The Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team competed at and hosted the 2020 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships in Albany, NY. The team was on a mission: to perform its best at the first major competition where it served as host, and to earn the coveted spots to the National Championships. It exceeded these goals, becoming Gold-medal sectional champions in four divisions – Preliminary, Pre-Juvenile, Juvenile and Novice – and earning Silver in the Intermediate and Novice divisions.
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“We knew we had a strong chance at performing well at Easterns, but to capture medals in all five divisions that we competed in is truly outstanding,” said Josh Babb, Skyliners Head Coach and Director of Synchronized Skating. “The skaters have been working incredibly hard, and now our qualifying lines get to compete on the national stage at the U.S. Championships in Providence, Rhode Island this February. We are very proud!”
Synchronized skating consists of 8-20 highly skilled athletes performing a program on ice together, moving as one flowing unit at high speeds. 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 United States 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 2026 Olympic Winter Games.
More than 2,300 synchronized skaters from 147 teams gathered in Albany to compete at Easterns. Of those, Skyliners sent 148 skaters, ranging in age from 7-18. Among the nationally-qualifying lines, Skyliners had two lines competing in the Novice division: Novice Blue and Novice Black. Novice Blue topped the podium with a score of 80.31 for their thrilling “Aladdin” program, and Novice Black took Silver with a 74.64 for their inspiring “Finding Neverland” program, earning spots to the National Championships, joining Skyliners Junior and Senior, both of which earned byes due to their international competition schedules representing Team USA. Alissa Lopez, 8th grade, of Dobbs Ferry Middle school and Alison Quiambao, 10th grade, of Hastings High School in Hastings-on-Hudson are both members of the Novice Black line and will be skating in Nationals on February 26-29.
The River Towns were also well-represented in the Preliminary division where 17 teams competed. The Skyliners Preliminary captured Gold in the final round with their rousing “Can-Can” program becoming the 2020 Gold Medal Sectional Champions. Morgan Eaton, age 10 from Tarrytown and Lily Glynn, age 9 from Sleepy Hollow who both attend Washington Irving Intermediate School have been skating with Skyliners for 5 years. The Skyliners Preliminary team skates in 6 competitions from November through February including the Eastern Sectional Championships. Because the Prelim division is a non-qualifying line due to their age, they do not progress to Nationals.
“To have our talented skaters on Skyliners perform so well at Easterns was amazing,“ said Sarah Blosat, Skyliners Director of Non-Qualifying Lines. “For many of our younger skaters, this was their first Eastern Championship and an exciting culmination to all their practice over the season.”
Tryouts and clinics for Skyliners 2020-21 season will be announced soon. Please check the website at www.skylinerssynchro.com for the latest information.
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 19 years, Skyliners has grown into one of the top synchronized skating teams in the country – now with 14 competitive lines, and 240+ skaters ranging in age from 5 to 26. While the majority of the skaters reside in the tri-state area, Skyliners also draws 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.
Visit the Skyliners at www.skylinerssynchro.com to learn more about this successful team. Or contact Leigh Gold, Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team at LeighGold@skylinerssynchro.com 917-533-2447.