by Hannah Solmor
Last weekend in Richmond, Virginia, teams from all across the east coast competed for the title of Eastern Sectional Champion in their respective divisions. The three days of competition were fierce, and all teams put forth their best effort in an attempt to sweep the title at the 2016 Eastern Sectional Championship. The national qualifying divisions, along with the open juvenile division, competed at the Richmond Coliseum. Despite some initial setbacks and technical difficulties laying ice, the 6.0 divisions competed at the Convention Center across the street from the Coliseum.
The first qualifying event to conclude was the juvenile championships on Friday afternoon. Last year’s champions, the Skyliners, held on to their title earning a 5/1 majority and another gold medal finish. The silver medal went to the DC EDGE juvenile team skating to a jungle theme, who moved up from their 4th place finish in 2015. The Mini Mates took bronze with their Wizard of Oz themed program and the pewter went to Team Delaware, moving up from last year’s 5th place finish. These four teams will advance to the 2016 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships later this month in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Novice was the next division to conclude. Last year’s champion’s, the Ice Mates, held onto their title earning a score of 69.04, more than 4 points ahead of the silver medalists, the Skyliners. Skyliner’s New York themed program earned them a 65.59 with a level 4 call on their line and wheel elements. The bronze medal went to Team Image of Yonkers, New York. Their Indian themed program earned 57.21 points. A close fourth, Team Ashburn took the pewter medal with a score of 56.87. Fifth place finishers, DC EDGE will join the above teams at nationals for a chance at the national title.
Team Delaware took the title of junior Eastern Sectional Champion. Two clean skates earned them an overall 118.32 points, 38.74 for their Lady Gaga themed short program and 79.58 for their night at the Oscars long program. The silver medal went to the Synchroettes of New York. Their short score of 37.50 put them close to Team Delaware but they ultimately fell behind with their long program that earned them 68.00 amounting to a total of 105.50 overall. The east coast junior division also includes the Lexettes and Skyliners, but both teams received byes because of their international assignments. All teams will advance to nationals.
The senior division was also small at easterns, with Team Excel as the only competitors. Their Lana Del Ray inspired short program earned them 36.91 with 77.92 earned in the free skate, earning a full call on their line and an overall 114.83 points. Top senior teams from the east coast include the Haydenettes and Skyliners who also received byes through to nationals. These teams will challenge top teams from the midwest, including Miami University and Crystallettes, at nationals.
In the adult division, reigning national champions, Esprit de Corps took the gold with the best score of all seven teams, a 59.74. DC Edge Batmaned their way to the silver with a score of 56.60, followed by Team Delaware (55.41) skating to an 80s theme and Team Excel (53.35) with an entertaining Blades of Glory program. All seven teams will advance to nationals.
DC Edge lead the way in the masters division with a fun Wild West themed skate claiming the gold with a 5/1 majority. Team Delaware followed with a 7/2 majority, and finally Gotham City Synchro with a 7/3 majority. All three masters teams will compete at nationals.
The intermediate division concluded Saturday evening. It was a close and strong division with many scores within points of each other. Last year’s 11th place finishers, Team Ashburn, swiped the gold medal with a score of 66.88, a huge improvement from last year’s 41.23. The silver medal went to Skyliners who earned 66.45, mere tenths away from the champions. The Chesapeake Sailors took third with a score of 59.35 to an entertaining and engaging SNL themed program. Team Image was a close 58.55 in fourth. These four teams will advance to nationals where they will compete against top midwest finishers including Teams Elite and the Dazzlers.
Saturday night, the five eastern collegiate teams took the ice to compete. Last year’s champions the University of Delaware held on to their title as collegiate Eastern Sectional Champions earning a score of 77.14. The 2015 silver medal team, the Metroettes also held onto the title earning a score of 75.12 for their Smash themed program. The bronze medal went to the team from the University of Massachusetts who earned 61.88 points. Boston University took the pewter with 50.78 points. Fifth place finishers, University of Maryland Terrapins, will join the above teams at nationals where they will face off with the eleven time national champions, Miami University.
The open juvenile division had three qualifying rounds to determine the top 12 teams to compete in the championship round. DC Edge, skating to a Ferris Bueller themed program, won qualifying group A and finished with the pewter medal overall. The Nor’Easters, who won qualifying group B, bested DC Edge to finish with the bronze medal overall. Central Park Ice, the winners of group C, went on to win it all, claiming the gold medal in the championship round with a 6/1 majority. Rounding out the podium were the Shadows, from Southern Connecticut, securing the silver medal with a 4/2 majority.
The pre-juvenile division also had three qualifying rounds to determine the makeup of the 12 championship round teams. In the championship round DC Edge Red (5/1) claimed the gold, Shooting Stars (5/2) the silver, Skyliners (5/3) the bronze, and Central Park Ice (5/5) the pewter.
The Synchroettes (4/1) came out on top in the preliminary division’s championship round, overcoming the Excel Crystals, who beat them in qualifying group B, as well as the Skyliners, who won qualifying group A. The silver medal went to DC Edge Blue (5/2), who also snuck by the Skyliners in the championship round. Skyliners (4/3) claimed the bronze, and Synchro Stars (5/4) claimed the pewter.
Four teams competed in the open adult division. The Cutting Edge won the gold with a 5/1 majority, only losing two first place ordinals to Gotham City Synchro who claimed the silver with a 6/2 majority. Esprit de Corps (7/3) grabbed the bronze, and Team Reflections (7/4) the pewter.
The top two open collegiate teams tied, with the tie breaker awarding Oswego State Ice Effects the gold and Boston College the silver. Ordinals in this division were inconsistent, but Princeton University was able to claim the bronze with one first place ordinal and a 4/3 majority. Orange Experience claimed the pewter medal with a 4/4 majority. Nine entries in this division on the east coast alone shows growth at the collegiate level from only three open collegiate entries in the whole country just 10 years ago.
Philly Spirit clinched the open masters sectional title with a 5/1 majority. Earning the silver medal with a 4/2 majority was DC Edge. The bronze and pewter went to Precisely Right and Team Delaware respectively. The Colonials rounded out the field with a fifth place finish.
Congratulations to everyone who competed! It was an intense week of competition, and the U.S. Championships will prove to be an exciting event. Make sure to follow Get It Called on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and Facebook for news and updates.