Ilia Malinin repeats as champ at U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Ilia Malinin put together a dominant performance on Sunday, logging a 294.35 to win his second consecutive title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Columbus, Ohio.

Malinin shined in the short program with a 108.57 before posting a 185.78 in the free skate to blow by second-place finisher Jason Brown, who totaled a 264.50. Brown had an 89.02 in the short program and a 175.48 in the free skate.

Despite dealing with a boot problem that forced him to switch to an old pair, Malinin was still able to land his quad axel, a jump that the 19-year-old has become known for.

“The main problem was just the boots,” Malinin said. “I mean not even just (Sunday); this whole week that was just my main concern. Just going into this competition, I wasn’t really sure I was going to perform.”

But perform he did, and he is now in position to become the third-youngest man to win a title at the world championships. Only Nathan Chen and Dick Button have been younger when they accomplished the feat.

“I’m not really disappointed with my performance here because, of course with the (boot) issues I had, I’m still very happy with how I’ve improved in other things, like my components,” Malinin said.

U.S. Figure Skating announced later Sunday that Brown and Camden Pulkinen will be joining Malinin on the worlds roster. Pulkinen finished in third on Sunday, recording a total score of 262.33.

Maxim Naumov and Andrew Torgashev rounded out the top five with a 260.50 and a 239.21, respectively.