Mariah Bell Secures Early Lead at 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships with Short Program Win

Mariah Bell landed a triple flip-triple toe loop and won the short program portion with a score of 75.55

JANUARY 06: Mariah Bell, SC of Boston performs during the championship ladies short program during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Bridgestone Arena on January 6, 2022
Mariah Bell. Photo: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty

Mariah Bell is one step closer to representing Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

On Thursday evening, the 25-year-old figure skater participated in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, where she secured an early lead after placing first in the women's short program.

Bell landed a triple flip-triple toe loop and won with a score of 75.55, the Associated Press reported. Her score put her one point ahead of competitor Karen Chen and more than four ahead of Alysa Liu.

Should Bell be named to the Olympic team for the upcoming Games in Bejing, she would become the United States' oldest competitor in 94 years in the women's singles.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

"I really worked on, the last couple seasons, trying to stay in the moment throughout the program," Bell said after her feat, per USA Today. "Obviously as things are going well, there's like an excitement that's building."

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

"But a couple years ago, I fell on my footwork because I was getting a little ahead of myself," she added. "So I was trying to kind of keep myself mellow today."

RELATED VIDEO: Adam Rippon Is Planning a "City Hall Wedding" with Fiancé JP Kajaala

Also during this week's 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc scored high in the pairs competition.

The duo earned 79.39 points for their short program set to "The White Crow." Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson came in second with 77.48 points, while Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov placed third with 68.11.

Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc skate in the Pairs Short Program during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Bridgestone Arena on January 06, 2022
Matthew Stockman/Getty

"We're grateful to be doing something that we love," LeDuc said after competing, per NBC Sports. "We're really pleased with our effort today, we feel like we did what we do in practice. Just looking forward to a great effort in the free skate."

The duo will compete next in the pairs' free skate on Saturday, before Team USA is announced on Sunday.

To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit Watch the Winter Olympics, beginning February 3 on NBC.

Related Articles