Fourteen-year-old Mirai Nagasu leads after stunning short program

ST. PAUL, Minn. Jan. 25, 2008 – If 14-year-old Mirai Nagasu skates her free program anything like she did her short, she’ll easily take the ladies title at the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

What she won’t have is a trip to the 2008 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. She’s too young.

The winsome skater captured the crowd and judges with her peppy take to Gershwin’s classic, “I Got Rhythm.” The program included a strong triple Lutz-triple toe combination; speedy, well-centered spins; and a beautifully extended spiral sequence. Four of her five non-jumping elements gained Level 4.

Defending champion Kimmie Meissner sits fourth after falling on a triple flip in her short to Peter Gabriel’s “The Feeling Begins.” She enters the free skate with 57.58 points, 12.65 points behind Nagasu.

So what lies in store for the newest wunderkind? No one knows for sure but try catching Saturday’s performance for a clue.

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