Already a phenom, Alysa Liu has another achievement to add to her list – the youngest winner of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Liu, 13, wowed the crowd on Friday night after breezing through a free skate that included two triple axels. After her score was posted, Liu was captured putting her hands over her face, overcome with emotion. The performance would dethrone 2018 winner Bradie Tennell at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
“I was just happy that I beat my personal record, and I did a clean long program,” Liu said.
On Thursday, Liu landed a triple axel in the short program and was in second place behind Tennell. On Friday, Tennell fell during her program and Liu was able to seize the opportunity and nail her performance. The teen skated to the “Witches of Eastwick” by John Williams.
Tara Lipinski was the youngest woman’s champion at nationals after winning at age 14 in 1997. She was there Friday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit to watch Liu break the record. Lipinski is now a commentator with NBC.
"Records are made to be broken," Lipinski said afterward. "It is quite an honor that she is the one to do it. What a phenomenal talent."
Liu may offer some talent for the Olympics. The U.S. hasn’t won an Olympic medal in women’s figure skating since 2006.
Liu received a score of 217.51. Tennell finished second at 213.59, and Mariah Bell was third.
“It’s not fully sunk in yet, I am kind of out of it right now,” Liu said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.