Bradie Tennell competes in the women's single skating free program at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 23, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.
While 2018 will not be remembered as one of the best in U.S. women’s figure skating history, Bradie Tennell, Mirai Nagasu and Mariah Bell closed out their seasons with solid performances at the world championships in Milan.
Tennell solidified her spot as the top women’s skater in the U.S. Friday with a sixth place overall finish to lead the American contingent. She was also the highest U.S. women’s finisher at the Olympic Winter Games in ninth.
The 20-year-old started the day in seventh place following the short program and briefly held the top spot during the free skate.
The final group had yet to take the ice, however, and the final performances were not without drama. Olympic champion Alina Zagitova, 15, had three uncharacteristic falls to watch not only her undefeated season end but also her medal hopes as she finished in fifth place. The last skater to perform was Italy’s Carolina Kostner, competing in front of her home crowd. She was in first place after the short program and was seeking to become the oldest women’s world champion ever at the age of 31. She pulled out of a three-jump combination and then fell on a later jump, however, and also fell out of medal contention, finishing in fourth.
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Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond, the Olympic bronze medalist, won the gold with a total score of 223.23 followed by Japanese skaters Wakaba Higuchi (210.90) and Satoko Miyahara (210.08) in second and third place, respectively.
Tennell had the fourth-highest score in the free skate. It was her first appearance at the world championships.
Teammate Mirai Nagasu, 24, finished in 10th overall in what could have been her final competition. Nagasu has not yet committed to continuing her career next season.
Mariah Bell was 12th after placing 17th in the short program.
The finishes mean that the U.S. women will send two instead of three skaters to next year’s world championships. The top two finishers had to have a combined placement no higher than 13 in order to qualify three skaters, and Tennell and Nagasu’s placements equaled 16.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.