Gracie Gold dominates short program at figure skating nationals

Gracie Gold is in good shape heading into Saturday’s long program.
Gracie Gold is in good shape heading into Saturday’s long program. (Getty Images)

Gracie Gold has taken her first official step towards Sochi, and she did so convincingly.

The 18-year-old smoked the competition at Thursday's U.S. figure skating nationals, easily winning the short program with a career-best score of 72.12.

''It was one of my best shorts,'' Gold told the Associated Press. ''I feel a little bit different standing here than being in ninth [as she was last year in the short program].

''I was able to skate the way I trained. I'm so glad I was able to breathe and bend my knees. I just trusted my training.''

The top three finishers will qualify for the Olympics next month. The long program, which Gold dominated a year ago, will take place Saturday.

Also of note: 2013 U.S. junior champion Polina Edmunds, 15, currently sits in second place.

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