Castelli, Shnapir lead after pairs short program

Boston, MA ( - Defending national champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir easily won the pairs short program Thursday at the U.S. figure skating championships.

They were awarded 73.13 points by the judges.

Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay were second with 66.50 points. DeeDee Lang and Timothy LeDuc finished third with 66.40 points.

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, the 2012 champs, returned after missing last year's nationals as he recovered from hip surgery. They took fourth place with 65.40 points.

The pairs free skate is Saturday.