Alissa Czisny US Figure Skating Championships 201

Posted by Zotta Rendevouz

Left on skating's discard pile after a terrible 10th-place finish at last year's U.S. figure skating national championships, Alissa Czisny, 23, gave herself one more year to see if she could become the skater she hoped she might be.

Alissa Czisny became a national champion for a second time in her career, edging Rachael Flatt for first place at the US Figure Skating Championships 2011 Saturday night.

Czisny, who also won the title in 2009, landed a triple loop and her triple toe was outstanding, on the way to a free skate score of 128.74. That boosted her total to 191.24, which was well ahead of the defending champion Flatt (183.38).

“I was really nervous before I went out there,” Alissa Czisny said. “I knew exactly what I had to do. Before every jump I thought about what I was here for and what my goals were. I fought for every single thing.”

Flatt, who was in third place going into the free skate, had trouble landing a double axel-triple toe combination early in her routine. Yet, she still finished ahead of Mirai Nagasu (177.26), the 2008 champion who was in the lead following Thursday’s short program.

“It certainly wasn’t my best,” Flatt said. “I’ve been training clean programs at home and I did two clean long programs while I was here. Obviously, it was a little bit disappointing.”