by Megan McDevitt
On Friday, November 18th the Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association will host the 17th annual Synchronized Skating Kick Off Classic. This will be one of the first competitions of the season for many teams as well as an opportunity for those teams to have a monitoring session.
The competition starts on Friday afternoon with practice ice and goes through Sundays events. Starting out the competition is the first of two open juvenile events where 11 teams compete for the title. Following that is the senior short program event. This is the first time Crystallettes and Adrian college meet in competition this season and both teams will be striving to put the biggest score on the board to solidify the tone of the season. Both teams had a strong finish at Nationals last year with Crystallettes taking 4th and Adrian College taking 5th. With such tight competition the goal is set for both teams to be the best they can at this point in the season to see where they stack up in relation to each other.
The next events on Saturday, include the juvenile division, collegiate, and the open adult division. All these events include lots of strong teams from all around the midwest. This event is an exciting event for many of the teams this is their first competition where they will be scored using the IJS judging system. With 12 teams in this division, it surely is exciting to have so many new skaters be introduced the the system this season.
Part way through the day’s events the Kalamazoo Kinetic Exhibition Team will perform their program for all the spectators at the competition. The rest of the day continues on with the junior short program, open collegiate event, senior free skate, intermediate division, the second group in the open juvenile division, the novice division and junior free skate.
With such a jampacked day the junior teams competing, Chicago Jazz, Hockettes, Shattuck St. Mary’s Team Sabres, Fond Du Lac Blades, and Starlights, all have a quick turn around. Starting their competition a little after noon and finishing up after 8 pm, each team has to tackle the day with determination to handle the length of it. For the Shattuck St. Mary’s Team Sabres, this is their first season at the junior division, so they are excited to debut their competitive program for the year.
Sunday is another day of exciting competition. While Saturday is filled with the IJS competitions, Sunday consists of the 6.0 competitions. Every division from Synchro Skills 1 to pre-juvenile has numerous teams competing and it is expected to be another exciting day of competition. Because this is such a well established competition, many teams come to compete every year. Wishing best of luck all teams competing and having monitoring sessions over the weekend and throughout the entire season.