Amber Glenn becomes sixth U.S. woman to land triple Axel
Amber Glenn became the sixth U.S. female figure skater to land a clean triple Axel in competition, hitting the jump at Skate America on Sunday.
Glenn, 23, landed the jump cleanly for the first time in her 14th try in competition dating to January 2021, according to SkatingScores.com.
“It’s been more consistent than ever,” she said before this week’s competition in Allen, Texas, seven miles north of her hometown of Plano. “It’s been, I don’t want to say easy for me because that’s like jinxing myself, but it feels like just another one of my triples now.”
Glenn fell twice later in her free skate and finished fifth overall. Belgian Loena Hendrickx, a two-time world medalist, topped the short program and free skate to win by 13.13 points overall over U.S. champion Isabeau Levito.
“The crowd went nuts, and I got so excited, and the excitement just after the footwork I was just dead,” she said on NBC Sports minutes after her free skate. “It got too high. I’m supposed to get like 50. I got to like 130, and then by the end I only had like 10 percent left in me.”
The other U.S. women to land a clean triple Axel were Tonya Harding (the first), Kimmie Meissner, Mirai Nagasu, Alysa Liu and Phoebe Stubblefield.
Harding, Nagasu and Liu did so in international competition. Meissner and Stubblefield did so strictly domestically, though Stubblefield, who was born in 2008, has yet to make her senior international debut.
About a month ago, Glenn was concussed and fractured an orbital bone around her eye after another skater collided with her at practice.
Glenn withdrew from a planned lower-level competition, pushing back her season debut to Skate America, and said last week she was back up to 99 percent healthy.
“Luckily, it’s like nothing even happened,” she said. “I’m back to doing great. If anything, it probably just gave me more time to prepare for my competition season.”
Last season, Glenn took bronze at the U.S. Championships and made her world championships debut, placing 12th.
She went into the January 2022 U.S. Championships as a contender to make the three-woman Olympic team. But Glenn placed 14th in the short program, then tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrew.
In 2021, she earned her first U.S. medal (silver) but was left off the two-woman world team for the more experienced Karen Chen (who finished a mere 35 hundredths behind Glenn at those nationals).