Richmond’s Alysa Liu youngest to win U.S. women’s figure skating title

Photo credit: U.S. Figure Skating

Richmond resident Alysa Liu, 13, became the youngest to win the women’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships after defeating defending champion Bradie Tennell Friday night. And that’s not the only record she broke.

Liu was also the first U.S. woman to land three clean triple Axels in competition — and two in one program — at Little Caesers Arena in Detroit, according to a report from U.S. Figure Skating. Liu performed one triple Axel in her short program and two in her free skate, the report stated.

“Her career-best 143.62-point free skate set to ‘Witches of Eastwick’ by John Williams had the highest technical element score of the competition,” the U.S. Figure Skating report states.

It was Liu’s senior championship debut one year after she won the 2018 U.S. junior title. Before Liu, Tara Lipinski became the youngest women’s U.S. champion at age 14 in 1997.

Liu’s historic effort is making headlines worldwide, with a USA Today columnist describing her as the “future of American figure skating.”

After the victory, Liu said, “I was really happy with the score. I was just happy I beat my personal record and did a clean long program.”

Liu is too young to compete in the World Championships and the Junior World Championships. To be age-eligible for senior international events, she must be 15. Liu plans to go home and continue training, according to the report by U.S. Figure Skating.

According to a 2017 profile in the Mercury News, Liu’s father moved Liu and her four siblings to Richmond in recent years.