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All four U.S. teams medal at 2011 Spring Cup

U.S. junior teams sweep podium in Milan

The U.S. junior teams swept the podium at the 2011 Spring Cup.
The U.S. junior teams swept the podium at the 2011 Spring Cup. (Robin Greenleaf)

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By U.S. Figure Skating
(02/14/2011) - In the final international event before the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, four U.S. teams traveled to Milan, Italy, to compete at the Spring Cup, and all four teams returned home with medals. U.S. teams swept the podium in the junior event, with the Skyliners earning the gold, Evolution taking silver and the Hockettes claiming bronze. Miami University earned the bronze medal in the senior event.

The Skyliners, from New York, N.Y., skated a strong short program to "Don't Rain On My Parade" by Glee's Lea Michele, taking a lead of almost six points in that portion of the event. The team increased that lead with its free skate to music from The Phantom of the Opera, ending the competition with a total score of 158.00, more than 20 points ahead of its closest competitor.

The Skyliners' next international competition will be the 2011 Junior World Challenge Cup in Neuchatel, Switzerland. The team placed fifth at the 2010 JWCC and qualified to represent the United States as Team USA 1 at the 2011 event by winning the Junior World Team Selection Competition in January.

Evolution, representing the Detroit Skating Club, used two clean programs to secure a total score of 136.58 and the silver medal. Rebounding from a seventh-place finish at the Junior World Team Selection Competition, the team earned second in both portions of the competition.

The Hockettes, from Ann Arbor, Mich., sat in fifth place after a fall in the short program, but a strong free skate pulled the team up to a spot on the podium. The team's free skate score of 86.50 was less than a point away from second place and contributed to the team's overall score of 127.82.

In the senior competition, five-time world champions Team Surprise from Sweden earned a total score of 191.75, taking first place in both portions of the competition. The team is looking to rebound in 2011 after earning fifth place at the 2010 World Synchronized Skating Championships, the lowest placement at the event in the team's history.

Miami University earned second place for its short program to "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" by Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli, but deductions in the team's free skate, including two falls in the group lift element, earned the team third place in that portion of the event and the bronze medal. The team earned a total score of 168.37. Tatarsan, representing Russia, earned the silver medal with a total score of 176.80.

Eight-time world team members Miami University will next look to earn a spot on the world team at the 2011 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Ontario, Calif., March 3-5. The top two teams in the senior event will represent the United States at the 2011 World Synchronized Championships in Helsinki, Finland. The team earned bronze at the 2010 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.

Athlete blogs from the Spring Cup and all synchronized skating international competitions can be found at the Official DREAM Program blog.