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Skyliners win World Junior Team Selection

Team Braemar earns second place

The 2011 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships will take place in Ontario, Calif.
The 2011 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships will take place in Ontario, Calif. (Lauren Magliola)

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By Lauren Magliola, special to icenetwork.com
(01/10/2011) - The top junior synchronized teams in the country headed to Fond du Lac, Wis., Jan. 7-8 for the World Junior Team Selection Competition. The top two finishers -- the Skyliners and Team Braemar -- will represent the United States March 10-12 at the Junior World Challenge Cup 2011 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

The Skyliners representing the Skating Club of N.Y., were the first of the top teams to take the ice. Wearing bright orange dresses and skating to "Don't Rain on my Parade" by Lea Michele, the team electrified the arena with their short program. They earned strong technical scores, however, the team excelled in the program components scores, which were highlighted by seven point scores for both the choreography and interpretation scores, contributing to their leading score of 56.72 after the short program.

The Lexettes, the three-time U.S. junior bronze medalists representing the Hayden Recreation Center, broke through to earn second place in the short program with a total score of 52.92.

Team Braemar, the top qualifier at this event last year, skated a technically difficult and strong artistic performance to "Cell Block Tango" from the musical Chicago. Two falls in the pivoting block element, the final element of the program, gave the team two points in deductions, lowering their overall score. Their total score was 50.13.

The Skyliners continued to dominate on Saturday night, earning 120.22 points for their clean and lyrical free skate to music from Phantom of the Opera. The team once again skated a strong technical program, earning positive grades of execution from every judge on every element of their program, including several marks of +3, the highest possible grade of execution.

"We were caught in the moment," Skyliners captain Ashley Mulhern said, "We went out, had fun, expressed everything we had and had the time of our lives."

Team Braemar, the 2009 and 2010 U.S. junior champions, pulled up to second place overall with their free skate score of 107.29. Skating to music from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, the team earned the highest technical base value of the event, receiving the highest difficulty level possible on all but one element.

"We felt good to be on the ice and to be able to show what we had," Team Braemar skater Nicole Voltz said, "We are so happy and proud to be going to Switzerland with the Skyliners."

The Lexettes skated a technically difficult program to music from The Karate Kid, but two deductions for falls and lower overall grade of execution scores gave the team a score of 91.07 in the free skate. This placed the team fourth in the free skate and dropped them to third overall.