(1/27/19) - Nathan Chen won his third consecutive U.S. title Sunday afternoon at Little Caesars Arena as the 2019 GEICO U.S. Figure Skating Championships concluded after ten days of competition.
The Yale freshman won the title by more than 50 points, earning a record-breaking 342.22 total points through two days of competition. He scored 228.80 points in Sunday’s free skate.
“The score definitely took me by surprise,” Chen said after his free skate. “It was a lot bigger than I was expecting, but ultimately scores are scores. I’m happy with what I did and hopefully I can continue to do that in other competitions.”
Chen is the first U.S. man to win three straight titles since Johnny Weir accomplished the feat in 2006.
Vincent Zhou improved from the short program to finish second, earning 183.76 points on Sunday for 284.01 points overall. It’s his third straight U.S. medal (bronze in 2018, silver in 2017).
“My legs were definitely a little shaky because I was so nervous, but I thought I did a really good job today of staying in my own bubble and focusing on what I needed to do,” Zhou said. “Skating last, especially with [Jason Brown and Nathan Chen] leading me after the short program, was not easy to do at all. There was a lot of pressure and I felt like I did a great job handling that. I’m very proud of myself for coming so far this season, because I had a late and rough start. I’m just so grateful and proud to be here.”
Jason Brown won the bronze medal, the fourth U.S. medal of his career, with 273.08 total points. His free skate earned 172.56 points.
“You know, it wasn’t the best skate,” Brown said. “I’ve been training a lot better, but it’s all part of this process of building and building…I’m working really hard to focus on all of the changes that we’re making, but every so often it gets away from me. I’m really proud of the fight out there and that’s really all I can ask. I’m happy to be back on the U.S. podium and I’m really excited about all of the strides that I’ve made this week.”
Tomoki Hiwatashi rounded out the podium with 253.28 total points.