Sunday, January 28, 2007

Kimmie Meissner Wins Gold [J. Mark English]


Maryland’s Kimmie Meissner typically gives the morning announcements at Fallston High School, where she’s a senior this year.

When the 17-year-old returns to class on Monday or Tuesday, she’ll be introducing herself as the 2007 U.S. ladies champion. Meissner overcame an early wobble in her free skate to edge Emily Hughes by less than a point at the 2007 State Farm U.S. Championships in Spokane, Wash.

Alissa Czisny captured the free skate and claimed the bronze medal.

“My friends at Fallston all knew I was going to nationals,” said Meissner, the 2006 World champion who led after the short program by three points. “I expect when I go back there will be some talk. I do the announcements, so I’ll probably be announcing (my title).

“(I’ll probably) say something like, ‘Kimmie Meissner is back in school today after winning nationals, so if you see her tell her congratulations.’”

The victory caps a run for Meissner at the U.S. Championships that has included a bronze medal in 2005 and a silver medal last year.

“I’m very happy that I was able to keep a hold on the lead,” said Meissner, who recorded a score of 181.68. “It was a tough competition tonight. I’m pretty excited.”

Meissner skated fourth in the final group of six skaters. Czisny kicked off that final segment with a stunning and personal-best performance to music from “Sabrina.” Her score vaulted the Bowling Green State University student to the top of the leaderboard with a mark of 177.74, and the audience responded with a standing ovation.

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