World news – Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier lead pairs in Figure Skating Nationals


« I was already crying when I broke up from kissing and crying, » said Knierim minutes later, where skaters are getting points. « All positive emotions, of course. »

Knierim, an Olympic and three-time national champion with her now retired husband Chris and new partner Frazier, made their debut together in Las Vegas.

They lead with a whopping 6.16 Score in free skate on Saturday and take the driver’s seat for one of two US pairs places at the World Championships in March.

Knierim and Frazier ended up next to each other on the way to winning Skate America, just like three months ago Triple-toe loops and a throw triple loop. They reached 77.46 points, distancing US silver medalists Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson from 2020.

Calalang and Johnson and US champions from 2019, Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, the other favorites before Event, counted a decrease in side-by-side triple jumps.

Knierim and Frazier teamed up 10 months ago after Chris quit skating because the Knierims won their third national title.

Frazier was also solo after his partnership with Haven Denney ended, which spawned a national title in 2017. He visited the Knierims to try it out in March.

« I had already made up my mind that I wanted to skate with Brandon before he got here, but we didn’t tell him, » Knierim joked in front of the citizens. “I just had to see if he liked me and our skating and if he would be comfortable at all with a whole new team in an environment. For me it wasn’t a test. For me it was the beginning of our partnership. “

In a pandemic-limited off-season, they rose to the fore among US couples, a discipline that has been characterized by sales and a lack of international success for the past 20 years.

 » We just got so tough worked « , Knierim explained the tears. « I can’t even describe the work we put in to get here and the programs we ran. »

Knierim, 29, may be the first skater of a couple since Kyoko Ina , whose fifth and final crown came in 2002, won four national titles.

Just before they went skating on Thursday, Knierim’s husband and part-time coach gave a FaceTime Pep talk. Skate like at home and you’ll be fine.

Knierim was still feeling tense as she stepped on the ice in the Orleans Arena, where the only fans were cardboard cutouts.

« You have doubts if you take this starting pose and I was just looking at Brandon, ”she said. « I said, » I need you. « And he said, » I need you too. « 

 » There was a bit of that awkward competitive feeling you get, « he said, » but she and I stayed locked up. « 

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