BOSTON -- A record sixth straight U.S. ice dance title. A personal best at the national championships, with the highest score possible for their free skate routine.
And, most importantly, an all-but certain second consecutive trip to the Olympics for Charlie White and Meryl Davis.
The reigning Winter Games silver medalists danced their way to victory at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Saturday to win their sixth national title -- one more than the record five they had shared with American ice dance pioneers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto.
"Coming into this competition, there was so secret we were going after that sixth title, the sixth record-breaking title," Davis said. "It's such an honor for us."
With Davis' shaggy, blonde mop of hair whirling around the ice and White's tied back by a tiara, the world champions gave an energetic and emotional routine to "Scheherazade" by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. They finished with 200.19 points -- their most ever at nationals -- thanks to a 119.50 that was a perfect score for the elements in their free skate.
"With the Olympics in the season, it really ups the ante," White said. "What a great time to be an American ice dancer."
Evan Bates and Madison Chock were second with 181.44 points and siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani, with 170.44 points, were third.
Among area skaters from the Chicago suburbs, Logan Giulietti-Schmitt (Oak Park) finished sixth, Collin Brubaker (Algonquin) finished ninth and Kristen Nardozzi (Naperville) finished 15th. Ksenia Ponomaryova and Oleg Altukhov who train in Naperville finished 16th.
The U.S. Olympic figure skating teams will be announced Sunday. The top three in dance and top two in pairs are expected -- but not guaranteed -- to get spots.