Ice Network

Skyliners upend Lexettes to take U.S. junior crown

Skyliners reign supreme in novice division; DC Edge claim masters title
  • Ice Network on Facebook
  • Ice Network on Twitter
With a total score of 174.67 points -- including 111.36 for their rousing 'The Last of the Mohicans' free skate -- the Skyliners, who were second after the short program, vaulted into the top spot to bring home their second U.S. title in three years. -Jay Adeff

On Friday night at the 2017 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Rockford, Illinois, The Skyliners (SC of New York) finished the junior competition with a championship-clinching free skate, adding a fourth gold medal to the program's outstanding history in the process.

The New York-based squad won by 9.85 points, and, backed by a Level 4 pair element along with a Level 4 traveling wheel, earned an impressive 174.67 points.

"It was a decent performance," coach Josh Babb said. "We think they have a lot more in them though, so I expect to see that next week at worlds."

The Skyliners and the Lexettes (Hayden Recreation Center FSC) will represent the United States at the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in Mississauga, Canada, next month, and both will bring a heightened level of confidence after solid showings in Rockford.

"It felt amazing," skater Alexis Bolner said of Friday night's performance. "We definitely did what we needed to do."

The Lexettes, skating a Titanic-themed free skate, landed in second place with a combined score of 164.82. They endured one fall, but received positive Grades of Execution (GOEs) on each element.

"We had a good skate," coach Maikki Merilehto said. "It was a beautiful program and I have not seen them perform these elements as good as they did today. So, we are happy with it even though we had a minor mistake."

The Starlights (Skokie Valley SC) ended third with a combined score of 141.21, while the Chicago Jazz (Chicago FSC), the defending junior champions, secured fourth place with 139.03 points.

Skyliners continue to roll in novice division

The SC of New York's Skyliners won the novice competition, the program's third gold medal of the championships.

Skating a medieval-themed program that emphasized the struggles in life, they earned a score of 75.93, highlighted by a Level 4 rotating circle and traveling wheel.

"It was the storybook ending that we hoped for," said coach Natalie Martello. "We skate best at nationals and it is a huge culmination of the season. We have never won a novice title for Skyliners, so our girls are excited to not only be on the podium, but to be on top of it."

"We are so proud of ourselves and our teammates," skater Sophia Lamb said. "We just accomplished something so big and it feels amazing. We have worked so hard in all of the hours we have put in and it has definitely paid off."

The Crystallettes came in second with a score of 71.53 after skating to a Circle of Life, To Die For, and King of Pride Rock mashup by composer Hans Zimmer

"Our theme was The Lion King, said skater Valerie Cornett. "Throughout the whole program, we were trying to be glorious and happy. At the end, we wanted to have fun while being intense and into the music."

"If you would have seen the official practice we had yesterday, this skate would have given you chills," coach Holly Malewski said. "One of the girl's skates had three of the screws come out of the heel and she had to come out of the performance for the official practice, so today it was beyond rewarding to see them perform so well."

The Ice Mates took the bronze medal with a score of 68.56, while the Starlights came in fourth with 62.56 points. 

Sharp DC Edge prevail in Rockford

DC Edge (Washington FSC) took home the masters title for the second straight year with a 5/1 majority after their Blues Brothers-themed program did enough to impress the judges panel.

"It was a fantastic skate for us," coach Jennifer DeSimone said. "We've had a lot happening this season after coming off a bunch of illnesses this week. We really wanted to feel like it was a strong skate and end the season on a high. I think we did just that."

Friday's performance was particularly special since the team got off to a self-described slow beginning to their campaign.

"We were slow to get started and in the last few weeks things really came together," skater Lindsay Ferrer said. "We've really gelled as a team and found some consistency. We peaked at the right time."

Allegro! earned eight second-place or higher ordinals in their "Bachelor"-themed program, which helped the team secure the silver medal.

"It was a great skate," coach Carrie Brown said. "It was everything we wanted and trained for all year."

Portraying the popular ABC reality show, Allegro! was able to capitalize on the ability of male skater Christopher Klaft, who imitated the central character of the show, which helped sway positive marks in their favor.

"It was amazing," coach Mandy Fox said. "The crowd was awesome and the ice was great. We've been looking forward to this for so long."

Team Delaware (Delaware FSC) and Esprit de Corps (Hayden Recreation Center FSC) finished third and fourth, respectively