February 24, 2010
Though they weren't expected to be among the world's best, American figure skaters Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu found themselves in the top six going into the Thursday's free skate, with Flatt in fifth and Nagasu in sixth.
Mirai Nagasu, who trains in California with men's gold medalist Evan Lysacek, earned 63.76 for her short program, a season high. She took to the ice early in the evening, and her jumps were flawless, though she did decide to not attempt a triple-triple jump combination, opting instead to do a triple lutz into a double toe loop. Her spins -- known as some of the best in figure skating -- showed off her flexibility and speed.
After the program, Nagasu came off the ice with a bloody nose. She seemed bothered by the fact that she had bailed on her triple/triple combination, but her 63.76 was a personal best.
Nagasu's teammate Rachael Flatt -- the U.S. champion -- skated second to last. Flatt skated a sassy program to "Sing, Sing, Sing," and landed a triple/triple combination. She also scored a personal best, earning a 64.64.
Ending up in the top six means that Nagasu and Flatt will skate in the final group on Thursday will skating's elite. They weren't expected to be the best, but with strong routines by both women, they have staked their claim.