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Gracie Gold wins her second U.S. championship in women's figure skating

Gracie Gold wins her second U.S. championship in women's figure skating
Gracie Gold collects gifts from young fans after performing in the women's free skate at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Saturday night in St. Paul, Minn. (Ann Heisenfelt / Associated Press)

Gracie Gold bounced back from a shaky short program with a flawless free skate to win her second U.S. title.

Gold trailed Polina Edmunds by 7.69 points coming into Saturday's long program, but she landed seven triple jumps cleanly and earned high artistic marks to overtake the teenager.

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Gold scored 147.96 points for a total of 210.46. The 17-year-old Edmunds had 137.32 points in her free skate for 207.51 total.

Three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner was cruising through her program with just one more jump to land when she did only one rotation of a planned triple lutz. In the end, those lost points didn't matter — she would have finished third behind Gold and Edmunds even with them.

It was also a singled triple lutz that left Gold describing herself as "flummoxed" after her short program. But skating to "The Firebird" on Saturday, she fearlessly attacked each jump. When the final note had played, she threw her arms out and head back in triumph.

"It was almost better going in that way knowing I couldn't miss anything," Gold said. "I needed every single point. Every ounce of firebird I had needed to be left out there.

"And I did it."

Edmunds, a 2014 Olympian seeking her first U.S. title, handled the pressure with poise but under-rotated one jump.

"I'm really happy that I put everything out and did exactly what I wanted to do in my head," she said.

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