which two couples would be picked for Sochi.
Castelli fell on a quad salchow throw landing in the free skate routine, performed to music from James Bond movies, and she and Shnapir were third in the free skate after dominating the short program Thursday.
Shnapir had no regrets about trying the difficult quad move.
"We've been doing it all year, and we're going to continue to do it, hopefully in Russia," he said. "We've nailed it in practice, and we're not going to give up on it."