The Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team traveled to the 2017 Eastern Synchronized Sectional Championships on a mission—to perform their best and earn the coveted spots to the National Championships. Their results were historic; the Skyliners became the gold-medal champions in every division they entered.
“We knew we had a strong chance at performing well at Easterns, but to capture Gold in every division we competed in was truly outstanding,” said Josh Babb, Skyliners head coach and director of Synchronized Skating.
Manhasset teens Alyssa Politoski, a 10th-grader, and Tracy Wang, a ninth-grader at Manhasset High School, and Amie Adjakaple, a ninth-grader at Great Neck North High School, all of whom have been skating for Skyliners for a few years now, are excited about setting an all-time record for their team. Politoski and Adjakaple skate on the Novice Line and Wang skates on the Intermediate Line.
“The skaters have been working incredibly hard, and now our qualifying lines get to compete on the national stage at the U.S. Championships in Rockford, IL, later this month. We are very proud,” said Babb.
More than 2,000 synchronized skaters gathered in Hershey to compete at the Eastern Sectional Championships. Skyliners sent 123 skaters, ranging in age from 7 to 18. Among the nationally qualifying lines, they earned a season-high score of 76.90 in the Novice division for their dramatic “Camelot”-themed program. It is the first time in Skyliners history that the Novice line became Eastern champions. In the Intermediate division, Skyliners earned a season high score of 66.62 for their “Wizards” program and for the first time in five years, became Eastern champions. And in the Juvenile division, Skyliners earned their seventh straight Eastern championship title with their inspiring “Angels” program, which earned a 48.21.
All three of those qualifying lines move on to Nationals as well as the Skyliners will now devote the next two weeks to prepare for the 2017 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, which will take place in Rockford on Feb. 23 to 25. Synchronized skating consists of 8 to 20 highly skilled athletes performing a program on ice together, moving as one flowing unit at high speeds. 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 United States alone, with elite competitions at both the national and international level.
Although not currently an Olympic sport, there is significant movement toward including synchronized skating as an event at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.