Ashley Wagner won the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Thursday.
Last year's ladies champion, Wagner, earned a score of 67.57 points, which gives her a two-point lead heading into Saturday's free skate.
She is attempting to become the first American woman to win back-to-back national titles since Michelle Kwan in 2005.
Agnes Zawadzki, who won last year's short program, was second, ahead of 2008 U.S. champion Mirai Nagasu.