Sports

Millburn Teens Bring Home Gold with the Skyliners Junior Skating Team

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Audrey Laude, a senior at Millburn High School, accepts the gold medal and stands on top of the podium as the American flag is raised and the United States National Anthem is played. Credits: Provided by Skyliners Junior Team USA
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First Row (L to R): Millburn High School Students Jocelyn Song, Virginia Barney, Ethne Laude and Audrey Laude. Back Row (L to R): Lauren Dwyer, Shirley Zhu; Jessicu Hu, Short Hills Credits: Provided by Skyliners Junior Team USA
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Skyliners Junior Team USA celebrate being crowned Cup of Berlin Champions for the second year in a row. Credits: Provided by Skyliners Junior Team USA
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Ethne Laude, a Freshman at Millburn High School, completes a spin in the Swan Lake Free Skate Program. Credits: Provided by Skyliners Junior Team USA with SyncroPhoto.eu
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Skyliners Junior Team USA skate their Short Program to "You and I (Vinceremo)" by the Tenors Credits: Provided by Skyliners Junior Team USA with SyncroPhoto.eu
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Skyliners Junior Team USA skate their Free Skate Program to Swan Lake. Credits: Provided by Skyliners Junior Team USA
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Skyliners in place to begin skating their Short Program. Credits: Provided by Skyliners Junior Team USA

MILLBURN, N.J. — Millburn High School students Virginia Barney, Audrey Laude, Ethne Laude and Joselyn Song and township resident Jessica Hu began their Skyliners Junior Team USA international synchronized skating season with a gold medal win at the Cup of Berlin last weekend.

The team finished ahead of squads from Finland, Germany, France, Switzerland and the United States. Skyliners Junior, the reigning U.S. Junior Champions and fourth at the 2017 ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships, also took the gold medal at competitions in Anaheim in November and Ann Arbor in December. The team skates next at the French Cup in Rouen, France, February 2.

Skyliners was established in 2001 by a group of parents who wanted to create the most competitive synchronized skating club in the tri-state area. In that first year, the team had three lines – Preliminary, Juvenile and Intermediate. Seventeen years later, Skyliners has grown into one of the top synchronized skating teams in the country, now 12 lines and 230+ skaters strong. While the majority of the skaters reside in the tri-state area, Skyliners also have skaters from Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. The team's resume of achievements includes 21 Eastern Championships, 10 National Championships, 8 International gold medals and 10 years designated Team USA.

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Synchronized skating consists of 8-20 highly-skilled athletes performing a program on ice together, moving as one flowing unit. It is characterized by teamwork, speed, intricate formations and challenging step sequences. There are approximately 600 synchronized teams and nearly 5000 synchronized skaters in the U.S. alone, with elite competitions at both the national and international level. Although not currently an Olympic sport, there is significant movement toward including it at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Visit the Skyliners at www.skylinerssynchro.com to learn more about this successful team.

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