Bradie Tennell is back on top in U.S. women’s figure skating.
Tennell, who grew up in Carpentersville, won the women’s short program Thursday night at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Las Vegas, and she did so by a large margin.
Tennell scored 79.40, the highest score ever at nationals, which gives her a substantial lead over Alysa Liu (76.36) heading into Friday’s free skate, which will decide the overall champion. Mariah Bell (72.37) is in third place.
Friday’s competition will be from 7 to 10 p.m. on NBC.
Tennell now has the three highest scores ever in the short program at the U.S. championships.
“I just really love both programs. I love performing,” Tennell said on NBCSN after her victory. “It’s so exciting to perform live again. I’m so excited and happy to be here.”
Tennell, the 2018 United States champion, was the last skater of the evening.
Tennell, who turns 23 on Jan. 31, moved from Carpentersville to Colorado Springs last year when she switched coaches. She skated with coach Denise Myers previously and now works with Tom Zakrajsek.
“I’m growing up and coming into my own,” Tennell said. “I have confidence in myself. I’m going to fall back on my training and go out and perform. I want to have that same feeling tomorrow and put it all on the line (in the free skate).”