Jan 24, 2013 11:36 PM by Andy Koen
by NANCY ARMOUR
AP National Writer
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Ashley Wagner is on her way to becoming the first woman since Michelle Kwan to win back-to-back titles, winning the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Thursday night.
Wagner's clean and elegant "Red Violin" program earned her 67.57 points. That puts her more than two points ahead of Agnes Zawadzki going into Saturday's free skate.
The Americans have been looking for their next big star since Kwan hung up her skates, and Wagner continues to show she is more than up to the task. Though other skaters had more difficult tricks, no one could match her presentation or fluidness.
Earlier Thursday, Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir took a commanding lead in the pairs competition. With 62.27 points, they're nine points ahead going into Saturday's free skate.
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