SKYLINERS SYNCHRONIZED SKATING TEAM MAKES U.S. HISTORY, WINS SILVER AT JUNIOR WORLDS
March 20, 2018
FIRST-EVER U.S. MEDAL AT WORLD JUNIOR SYNCHRONIZED SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Junior line of the Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team delivered history-making results at the 2018 World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in Zagreb, Croatia on March 16-17, winning the Silver medal and the first-ever medal by a U.S. team. Skyliners Junior competed as Team USA 1 in their eighth appearance at Worlds, capping their season as number two in the world and as the reigning 2018 U.S. National Champions, earning their second consecutive and fourth national championship title.
The Skyliners, who finished fourth at last year’s Worlds (missing the podium by just .18 points), sat in second after earning 65.15 points for their short program, just 3.35 points off the lead from Team Russia. They skated their emotional short program to “You and I” by the Tenors, music that is very meaningful to the team.
“The program is about our team,” said Audrey Laude, a third-year team member. “The song talks about standing together. I think it’s talking about our journey as a team and how we’ve gone through ups and downs, but we have all done it together.”
Entering the free skate to music from Black Swan, the Skyliners showed great intensity and expression throughout the performance. A free skate score of 104.67 and a total score of 169.82 was enough to keep the New York-based team in second position between Team Russia 1 and 2.
“All season, we were aiming for that third-place spot, knowing there were a lot of good teams that were going to be here. To get the silver medal feels even better,” Skyliners team member Alexis Bolner said. “It feels great to make history for U.S. Figure Skating.”
“Worlds is a totally different game than the international circuit, so I knew that they had the potential to do this, and I’m glad they reached it,” said Josh Babb, Skyliners Head Coach and Director of Synchronized Skating, “Even though this is the team that won the medal, all of the past Skyliners teams helped pave the way.”
The Junior line was chosen to represent Team USA internationally this season, capturing Gold at The Cup of Berlin in January and Silver at The French Cup in February.
“It’s been a record year for Skyliners,” added Babb. “As our team grows, so do our accomplishments. Our skaters and coaches work extremely hard, and their efforts have really paid off this year.” The Skyliners Junior and Senior lines both represent the United States at their respective World competitions. Skyliners Senior line will make their first appearance at the World Synchronized Skating Championships in Stockholm, Sweden on April 6-7, 2018.
The Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team was established in 2001 by a group of parents who wanted to create the most competitive synchronized skating club in the tri-state area. In that first year, the team had three lines. Over the last 17 years, Skyliners has grown into one of the top synchronized skating teams in the country -- now with 12 competitive lines, and 220+ skaters ranging in age from 5 to 24. While the majority of the skaters reside in the tri-state area, Skyliners also draws members from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. For the 2018-2019 competitive season, Skyliners will expand, fielding additional lines in New Jersey. The tremendous growth and success of the team are attributed to the dedicated athletes, talented coaches and devoted Board members and parent volunteers who make Skyliners possible season after season.
Synchronized skating consists of 8-20 highly-skilled athletes performing a program on ice together, moving as one flowing unit. It is characterized by teamwork, speed, intricate formations and challenging step sequences. There are approximately 600 synchronized teams and nearly 5000 synchronized skaters in the U.S. alone, with elite competitions at both the national and international level. Although not currently an Olympic sport, there is significant movement toward including it at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
Visit the Skyliners at www.skylinerssynchro.com to learn more about this successful team.