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Mariah Bell wins short program, leads US Figure Skating Championships

Mariah Bell is poised to make her first Olympic team after a strong short program. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Mariah Bell won the short program portion of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Thursday night with a score of 75.55.

Second-place finisher Karen Chen, who is the 2017 champion and a 2018 Olympian, posted a score of 74.55. Two-time national champion and 16-year-old Alysa Liu came in third with a score of 71.42 after failing to land a triple axel.

There are three spots available on Team USA for the upcoming Beijing Olympics, which begin Feb. 4.

Former two-time champion Gracie Gold posted a score of 67.61 on what she called her first clean program at nationals since 2014. The program earned a standing ovation from the crowd and has her sitting sixth in the standings.

The women’s free skate begins at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The Olympic team will then be named on Sunday upon conclusion of the championships.