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Skyliners rally past Team Braemar in Lowell

Both synchronized teams qualify for the 2012 Junior World Challenge Cup

The Skyliners put together a stellar free skate to come back and edge Team Braemar.
The Skyliners put together a stellar free skate to come back and edge Team Braemar. (Sarah S. Brannen)

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By Renee Felton, special to icenetwork.com
(01/09/2012) - The Skyliners and Team Braemar will once again be representing the U.S. at the 2012 Junior World Challenge Cup (JWCC) as they finished first and second, respectively, at the 2012 World Junior Synchronized Team Selection Competition over the weekend in Lowell, Mass. The 2012 Junior World Challenge Cup will take place March 15-17 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Skyliners, who represent the Skating Club of New York, battled back from a third-place showing in the short program to easily win the free skate and edge Team Braemar by just over one point for the win. They totaled 162.44 points for the weekend.

The free skate, set to music from Black Swan and Swan Lake, featured 10 elements that all received positive grades of execution (GOE). The moves in the field earned 7.49 points, thanks to a GOE of 2.29. The reigning national champions also received over seven points for their line element as they earned 112.83 points for the segment.

Team Braemar, out of the Braemar-City of Lakes FSC, won the short program by nearly five points, riding a no hold step sequence and Level 4 block that each earned over six points. The Cha-Cha-themed program scored 54.73 points. Their free skate, skated to a compilation of gypsy music, garnered 106.51 points.

These teams also competed at the 2011 Junior World Challenge Cup last spring with Team Braemar placing third and the Skyliners finishing fifth.

The annual U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships are held about a week prior to the JWCC, which does not allow U.S. Figure Skating to use the event as a qualifier. The 2012 U.S. Synchronized Championships will be held Feb. 29-March 3 in Worcester, Mass.

The Junior World Challenge Cup was first held in 2001, with the World Junior Team Selection Competition starting in 2004.