This past weekend (Jan. 7-9) at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga junior synchronized skating teams from across the country competed to represent Canada at the 2011 ISU World Challenge Cup for Juniors in Neuchatel, Switzerland March 10-12.
It was a tight competition from the start of the event with the Skate Canada Brampton-Chinguacousy team of Gold Ice leading after the first two segments. But it was Nexxice from the Burlington Skating Club on Sunday that executed a strong free program to music from Evita to take the lead and finish first overall with a combined score of 213.367.
Gold Ice fell to second place but still secured a spot in Neuchatel. The team received a standing ovation for their entertaining interpretation of Figaro in the short program. They also received personal best scores in each of the three segments. According to Gold Ice members Natalie Pulenzaz and Rene Loureiro the team has been focusing on the character of the music and the team connection, which they clearly demonstrated.
Nexxice team captains Julia Mills and Karey Nelson said their short program (skated to music from the movie Red) is designed to display the team’s love of skating. For their free program, the skaters attended a performance of Evita in Stratford to provide inspiration.
Both Nexxice and Gold Ice have competed at the ISU World Challenge Cup for Juniors in the past, with Nexxice placing second in 2010 and Gold Ice placing fourth in 2009.