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Playing it safe, Abbott leads at US championships

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NANCY ARMOUR | January 25, 2013 11:52 PM EST | AP

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OMAHA, Neb. — Jeremy Abbott's clean but conservative free skate was more than enough to put him in the lead at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Friday night.

The three-time champion scored 84.10 points, three points ahead of Ross Miner. Joshua Farris, silver medalist at last year's junior world championships was third. The free skate is Sunday.

Olympic champion Evan Lysacek had hoped to return at nationals, and it's easy to see why he's contemplating a comeback. Out of 20 men, only four got through their programs without a major error. And while Abbott was clean, he was hardly ambitious, not even attempting a quadruple jump.

Earlier Friday, Olympic silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the short dance with a career-best 79.02 points.