Teams from all over the country make their way to Ontario, California this week for the 2011 U.S. Synchronized Skating National Championships hosted by the Glacier Falls Figure Skating Club at the Citizens Business Bank Arena. Competitors earned the honor to compete this week through their placements at the Eastern, Midwestern and Pacific Coast Sectional Championships last month.
Favored to win the senior division are the reigning National Champions, the Haydenettes from Lexington, Massachusetts. The Haydenettes placed ahead of all other U.S. competitors at every competition this season.
The ICE’Kateers were the only team out of the nine competing this week that did not attend the Dr. Richard Porter Classic in December. At that time the Crystallettes trailed the Haydenettes by slightly more than ten points, followed by Miami University and California Gold.
The top two in the senior division will earn spots on the 2011 U.S. World Team to compete in Finland at the World Championships April 8-9. At the 2010 World Championships in Colorado the Haydenettes and the Crystallettes earned third and ninth respectively.
University of Illinois
This season has been extremely successful for the Team USA junior teams. The Skyliners and Team Braemar, who already earned spots on the 2011 Junior World Team to compete in Neuchatel, Switzerland March 11-13, both earned gold medals at their international competitions, Team Braemar at the French Cup in Rouen, France and the Skyliners at the Spring Cup in Milan, Italy. Team USA dominated the podium at the Spring Cup, the Skyliners followed by Evolution earning silver and the Hockettes earning bronze.
All of the junior teams except for Synchro St. Louis competed at the Junior World Team Selection competition in January. The Lexettes gave Team Braemar a run for their money, placing second in the short program before finishing third overall. Just behind the Lexettes were Chicago Jazz and Miami University.
Synchro St. Louis
Miami University will look to gain another national title this year after placing first at the Midwestern Sectional Championships in January. The team earned the highest number of points between the Midwest teams and the East Coast teams at sectionals. The University of Delaware placed first at the Eastern Sectional Championships and will look to sustain their momentum at nationals. Delaware placed third at nationals last year. The University of Michigan, who placed second at nationals last year, will look to earn a spot on the podium. Other medal contenders include Western Michigan University, Michigan State University and The University of Wisconsin.
The University of Delaware
The University of New Hampshire
The University of Wisconsin
Michigan State University
Western Michigan University
The University of Michigan
The University of Maryland
The University of Minnesota
Oswego State University
The Synchroettes will look to earn a top spot again after earning first at the competition last year. The Skyliners and the Crystallettes have also been highly successful this season and will look to take a spot on the podium. The Skyliners placed second last year in front of the third place Chicago Jazz and the fourth place team, Crystallettes.
South Suburban Stars
The Fond du Lac Blades, along with Team Del Sol and the Skyliners, will look to place in the top of the pack at nationals Thursday. The Fond du Lac Blades have continuously earned the highest scores out of all the teams so far this year. Coach Jenny McMahon says the team hopes to earn points in the 60s at the competition this weekend. St. Louis Synergy, a team that has improved significantly since last year, will also look to earn a spot on the podium.
Fond Du Lac Blades
St. Louis Synergy
Team Del Sol
Capitol Ice Chips
The Ice Mates will look to earn a national title again after earning first place at the 2010 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. They earned 68.55 points last year, just over one point ahead of Team Braemar, who earned a bye this year and did not have to compete at the Midwest Sectional Championships. The Ice Mates earned just over 62 points at the 2011 Eastern Sectional Championships. Skyliners and the Crystallettes are also contenders for a place on the podium.
Team Del Sol
Esprit de Corps, the reigning adult National Champions won the Eastern Sectional Championships and the Colonial Classic. Placing behind Esprit de Corps at the Colonial Classic was Team Delaware, who placed third at Easterns behind DC Edge. Also in medal contention are the Midwestern Sectional Champions, Western Michigan Alum as well as Evolution and Starlights who have flipped placements over the course of the season. From the Pacific Coast, California joins the adult division for the first time this season.
Esprit de Corps
Western Michigan Alum
The 2010 National Champions in the masters division, Allegro! led the Midwestern Sectional Championships last month with straight one ordinals. The 2010 National silver medalists, DC Edge, placed second at the Eastern Sectional Championships to last year’s fifth place team, Esprit de Corps. Denver Synchronicity, the 2010 bronze medalists, won the Pacific Coast Sectional Championships.
Esprit de Corps
Louisville River Stars