Although figure skater Kimmie Meissner did better on her second tour of the Grand Prix circuit than she did in 2005, she missed qualifying for the Grand Prix Final. Still, she ended the season with silver and bronze medals vs. two fifth-place finishes.
But Meissner has her eye on a different prize this season: the U.S. title. The challenge got easier last month when Sasha Cohen, the reigning U.S. champion, announced that she would not defend her title Jan. 25 and 27 in Spokane, Wash.
From nationals, the Bel Air teen moves on to defend her world title March 19-25, in Tokyo. That task won't be as easy. Meissner's personal-best score of 189.87 points was good enough to win worlds, but likely won't be enough against Japan's Miki Ando, who beat her at Skate America with 192.59, or Ando's countrywoman, Mao Asada, who won the NHK Trophy with the season's best score of 199.52.