Lexettes, Skyliners to represent U.S. in Helsinki
Krantz to return to home country for World Junior Synchronized Championships
|The Saga Krantz-coached Lexettes will make their first appearance at the World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships. (Ed Collier Photography)|
The 2013 World Junior Team Selection Competition was held Jan. 11-12 in Fraser, Mich. As the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships are about a week prior to the World Junior Synchronized Championships, this annual event is held to determine the U.S. representatives.
The Lexettes (Hayden Recreation Centre FSC) were named USA 1 for the first time in their existence. Skating to music from The Artist, the team put out a technically strong short program, landing it in second place.
Although they found themselves in familiar territory -- the team was in second after the short program at last year's qualifier and dropped to third in the free skate -- the Lexettes went on to make history of their own.
"We skated very together," head coach Saga Krantz said after her team's performances. "We had two clean programs, which was extremely important. I'm very pleased with their skates."
The Lexettes, skating their Mirror Mirror free skate, went on to win that segment with a total of 95.96 points, besting the second-place team, the Skyliners, by a little less than three points.
The fifth-place finishers at the 2012 Junior World Challenge Cup, the Skyliners (Skating Club of New York) may not have had their best free skate, but their short program kept them in contention for the second world team spot.
After a first-place finish in the short, in which it earned 53.54 points, the team had some technical issues in its West Side Story free skate but managed to post a strong enough score to keep it in the running.
"I'm extremely proud and excited that the Skyliners junior team will be representing Team USA at the junior world championships in Helsinki, Finland," head coach Josh Babb said.
This will be the fourth year in a row the team will compete at junior worlds.
Dana Manson, the Skyliners captain, added, "We are proud of our performances. Our short program was solid. We feel we gave it everything we had and look forward to improving both our programs for junior worlds in March."
Team Braemar, the reigning U.S. junior champions and fourth-place finishers at the 2012 Junior World Challenge Cup, finished third. The team placed second in the free skate, but it was not enough to make up the points lost in the short program.
The Synchroettes, who will compete at their first international assignment later this month, pulled up in the free skate to finish fourth.
As the World Junior Synchronized Championships will be held in Finland, home to the team's head coach, the Lexettes feel this is a unique and great opportunity.
"We are so excited to compete in Saga's home country; we wouldn't want our first [junior] worlds to be anywhere else!" said Summer Nagy, a member of the Lexettes. "We can't wait to meet her family, see her old team and see the Finnish flags waving in the stands."