By Kennedy McKay
The 19th annual Dr. Richard Porter Classic will take place this weekend at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan. The Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club will host over 150 teams at one of the largest competitions of the season.
Kicking off the competition is the open juvenile division at the Olympic Rink. The 17 teams are split into three groups. The Dazzlers and Hockettes are the top teams to watch in this division.
There will be 18 teams among the four beginner divisions, and the preliminary division will have 7 teams. The Starlights, who won Kalamazoo, hope to earn another gold medal in the preliminary division this weekend.
The first division to take the ice in the Stadium Rink will be intermediate. The 18 teams will be split into two groups. Teams to watch in Group A are the Crystallettes and Ice Diamonds, who got second and third at the Kalamazoo Kick Off Classic a few weeks ago. The team to beat in Group B will be the Dazzlers, Kalamazoo’s champions and last season’s national gold medalists.
There will be six teams in the adult division. Three of last season’s national medalists, DC EDGE, the Crystallettes, and Denver Synchronicity, will compete for the gold medal.
Eleven teams will compete in the novice division. This year’s Kalamazoo Kick-Off Classic champions, the Starlights, will be competing against last year’s Dr. Porter champions and national silver medalists, the Crystallettes, for the novice title. Team Meraki from Leaside Skating Club will be traveling from Canada to compete.
The pre-juvenile teams will begin the competition on Sunday morning. The nine teams will be spilt into two groups, and the Fond Du Lac Blades, Starlights, and Starfire are the top teams to watch in these groups.
Following pre-juvenile is the open collegiate division. These four teams will compete for gold. Lindenwood University will look to reclaim their title. The open adult division will include Eclipse, who looks to edge out the University of Illinois Fighting Alumni, who won gold last year at Porter. There will be four teams competing in the Masters division. Allegro!, last season’s national gold medalist, will skate to defend their Porter title.
The juvenile division will take place early on Sunday morning. 10 teams will compete. The Starlights, who earned a silver medal at Kalamazoo, will look to snag the gold from the Chicago Jazz, last year’s Porter gold medalists.
This year’s collegiate division will have 11 teams competing. Last season’s Porter champions Western Michigan University will fight for their title against Miami University, who won their record-setting 10th straight national title in March. The Fighting Irish and University of Maryland Terrapins are new to the collegiate division, and Adrian College will return to the division after competing as open collegiate last season.
The junior competition will be exciting to watch and consists of an astounding 14 teams, 5 more than last year’s competition. Nexxice, last year’s champions, will not be competing. Saint Louis Synergy, Porter’s 2013 silver medalists and Kalamazoo champions, will look to win gold in the junior event. Also vying for the junior title are last year’s bronze and pewter medalists, the Skyliners and Chicago Jazz. New to the junior field are the Crystallettes, ICE’Kateers, and California Gold.
The senior programs will conclude each day of competition. Eight teams will compete in the senior division. Miami University will look to defend their title from last year’s competition. They will be facing the Crystallettes, who represented Team USA at World’s earlier this year, and the Starlights, who earned a bronze medal at Nationals earlier this season. Western Michigan University will return to the senior division this season.
Follow #causeitsPorterweek and #porter2014 and Get It Called on Twitter, Vine, and Instagram to keep track of all the action at one of the biggest synchro competitions of the year. Look for updates on the competition on GIC‘a website. Good luck to all of the athletes this weekend and have fun!