With the Jan. 21 pairs short program round of the 2016 US Figure Skating Championships in the books, Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea are primed to claim their first-ever gold medal at the prestigious national event. 

The duo, who narrowly missed a trip to worlds after placing third at nationals last year, turned in a clean skate to the Hozier hit Take Me to Church to bring the round to a close. They were rewarded with a field-best mark of 69.61 and the top spot on the leader board.

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Reigning national champions Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim, who placed seventh at last month's Grand Prix Final, sit in silver medal position (67.35) after Knierim fell to the ice during the duo's side-by-side triple salchows. Rounding out the top three with a 64.12 were Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran, whose big error occurred when Castelli doubled a planned triple jump. Although Castelli and Tran have worked together for just a year and a half, Castelli is no stranger to success on the biggest stages.

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The 25-year old holds two national championship titles with former partner Simon Shnapir and competed at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, where she earned a bronze medal in the team event.

US Nationals: Pairs Short Program Full Results

The complete results of the pairs short program are as follows:

  • 1. Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea, 69.61
  • 2. Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim, 67.35
  • 3. Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran, 64.12
  • 4. Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage, 57.47
  • 5. Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan, 54.20
  • 6. Erika Smith and AJ Reiss, 51.09
  • 7. Jessica Calalang and Zack Sidhu, 50.53
  • 8. Caitlin Fields and Ernie Utah Stevens, 45.67
  • 9. Brianna de la Mora and Maxim Kurdukov, 45.04
  • 10. Alexandria Shaughnessy and James Morgan, 42.56
  • 11. Cali Fujimoto and Nicholas Barsi-Rhyne, 42.05
  • 12. Elizaveta Usmantseva and Matej Silecky, 38.34
  • 13. Alyssa McDougal and Paul Schatz, 32.14

The 2016 national champions will be crowned in St.

Paul following the pairs free skate, which is scheduled for Jan. 23 beginning at 9 AM Central time. For full schedule details, including when Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold will go toe-to-toe for dominance in the ladies event, check out the official 2016 US National Figure Skating Championships website.

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