SAN JOSE, Calif. — Teen star Isabeau Levito needed a near-flawless free skate to capture gold at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships after Bradie Tennell’s beautiful performance minutes earlier.
And the 15-year-old Levito accomplished just that, delivering a dazzling 149.55 score for a 223.33 total to win her first women’s national championship Friday night.
The New Jersey skater drew a rousing standing ovation from an audience wowed by her poise under pressure on the big nationals stage.
Two-time U.S. champion Tennell scored a 139.36 in the free skate and finished second with a 213.12 total.
Levito looked unfazed, elegantly landing her triple lutz-half loop-triple salchow sequence and other most difficult jumps while captivating the crowd as the final skater of the evening. She came into the free skate leading Tennell by just two-hundredths of a point following Thursday’s short program.
Amber Glenn finished third at 207.44. She delivered an impressive 138.48 free skate that moved her into the lead with the top three skaters from the short program remaining.
Starr Andrews, a fan favorite after she made her nationals debut on this ice in San Jose five years ago at age 16, finished fourth at 188.24. She missed on her planned triple flip early in her routine and was visibly disappointed after a free skate that scored 119.27.
There’s certainly some nostalgia here for Andrews, who dazzled with a free skate set to her cover of Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time” in her