US Synchronized Skating Championships: High Stakes in Vegas


The Haydenettes in their short program "Clair de Lune". (Credits: Synchro Skating Moments, Eva Rosta - 2024)

This past week has been a busy one for the US synchronized skating community. Starting Wednesday, eighty-eight teams arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada, to compete in the 2024 US Synchronized Skating Championships across nine divisions. Skaters competed at the Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice, Junior, Senior Elite 12, Senior, Collegiate, Adult and Masters levels. Both triumphs and upsets swept the Junior and Senior divisions, as the top teams prepare for the upcoming Worlds.

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Junior Division: Teams Elite and Skyliners Dominate
In the Junior division, the newly crowned World Team members Teams Elite and Skyliners Junior were locked in an exciting battle for gold, with Teams Elite capturing their first National title by a little over a point. Skyliners took home the silver, Team Image the bronze, and Lexettes the pewter medal.
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The Junior competition was a thrilling competition, with Teams Elite leading the charge with a compelling short program to "Moonlight Sonata". Despite a fall, their technical proficiency and artistic depth were unmatched, securing them the top spot. With their "Mystical Warriors" program, Team Image surprised many by taking second place, showcasing clean skates and intense performances. Team Lexettes, skating to "On the Golden Pond", demonstrated significant improvement, capturing third place, while the Skyliners faced challenges, finishing fourth due to errors.

The free skate saw a dramatic turn as the Skyliners delivered an exceptional performance to "Utopian", surging to silver overall despite their short program setbacks. Teams Elite maintained their lead with the "Snake Charmer" free skate, captivating the audience with level 4 elements and eccentric choreography to secure the championship title. Team Image, with "Mystery of the Desert", took bronze, while Lexettes showcased their versatility with "Prologue", finishing fourth.

Senior Division: Haydenettes Lead the Pack
The Senior competition was nothing short of spectacular, with the Haydenettes continuing their unparalleled reign, clinching their 31st title with an impressive sum of 234.42 points. Their short program set the tone for the competition, achieving a season's best of 80.19 points and placing them comfortably ahead. Despite small mistakes, Skyliners and Miami University followed in second and third, with Adrian College trailing closely in a newly choreographed short program.

However, an unforeseen upset in the free skate segment shocked the crowd as the Haydenettes solidified their gold with 154.23 points and the first World Team spot. The real question was, who would claim the silver medal, and the second World Team spot? 

With a clean free skate and a season's best of 150.82 points, Skyliners edged out Miami University for the coveted second World Team spot. Having been left off of the World Team since 2019, Skyliners seized their chance to punch their ticket to Worlds with two crowd-pleasing skates and a vice-national champion title. Tragedy struck for last season’s World Team competitors Miami University, who suffered two falls in the pair element and complications in one of the group lifts. The college team ended the competition in third place, with a free skate of 123.18. Adrian College maintained its fourth-place finish with a free skate of 109.24 due to multiple base value downgrades and a fall.