GREENSBORO, N.C. — Ryan Bradley just might end his career on top.
After sitting out the Grand Prix season, and contemplating retirement from competitive skating, Bradley entered the 2011 U.S. Championships in Greensboro, N.C., because his fans begged him for just one more. Its turning out to be the national championship to remember for the 27 year old showman from St. Joseph, Mo.
He has a two point advantage on 2009 and 2010 U.S. Champion Jeremy Abbott after the short program. And no, Abbott was not bad. He was phenomenal, receiving a standing ovation, but Bradley was even more spectacular, scoring 80.39 points to Abbott’s 78.39.
Who needs Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir after all?
Abbott led for most of the competition following a powerful performance to “Viejos Aires” that started with a triple flip-triple toe combination. He also landed a triple Axel and triple Lutz before a fierce straight line step sequence that brought traditional flamenco dancing to the ice.
Bradley kicked off his performance to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” with a near flawless quadruple toe-triple toe combination. After hitting his triple Axel and sailing through the triple flip, he let out a little cheer and then the real show began. His spins were pristine. His footwork was flirty.
Brandon Mroz finished third with 71.61 points with Keegan Messing (69.79) in fourth. Douglas Razzano nailed a quad to secure fifth place with 69.61 points.
Adam Rippon is currently in ninth place with 66.77 after falling on his triple Lutz. Ross Miner (67.99), Richard Dornbush (67.71) and Armin Mahbanoozadeh (66.77) are sixth, seventh and eighth. Grant Hochstein rounds out the top 10 with 65.76.
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