Abbott wins 3rd U.S. men's figure skating title in 4 years

Training partner Rippon also earns trip to world championships

Jeremy Abbott

Jeremy Abbott poses for photographers after winning the Men's competition during the 2012 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the HP Pavilion. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images / December 16, 2013)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — If the men's free skate at the U.S. Championships were a color chart, it would have run from beige to taupe until the black-clad Jeremy Abbott took the ice as the final competitor Sunday.

With a kaleidoscopic rainbow of subtly intricate movements to music from Muse's "Exogenesis Symphony," Abbott made a loud statement that he is the gold standard among current U.S. men, earning his third national title in four years by winning the short program and free skate all three times.

He stood out even more against the bland men's performances saturating this competition.

Opening with the only successful quadruple jump of the 20 men in the free skate, Abbott played it safe on some later jumps and was a runaway winner with 273.58 points.

"I was pretty confident I was going to do what I did," he said.

His suburban Detroit training partner, Adam Rippon, was second at 240.87, his first podium finish in four tries at senior nationals. He and Abbott got the two U.S. men's places at the March world championships.

Ross Miner was third for the second straight year.

Abbott, 25, was U.S. champion in 2009 and 2010 but lost the title with a poor free skate last year. The winner, Ryan Bradley, has retired.

The results were quite an accomplishment for the husband-wife coaching team of Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjen, who work with Abbott, Rippon and women's runner-up Alissa Czisny.

Abbott and a former training partner under coach Tom Zakrajsek, Brandon Mroz, had finished 1-2 in the 2009 nationals. Abbott left Zakrajsek after that season; Mroz, still with Zakrajsek, finished 14th Sunday.

Rippon, 22, joined Sato and Dungjen this season.

Abbott learned after the competition that his stepfather, Allen Scott, 64, of Colorado Springs, had been taken to a local hospital after a health incident in the stands at HP Pavilion. Abbott was able to talk with his stepfather by phone.

A U.S. Figure Skating spokesperson said Scott's condition was stable, and he was being kept overnight for observation.

Jason Brown of Highland Park, who won the Junior Grand Prix final in December, matched his ninth-place finish of last year after falling three times in the second half of the free skate.
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