Richmond resident Alysa Liu, 14, became the youngest figure skater to win back-to-back U.S. titles Friday night.
Last year, she became the youngest ever at age 13 to win the U.S. title.
Liu continued her record-setting ways at the 2020 competition at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, N.C. During the free skate event, she “became the first woman to attempt a quadruple jump at the U.S. Championships with a quad Lutz (under-rotated),” and her 160.12-point free skate and total score of 235.52 were both records at the competition, according to U.S. Figure Skating.
In addition, she landed two clean triple Axels to reach the highest ever technical score of 91.75 in U.S. ladies competition.
Liu is nine years younger than the competition’s runner-up, Mariah Bell, and seven years younger than third-place finisher Bradie Tennell, the 2018 national champion, according to USA Today. The news publication touted Liu as the “best bet” to end the U.S. medal drought in the Olympics.
“If the United States is to finally win another Olympic medal in women’s figure skating after being shut out in 2010, 2014 and 2018, Liu is by far the nation’s best bet to do it,” USA Today reporter Christine Brennan wrote. Brennan called Liu’s under-rotated quad lutz “a breathtaking achievement — and an important signal that she can play ball with the seemingly endless stream of tiny jumpers Russia keeps producing.”
After Friday’s competition, Liu said the victory felt “about the same” as last year.
“This year I was just as happy and very excited. I think last year I was really happy because it was my first time in senior and going to U.S. Championships and I was happy that I even made it,” Liu said. “This year I thought a lot about the new decade and [after competing] thought, ‘Wow this is a good start.’”
After winning the 2019 title, Liu was honored at Richmond Mayor Tom Butt’s State of the City address.