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Gracie Gold easily wins U.S. Figure Skating championship

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

15-year-old Polina Edmunds could be headed to Sochi after a strong showing this weekend.
15-year-old Polina Edmunds could be headed to Sochi after a strong showing this weekend. (USATSI)

Gracie Gold followed up her dominant performance in Thursday night's short program with an equally impressive showing Saturday in Boston, cruising to the U.S. Figure Skating Championship.

Gold finished with 211.69 points, nearly 20 points ahead of her nearest competitor.

"I can't believe that just happened," Gold told NBC Sports afterwards. "I'm still in shock."

Gold, 18, is a lock to be named to the Olympic team, but officials will have some difficult decisions to make with regards to the other two available spots.

Polina Edmunds, 15, finished second with an inspired performance while Mirai Nagasu took third.

U.S. officials don't necessarily have to name the top three finishers from this weekend's nationals to the Olympic team, and they'll have to decide on two competitors -- assuming Gold is chosen -- between Edmunds, Nagasu, and the two-time American champion Ashley Wagner, who finished fourth.

For her part, Wagner said Friday that she wanted to prove that she belonged.

"I don't want to feel like I take away an Olympic spot from someone," Wagner told the Washington Post. "I want to earn it. That's my goal here. For me, I need to get in the top three to really feel good with myself being on that Olympic team."

Edmunds, who has yet to compete at the senior level internationally, echoed those feelings.

"U.S. Figure Skating would have a hard time not naming the top three to the Olympic spots," Edmunds told the paper Friday. "I think it would be difficult for them to face the media, so I don't anticipate that being a problem."

She certainly hopes not, at least.

The official team will be revealed Sunday.

 
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