by Alice Tarantin
Competition at the junior level has undeniably reached new heights. In a division that has been dominated by the same two or three teams over the past few years, it’s exciting to see new teams break into the top. One fresh face is Saint Louis Synergy, a second-year junior team, who won the free skate at the National Championships by 6.44 points, and proceeded to capture the silver medal overall in Colorado Springs.
Last year Synergy made a name for themselves with a seventh-place finish at their first ever Nationals. Skater Amy Downing reflects, “we were new in the junior division, so I think that we were trying to prove that we belonged”. After being named to Team USA for the 2013-2014 season, Synergy was chosen to compete at the Mozart Cup in Salzburg, Austria. With a handful of new skaters this year and an international debut in sight, the team had a challenging year in store. Competing in Austria turned out to be the experience of a lifetime, according to skater Gabbie Linehan; “It was so fun and stress free… all we had to do was skate for our country.”
As the season drew to a close, the skaters increased their intensity. “We became really close and put all the effort that we could into our programs,” recalls Amy. With two medals already around their necks, Synergy landed in Colorado with a goal of improving their scores and landing on the podium. After a third place finish at the Junior World Qualifier, a national medal seemed to be within their reach. The girls performed a clean Gatsby-themed short program, followed by a stunning free skate to a medley of compositions by Andrew Lloyd Weber. Due to the girls’ hard work, an astonishing technical score left Synergy less than a point behind the first place team. For a second-year junior team, that’s not a bad place to be.
At the rate Saint Louis Synergy has been improving, it’s clear that more success lies ahead. Synergy’s goal, to improve every time they step on the ice, is a testament to their dedication to skating and enthusiasm for the future. After such a remarkable season, next year is sure to bring improvement and victory to this ever-improving team.