by Tara Tahil and the Get It Called Team
The 2017 World Junior Team Selection took place this weekend in Simsbury, CT in addition to the Connecticut Synchronized Skating Classic. In the highest stake event, ten junior teams showcased their skills with the hopes of being selected to represent the United States at the 2017 ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in Mississauga, Canada. Skyliners (Team USA 1) and Lexettes (Team USA 2) were selected after the United States Figure Skating Synchronized Management Subcommittee considered the performances from past international competitions and the event itself.
After the short program, Skyliners landed in first place with a score of 62.56 despite having one fall, only 0.2 points above Lexettes, who scored 62.36 with a clean skate. Chicago Jazz finished the short program event in third with a score of 56.65, almost nine points above their short program score at the French Cup. Starlights claimed the fourth spot with a score of 55.93, less than a point behind Chicago Jazz.
Saturday night’s competition finished with the junior free skate event. Skyliners earned a season’s best score of 113.77 for their free skate, which gave them a total score of 176.33; almost 23 points ahead of the second place team, Chicago Jazz. Chicago Jazz earned a score of 96.80 for their The Godfather themed free skate, which landed them in second place with a total score of 153.45. Lexettes finished the competition in third place, earning a free skate score of 86.45 with five deductions and an overall score of 148.81. Starlights finished the competition in fourth for the second year in a row, with a free skate score of 85.14, less than two points behind Lexettes, and 141.07 for their overall score.
U.S Figure Skating designated the 2017 Connecticut Synchronized Skating Classic to be the World Junior Team Selection Event, meaning that the junior teams who came were showing their programs in hopes of being selected for the 2017 World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships. After an extended period of time following the free skate event, Skyliners and Lexettes were selected to represent the United States in this event. It is stated in the U.S. Figure Skating Rulebook (ICR 5.15) that selection can be based on event results, the two most recent U.S. Championships, past World Championships and the current season’s international placements.
Lexettes and Chicago Jazz competed at the Mozart Cup where Lexettes earned the top spot with an overall score of 145.02, ahead of NEXXICE (CAN) and Musketeers (FIN) who will be competing at the ISU World Junior Championships. Chicago Jazz came in fourth with a total score of 127.39. Skyliners and Chicago Jazz competed at the French Cup where Skyliners earned the bronze medal with an overall score of 146.44. Team Junost (RUS), the 2016 Junior World Challenge Cup bronze medalists, placed first at the French Cup with an overall score of 158.80.Team Fintastic (FIN), the silver medalists at the 2016 Junior World Challenge Cup, placed second at the French Cup with an overall score of 150.74. Chicago Jazz finished in fifth at the French Cup with an overall score of 126.44.
All teams who were a part of the World Junior Team Selection Event demonstrated the spirit and competitiveness of the junior division in the U.S. Leading into nationals the pressure is on to be even more competitive. With strong international competition, the U.S. can expect that the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships will be just as competitive, if not more than all other years before. To have a chance of medaling, both teams need to bring everything they have to the competition and represent their country to the best of their ability.
The 2017 ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships will take place in Mississauga, Canada from March 10-11, 2017.
Full results from the Connecticut Synchronized Skating Classic can be found here.