The Washington Post

Fairfax County, with Ashley Wagner win, rules U.S. figure skating championships again

Ashley Wagner, of the Alexandria area of Fairfax County, competes during the senior ladies free skate program at the U.S. figure skating championships on Saturday in Omaha. She fell twice but still had enough points to win for the second straight year. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Fairfax’s Michael Weiss is of course the Northern Virginia standard bearer in figure skating. The W.T. Woodson grad won the U.S. men’s title three times, took bronze in two world championships, and he innovated the “Tornado,” in which he was the first to do a back flip with a full twist. He did not medal in two Olympics.

But NoVa’s got more talent on the way. Three teenaged girls who train at the Ashburn Ice House in Loudoun County all reached the finals of the Junior Ladies championships: Madison Vinci, 16, finished sixth; Brianna Laxson, 13. who recently demonstrated axels and toe loops for Slate, was eighth; and Maria Yang, 15, the Eastern Sectional champ, finished ninth. All three skate for the Washington Figure Skating Club. And on the men’s side, Armin Mahbanoozadeh, 21, from Great Falls and Langley High School finished 12th in the Men’s competition. All are young and could be future stars.

Laxson in particular may be the real deal. Here’s Slate’s really well done video on her, shot in Ashburn with great additional footage from her family. She goes to Farmwell Station Middle School, and she is ridiculously mature and knowledgable for 13. She is targeting the 2018 Olympics, which sounds ridiculously reasonable. We will follow.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.


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