Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier nailed their pairs figure skating routine Friday, earning a score of 74.23 to lead the pack for a time, with fellow USA duo Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc just a tenth of a point behind and a few pairs left.
Both duos later fell in the standings, thanks to outstanding performances by China's Wenjing Su and Cong Han, who stood in first with an 84.41 score, two ROC duos (Validimir Morozov/Evgeniya Tarasova and Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galiamov) and China's Cheng Peng and Yang Jin. It won't affect their ability to compete in Saturday's finals, though. The top 16 pairs advance (watch it live here at 6 a.m. ET).
Knierim and Frazier, who first paired in 2020, placed third in their short program during the team event. Frazier is making his Olympic debut in Beijing, Knierim earned bronze in the event at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics while competing with her husband and former skating partner, Chris Knierim.
The other USA duo -- Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc -- have been skating together since 2016 and are making their Olympic debut at the 2022 Beijing Games after coming in first at the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
See some of the highlights from the pair's competition and learn more about those representing Team USA.
Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc shine in short program
American figure skaters Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc shine in the pairs short program at the 2022 Winter Olympics. Cain-Gribble and LeDuc scored 74.13 points.
How well do Cain-Gribble/LeDuc know each other?
U.S. pairs figure skaters Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc play a game ahead of their first Olympics to see how well they know each other.
Pairs duo Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier talk pets, partners
Team USA's pairs figure skaters Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier talk naming Brandon's new dog and forming a partnership just as the pandemic hit.