Mariah Bell is within touching distance of her biggest career win after taking a day one lead at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating's Skate America. Bell is a multiple ISU Grand Prix medallist and impressed on the opening day's short programme to sit top of the pile ahead of Saturday's free skate.
Skating to "Glitter in the Air" by Pink, the 24-year-old landed a double Axel, triple flip-triple toeloop combination and triple Lutz, en route to scoring 76.48 points.
"Obviously this is an interesting situation that we are all in. Even if there wasn't a crowd, I really enjoyed performing. I had a great time," said Bell, who competed in her long programme costume.
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The American sits three points clear of her compatriots with Bradie Tennell currently in silver-medal position on 73.29, while 69.77 points was enough for 16-year-old Audrey Shin to sit third.
Two-time world champion Nathan Chen had a good opening day in the men's event in Las Vegas, with his short programme performance seeing him make the early running.
A 12-point lead is the American's reward for nailing a quad toe-triple toe combination, a quad flip, triple Axel and level-four spins and steps in his flamenco-themed routine to "Asturias" and "Cancion del Mariachi".
"Speaking of the programme, I'm pretty happy with where I am, given the unusual circumstances what is going on," said Chen, who scored 111.17.
"The programme itself is new to me and there is still a lot of work and improvement to be done to this sort of style."
Fellow American Vincent Zhou sits in second place on 99.36 points while Keegan Messing of Canada is third heading into Saturday's free skate.
Meanwhile, Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Brandon Frazier could not have asked for a better start on Skate America debut with a table-topping performance in the pairs short programme.
The home duo produced a triple twist, side by side triple toe and throw triple loop in their routine set to "In the End" by Tommee Profitt, setting down an impressive benchmark having been the first pair to take to the ice.
A score of 74.19 points saw them edge ahead of compatriots Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson, while Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov remain within ten points of the lead.
All four events in the Skate America are being led by home favourites, with two-time world medallists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue on top in the ice dance.
The pair lead the way with 85.30 points to their name after executing level-four twizzles, a level-four Finnstep pattern dance and a level-four rotational lift.
Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker are currently ranked second ahead of Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko, with the event coming to an end with Saturday evening's free dance.
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