Girdwood's Keegan Messing put himself in contention for a trip to the Winter Olympics by placing third in the short program at the Canadian figure skating championships Friday in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Messing, skating a fast-paced routine to "Singing in the Rain," scored 85.65 points. Three-time world champion Patrick Chan seized the lead with 90.98 points, and 2014 Olympian Kevin Reynolds was second with 86.20 points.
The long program is Saturday afternoon. Messing, Reynolds and Chan will be the final three skaters, in that order.
At stake are two spots on Canada's Olympic team. Chan is an overwhelming favorite to claim one of those spots, while Messing and Reynolds are among four skaters separated by 2.81 points going into the long program.
Messing, 25, earned a standing ovation for his performance at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. He turned a planned quadruple jump into a triple — there's no deduction for that, because the quad isn't a required element — he held on to land his triple axel, and his combination spins were tight and fast.
Messing, a lifelong Alaskan, has dual citizenship and after skating as an American for several years, he began competing for Canada in the 2014-15 season.