SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Local skater Grace Fanning captured the bronze medal at the 2016 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan, this past weekend. Fanning is a member of the Skyliners Senior Synchronized Skating Team.
A junior at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, Fanning traveled to Nationals with her teammates to compete among the eight best synchronized skating teams in the country in her division. With a riveting delivery of their short program “Be Italian” and a strong performance of their free skate program to music from “The Mission,” the Skyliners Senior team proudly stood on the podium with the bronze medal for the second consecutive year. They have also been honored to represent TEAM USA abroad this season, placing fourth at the 2016 Neuchatel Trophy in Switzerland.
"We are really glad that our hard work and dedication to each other paid off," said Fanning. "We were so proud to represent our country as Team USA at Neuchatel and were thrilled to cap our season with a very strong skate and a bronze medal at Nationals."
“It’s been a record season for Skyliners,” said Josh Babb, Skyliners Head Coach and Director of Synchronized Skating. “As our team grows, so do our accomplishments. Our skaters work extremely hard, and their efforts have really paid off.”
The Skyliners were 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. Now in its 15th year, Skyliners has grown into one of the top synchronized skating teams in the country with 11 lines and 190 skaters ranging in age from 5 to 26.
While the majority of the skaters reside in the tri-state area, Skyliners also has members from Delaware, California, Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. The tremendous growth and success of the team are attributed to the dedicated athletes, talented coaches and devoted Board members and parent volunteers who make Skyliners possible season after season.
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 has been significant movement toward including it at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
Visit the Skyliners at www.skylinerssynchro.com to learn more about the team.