By Erin Banco
The first major competition of the season took place last weekend at the 18th Annual Dr. Richard Porter Classic. Coined as the “mini nationals” of the synchronized skating season, teams from across the country traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich. to compete against many of the teams that will qualify for the national competition later this season.
Perhaps the biggest surprises of the weekend came out of the performances in the collegiate division. The results from this year’s competition were much different than years past. Western Michigan University made a comeback and placed first, beating Miami University, the long-time national champion. The last time Miami University placed below first place at the Dr. Porter competition was in 2010 when The University of Delaware placed first. Western Michigan University, which usually fields two teams—senior and a collegiate—does not have a senior team this year. Team Excel and Michigan State University placed in the middle of the pack below Western, Miami and Delaware. The University of Michigan placed last at this year’s competition—a drop from last year when the placed second.
The junior division competed the short program on Friday night and the long program on Saturday. Nexxice from Canada took first place with a score of 146.52. The next team, St. Louis Synergy, scored just less than 20 points below Nexxice. St. Louis Synergy has continuously developed over the years and took second place in front of Skyliners who placed third. Chicago Jazz took fourth and Fond Du Lac Blades took fifth. The Fond Du Lac Blades made a comeback in the junior division this year after having previously competed in the division and represtented Team USA. The team had a rocky start at the Kalamazoo Kick Off Classic, but performed well last weekend and beat Miami University who placed sixth. Hockettes, Starlights and Team Delaware placed in the bottom three spots.
Miami University placed first in the senior division, earning a total score of 173.96. The Crystallettes placed a close second with a score of 172. 36. The Skyliners placed more than 20 points below the Crystallettes and earned third place. Starlights and ICE’Kateers scored similarly. Starlights earned a score of 133.48, which put them in fourth place, and ICE’Kateers earned a score of 126.98, placing them in fifth. California Gold, Adrian College and Team Excel earned the last three slots.
The intermediate division was the largest division to compete at the competition. It was split into two flights. The Dazzlers took first place in the Intermediate A division with a score of 48.24, beating the Fond Du Lac Blades by more than four points. The Fond Du Lac Blades has fielded a notoriously successful Intermediate line for years, but could not make it into the top slot at this year’s competition. However, they will still be one to watch as the competition season progresses. Team Delaware and Chicago Jazz also earned medals this year. Skyliners took first place with a score of 50.55 and Ice Diamonds earned a close second place with a score of 49.15.
The Crystallettes took first place out of six teams in the adult division earning a score of 51.49. DC Edge earned second place with a score of 48.69. Placements three through five were within two points of each other. Denver Synchronicity and Team Delaware earned third and fourth place.
The novice division was especially large this year. Twelve teams competed and like last year, the Crystallettes earned first place. They earned a score of 57.84. The teams that placed second through fifth earned similar scores—all within three points of each other. Team del Sol, Team Delaware and Chicago Jazz earned second, third and fourth place, respectively.
The full IJS and 6.0 scores can be found on the competition website.