Sports

Travels Spotlight - Five TAPinto Teens Set to Represent Team USA at World Synchronized Skating Championships

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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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Skyliners Junior NJ skaters (L to R): Lauren Dwyer; Ethne Laude, Virginia Barney and Jessica Hu of Short Hills; Shirley Zhu; and Audrey Laude and Jocelyn Song of Short Hills. Credits: Laura Barney
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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 broke their own Nationals Short Program record earning 71.10 for their Short at the 2018 U.S. Synchronized National Championships in Portland, OR. Credits: Courtesy of InSynch Photo
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Skyliners Junior Short Program, 2017 US National Champions and Team USA 1 representing the US at the World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in Mississauga, Canada March 10-11.
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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 Senior (L to R): Eliza Farber of Montclair and Erin Dingley of Maplewood.
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Skyliners Senior 2017 US National Bronze Medalists
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Six talented TAPinto community residents will represent the United States as part of the Junior and Senior lines of the Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team. Virginia Barney, Jessica Hu, Audrey and Ethne Laude and Jocelyn Song will compete at the World Synchronized Skating Championships.

The Junior and Senior lines of the Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team are in the midst of their best season to date. The Junior line skaters were just crowned the National Champions at the 2018 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Portland, Oregon. 

The Senior line skaters earned silver with their highest finish ever, at the championships. This season both lines represented  Team USA and captured Gold and Silver medals at four international competitions including the Cup of Berlin, the French Cup and the Mozart Cup. 

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Next, the Junior Line will head to Zagreb, Croatia on March 16 and 17 to compete for Team USA at the World Championships. For Skyliners Junior, this marks their eighth appearance at Worlds.

The Skyliners Senior will make their first World Championship appearance in Stockholm, Sweden on April 6 and 7.

“To have both our Junior and Senior lines named to represent the United States at Worlds is an incredible achievement and honor for our organization,” said Josh Babb, Skyliners Head Coach and Director of Synchronized Skating. “The skaters have taken command of the ice at every competition this season, and their confident performances paid off.”

The Junior line’s emotional short program, set to “You and I” by the Tenors, along with their dramatic “Black Swan” long program have launched them to new levels this season. They earned historically high total scores for the line, at both the Cup of Berlin (165.73) where they won gold and the French Cup in Rouen (164.59) where they won silver. Their high score of 175.69 at Nationals to take the Gold cemented their fourth National Championship title.

Skyliners Senior is also having a high scoring season. Their “I Was Here” short program and “Cleopatra” long program showcase the skaters’ athleticism, power and grace. The judges rewarded their efforts with high total scores on the international stage, at both the Cup of Berlin (180.74) where they won gold and the Mozart Cup in Salzburg, Austria (179.92) where they took silver. Their season high 185.86 to score the silver medal at Nationals, helped earn them one of the two spots to represent the United States at the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2018 in Sweden this April, a historic milestone for Skyliners Senior.
 
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, the World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships, 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 17 years, Skyliners has grown into one of the top synchronized skating teams in the country - now with 12 competitive lines, and 220+ skaters ranging in age from 5 to 24. While the majority of the skaters reside in the tri-state area, Skyliners also draws members from Massachusetts, Minnesota, 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 the 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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