BALTIMORE -- Favored Jill Trenary won the U.S. women's figure skating championship Saturday, but Kristi Yamaguchi stamped herself as the star of the very-near future.
Yamaguchi, who combined with Rudi Galindo to upset Kim and Wayne Seybold for the pairs championship Friday night, clearly outskated and outscored Trenary in the four and a half-minute free skating finale. But an eighth-place finish in compulsories Wednesday and a second behind Trenary in the original, or short, program Thursday left the 17-year-old high school senior from Fremont, Calif., too far back in factored places to take the title.
That was OK with the 4-foot-11, 82-pounder, who becomes the first American woman to qualify for a world team in two events since Margaret Anne Graham in 1954. Ken Shelley did it in 1972.
'I wasn't expecting to win the national pairs title or take the silver in singles,' Yamaguchi said. 'I'm just really excited about getting to go to Paris (for the world championships in March).
Still, there was no doubt that Yamaguchi's tour de force of jumping took the shine off Trenary's triumph, her second in three years.
Trenary, 20, of Colorado Springs, Colo., who upset an injured Debi Thomas for her first title in 1987, planned to do five triple jumps and two double Axels in her program to classical music themes.
But the only Olympic veteran among the 13 competitors attempted just four of the triples and landed only three of them cleanly, losing her balance on a split to a triple toe loop combination. After that error, which came early in the program, Trenary's always stylish skating became less spirited, almost perfunctory.
'She was very cautious,' said Coach Carlo Fassi. 'Maybe it was the fact she knew she had won the title. She only had to stand up (make no falls to win).'
Yamaguchi, conversely, landed seven triples and wowed the Baltimore Arena audience with a breath-taking four jump combination that included a double Axel, a hop, a triple toe loop and a double toe loop.
The teen's presentation was not nearly as artistic and polished as Trenary's and was scored accordingly, but that should improve with experience and maturity.
Tonya Harding, 18, of Portland, Ore., finished third in the long program and third overall, but she too outskated Trenary in terms of technical difficulty, landing five triples and an impressive double Axel-double-Axel combination.
'I didn't do my ultimate performance of a lifetime,' Trenary said. 'That's what I'm saving for worlds.'
Trenary was fourth at the Olympics and fifth at the worlds, but the three Olympic medalists -- Katarina Witt, Elizabeth Manley and Thomas - have all retired. Trenary's main competition for the world title this year is Claudia Leistner of East Germany, who was fourth at worlds, and jumping sensation Midori Ito of Japan.
Jeri Campbell, 18, of Garden City, Mich., who was fifth in the overall standings, was forced to withdraw before the long program because of torn ligaments in her right foot.
The women's finals were followed by the ice dancers' long program. Susan Wynne and Joseph Druar, the only returning Olympians, were in first place and expected to win their first U.S. title.