ROCHESTER—Over 2,000 skaters and parents poured into Rochester, Minn. today in preparation for the 2011 Midwestern and Pacific Sectional Championships, which will begin Friday morning. The city of Rochester predicts the competition will bring in nearly $1.5 million to the local economy.
Only two teams will compete in the senior division at the championships. The Crystallettes and Miami University have a bye and will compete at the 2011 National Synchronized Skating Championships in March. Western Michigan University and The University of Illinois will compete against each other this weekend. The two teams have competed against each other already this year and their scores were extremely close at those competitions.
The highly anticipated and competitive Collegiate division will take place Friday afternoon before the Intermediate division. The University of Minnesota and Northwestern University are newcomers to the division this year and will look to place in the top half of the flight. Six teams from the division will qualify for nationals. The top teams of the division so far this year include, Miami University, The University of Michigan and Michigan State University. The University of Wisconsin will look to gain a position on the podium after their fifth place finish at the Dr. Porter competition in December.
The Fond Du Lac Blades Intermediate team will look to carry over their first place finish at the Dr. Porter competition to this weekend’s event. The team has continuously earned high scores in their skates this year and will look to exceed those scores in their skate Friday. Last year’s National champions, Team Del Sol, will also look to place in the top four teams this weekend.
Team Braemar, Crystallettes and Starlights will take the ice Saturday at 3:30 p.m. to compete in the Novice division. The teams took first, second and third last year. Only three points separated Breamar from the Crystallettes in last year’s event. Chicago Jazz will also look to place in the top four this year.
Only Chicago Jazz, Hockettes and Synchro St. Louis will appear in the junior division this year. Miami University, Evolution and Team Braemar will earn an automatic position at the National championships. Each team represented the U.S. in an international competition this year.
Please stay tuned for results and videos from the competition!
ROCHESTER—The most competitive division in the pacific coast section this season is the intermediate division with seven teams vying for four spots. Team Del Sol, the 2010 National Champions, are favored to win, facing competition from the other teams who qualified last year, Epic Edge, the Tremors and Denver Synchronicity, as well as La Furia, Rose City Crystals and Sierra Storm.
New to the senior division this year is Denver Synchronicity. The new will face California Gold, who recently returned from the Berlin Cup in Germany, placing fourth against teams from all over the world and the Ice’Kateers.
Competing in the juvenile division are Fusion, South Suburban Stars and the Tremors. None of these teams competed in the juvenile division at the 2010 National Championships.
California Gold, Ice’Kateers and Team Del Sol will compete in the novice division. At the 2010 Anaheim Ice competition Team Del Sol took home the gold, Ice’Kateers the silver and California Gold the bronze. Team Del Sol finished fifth at the Dr. Porter Classic at the beginning of the season followed by California Gold who finished in tenth.
California Gold is the only pacific coast team to field an adult team.
Capital Ice, Denver Synchronicity and La Furia round out the masters division. Denver Synchronicity had a strong performance at the 2010 National Championships, earning them a bronze medal.
LAKE PLACID—The 2011 Eastern Sectional Championships begin today in Lake Placid, New York. Inclement weather forced the LOC to delay the start of competition to 6 p.m. For an updated schedule, please visit the competition website.
The 2010 National Champions in the senior division, the Haydenettes, will not face any competition this weekend. The Haydenettes recently returned from the Mozart Cup in Austria where they earned a silver medal with a score of 184.32.
Four teams are set to compete in the junior division including the Lexettes, the Synchroettes, Team Image and Team Excel. The Skyliners, who earned the first spot on the 2011 Junior World Team at the Junior World Team Selection Competition in the beginning of January have a bye to Nationals so they can prepare for their international next week in Milan, Italy.
Team Image’s most recent competition was the Cape Cod Classic, where they placed third in both the short and the long, beating out Team Excel and the Synchroettes, but still placing at least fifteen points behind the Skyliners and the Lexettes. Team Excel and the Synchroettes competed against each other two short weeks ago at the Boston Classic—Team Excel winning both programs, with an improved free skate score of more than ten points since the Cape Cod Classic. All four junior teams will advance to Nationals.
In the highly competitive collegiate division there are eight entrants competing for only six spots at Nationals. The 2010 National bronze medalists, 2010 Dr. Porter Classic pewter medalists, and 12-time consecutive Eastern Sectional Champions, the University of Delaware are favored to win the division.
At the 2010 National Championships Team Excel, Boston University, the University of New Hampshire, Cornell University and Oswego State Ice Effects placed eighth through twelfth respectively. Also battling for a chance to compete at Nationals this year are the MassachusETTES and the University of Maryland who moved up to the collegiate division after winning the open collegiate division last year.
Trailing the University of Maryland last year in the open collegiate division were the University of Delaware, Bryant University and Ice of the Tiger. Returning to the open collegiate division this year after competing at the collegiate level in 2010, are Orange Experience and the 2009 Eastern Sectional Champions, the Boston College Eagles. Carolina Ice Synchro and Colgate University/Hamilton College will make their debut in the open collegiate division this weekend.
Five of the eight novice teams competing this weekend will qualify for Nationals. Seven teams attended the Cape Cod Classic, placing in the same order as Nationals last year. The 2010 National Champions, the Ice Mates placed first, trailed by the National bronze medalists, the Skyliners, followed by the Synchroettes, Team Excel and Team Image respectively. Also hoping to break into the top five are the Capitol Steps, the Superettes and Team Delaware.
This year intermediate has more competition to qualify for Nationals than any other division. Out of the 17 teams traveling to Lake Placid, only four will earn a trip to California in March. Team Reflections, who placed third at Easterns last year, pulled up past Team Image and Carolina Ice Synchro (Easterns Champions and Easterns silver medalists, respectively) to claim the silver at Nationals. Team Image wasn’t far behind, earning a National pewter medal, followed by Team Delaware, in seventh, and Carolina Ice Synchro in twelfth.
This year the Skyliners intermediate team is a top contender, as they won the Thanksgiving Classic, the Cape Cod Classic and Intermediate Group B at the Dr. Porter Classic. The Colonials, who have stood on the National podium 17 times in their history, are also a top contender this year. The Colonials placed second at the Thanksgiving Classic, the Cape Cod Classic and the Colonial Classic. Team Esprit has consistently placed fourth in competition this season.
Juvenile, like intermediate, will also be stiff competition. Thirteen teams will skate for five spots at Nationals. The 2010 Easterns Champions and silver medalists, the Synchroettes and the Skyliners continued on to become the 2010 National Champions and National silver medalists. The Synchroettes and Skyliners continue to lead the competition this season, followed by Team Image at both the Thanksgiving Classic and the Cape Cod Classic.
All three teams in the adult division will advance to Nationals. Esprit de Corps, the reigning National Champions, are favored to win the event, facing competition from the National silver medalists, Team Delaware and the 2010 Easterns silver medalists, DC Edge.
In 2010 the results in the masters division at Easterns were as follows: DC Edge, Esprit de Corps, and Essex Blades followed by Ice Magic. The teams placed in the same order at Nationals, DC Edge earning a silver medal with a spread down to ninth place for Ice Magic. This year there are two new masters teams, Team Esprit and Team Carolinas. All five teams will advance to California.