By Philip Hersh, Tribune reporter
11:25 AM CST, January 12, 2014
BOSTON – Ashley Wagner got a place on the U.S. Olympic team despite finishing fourth in the U.S. Championships Saturday, when she fell twice in the free skate.
Third finisher Mirai Nagasu, the only one of the top four finishers with Olympic experience, was bumped when U.S. Figure Skating announced the selections Sunday.
Wagner joins new national champion Gracie Gold and runner-up Polina Edmunds on the team for next month’s Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
An emotional Wagner, her voice cracking, said, "I'm at a loss for words right now. I'm happy my federation was able to see beyond one bad skate."
In pairs and dance, the selection committee followed the results from nationals.
Marissa Castelli-Simon Shnapir and Felicia Zhang -- Nathan Bartholomay got the two pairs places.
The three dance spots went to Meryl Davis-Charlie White, Madison Chock-Evan Bates and siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani.
The USFS Olympic selection procedure was left vague purposely to give wiggle room for someone like Wagner, 22, winner of the previous two national titles, if she did not make the top three at these championships.
"We don't use a single competition as the sole measurement for who should participate in the Olympic Winter Games," USFS president Patricia St. Peter said Sunday.
Nagasu finished fourth in the 2010 Olympics. She was the only one of the top four who did essentially clean (one underrotated jump) short and long programs in these championships.
"Hopefully they pick me to the team," Nagasu had said Saturday. "I haven’t always been the most consistent skater, but under pressure I have been the most consdisureemt skater most of the time."
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC