The 18th Annual Dr. Richard Porter Classic will kick off at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, December 7 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The non-qualifying divisions are set to compete in the Olympic Rink while the qualifying divisions will perform in the Stadium Rink. The competition will begin with the open juvenile division followed by preliminary and beginner.
With 21 teams entered in open juvenile, the division will be split into two groups. Favorites to win Group A are the Dazzlers, the reigning 2013 Midwestern sectional champions, coming off a win at this year’s Kalamazoo Classic.
The preliminary division boasts ten teams this year, while 19 beginner teams will compete in four groups of no more than five teams—two groups of beginner 1 and two groups of beginner 2.
Qualifying divisions competing on Saturday include two groups of intermediate, adult, novice, junior short, and senior short. Teams to beat in the intermediate division include Chicago Radiance in Group A, coming off a win last week in Kalamazoo, EPIC Edge in Group B, coming off a recent win in Anaheim, as well as the Fond Du Lac Blades, the Skyliners, and the Dazzlers, the reigning 2013 national silver, bronze, and pewter medalists respectively.
The six teams in the adult division will battle it out for spots on the podium. Favorites to win are the Crystallettes and DC Edge, last year’s national silver and bronze medalists.
Eleven teams in the novice division will challenge the reigning national champions, and recent winners of the Kalamazoo Classic, the Crystallettes. Teams expected to give the Crystallettes a run for their money include Chicago Jazz, the Skyliners, SwanSyncSation, and Saint Louis Synergy.
The junior competition is sure to be exciting with eight U.S. teams challenging NEXXICE of Canada, who placed fourth at last year’s Junior World Championships. Their biggest competition will come from the Skyliners, who have represented the U.S. at the Junior World Championships every year since 2010, and Chicago Jazz, who represented the U.S. at Junior Worlds for eight years from 2002 to 2009, and who recently beat the reigning national champions, Team Braemar, at the Kalamazoo Classic.
The senior division is also sure to be thrilling. In their first competition of the season the Crystallettes and Miami University will battle it out for the top spot. The six remaining teams will hope to break into the top four spots to claim a medal.
Opening the day on Sunday, the pre-juvenile division will commence at 8:00 a.m. in the Olympic Rink. Following pre-juvenile will be open collegiate, open adult, and masters. Juvenile will begin in the Stadium Rink at 9:45 a.m. followed by collegiate, junior long, and senior long.
The 12 pre-juvenile teams will be broken into two groups. Teams to beat include the Ice Stars in Group B, recent winners of the Kalamazoo Classic, and the Crystallettes in Group A, recent silver medalists at the Kalamazoo Classic.
Nine teams compete in the open collegiate, with the University of Maryland traveling the farthest from the east coast. Lindenwood University enters the competition with a boost of confidence from their first place finish against Ohio University at the Kalamazoo Classic. Teams to watch include Miami University and the Fighting Irish.
Three teams will compete in the open adult division—DC Edge, Eclipse, and the IllinoiSkating Fighting Alumni, while four teams compete in the masters division—Allegro!, DC Edge, Denver Synchronicity, and Ice Connect.
Top teams out of the 12 juvenile competitors include Chicago Jazz—this year’s Kalamazoo champions, and the 2013 national pewter medalists, the Fond Du Lac Blades—this year’s Kalamazoo silver medalists, and the reigning national champions, the Crystallettes.
Competition will be stiff in the collegiate division with eight teams fighting for top honors. All five of the top teams from last year’s national championships will compete this weekend in Ann Arbor including Miami University, the University of Delaware, the University of Michigan, Team Excel, and Michigan State University. Challenging last year’s top five are the University of Wisconsin, Western Michigan University, and IllinoiSkating.
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