Ice Network

Haydenettes cruise to 26th U.S championship

Skyliners win silver, will join Haydenettes at World Championships in April
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With another convincing performance Saturday, the Haydenettes wrapped up their ninth consecutive U.S. title by securing a segment mark of 130.88 points. The two-day score of 204.05 was also more than enough to help the Massachusetts-based club collect its 26th national championship. -Jay Adeff

The Haydenettes' road to the 2018 World Synchronized Skating Championships continues to be paved with gold. For the ninth consecutive year -- and 26th overall -- the Haydenettes (Hayden Recreation Centre FSC) won the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, electrifying the energetic crowd Saturday night in Portland, Oregon.

Slotting second behind the Lexington, Massachusettes, squad were the Skyliners (SC of New York), who earned their first silver medal after three consecutive third-place finishes.

Shortly after the competition, the Haydenettes were selected USA 1 and the Skyliners USA 2 for the World Synchronized Skating Championships, which will be held April 6-7 in Stockholm. U.S. bronze medalist Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) will be the first alternate, while the pewter-medalist Crystallettes (Dearborn FSC) are the second alternate.

Despite the successful performances by the top four finishers, the night belonged to the Haydenettes, whose "Underground Nightlife" free skate earned a whopping 130.88 points, a mark that enabled them to eclipse the 200-point mark for the first time this season (204.05).

Earning Level 4's for spotless lines, a complicated group lift and a pairs element of death spirals, the Haydenettes were on top of their game, as they transitioned from club music to a soothing piece featuring violins. The program, choreographed by coach Saga Krantz and Adam Blake, captured the aggressive style of this young team, which has regrouped after losing 10 veterans from the 2017 squad.

"Don't get me wrong, I get very excited," a calm Krantz said about keeping the championship streak alive. "I just feel like every year we have to earn it. It's a really hard job to wow the audience year after year. This will probably mean more to me than the last one because this is really a young team."

The Skyliners, under the direction of founding coach Josh Babb, added another medal to an already strong season, as they previously earned gold at the Cup of Berlin and silver at the Mozart Cup. Performing to "Cleopatra," the Skyliners' free skate score of 119.78 was just enough to hold off Miami University, whose "Viva Las Vegas" free skate fell 1.33 points short at 118.45. The Skyliners finished with 185.86 points in total to edge Miami, which finished with 182.99.

The Crystallettes (Dearborn FSC), who earned the silver medal last year, earned 108.31 for their free skate to finish with a 166.89-point total. Adrian College (Adrian, Michigan) took fifth place with an event total of 162.30 points, while California Gold (All Year FSC) remained in sixth place with 128.07 points overall.