Before the first steel blade glided across the ice to officially open their 14th season, the Buffalo Grove and Vernon Hills-based Starlights were already setting records. A grand total of eight teams made up of 129 skaters began the 2012-2013 campaign -- more teams and skaters than at any other time in team history. And now months after their first practice, a record five Starlights Synchronized Skating teams have qualified to compete for top national honors at next month's 2013 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Plymouth, Mich.
The Starlights' adult, juvenile, novice, intermediate and senior skating teams all punched their tickets for Plymouth after delivering strong performances last weekend at the 2013 Midwestern & Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships which were held in Kalamazoo, Mich. Senior team skaters earned gold medals with a first place finish while the novice, intermediate and adult teams won pewter medals for 4th place finishes. The Starlights juvenile team also qualified for a spot at next month's championships by finishing 5th in their division.
Two other Starlights teams that compete in non-qualifying divisions also did well in Kalamazoo. The open juvenile team finished second in their competition group to gain a spot in the final round and the Starlights preliminary team earned first place honors.
"I am so proud of the skaters and how hard they have worked to achieve this accomplishment," said Starlights skating director, Chris Heiser. "This is a monumental moment for the entire club and I want to congratulate all of our teams on their well-earned success."
Gold Medal Winning Team Showcased on TV
With their gold medal performance in Kalamazoo, the Starlights preliminary team earned the title of Midwest Synchronized Skating Sectional Champs. On Tuesday, January 29, the team got to show off their medals and moves on the ice during live segments on the CBS2 Chicago Morning News. A video clip of their appearance can be seen by clicking here.
Starlights Hosting 2014 Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships
Next January, the Starlights will be throwing the biggest synchronized skating party in the region. U.S. Figure Skating recently named the Starlights, which represent the Skokie Valley Skating Club, as the host club for the 2014 Midwestern & Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships. The competition will be held Jan. 23-25 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
"This is another huge honor for our club," Heiser added. "We're very lucky to have a dedicated group of parents who have devoted time and energy in working with several groups to secure our bid and begin preparing for a fantastic event."
To learn more about all the Starlights Synchronized Skating Teams, please visit www.starlights.us.