by Erin Bold
On October 14 and 15, the Hayden Recreation Centre Figure Skating Club will host the New England Challenge Cup at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts. This competition is the first competition of the season in the United States, and it will be an international event featuring teams from Canada and Finland.
Kicking off the competition on Friday evening will be the junior short program. Four teams will be competing in this event, including two teams from Canada, Nexxice and Les Pirouettes. Nexxice placed eighth in the 2016 Junior World Challenge Cup, while Les Pirouettes placed third at the 2016 Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships. The other two competitors will be Skyliners and Lexettes, who placed fourth and seventh at the Junior World Challenge Cup, respectively.
Following the conclusion of the junior short will be the senior short event. This event will feature four teams, including Team Unique from Finland, who finished in fourth at the 2016 World Synchronized Skating Championships in Budapest. The Haydenettes, last season’s world bronze medallists, look to challenge Team Unique for the top spot. Also competing are Skyliners, who finished third at the 2016 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, and Crystallettes, who finished fourth.
Starting the event on Saturday afternoon will be the novice event. Two teams will be competing for the gold medal, Ice Mates and Cleveland Edges. Ice Mates were the gold medallists at the 2016 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, while Cleveland Edges are new to the division.
The intermediate division will feature four teams: The Colonials, Cleveland Edges, Star Mates, and Synchro Stars.
The juvenile division will only feature one team, Mini Mates. They finished fourth in the 2016 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. This division is new to IJS, so they are looking to receive a solid score to build on as the season continues
The junior and senior free skate events will close off the competition on Saturday evening.