Complicating matters is that Ashley Wagner had a disastrous performance Saturday and finished fourth. She entered the competition as the two-time defending national champion, a fourth-place finisher at the 2012 world championships, the fifth-place holder at the 2013 worlds. Clearly she has been the most dependable female American skater.
Yet Wagner cratered in her free skate to music from “Romeo and Juliet.” She fell on her opening triple-flip, triple-toe loop combination jump, and grew slow and tentative. She fell again on a triple loop and landed on both feet on a triple flip.
Afterward, Wagner, 22, appeared stunned and said she felt embarrassed. “They called my name and I felt like lead,” she said. “I felt heavy. I felt nervous.”
With 182.74 points, Wagner finished a distant fourth behind Gold (211.69), Edmunds (193.63) and the resurgent Mirai Nagasu (190.74).