There were plenty of beaming faces and excitement as the 2022yearslater ISI Synchronized Championships finally got underway April 1-3 at Valley Sports Arena in Concord, Mass.
Synchro skaters waited two, long years to be able to participate in this colorful event that had been shut down in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hosted by Sharper Edge Skating School, the twin-sheet arena was brimming with almost 500 talented competitors representing 45 teams from 17 rinks in six states (California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and Texas).
Chiller Synchro from Chiller Easton Ice Rink in Columbus, Ohio, took home the Boyd Wietecter Trophy, as winner of the Teen Premier Round.
Winterland Skating School of Rockland, Mass., was crowned the Overall Winner of The Beantown Showdown, a special team event, which was held the evening of April 2.
It was probably the best Synchro Champs ISI has had from the perspective of participants, according to ISI Skating Programs & National Events Director Kim Hansen.
“Dawn Diminico and her team at Sharper Edge went way out of their way to welcome all the synchro teams, from providing ‘necessities baskets’ in the locker rooms to having a ‘candy store’ for the skaters to ‘shop’ in with the tickets they got in their goody bags. I never saw so many happy skaters at Synchro Champs before — smiles galore.
“Again, some teams were just getting back in the swing of things and some teams were brand new, but even the more seasoned veteran teams looked like they were having the time of their lives at this event.”
“It had been a long two-year wait to be able to attend this competition, and it was amazing to finally get to travel and compete,” said Nicki Hrebec, a coach of the Blade Brigade from the Wayne C. Kennedy Recreation Complex in St. Louis. “We got to meet and watch so many teams and that was the most exciting part.
“Everyone at Valley Edge Arena was so wonderful and really made us all feel at home in their ice rink, especially Dawn, who went above and beyond for everyone who attended. Her high energy and kind heart really made the event for myself, Mandy [coach] and our girls. Who doesn’t enjoy a cool candy room? I hope I get to see her [Dawn] again at another national event. Blade Brigade would like to congratulate all the teams who competed, Valley Edge for welcoming us and ISI for hosting this wonderful event. It was an amazing way to end our season.”
Coaches Julie Stahl and Karen Becker of the Arlington, Texas-based ICE at the Parks Southwest Sparklers reported that they had a fantastic time at the 2022years later Synchronized Championships.
“It was so heartwarming to have things more back to normal, and it was encouraging to talk to other coaches and see how they have navigated through these last two years and been successful in keeping kids in their synchro programs,” said Stahl. “Our skaters enjoyed trading pins, visiting the rink’s super cute “candy store,” and they loved all the team bonding that comes with an ‘away’ trip. Our girls are closer than ever and developed such close bonds as they shared laughs, especially through our new ‘team dance.’ We had such an incredible year, and we can’t wait until 2023!”
Most Teams from One Rink: 7 teams, Sharper Edge Skating School, Concord, Mass.; 4 teams, Lou & Gib Reece Ice Arena, Newark, Ohio; 4 teams, Winterland Skating School, Rockland, Mass.; 3 teams, FMC William Chase Arena, Natick, Mass; 3 teams, Wayne C. Kennedy Rec Complex, St. Louis.
Largest Rink/Club Teams: 57 skaters, Sharper Edge Skating School; 39 skaters, Winterland Skating School; 32 skaters, FMC William Chase Arena; 31 skaters, Children’s Health StarCenter, McKinney, Texas.
Teams from Farthest Distance: 2,594 miles, Skatetown Ice Arena, Roseville, Calif.; 2,588 miles, Toyota Sports Performance Center, El Segundo, Calif.
To purchase professional photos from the event, please visit Tracy Griffin Photography.
Mark your calendar! The 2023 ISI Synchronized Championships and Collegtown Showdown are scheduled March 31 through April 2 at the Miami University Goggin Ice Arena in Oxford, Ohio. Entry deadline is Feb. 1.
The following photos were submitted and/or taken by ISI staff:
Established in 1959, the Ice Sports Industry (ISI) — creator of America’s first learn-to-skate curriculum — is an international trade association encompassing all aspects of the ice sports industry. Our goal is to promote ice skating as a participant sport and recreational activity for everyone — all ages and abilities. For more information, visit skateisi.org.