Ice Network

Glenn stars in Boston with junior ladies gold

Pierce takes silver, Shin earns bronze; Chen (injury) withdraws
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Amber Glenn was spinning and winning en route to the top-scoring free skate and the gold medal at the U.S. championships in Boston. -Jay Adeff

Amber Glenn raced so fast across the ice at the beginning of her free skate that she almost flew out of the building.

With a burst of speed, Glenn floated through her opening combination, a triple flip-triple toe followed by a triple Lutz-triple toe, landing more triples in the first half-minute than some skaters complete in their entire programs. She tallied 21.80 points on those two combinations alone en route to posting a record total of 186.51 points.

As a result, Glenn raced to the top of the junior class, winning the ladies title and making a statement for the women she will be competing against next year, when Glenn said she will make the jump to the senior ranks.

"I felt like the adrenaline was really kicking in," said Glenn, who trains in McKinney, Texas. "I really tried to skate fast so I could land the jumps nicely."

Her coaches, Ann Brumbaugh and Ben Shroats, laughed when asked about her speed, noting that she once did fly out of the building when practicing in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Glenn was the leader after the short program Wednesday night and firmly cemented her spot at the top with her routine to "Who Wants to Live Forever" by David Garrett. As the newly crowned junior champion, she will be able to perform in the exhibition Sunday and plans to perform a routine to "Let It Go," from the new Disney hit movie, Frozen.

Glenn, 14, joked that the show program music is appropriate because she hoped to "let it go" with her skating this week at the 2014 U.S. Prudential Figure Skating Championships in Boston.

Finishing in second place was Tyler Pierce, who made the jump to the junior ranks this season after winning the novice crown in 2013. Pierce's program lacked triple-triple combinations and she had a turn-out on the landing of her triple flip. Her routine had good flow and strong spins, and she produced five clean triples overall for a total of 175.07 points.

"I'm working towards the triple-triple," said Pierce, 15, who trains with Tammy Gambill in Southern California. "It was too soon to put it in competition here."

Rounding out the podium was Ashley Shin, who had been battling a bruised left toe this season but managed to produce triple Lutz-double toe and triple flip-double toe combinations.

Although the senior ladies event ended too late Thursday night for the juniors to actually watch the competition, they were all aware of the results, with the 2013 U.S. junior champion Polina Edmunds in second place after the short program. Glenn said she was looking forward to watching the senior ladies free skate Saturday.

The fact that Edmunds has already made a strong showing in the senior level made the skaters at this level beam about their own potential in the next few years.

"That gives everyone hope," said Olga Ganicheva, who coaches Shin along with Aleksey Letov in Texas. "Polina is opening the doors for these young girls."

CHEN WITHDRAWS

Karen Chen, who medaled in two Junior Grand Prix events this season, announced before the event that she would withdraw. She finished fifth in the short program but was not skating at 100 percent, having broken a bone in her right ankle and only training for a few weeks leading up to these U.S. championships.

Although she said she was determined to perform in the free skate, she had to battle through practices and ultimately succumbed to the injury.

"She really wanted to compete," said Gambill, who coaches both Chen and Pierce. "I was just really worried about her re-injuring it.

"If she had had just about two more weeks, she would have been on fire."