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Millburn/Short Hills Skaters Soar with Skyliners: Juniors will represent Team USA at Worlds

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Three Short Hills residents skate for the Skyliners Junior Team USA line: (pictured L to R) Audrey Laude, Emily Kirillov of Fair Lawn, Jessica Hu and Virginia Barney.
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Short Hills residents named to the 2017 World Team from the Skyliners Junior line are: 2nd Row (L to R) Virginia Barney (first), Jessica Hu (second) and Audrey Laude (sixth).
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The moment when Skyliners Junior received a season-high score in the free skate helping them to earn the Team USA 1 designation on the 2017 World Team by US Figure Skating.
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US Figure skating names Skyliners Team USA 1 and presents the 2017 World Jackets. From Short Hills (L to R) First Row: Virginia Barney (2nd), Second Row: Audrey Laude (4th) and Jessica Hu (6th)
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Short Hills residents Virginia Barney, Jessica Hu and Audrey Laude will help the Skyliners Junior Team USA 1 take on the world.They will compete in the US Synchronized Skating Nationals on Feb. 23-24 in Rockford, Illinois, and the ISU 2017 World Junior Synchornized Skating Championships on March 10-11 in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

Capping a stellar 2016-17 season, the Junior line of the Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team secured Team USA 1 status at the 2017 World Junior Team Selection event in Simsbury, Connecticut, winning the event by 23 points against the best Junior synchro teams in the nation. Their performance earned them one of the two coveted spots representing the United States at the World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in Mississauga, Canada this March 10-11, 2017. This marks the seventh time that Skyliners Junior has been named to the World team.

“It’s been an incredible season both nationally and internationally, the skaters have been on fire,” said Josh Babb, Skyliners Head Coach and Director of Synchronized Skating. “We are extremely excited and honored to again be chosen to represent the United States at Worlds along with the Lexettes from Hayden Synchro.”

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Skyliners Junior has commanded the ice since the season began. They earned Gold at both the New England Challenge Cup in Massachusetts in October, and the Porter Classic in Ann Arbor, Michigan in December. The combination of their dramatic “Gangster Hip Hop” short program and inspiring “Last of the Mohicans” free skate has made them a force to be reckoned with.

Internationally, Skyliners Junior has successfully represented Team USA at two competitions this season. In January, Skyliners took Gold at the Cup of Berlin in Germany. And in early February, they took Bronze at the French Cup in Rouen, France. Both competitions attracted some of the world’s best synchronized skating teams.

“These skaters work extremely hard and practice long hours to perform at the level they have,” said Babb. “We cannot wait to compete in March alongside the best Junior synchro teams in the world.”

Team USA is defined as those synchronized skating teams who are selected by the Synchronized Management Subcommittee to represent the United States at ISU events including International Synchronized Skating Competitions, and the World Synchronized Skating Championships.

The Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team 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. Over the last 16 years, Skyliners has grown into one of the top synchronized skating teams in the country - now with 12 competitive lines, and 200+ 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 Minnesota, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. 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 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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