The men's championship portion of the 2016 US Figure Skating Championships kicked off Jan. 22 in St. Paul with the short program round of the competition. With reigning title holder Jason Brown sidelined by an injury and out of the mix, former gold medalist Max Aaron was expected to be a serious contender for the top prize, and he did not disappoint.

The former hockey player, who won the national title in 2013, earned a 91.83 for his power-packed program, which featured an opening quadruple salchow-triple toe loop combination, a triple lutz, and a triple axel.

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Although Aaron's performances have long been criticized as lacking in artistic merit, some still felt that he was underscored by the judges. Reigning ladies' champion Ashley Wagner tweeted her confusion over the mark following the competition, opining "Also, anyone else feel like Max is missing like five points? #USChamps16" 

Still, Aaron enters the Jan. 24 long program with a narrow lead over Ross Miner, whose graceful New York State of Mind skate earned him a 90.90.

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Reigning national silver medalist Adam Rippon placed third with an 88.01, while 2015-16 Junior Grand Prix Final gold medalist Nathan Chen finished fourth (86.33).

US Nationals: Men's Short Program Results

The full results of the men's short program at nationals are as follows:

  • 1. Max Aaron, 91.83
  • 2. Ross Miner, 90.90
  • 3. Adam Rippon, 88.01
  • 4. Nathan Chen, 86.33
  • 5. Timothy Dolensky, 80.01
  • 6. Grant Hochstein, 79.26
  • 7. Alexander Johnson, 73.69
  • 8. Vincent Zhou, 68.10
  • 9. Sean Rabbitt, 66.71
  • 10. Shotaro Omori, 63.82
  • 11. Emmanuel Savary, 62.96
  • 12. Scott Dyer, 59.67
  • 13. Daniel Kulenkamp, 56.97
  • 14. Sebastien Payannet, 56.10
  • 15. Jimmy Ma, 51.95
  • 16. Robert Przepioski, 49.38
  • 17. Eric Stinehart, 49.11
  • 18. Curran Oi, 48.66
  • 19. Ben Jalovick, 48.16

The 2016 US National Figure Skating Championships will close Jan.

24 as the men return to the ice to skate for the title. Will Aaron repeat as the winner, or is a new champion destined to rise to the top of the podium? Keep track of the action as it begins at 1:15 PM Central from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

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