Denney and Barrett rise high above other US pairs

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett have won the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, while two-time defending champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker have work to do if they hope to make the Olympic team.

Denney and Barrett were the only top pair to skate cleanly Friday, and their score of 63.01 points is about a point better than Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin. Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig are third heading into Saturday’s free skate.

Rena Inoue and John Baldwin, former champions and 2006 Olympians, are fourth with 57.77 points. McLaughlin and Brubaker, who made two major errors and had a couple of smaller bobbles are back in seventh place, a whopping 10-plus points behind Denney and Barrett.