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Esprit de Corps casts spell in winning masters

DC EDGE goes retro to win silver; Experience leads Denver Synchronicity to bronze

Esprit de Corps received first-place ordinals from six of the nine judges.
Esprit de Corps received first-place ordinals from six of the nine judges. (Jay Adeff)

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By Josh Ellis, special to icenetwork.com
(03/02/2013) - After its "Black Magic" performance, an Esprit de Corps skater carried a broom with her backstage. Fitting, because her team swept away the competition at the 2013 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.

Shortly after winning the adult title, the Esprit de Corps masters team claimed the gold medal in the second of two events being judged by the 6.0 system this week.

Receiving two-thirds of the first-place ordinals, Esprit de Corps was the class of the competition, and coach Dede Wilson couldn't have been happier.

"I thought it was beautiful," Wilson said. "They were so calm and so ready. They really put it out there today, and it was very exciting to watch."

Skating in black and purple witch costumes, the team that calls the Hayden Recreation Centre home was magical on the ice in what was a family affair. Several members of the team are parents to skaters on other teams competing in Plymouth.

"I think it's fabulous," Wilson said of the family connections. "Skating is something that just gets in your blood and becomes contagious, so I'm not surprised it goes from mother to daughter."

In second place, earning the silver medal, was DC EDGE. The team received one first-place ordinal, as well as four second-place votes. Skating in '60s-style red dresses with polka dots, DC EDGE glided around the ice with ease to its Hairspray selection of music.

"I thought it was a really nice skate," coach Jenny DeSimone said. "There was a lot of energy, and they have a lot of fun with this program, and I think that showed."

Experience paid off for Denver Synchronicity, as it skated its way to the bronze medal. Three of the team's skaters were appearing in their 20th U.S. Synchronized Championships, and coach Caitlin Balch-Burnett thinks that experience helped the team's performance.

"This group of women come together every year, and even if there are new skaters, they're welcomed in as a family. They really become a bunch of sisters with each other," Balch-Burnett said.

Skating to music from Chicago, the team used its experience to perform well together on the ice.

"This team skated so beautifully today," Balch-Burnett said. "They have looked strong the past three weeks, and that showed itself today in a great performance."

Skating close to home, Allegro! finished in fourth place, taking home the pewter medal.