San Jose 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships - TV Schedule & Predictions

Who will win the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships? Our research staff provides predictions and TV schedule. The winners will automatically qualify for the Olympics. The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships are scheduled for January 3-7 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.

TV Schedule
*Subject to change, error

Wednesday January 3 - Ladies Short - NBCSN (11 PM ET)
Thursday January 4 - Pairs Short - NBCSN (4 PM ET)
Thursday January 4 - Men's Short - NBCSN (8:30 PM ET)
Friday January 5 - Short Dance - NBCSN (4 PM ET)
Friday January 5 - Ladies Free - NBC (8 PM ET)
Saturday January 6 - Pairs Free - NBC (4 PM ET)
Saturday January 6 - Men's Free - NBC (8 PM ET)
Sunday January 7 - Free Dance - NBC (3 PM ET)



✪ This year's U.S nationals serve as a qualifier for the Olympics as well as the world championships. Skaters won't just be competing for medals but also for a place in these major competitions. On the men's side, the only male skater who is seemingly assured of a spot in the Olympics (regardless of this week's performance) is Nathan Chen. The grand prix final champion is the prohibitive favorite to defend his national title. Even if he performed poorly in San Jose, he could still win. Chen's highest total score this season (293.79) is 27 points above that of Adam Rippon, who is his closest competitor, and 32 points above Jason Brown. This gives Chen a nice cushion, especially if he produces a solid short program.

Expected Olympic participants: Nathan Chen, open, open
Top Total Scores (season): Nathan Chen 293.79 | Adam Rippon 266.45 | Max Aaron 261.56 | Jason Brown 261.14 | Vincent Zhou 256.66

✪ Who will join Chen at the Olympics? The four main contenders for the remaining two spots are Adam Rippon, Jason Brown, Max Aaron and Vincent Zhou. Rippon looked set to join Chen in PyeongChang, but an injury forced him to miss the grand prix final. He will need a podium finish or a solid performance here to prove he is fit enough to participate in the Olympics. Brown, Aaron and Zhou need to finish second or higher to win a place in PyeongChang. It is certainly doable for Brown and Aaron whose best total scores are only 5 points behind Rippon's, but it will be steep climb for Zhou whose best score is 10 points behind. However, Zhou is a prolific quad jumper similar to Chen. Ultimately, it will come down to the free program and quad potential (or ability to produce quadruple jumps).

Top Free Programs (season): Rippon 177.41 | Brown 176.87 | Aaron 176.58 | Zhou 176.43
Quad Potential: 1. Vincent Zhou | 2. Max Aaron | 3. Adam Rippon | 4. Jason Brown

Final Results
đŸ¥‡Nathan Chen đŸ¥ˆRoss Miner đŸ¥‰Vincent Zhou
Olympic Team: Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou, Adam Rippon


✪ In most years, finishing third at nationals does not guarantee one a place in the Olympics or worlds. However, American skaters on the women's side have performed so poorly this season that merely finishing in the top 3 will likely earn one a coveted spot in PyeongChang. Ashley Wagner is billed as the favorite, but she was recently injured and her current form is only a shadow of the form that helped her win the silver medal at the 2016 worlds. Defending champion Karen Chen has endured a disastrous season so far, placing 7th and 8th respectively in her GP assignments. When there are no clear favorites, past performances (at nationals) and season's total scores become key indicators. Wagner is clearly the most successful U.S. skater in recent time with three national titles in the last six years. Mirai Nagasu is a former champion with four other podium finishes. The biggest surprise is the unheralded Bradie Tennell, who has the best total score among U.S. skaters this season.

Most Successful Skaters (field): 1. Ashley Wagner | 2. Mirai Nagasu | 3. Polina Edmunds | 4. Karen Chen | 5. M Bell
Top Total Scores (season): Bradie Tennell 204.10 | Mirai Nagasu 194.46 | Ashley Wagner 183.94 | Karen Chen 182.80 | Courtney Hicks 182.57

Final Results
đŸ¥‡Bradie Tennell đŸ¥ˆMirai Nagasu đŸ¥‰Karen Chen
Olympic Team: Bradie Tennell, Mirai Nagasu, Karen Chen

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