With Michelle Kwan off at college, the 17-year-old Meissner is the overwhelming favorite in the women's competition.
That doesn't mean she's taking it lightly.
"Every day, just hard core," Meissner said Thursday, describing her training routine under coach Pam Gregory.
"[The triple axel is] an up and down jump for me, and I just don't know if the risk is really worth it at the nationals," said Meissner, who won the gold medal in March at the world championships in Calgary, Alberta. "There's so much other stuff in my program."
Gregory said the decision on a triple axel will be easy, based on how well her young charge does it in practice.
"We don't decide at the last minute," said Gregory, adding that she and Meissner don't want the performance to be based on one jump.