by Kennedy McKay
Today is the day! Competition kicks off at the 2018 Midwestern and Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships in Wichita, Kansas. Hosted by the Wichita Figure Skating Club, the five-day competition is the peak of the competitive season for most teams.
The first events to take the ice are the Midwestern open juvenile qualifying groups A and B. 18 teams are split across two groups, and the top five from each group will advance to the championship round on Thursday evening. Starlights return to uphold their 2017 Midwestern Sectional title and add another podium finish to their season. Dazzlers and Allegro! are also medal contenders in this division.
On Thursday afternoon, 20 total teams will compete in the Midwestern pre-juvenile division. The top five finishers in each group advance to Friday morning’s championship round. Key teams in this division include Starlights, Fond du Lac Blades, and the Dazzlers; each team won a gold medal at the 2017 Dr. Porter Classic and skated strong at each competition this season.
Seven teams compete in the Pacific pre-juvenile championships. San Diego Shining Blades captured the gold at last year’s event and will skate to place at the top of the podium yet again.
Following the Pacific pre-juvenile division is the Pacific open juvenile event on Thursday evening. Two groups of seven teams are competing, and the top four from each group advance to the championships on Friday afternoon. San Diego Shining Blades, Silver Stars, and Washington Ice Emeralds were all podium finishers at last year’s event and are main contenders to do so again this year.
Saturday’s events begin with the Midwestern preliminary championships. Seven teams are competing, and last year’s champions, Crystallettes, are challenged by Teams Elite, who have earned many gold medals this season.
Park City Icing and Junior Ice Cadettes will battle it out head-to-head for the gold medal in the Pacific preliminary championships.
Six Midwestern open collegiate teams compete Sunday morning. Miami University, the 2017 Midwestern Sectional champion, is challenged for the title by Adrian College, a team that has been undefeated all season. There are no Pacific open collegiate teams competing.
In the Midwestern open masters event, Allegro!, Evolution, and Team Glacé are competing. Evolution captured the 2017 title with first place ordinals across the board.
Cold Fusion Synchro is the only team competing in the Pacific open masters event.
The Midwestern open adult division has seven teams competing. Capital Ice Alumni, Infinity Onyx, and Austintatious Stars were claimed first, second, and third respectively at last year’s event and hope for another podium finish this season.
Rose City Crystals is the only Pacific open adult competing at this year’s event.
The masters division is the only 6.0 event that advances to the U.S. Championships in February. In the Pacific division, three teams are competing: Washington Ice Emeralds, Denver Synchronicity, and IceSymmetrics. All three will advance to the U.S. Championships.
Five out of six teams will advance to the U.S. Championships in the Midwestern masters division. Allegro! and the Goldenettes have both had strong seasons and are looking earn another medal to their collection this weekend.