by Tara Tahil
The 2017 Eastern Sectional Synchronized Skating Championships are set to begin this Thursday, January 26th in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Central Pennsylvania Figure Skating Club will host the event, which kicks-off at 4:00 p. m. EST in the Giant Arena. Competition resumes Friday morning at both the Giant Arena and the Hershey Park Arena.
The open juvenile division is split into three qualifying rounds of ten teams each. Four teams from each group will advance to the championship round. CNY Blizzard, DC EDGE Blue, DC EDGE Red, Rainbow Connections, Steel City Blades, and the Shadows are all contenders for top spots.
The juvenile division has a total of eleven teams competing. Six will advance to the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.The defending U.S juvenile champions Skyliners, and Mini Mates are favorites in the division, having consistently battled each other for the top spot over the last several years. At the 2017 Colonial Classic, the top six teams all had less than two points between them. Others to watch include DC EDGE, Philadelphia Symmetry, and Team Delaware.
Each team competing in the junior and senior divisions will advance to Nationals. The Haydenettes, Skyliners senior, Lexettes, and Skyliners junior team each have byes for the event because of their international competition schedule. Team Delaware, last year’s Eastern Champions in the junior division, are favored to win the top spot. Synchroettes and Team Ashburn are also competing. In the senior division, Team Excel and Chesapeake Synchro will look to earn the top spot.
Six of the seven teams competing in the novice division will qualify for the National Championships. The defending U.S. novice champions Ice Mates and the Dr. Porter Classic winners, the Skyliners, will fight for the 2017 Eastern Sectional Champion title. Chesapeake Synchro, DC EDGE, Philadelphia Symmetry, Synchroettes, and Team Image will also fight for the remaining spots to Nationals.
The open adult division starts off the competition on Saturday with six teams competing. DC EDGE and the Cutting Edge are favorites in the open adult division. Six open masters teams will compete on Saturday starting at 9:15 a.m. in the Hershey Park Arena. Philly Spirit and The Colonials are favorites in the event.
The championship round of pre-juvenile will consist of twelve teams. Favorites to win include DC EDGE Red, DC EDGE Blue, Skyliners, and Synchroettes. The final round of the preliminary division will also consist of twelve teams. Favorites include the DC EDGE Blue, Skyliners, Team Excel, and the Colonials.
Last year’s masters division Eastern Champions and 2015 U.S. masters champions DC EDGE, and the 2015 U.S masters champions Esprit de Corps are favorites to win in the five team field. Team Delaware, Gotham City Synchro, and Essex Blades are also competing. All teams will advance to the National Championships in Rockford, Illinois.
Eight teams will compete in the adult division and five will advance to Nationals. The 2016 U.S adult champions, DC EDGE and last year’s winners and U.S adult silver medalists, Esprit de Corps are looking to earn the top spot. Team Delaware, Team Excel, The Colonials, Gotham City Synchro, Ocean Blades and Team Image SST will also fight for the remaining spots to Nationals.
With nineteen teams competing for only four qualifying spots, the intermediate division is undoubtedly one of the most difficult this weekend. The Skyliners and Star Mates are favored in the division, with several other teams vying for the remaining positions. The Star Mates, Skyliners, Team Image, DC EDGE, Team Delaware, and Philadelphia Symmetry have each been within three points of each other at both the Boston Classic and Colonial Classic earlier this season. It truly is anyone’s game.
Four teams will compete in the collegiate division and all will advance to Illinois. The University of Delaware SST, the 2016 Eastern Sectional Champion, is looking to hold their title. Also looking to claim the title are the Metroettes after placing second the past two years. University of Massachusetts SST and Boston University are competing as well.
Good luck to all competitors this weekend and be sure to stay updated by following Get It Called on social media. Results will be posted on Twitter, @GIC_Results using the hashtag #SynchroEast17.