FOND DU LAC, Wisconsin—Over eighty teams will compete this weekend in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin ranging from beginner to intermediate, novice and junior. The pressure is on in the junior division, as ten of the top teams from around the U.S. battle it out for the top two spots, earning the right to compete at the 2011 Junior World Challenge Cup held in Neuchatel, Switzerland on March 11-13.
The competition kicks-off tonight with the junior short competition at 6:30 p.m. Central Standard Time. All other divisions compete tomorrow, and the competition concludes tomorrow night with the junior free skate at 8:00 p.m. CST.
At the 2010 World Junior Team Qualifying Competition Team Braemar and the Skyliners placed first and second earning them a berth to the 2010 Junior World Challenge Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden where they placed fourth and fifth respectively, behind two Finnish teams and a Canadian team. It was an extremely strong finish, as Braemar and the Skyliners were only the second pair of U.S. junior teams to both place in the top five at this event.
Chicago Jazz and the Colonials also placed in the top five in 2007 when Chicago Jazz took home a bronze and the Colonials placed fifth. Chicago Jazz competed at every Junior World Challenge Cup from its inception in 2002 until 2009. Jazz is the United States’ highest placing Junior World team, winning the bronze in 2006 and 2007. Last year Jazz finished third at the World Junior Team Qualifying Competition, one place short of making the Junior World Team. Jazz took home the pewter medal from the 2010 National Championships, behind Team Braemar, the Skyliners and the Lexettes.
The Lexettes have been edging their way up in the junior division, placing third at the past three National Championships. At the 2010 National Championships they placed second in the free skate, ahead of Junior World competitors, the Skyliners. Lexettes’ free skate score wasn’t high enough for a second place finish overall, but proved they have the capability to break into the top two. They placed fourth at last years World Junior Team Qualifying Competition.
So far this season the Skyliners finished first at the Thanksgiving Classic, the Cape Cod Classic, and second only to a Canadian team at the Dr. Richard Porter Classic. Chicago Jazz and Miami University were the closest contenders from the U.S. at Dr. Porter, placing fourth and fifth respectively, followed by Evolution and the Hockettes. At the Cape Cod Classic the Lexettes followed the Skyliners, placing second in both the short program and the free skate. Behind the Lexettes were Team Image, Team Excel and the Synchroettes who flip-flopped placements at the Thanksgiving Classic, Terry Conners and the Cape Cod Classic.
For competition updates and results check out the Get It Called blog!
Junior Team Entrants:
U.S. Junior World Teams:
2010 Team Braemar, Skyliners
2009 Chicago Jazz, Team Braemar
2008 Chicago Jazz, The Colonials
2007 Chicago Jazz, The Colonials
2006 Chicago Jazz, Hockettes
2005 Chicago Jazz, Hockettes
2004 Chicago Jazz, Team Elan
2003 Chicago Jazz, Team Elan
2002 Chicago Jazz, Hockettes