"The anticipation really killed me and I was for sure a little bit worried about what the decision was," Chen said in a press conference after the official team announcement. "I just stayed so focused on the positives and I knew that I had no regrets."
Chen was sick the day before the competition, and skating was "pretty brutal," she told KQED.
"I just stayed really focused," Chen said. “I just thought that this is the moment that means the most to me. I’m not gonna let the stupid flu or this little virus win. I have to fight. I have to win. I’m going to do this.”
After overpowering the entry and two-footing the triple axel that no other American woman tries, Nagasu hit six triple jumps, including a loop in the final seconds of a stirring program. She was so moved by her performance that she broke out in tears and covered her face, trying to gain control of the emotions that often had betrayed her in critical moments.
She was still crying in, appropriately, the kiss and cry area when the marks showed Nagasu she had shattered her personal best by nearly 20 points with a 213.84.
Chen's big season last year had not translated into achievement this campaign. She put those struggles to an icy death with a superb showing that had one flaw toward the end. She, too, was overcome by tears for a 198.59 score.
Tennell made it a trio of tears with her career best of 219.51. Tennell announced herself as an Olympic team threat with a third place at Skate America. Hardly ice shattering, but then she ratcheted up everything for nationals.
Wagner had the crowd going for most of her energetic routine, but a flawed lutz as her final jump was costly. She responded to the fans with a deep bow when she finished, yet was shaking her head "no" when her marks were posted.