by Katie Fiore
The 18th Annual Kalamazoo Kick-Off Classic will be this weekend (11/18-11/19) at the Wings Event Center. The Kick-Off Classic is an essential to midwestern synchronized skaters and is a wonderful way for many teams to begin their competitive seasons.
The event will begin Saturday (11/8) at 8:30 AM with the open juvenile division. The first group will consist of Wisconsin Edge, Ice Diamonds, Chicago Skates, and the Ice Cubes. After a brief ice resurface, Team Chiller will kick off the second group, followed by Starr Blades, Dazzlers-Blue (2017 midwestern championship round bronze medalists), Windjammers, and Pricettes Elite. The open juvenile division will continue with a second group at 4:53 PM with midwestern champions Starlights opening. Open juvenile is always a very competitive division and entertaining to watch because it is still judged under the 6.0 system.
The senior short program decreased in its size by losing the Crystallettes, but there will undoubtedly be an excellent performance by Adrian College, skating to a dramatic cover of “Paint It Black.” They will be performing their “Soarin’” free skate later in the day at 12:51 PM; they will be a team to watch before making their international debut for the season!
The juvenile event will begin promptly after the senior short program. This will be the second year the juvenile division will compete under IJS rule. Hockettes, Starfire, and Cleveland Ice Storm will open the group, followed by Teams Elite. Teams Elite are the 2017 national bronze medalists, and this year will be skating to a “Nurses” themed program. Last year’s 6th place national finishers, Starlights, will be the first to take the ice after a resurface, along with Chicago Jazz. Just 1.37 separated these two teams at the 2017 US National Championships so it will be exciting to see them go head to head once again! Saint Louis Synergy, Crystallettes, and Kalamazoo Kinetic will round out the division.
The always riveting collegiate division will begin at 11:20 AM. Adrian College Varsity will be the first to skate, coming off a win in Mentor where they earned a score of 61.69 with their sassy “Fosse” program. Last year’s national 5th place finishers, Western Michigan University, will follow, looking to best last year’s scores with skating to a Bruno Mars Medley. Last years US National Champions, University Of Michigan, will be coming off a high and looking to make a strong debut for this competition season. University Of Illinois will also be active contenders, as they have continuously improved.
The small yet impactful junior division will begin with the Short Program at 12:20 PM beginning with the 2017 national pewter medalists, Chicago Jazz. They will be looking to make a strong comeback this season, which will be exciting to see. Following will be a Canadian team, Gold Ice, followed by Hockettes, making their debut before heading to their two international assignments. Though the division has shrunk in size in comparison to previous years, it will still be one to watch!
The always intense intermediate division will begin at 1:29 with Allegro!. After taking a one-year hiatus from the intermediate category, Teams Elite will surely be one to watch. Chicago Skates, Windjammers (new), and Chicago Jazz will follow. Swan Syncstation and Cleveland Ice Storm will take the ice after a brief resurface, followed by last years midwestern silver medalists, Starlights. The Starlights have always been a competitive midwestern intermediate team and will be skating to a “Crush” themed program. Last years midwestern pewter medalists, the Crystallettes, and Ice Diamonds will round out the division.
The second group of the vast intermediate division will begin at 3:09 PM with Pacific Coast guests, Houston Elite. They will be followed by Chicagoland teams Starfire and Dazzlers, then the host-club team, Kalamazoo Kinetic. Last year’s midwestern bronze medalists, Saint Louis Synergy, will be first to skate after the ice make, followed by Fond Du Lac Blades, Hockettes, and new teams Northern Fusion and Wisconsin Edge. The midwestern intermediate division is growing by 15 teams this year! It will certainly be exciting to see many of these teams make their debut in the division.
The novice division will begin at 6:04 PM with Onyx Synchro. Last years national 5th place finishers, Teams Elite will follow, skating to a “Lady Gaga” theme. Synchro St. Louis Diamond Edges and Cleveland Ice Storm will also skate before the ice make. 2017 national silver medalists Crystallettes will be looking to make a big impression out of the gate, skating to a “Les Miserables” program. 2017 national pewter medalists Starlights will also be competing in the division, skating to a fun “Latin/Zumba” themed program. Hockettes, SwanSyncSation, and Dazzlers will close the division. This will surely be a group to watch, as there are so many incredible novice teams in the Midwest!
The Kalamazoo Kick-Off Classic is one of the most exciting events of the season as teams debut their programs. Don’t miss any of the action by following Get It Called on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see photos and live results of the competition!
Good luck to everyone competing at #kalamazookickoff17!