U.S. Figure Skating Championships : Boitano Wins, and Chin Retains Lead

Associated Press

Brian Boitano landed seven triple jumps and won the men's title Friday night at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, while Tiffany Chin made mistakes but still retained her lead among women.

Boitano, runner-up at the nationals the past two years, succeeded Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton, who retired earlier this year.

Mark Cockerell, 22, of Burbank, Calif., won the silver medal, and Scott Williams, 18, of Redondo Beach, Calif., won the bronze. Boitano, 21, of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Cockerell will represent the United States at the World Championships March 2-14 in Tokyo.

Chin held onto her lead in the women's competition despite two costly mistakes in the short program. In second place was Debi Thomas, 17, of San Jose, followed by Caryn Kadavy, 17, of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Chin, 17, missed the required combination jump in the two-minute program. She fell out of a triple toe walley but completed a double toe loop. Then, she lost her balance on the tail end of a change-of-foot sit spin for another deduction.

Her marks for technical merit from nine judges ranged from 5.0 to 5.4 of a possible 6.0. She got higher marks for presentation, ranging from 5.5 to 5.8.

Chin of Toluca Lake, Calif., the runner-up to champion Rosalynn Sumners last year, still is favored to win the title.

She was clearly disappointed with her performance, lowering her head to collect herself after leaving the ice with coach John Nicks.

"It's been a little ragged in practice this week," she said of the short program. "I don't think I handled the pressure the way I should. Hopefully, tomorrow I can get this out of my system and then out of my mind."

Earlier Friday, Judy Blumberg and Michael Seibert remained first in ice dancing. They are pursuing their fifth title.

Second, with one event left, were Suzanne Semanick and Scott Gregory, followed by Renee Roca and Donald Adair.

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