The 2013 World Junior Team Selection Competition will be held at the non-qualifying Mid-America Synchronized Skating Championships in Fraser, Mich this weekend. Eleven teams will compete for the top two spots and their chance to compete at the Junior World Synchronized Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland March 7-9.
Last year the Skyliners (Team USA 1) and Team Braemer (Team USA 2) competed at the World Challenge Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden, and placed fifth and fourth respectively. Team Braemer earned a total score of 145.08 while the Skyliners earned a score of 139.97. Last year marked the two teams’ fourth time competing together on Team USA at worlds. The 2011 competition proved to be the most successful as Team Braemer placed third and Skyliners fifth, making them the second pair of teams in Team USA synchronized skating history to earn the best finish at worlds. The Colonials and Chicago Jazz earned the same placements when they competed in 2007.
Last year, the Lexettes narrowly missed out on their chance at competing at worlds. They placed second in the short program at the qualifier, but placed third overall. They will be looking to once again gain their first trip to junior worlds.
Chicago Jazz, a former frequenter at the world competition, will also be looking to earn one of the top two spots. The team competed at every junior world competition since 2002, but they have not qualified since 2009. But the team put out strong performances at the Dr. Porter competition in December, and surprised the crowd with their exciting Michael Jackson short program music. They will be looking to regain their spot on the world team this year.
After last year’s seventh place finish at nationals, Miami University came back stronger than ever at this year’s Dr. Porter competition. They beat Chicago Jazz, placing third just behind Synergy from Canada. Though the team has competed internationally previously, they have never qualified for worlds. The team placed fifth at last year’s qualifier.
The Synchroettes have been moving their way up in the division, and surprised everyone last year with their performance at nationals. They placed fourth in the long program in front of Chicago Jazz and Miami University, but ended up placing fifth overall. The team competed last weekend at the 2012 Colonial Classic and beat the Lexettes, the only other team competing in the division, by more than three points in the long program and placed first overall. The Lexettes and Synchroettes competed against each other twice before the Colonial Classic this year, and each time the Lexettes clinched the top spot. The Synchroettes will be looking to sustain their momentum at the qualifier and to earn their first chance at competition at worlds in March. The Lexettes competed against Team Braemer, last year’s Team USA 2, at the Maplewood Synchro Classic Dec. 15-16. Lexettes placed second in the short, but first in the long program.
The first junior world competition was held in 2001 with the World Junior Team Selection Competition beginning in 2004. The teams will compete their short program Friday night and their long program Saturday night. For a complete schedule visit the competition website.
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List of teams competing:
Miami University Varsity SST
St. Louis Synergy