OMAHA, Neb. -- In fourth place heading into the U.S. Figure Skating Championships' final day, 20-year-old Max Aaron opened his long program like the gang members in West Side Story, snapping his fingers and ready to pounce.And as the edgy score of the musical's famous rumble scene began to crescendo, Aaron exploded from a crouch into a quadruple Salchow-triple toe loop combination, then quickly followed with another quadruple Salchow.It was a fearless display of bravado that brought down the house and ultimately vaulted Aaron into a gold medal that virtually no one, Aaron included, saw coming.Among the men left wobbling and tumbling in the wake of Aaron's high-stakes showstopper was three-time and defending U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott, who was relegated to bronze after falling on his lone attempt at a quad and short-changing a triple Salchow at the end of his program.As a result, Abbott, 27, the most decorated skater in the field, missed the cut for the world championships in March. The 20-year-old Aaron, who has limited international experience, punched his ticket to the world championships by winning the U.S. championship. Barring a stunning departure from custom, the United States' second men's spot will go to Sunday's silver medalist Ross Miner of Boston, whose rigorous long program included one successfully landed quadruple jump.With one year to go before the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Sunday's U.S. Figure Skating Championships underscored what has become painfully obvious: Any man with aspirations of winning a medal in Sochi better come prepared to nail at least one quadruple jump, if not multiple.