Chen leads novice ladies in San Jose

Karen Chen

Karen Chen performs her Short Program at the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

The 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships continued with the ladies novice short program.

Local sensation Karen Chen, just 12 years old, is currently in first place.

“I feel very shocked because I didn’t think that I skated well enough to be in first,” said the Salt Lake City native. “It was the best that I could do today, and I feel happy about that.”

Representing the home team, the Peninsula Skating Club right here in San Jose, Chen is seeking her third straight national title (2010 Juvenile champion and 2011 Intermediate champion). Though she fell on her opening triple flip, the pint-sized skater was rock-solid throughout the rest of the program, earning the day’s best of 46.54 points.

“It’s very exciting to be here,” she said quietly. “I know that skaters from all over are excited and nervous about this competition, and it is fun to be a part of that.”

In second place is 14 year-old Amanda Gelb from southern California, who skated a mature program to music from the film Amélie.

“I am really proud of my spins and jumps today,” said the sprightly Gelb. “I am especially happy with my triple Salchow because I learned how to do it under pressure.”

Gelb scored 43.67 points for her efforts.

Sitting in third place is Amber Glenn from Dallas, who skated last and earned 42.45 points.

“I got really nervous before the short, but I just had fun and went for it,” she said after her Tango de Roxanne program. “I like performing to this kind of music.”

Earlier in the day, Whitney Miller and Kyle MacMillan took the lead after placing first in both pattern dances, scoring 50.06 points total.

Finishing in second place were Holly Moore and Daniel Klaber, while Hannah Rosinski and Jacob Jaffe finished in third.

The novice ladies and dance medalists will be decided on Monday afternoon.

Click here for full Figure Skating and Ice Dancing Results (opens in new window).

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