By: Katie Fiore
It has been a whirlwind of a season, and the 2017 US Synchronized Skating Championships are already upon us! It will certainly be a busy week, jam packed with wonderful skating, national medals, and the naming of the 2017 World Team.
The competition kicks off with the juvenile division at 2:15 PM*. It has been the inaugural season of the division being judged under the IJS system, and this change has helped push juvenile teams to the next level. Newcomers from the midwest, Capital Ice Connections earned a score of 44.97 and a gold medal at the 2017 Midwestern Sectionals, coming close to 2016 US Champions Skyliners score of 48.21 at the 2017 Eastern Sectionals. Mini Mates are also in the running for a top spot, as they earned a score of 45.39 at sectionals, winning the silver medal. Chicago Jazz are also top contenders coming off of a silver medal and a season’s best of 43.53 points, followed closely by Teams Elite, who finished third at Midwestern Sectionals with a total of 43.16 points. Scoring in the same range was Team Delaware, who received a similar 43.81 points, trailed by the Midwestern Pewter Medalists, the Starlights, with 42.94 points. The Hockettes, Saint Louis Synergy, Team Image, and DC Edge will as well be fueling this tight battle for the podium at this year’s US Nationals.
The always competitive intermediate division will be skating Thursday evening at 4:26 PM, following the juvenile championship. Last years US Champions, the Skyliners will be front runners in this division, entering the competition performing their wizard themed program and coming off of the highest sectional score, 66.62. Long time rivals, the Star Mates will be returning to the National Championships this year, trailing Skyliners at sectionals with a score of 63.72. Midwestern Champions, the Capital Ice Chips follow closely with a dramatic ‘Life’ themed program and 61.15 points. Team Delaware (60.00) follows Team Image by only .70, which creates an exciting competition. Both the Starlights (58.07) and the Crystallettes (52.04) skate to energetic ‘Elvis’ programs, and have repeatedly scored points within each other all season, despite Saint Louis Synergy (55.99) separating them to earn the bronze medal at sectionals. Scores are so tight across the board and it will be quite the competition!
The junior short program begins at 7:25 Thursday evening, so be sure to get there early and claim a good seat! Chicago Jazz, last year’s National Champions, placed second at this year’s Junior World Team Selection Event and will kick off the short program competition. Chicago Jazz has improved each competition, and will be looking to defend their National title. After being named Team USA 1 for the 2017 Junior World Championships, the 2015 US Champions and 2016 US Silver Medalists, Skyliners will be looking to reclaim the top spot this weekend. They scored a season’s best 176.33 to qualify for Junior Worlds. The Lexettes will be skating in the following group, coming off of a 3rd place finish at the Junior World Team Selection Event and a gold medal at this year’s Mozart Cup with a score of 145.02. Last year’s Pewter Medalists, Fond du Lac Blades, will be battling it out with Starlights and Hockettes for a spot on the podium as they have scored in similar ranges throughout the season. Starlights recently claimed the gold medal in their international debut at the Zagreb Snowflakes Trophy with a score of 125.48. Junior teams will skate their freeskates on Friday evening, following the senior short program competition.
Friday’s competition kicks of the Novice division, beginning at 12:27 PM. Front runners include Eastern Champions, Skyliners who earned a score of 76.90, followed by the Midwestern Champions and 2016 US Bronze Medalists Crystallettes who won their section with a total of 70.00. 2016 US Champions Ice Mates follow with their sectional score of 68.06, in addition to novice newcomers Teams Elite (63.78), skating to Moulin Rouge. Starlights follow incredibly closely to Teams Elite with a fun Hawaiian program and earning the Midwestern bronze medal with a score of 63.02. . Team Image, Dazzlers, Onyx, Philadelphia Symmetry, DC Edge, and Chesapeake Synchro will also be contributing to the division, making it a very competitive afternoon!
The masters division follows the novice championship immediately, beginning at 3:00 PM. DC Edge will be looking to defend its 2016 National Title, while Esprit De Corps winning this year’s Eastern Sectionals leaves the door open for their return to the podium. The Goldenettes, Allegro!, and Team Delaware will also be contenders for the top spots.
The anticipated senior short program will continue the competition, beginning Friday evening at 5:21 PM. Last year’s World Team members, and US Silver Medalists, Miami University Varsity Synchronized Skating Team will be opening and setting the bar for the competition. Miami is coming off of 155.88 at the Mozart Cup and 138.80 at the French Cup. Directly following will be the Skyliners. The Skyliners fell short by 8.69 points to Miami at the Mozart cup, but earned a total of 153.17 at the Zagreb Snowflakes Trophy this past weekend, besting Miami’s French Cup score by 14.37. The Haydenettes will close the first group, looking to defend their streak of National titles and the spot of Team USA 1. Haydenettes captured the silver medal at the Leon Lurje Trophy with a score of 193.32. Crystallettes will close the division coming off of a total of 166.26 points earned at the French Cup. Adrian College Varsity will be looking to earn a spot on the podium this year, along with California’s Team Del Sol. California Gold and Team Excel return to the senior division, in addition to new teams Miami University Junior Varsity (Senior Midwestern Champions), and Chesapeake Synchro rounding out the division. It will be incredibly exciting to see how the competition turns out, so many senior teams are vying for podium spots and the honor of this year’s World Team. The senior freeskate will close out the entire competition on Saturday evening.
Saturday marks the final day of competition, beginning with the adult division. DC Edge (55.90), Esprit De Corps (55.72), Team Delaware (55.17) all scored within less than a point of each other at this year’s Eastern Sectionals. Midwestern Gold Medalists , the Crystallettes (48.31) look to earn back a spot on the podium performing a Tina Turner program. Starlights adult returned to the division with a Prison themed program and followed the Crystallettes with 44.90 points. Pacific team, Denver Synchronicity earned a total of 45.98 at sectionals, putting them in the mix with the top midwestern adult teams.
The collegiate division will begin Saturday afternoon at 3:39 PM. Metroettes will open the competition, eager to defend their position on the podium. Miami University will close the first group, looking to earn their 19th overall and 13th consecutive National Title. University of Michigan will be another team to watch, as they have trailed Miami’s score all season, and earned the gold medal at this year’s Dr. Richard Porter Classic. University of Delaware, Western Michigan, and Adrian College will also be front runners for this event.
Best of luck to all competitors! We will be providing live updates from the event using #SynchroChamps17. Please be sure to follow each of our accounts – Twitter: @GetItCalled / @GIC_Results, Instagram @GetItCalled, and Snapchat @GICupdates
*Please note all times listed are in Central Time