Contributions from Kelsey Helwig and Meghan Crocker
This week the top synchronized skating teams from across the nation will compete in the 2013 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships at Compuware Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. The competition, hosted by the Detroit Metro Skating Council, is a qualifier for the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in Boston, Mass. for the senior division teams.
Following the opening ceremonies on Thursday, Feb. 27, 12 teams in the juvenile division will kick-off the competition at 1:55 p.m. Top contenders include Chicago Jazz, the Skyliners, Mini Mates and the Synchroettes, the top four from last year’s national championships. Challenging them will be the Crystallettes, who did not qualify for the 2012 championships, but placed just behind the reigning national champions, Chicago Jazz at this year’s sectionals.
In the intermediate division the Star Mates look to recapture the national title. The Fond Du Lac Blades, the Midwestern sectional champions and 2011 national champions, and Team Del Sol, who scored highest out of the three sectional champions (60.67), will pose a serious threat. Other medal contenders include the Chesapeake Sailors and the Dazzlers.
The junior short program will close the competition on Thursday night. The top three teams from the 2012 championship, Team Braemar, the Skyliners, and the Lexettes, will continue their rivalry competing head-to-head for the gold. Also fighting for a spot on the podium are the Synchroettes, Chicago Jazz and Miami University. Though the Lexettes and the Skyliners have already earned a berth to the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland March 7-9, there is still a lot at stake in the junior division. All teams will fight for the top five or six placements to earn a spot on Team USA and an international assignment next season. Junior competition will conclude on Friday night with the long program beginning at 7:38 p.m.
The novice division will open the competition on Friday at 3:15 p.m. The reigning national champions, the Ice Mates, hope to reclaim the top spot for the fourth consecutive year. The Ice Mates will face competitors such as the Midwestern sectional champions, Chicago Jazz, a team we did not see at last year’s championship, and the Crystallettes, who have placed in the top four at the national championships since 2009.
The two top scoring senior teams will represent Team USA at the 2013 ISU World Synchronized Championships, held for the first time in Boston, Mass. April 3-6. Top contenders include both members of the 2012 U.S. World Team, the three-time world bronze medalists, the Haydenettes, and the three-time world competitors, the Crystallettes, along with Miami University, the highest placing U.S. World Team in history, who earned a silver medal at the 2007 ISU World Championships. Also fighting for the podium are the ICE’Kateers who earned pewter at last year’s national championship, the Skyliners and California Gold. The senior short competition will take place on Friday at 5:42 p.m. followed by the freeskate on Saturday at 8:39 p.m. to close the competition.
The 14-time national champions, Miami University, are the favorites to win the collegiate division. The University of Delaware, who received a bye to this year’s championships, along with the University of Michigan, Western Michigan, the University of Wisconsin, and Team Excel, will battle for the remaining spots on the podium. Joining the collegiate division for the first time at the national level is Adrian College. Since Delaware received a bye, IllinoiSkating will also be competing, rounding out the collegiate division with 13 teams.
The adult division opens the competition on Saturday afternoon. Competition will be fierce between last year’s national champions, DC Edge, and Esprit De Corps and Team Delaware, who both beat DC Edge at sectionals. The east coast teams will be challenged by the Midwest champions, the Crystallettes, who hold the highest sectional adult score (63.14).
This year’s masters division will have 12 teams competing on Saturday—four more than last year’s championships. Teams with the potential to collect medals include Allegro!, DC Edge, who beat the 2012 national champions Espirit de Corps at sectionals, and Denver Synchronicity.
Attending the event? Text updates to GIC 5088133474. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates from the competition.