Chicago Jazz wins juvenile with 'super' showing

Skyliners take silver, Mini Mates bronze

Chicago Jazz's juvenile team won the gold skating to music from <i>Mary Poppins</i>.
Chicago Jazz's juvenile team won the gold skating to music from Mary Poppins. (Ed Collier Photography)


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By Josh Ellis, special to
(03/01/2012) - "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" made Mary Poppins famous, and skating to a selection of Mary Poppins songs, Chicago Jazz was simply super.

Chicago Jazz (Chicago FSC) earned gold in the juvenile event at the 2012 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Worcester, Mass., topping a field of 13 teams.

"They skated practically perfect," head coach Kristi Frank said. "They did everything we were asking for."

With white and pink umbrellas being held up in the stands and some of the loudest cheers of the competition, last year's silver medalists put together a special performance, which bumped them to the top of the podium.

"The crowd support was great, and it means everything to us. To know that the crowd was behind the girls 110 percent was excellent, and we couldn't do it without them," Frank said.

The silver medalist Skyliners (The SC of New York) overcame mid-performance adversity to land in second.

"Their performance today was quite spectacular," coach Natalie Martello said. "We had an issue today where one skater's blade got caught in another's dress, and I think they handled it beautifully and were poised and comfortable."

Skating to music from Sister Act, a favorite childhood film of Martello, the Skyliners showed true spirit in their performance while being cheered on in the stands by a dancing nun who travels with the team.

"The girls showed the spirit of true athletes today, and it's great to see at such a young age to have by far the best skate of our season," Martello added.

Earning the bronze medal were the Mini Mates (Hayden Recreation Centre FSC), performing in their home state.

"I was so proud of the way they skated today," coach Kendra Flanagan said. "They have improved all season long, and this was just the icing on the cake. As a coach, I am extremely proud of them."

Flanagan wore shoes that were covered in sparkles, and they served as a representation for her team, which sparkled on the ice. Skating to music from Fame, the Mini Mates earned the same color medal this season as they did last year.

The Synchroettes (Essex SC of NJ), skating in bright colors to music from Seussical, earned the pewter.