The Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club will host the 16th annual Dr. Richard Porter Synchronized Classic this year Dec. 2-4. The event marks the first major competition of the season as teams from across the country, and several international teams, travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. to compete.
This is the first year a team from outside the U.S., Canada and Finland decided to compete. Ice Harmony from Pusan, Korea will compete in the juvenile and pre-juvenile divisions. Canadian teams include Les Supremes and Nova.
As in recent years, the collegiate division will prove to be one of the most competitive divisions at the competition. The University of Illinois, who competed in the senior division last year, has returned to the collegiate division. The team recently placed second to Western Michigan University at the Kalamazoo Kick-off Classic, earning a score of 43.67. Top contenders will be Miami University, The University of Michigan, Michigan State University and The University of Delaware. Team Excel and The University of Wisconsin will also be looking to move up.
The senior division will miss two top competitors this year. The Haydenettes, who placed second at the classic last year, will not be travelling to Michigan for the competition. Team Unique, who traveled to Ann Arbor last year from Finland and won the division, are also not competing. Without these two teams, the Crystallettes, who placed behind the Haydenettes and Team Unique at last year’s classic will battle for a top spot against Les Supremes and Miami University, the 2011 national silver medalists.
The Crystallettes did not compete in the adult division in 2011, but will make a comeback this year. The team won nationals in 2008 and 2009. Their top competition this year will be the Starlights who took the bronze medal at the 2011 national championship and Team Delaware who earned the pewter medal.
Intermediate is the largest division this year with a total of 25 teams split into two flights. Both groups have teams from all three sections of the U.S. The 2011 national champions, the Fond du Lac Blades, will compete in group B against national bronze medalists, St. Louis Synergy. St. Louis Synergy enters this weekend fresh off a win at the Kalamazoo Kick-Off Classic, where the Fond du Lac Blades placed fourth. Also competing in group B are 2011 national competitors Chicago Jazz and Philadelphia Symmetry. Chicago Jazz placed fifth in Kalamazoo, just behind the Fond du Lac Blades.
Group A teams include the 2011 national silver medalists, the Skyliners, pewter medalists, Team Del Sol and national competitors, Epic Edge. Other teams to watch include the Dazzlers, who placed second at this year’s Kalamazoo Kick-Off Classic and Team Reflections who did not qualify for nationals in 2011, but were the 2010 national silver medalists.
Ten U.S. teams and one Canadian team (Nova), are set to compete in the novice division. Expected leaders include the Crystallettes and the Skyliners, last year’s national silver and pewter medalists respectively. Other medal contender include the Starlights, Hockettes, St. Louis Synergy and Chicago Jazz who placed first through fourth at the Kalamazoo Classic, beating out the Crystallettes, who placed fifth.
The junior division includes the 2011 national champions, the Skyliners, who will be challenged by Les Supremes from Canada, as well as Chicago Jazz, Evolution and Miami University. Chicago Jazz took home the gold from Kalamazoo with a total of 39.65 in the short program. The Skyliners also earned a gold medal on the East coast at the Thanksgiving Classic with a total of 51.82 in the short program and 92.28 in the free skate.
Get live updates from the event by following our competition blog. Co-founder/Co-director Erin Banco will be attending the event to report. Questions? Text: 508-813-3474 or e-mail Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full list of teams: http://www.portersynchroclassic.com/teams.htm
For a block schedule: http://www.portersynchroclassic.com/schedule.htm
Full Kalamazoo Classic results: https://greaterkzooskate.org/uploads/KOC_2011_Results.pdf
Full Thanksgiving Classic results: