ANAHEIM, California – Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., stands fifth after Thursday’s short program in men’s competition at the 2019 ISU Four Continents figure skating competition.

Vincent Zhou of the U.S. leads with 100.18 points, Junhwan Cha of South Korea is second at 97.33 and Boyang Jin of China is third at 92.17. Messing is in medal contention after scoring 88.18.

Canadian champion Nam Nguyen of Toronto is eighth at 79.55 and Nicolas Nadeau of Boisbriand, Que., 11th at 74.44.

“I was a bit slower today,” said Nguyen. “I tweaked by back foot in practice which gave me something to think about when I was skating. I’m glad I got through that to carry the positive momentum I’ve had this season.”

In women’s competition, Bradie Tennell of the U.S. is first after the short program with Kaori Sakamoto of Japan second and Mariah Bell of the U.S. third.

Larkyn Austman of Coquitlam, B.C. is the top Canadian in 11th, Veronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., is 12th and Canadian champion Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., 21st.

“Apart from an unacceptable mistake I felt pretty good about my program,” said Austman, a 2018 Olympian. “I’m confident I got my levels and I’m happy with the score despite the fall. I feel I can get my minimum technical scores for the worlds in the free skate.”

Chartrand struggled in her warm-up and couldn’t recover.

“I felt uncomfortable,” she said. “I was slipping and I didn’t have enough confidence in my edges. I don’t know what happened. All the practices leading in were good.”

Competition continues through to Sunday.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1819/fc2019/