by Ceci Picard
The 2018 US Synchronized Skating Championships occurred February 22-24 in Portland, Oregon. The juvenile division opened up the competition. The Mini Mates won the division with a score 48.25 skating to a “Beetlejuice” program. The Skyliners “Hello Dolly” theme landed them in a close second with a score of 48.07. Teams Elite snagged the bronze, even with one fall, with their very creative “nurses” program, they scored 44.14 points. Starlights rounded out the podium with a sassy Latin program, earning a score of 42.13.
In the intermediate division, Teams Elite won with a massive score of 69.75. Their “boxers” routine is a crowd favorite. Skyliners skated to the silver with their “Addams Family” routine, earning a score of 60.28. Capital Ice Chips meadled at their fourth consecutive nationals, earning the bronze medal with a score of 58.71 for their “growing up” program. Team Del Sol defended their 2017 national pewter medal finish, earning a score of 58.43 with their “mime” theme program.
The junior short program wrapped up the first day of competition. Skyliner’s angelic program to the song “You and I” gave them a season’s high score of 71.10 and a very comfortable lead going into the second day of competition. The Lexettes lively “Nashville” routine placed them in second with a score of 60.86. Skating to music by Shakira, Starlights was in third after short with 57.23 points. Chicago Jazz’s sassy swing program put them fourth.
The competition kicked off Friday with the novice event, the division was as competitive as always even with all of the four top teams having falls during their skates. Skyliners defended their national title, skating to “Phantom of the Opera” and earning a season’s best of 72.11. Ice Mate’s energetic “cowgirls” program caught the crowd’s attention and landed them in second with a score of 69.03. Team Image earned their first ever national medal in the novice division, after a very successful season, their “Wonder Women” program finished third with a score of 63.62. Skating to a mix of Lady Gaga songs, Teams Elite finished a close fourth with a score of 62.98
In the masters division, DC EDGE defended its 2017 national title with their “Motown” routine. Denver Synchronicity jumped from fifth last season to the silver medal this year. IceSymmetrics also made its mark on the division and took home the bronze. Team Delaware rounded out the division and earned pewter.
Next was the highly anticipated senior short program. Defending national champions, the Haydenettes skated a powerful program to “Run Boy Run” and earned a huge score of 73.17. Skyliner’s emotional routine to Beyonce’s “I Was Here” wowed the crowd and they continued to earn high marks. Their score of 66.08 put them into second. Miami University were in a close third after earning 64.54 points for their “Techno Phantom” program. Skating to “You Don’t Own Me”, Crystallettes finished fourth earning 58.58 points. Adrian College and California Gold sat fifth and sixth respectively, after short.
The junior free skate closed out Friday’s portion of the competition. This year’s podium was a repeat of last season, with Skyliner’s “Swan Lake” free skate earning another season’s best of 104.59 points, totalling 175.69 and giving them the gold. The Lexettes skated to the silver with their “La La Land” freeskate earning 98.02 points and 158.88 total. Starlight’s dramatic program titled “The Raven” earned them the bronze medal, with a score of 90.36 and a total score of 147.59. Chicago Jazz rounded out the podium with their elegant freeskate earning 87.13 points and 139.42 total.
The adult division started off the final day of competition. Team Excel’s “Wonder Women” program jumped them to the top of the podium this year with a score of 52.54 points. Crystallettes placed second, earning 51.00 points for their “Bollywood” themed performance. Esprit de Corps took the bronze, skating to a “magic” themed program, they earned 50.93 points. DC EDGE came in a close fourth, their “spies” themed program received 50.16 points.
In the collegiate division, University of Michigan defended its 2017 national title. Skating to an exciting “spiders” theme, they earned a huge score of 91.48 points. Adrian College placed second, their first ever national medal in the collegiate division. Their “Fosse” themed performance earned 84.84 points. Miami University snagged the bronze, skating to music by Tina Turner they scored 83.53 points. Michigan State University placed fourth, with a score of 70.52.
The senior free skate was the final event of the competition. The Haydenettes skated to their 26th national title. Their theatrical free skate title “Underground part 2” earned them a score of 130.88 and a total score of 204.05. The Skyliner’s “Cleopatra” free skate earned them the silver medal and the PSA Best Performance Award. They scored 119.78 points in their free skate and 185.86 points overall. Miami University’s energetic “showgirls” routine earned them 118.45 points, for a total of 182.99. Crystallettes placed fifth in the free skate, earning 108.31 points, but were able to hold on to fourth overall with a total score of 166.89. Adrian College came in fifth with a total score of 162.30 and California Gold placed sixth with a score of 128.07. After the competition, the Haydenettes and the Skyliners were selected to represent Team USA at the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in Sweden, this April.
Congratulations to all teams that competed at the 2018 US Synchronized Skating Championships. And good luck to Haydenettes, Skyliners senior, Skyliners junior, and Lexettes at the upcoming World and Junior World Championships.