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Braemar withstands Skyliners surge, wins juniors

Despite finishing second in free skate, Team Braemar takes gold

Team Braemar's 105.10 total points were enough to overcome the Skyliners' free skate.
Team Braemar's 105.10 total points were enough to overcome the Skyliners' free skate. (Ed Collier Photography)

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By Josh Ellis, special to icenetwork.com
(03/02/2012) - After finishing second in 2011, Team Braemar need their near three-point advantage after the short program to hang on and earn gold in the junior event at the 2012 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships on Friday night.

Leading after the short program, Team Braemar (Braemar-City of Lakes FSC) earned just the second best free skate score -- 105.10 -- but it was enough for a narrow victory of 1.23 points over the Skyliners (SC of NY).

"It feels like all of our hard work has finally paid off," team representative Breanna Hegseth said.

"It was unreal. We are extremely pleased with how the results turned out," team representative Taylor May added.

Skating to music described by head coach Pam May as a "Gypsy piece," Team Braemar sparkled to victory in black costumes. They earned a total of 159.65 points for the competition, including 7.20 points for their Level 4 moves in the field during the free skate, the highest scoring element of the competition.

"They were ready, and they did a great job," May said. "I thought they gave it their all out there."

However, the hard work this season is not over for Team Braemar. The team from Edina, Minne. will travel to Gothenburg, Sweden in less than two weeks to take part in the Junior World Challenge Cup.

"We will have a week of constant practice every day to try and keep developing even more," May said.

With the words "Sky's the Limit" being held up in the stands, the Skyliners took to the ice in black and white and dazzled those in attendance, earning the top free skate score and a silver medal.

Skating to Black Swan, the team from the SC of NY received a standing ovation from the onlookers before receiving a score of 106.83 for their skate and a total score of 158.42 points.

"It was so much fun performing out there today," team representative Jennifer Schwartzman said. "It was a great opportunity for us, and it was great to be out there together. It was such a great time."

The Skyliners received the top component score of the competition with 62.06 points and will look for similar success in the free skate in Sweden at the Junior World Challenge Cup.

Entering the free skate in third position, the Lexettes overcame an early miscue on Friday to earn the bronze medal. Skating to songs from Rio, the team from the Hayden Recreation Centre FSC earned 87.57 points for their free skate and 137.87 points overall.

"There were lots of great moments tonight," head coach Saga Krantz said. "Of the 11 elements in the program, 10 of them were beautiful."

Posting the fifth-best free skate score, Chicago Jazz held on to their fourth-place position from the short program to earn the pewter medal with 127.58 points.