Monthly Archives: March 2012

Local Figure Skaters Take on the World

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SWC Bulletin, March 29, 2012  – Three local figure skaters recently helped the United States take on the world.

East Ridge High School’s Jordan Weiss and Woodbury High School’s Madison Rothweiler and Tasha Vo were each part of the Team Braemar synchronized ice skating team that competed at the 2012 Synchronized Skating Junior World Challenge Cup (JWCC) from March 16-17 at the Frölundaborg Ice Rink in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Team Braemar, based out of Edina, was one of two teams from the United States that earned an opportunity to skate as Team USA at the Junior World Challenge Cup, along with The Skyliners out of New York.

“It was a lot of fun,” Rothweiler, 17, said. “I only knew a couple of the girls going into it and it’s kind of scary at the beginning of the season. But, you get to know them quickly and by the end of the season we’re like family. My favorite thing is really getting to know everybody. We win together and lose together and we’re all a team.”

The field at the 2012 Synchronized Skating Junior World Challenge Cup consisted of 18 teams representing 13 countries: Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

Team Braemar made its fourth consecutive appearance at the JWCC this year after placing second at the 2012 World Junior Team Selection Competition. They placed third at the JWCC last year. Earlier this month, Braemar won the junior title at the United States Figure Skating (USFS) Synchronized Skating National Championships held March 1-3, in Worcester, MA. They represent the Braemar-City of Lakes Figure Skating Club and are coached by Pamela May.

The team also competed in the 2012 French Cup in Rouen, France, in February of this year.

“It was so much fun traveling with the team, because you get to spend time with your friends and experience a lot together,” Rothweiler said. “Traveling with family is fun, but it’s not the same as traveling with 19 of your best friends.”

Rothweiler said not everyone is aware of her and her teammates accomplishments, but it doesn’t bother her.

“People know about it and a lot of people ask questions, but I don’t talk about it too much. I’m modest and kind of just keep it to myself. Sometimes I wish more people knew about it,” she said. “With high school sports everyone on the team is from that school. Ours is a little different because we train in Edina and everybody is from all over.”

Rothweiler began figure skating when she was 7 years old. As part of Team Braemar she and Weiss and Vo all practiced year round and trained six days a week during the season.

“I learned a lot doing individual competitions. But going into synchro really brought me to a whole other place and gave me different experiences,” Rothweiler said. “Hard work pays off. You just need to stick with it as long as you love it.”

Vo and Weiss each will have an opportunity to return to Team Braemar next year, but it was Rothweiler’s final year of eligibility. Next year, Rothweiler hopes to skate for Disney on Ice and is waiting to find out if she made it. If she does, she’ll spend the next year with Disney on Ice and start college afterward.

“I have some friends that have graduated in the past and do it now and I’ve been talking to them,” Rothweiler said. “They all really want me to do it, because they love it. I’m really excited.”  Click here for the complete article

Skating Carries Hopkins High School Student Around the World

Golden Valley Patch, March 26, 2012  – Golden Valley resident Liz Burke competed in Sweden for the Junior World Challenge Cup synchronized skating competition.

Figure skating has taken Liz Burke to various national competitions, including this year’s Synchronized Nationals in Worcester, MA. The Hopkins High School senior and Golden Valley resident visited France for the French Cup. And March 15 through 17, Burke competed in Gothenburg, Sweden, with other members of Edina’s Team Braemar in the Junior World Challenge Cup synchronized skating competition.

Thanks to figure skating, Burke has seen the world.

“Ever since I was little, I just always loved (skating),” Burke said. “I don’t think there was ever a time I just hated it and I wanted to quit.”

Burke actually didn’t become a synchronized skater until this season. Aside from a couple months skating with a group when she was little, she’d been a singles skater her entire time on the ice.

But Burke’s strong points were always edges, flexibility and footwork—strengths well suited to synchronized competition. Entering her senior year, Burke decided she’d do something new and try out for Edina’s synchronized team.

Team Braemar has high expectations for its synchronized skaters. The team went to the Junior World Challenge last year, and so this year’s skaters knew they’d have a lot to work up to.

But skating is in Burke’s blood. Her father played hockey in high school, and the two have a playful figure skating-hockey rivalry.

“He has gained respect for the sport over the years,” she laughed.

Of course, there are key differences between singles skating and synchronized skating. In singles, Burke only had to worry about letting herself down. In synchronized competition, she had to worry about mistakes affecting the entire team — although she said her teammates don’t grudges.

And, she no longer gets the entire sheet of ice to herself.

“It was weird skating close to people,” she said.

Visiting other places gave Burke a whole new look at skating. In France, the Minnesota skaters had to bundle up while skating because the rink was so cold. In Sweden, they got to know the Italian skaters during bus rides to the hotel. They also got to meet other skaters at a party following the competition.

Skating may have many more travels in store for Burke. She’s looking at three colleges: Smith College in Northampton, MA; Lawrence University in Appleton, WI and Miami University in Oxford, OH—the latter of which has a synchronized skating program. She also tried out for Disney on Ice, which could lead to numerous new adventures.

The synchronized skating season runs June through May, so for now Burke is continuing her skating as usual—waiting to see where she’ll go next.

“I don’t really have any regrets from switching over (to synchronized skating),” Burke said. “I feel like I accomplished as much as I would’ve in singles.”

Click here for the complete article

Get It Called. Updates from Team Braemar at the 2012 JWCC

March 16, 2010 by Nicole Davies.

Read about Team Braemar’s captain, Breanna Hegseth’s, experiences at the 2012 Junior World Challenge Cup in Sweden!

Tuesday
After our flight left from Minneapolis Monday afternoon, we landed in Amsterdam early Tuesday morning. Customs and security was a breeze, so we had a couple of hours to spare. We got a bite to eat for breakfast and even had a little time to do some airport shopping. Then we boarded our connecting flight to Gothenburg! After we collected our luggage, we loaded the bus and headed straight to the rink for our first practice. We had an hour in the official rink where we just did a couple drills and sections of each program to get the feel for the ice. Afterwards, we went to the hotel to unpack and eat dinner. Our hotel is very modern and right on a bay next to a giant bridge. Even huge cruise ship type boats pass right in front of us! My roommates and I were saying how our hotel room looked like an IKEA store. After our first dinner in Sweden, everyone went to bed very early due to the 6 hour time difference.
Until tomorrow!
Breanna and TB

Wednesday
We woke up Wednesday morning feeling refreshed and energized after an almost 12 hour sleep. After getting ready for the day and putting our hair in buns, we headed down to the hotel restaurant where breakfast was served. The hotel has a huge selection of food to choose from which is nice since many teams from different countries are staying here. Then we went to the rink for practice. It was a gorgeous day with beautiful weather, so we warmed up and walked our programs outside. A couple of Swedish hockey players were walking outside and asked for a picture with us, so of course we didn’t refuse! We had practice in a rink right across the parking lot from the competition arena. Practice went very smoothly and we got many things accomplished during the 2 hours. Once practice was complete, we went back to the hotel for down time. Later in the afternoon, we took a small walk to a trolley station and headed into the city to do some shopping! Much of the team found cute clothes during the shopping excursion. There were lots of stores ranging from small little boutiques to larger stores like Zara. That evening, we had the team dinner with the Skyliners at the Hard Rock Café. It was really nice to meet up with them again and have dinner together! Everyone was excited to eat hamburgers and American food. After dinner, both teams took the trolley back to the hotel and headed to bed.

Goodnight!
Breanna and TB

Thursday
Thursday morning started off with a 7:30 am wakeup call. After breakfast, we went to the competition rink for our last practice. We got to ride a double-decker bus to the rink too!! The weather was cloudy and chilly so we did off-ice inside the arena. Once we were done warming up, we made a quick stop to buy the super cute competition sweatshirts. During practice we worked on sections and certain elements for both long a short and did a run through of each program. Afterwards, we ate lunch at a small restaurant upstairs in the rink. We watched a small amount of Team Fintastic’s practice, and then headed back to the hotel where we could have downtime. The team ordered in pizza for dinner before heading to the official draw! My co-captain Taylor and I ate dinner at the hotel restaurant because we had to leave before the rest of the team. After dinner, we met up with the Skyliner’s captains and headed to the draw. The draw was a midsummer feast dance! All of the captains from each team skated across the ice and sat in chairs. Then, little Swedish girls came out and danced in a circle with flower wreaths on their heads. When each team named was called, a captain went up to the circle and chose a girl then skated over to the referee. The starting number was written on the inside of the wreath. Due to last year’s placement at worlds, the top 5 teams from 2011 will be in the last group for the short program. Team Braemar placed second in the World Qualifier earlier this year, so as Team U.S.A. 2, we were last to choose for our group. Luckily, we ended up with 17 out of 18! Skyliners will skate right before us followed by Team Fintastic who will close the short program competition. After the draw, we rode the bus back to the hotel with the Australian team. It was really neat to meet skaters from another country. We even sang some Lizzie McGuire and Lady Gaga on the way back with them! Tomorrow, Team Braemar skates official practice at 12:40! Everyone is starting to get into competition mode and prepare themselves for the big 2 days ahead of us!
Go Team U.S.A.!!!
Breanna and TB

Friday
We woke up Friday morning ready and excited to skate short official practice! After eating breakfast, we came back upstairs to the indoor terrace and put on makeup and finished getting ready. Afterwards we rode the bus with the Skyliners to the arena. In the arena, our warm-up area was in a small gym upstairs above the rink. During off-ice we did our usual warm-up dance and walked the program a couple of times. Time went by quickly and before we knew it we were putting our dresses and skates on in the locker room and walking to the ice entrance! Official practice went well, with only a couple minor mistakes. Everyone knew we would save our best program for later that evening. We went back to the hotel to drop off our bags, and then walked to a restaurant next to the hotel to have lunch. After eating, we went back to the hotel for a little bit of downtime where some people took naps, watched movies or did homework. Eventually it came time to prepare ourselves for competition! We redid our makeup and applied our new glitter to our eyes. Then we were off to the rink! Just like official, we did our warm-up dance and walked the program. Right before we went down to the locker room, we blasted ‘We Are Young’ on the speakers and belted the song from the top of our lungs. In the locker room, we put on our pink Cha Cha dresses and skates and walked towards the ice. Taking the ice was an indescribable feeling. The USA pride in the stands was unbelievable! Our short program was one of the best programs we skated all season! The scores came up quickly, and afterwards we found out we were in second place after Musketeers from Finland! With only Team Fintastic left to skate, we ended up third after short!! The locker room was full of energy after our skate. Although we were in a good position for tomorrow, we knew we had to bring it all to the ice and skate our hearts out for the long. Immediately following the end of the competition, Taylor and I went to the long program draw. The top four teams after short would be in the last group for the freeskate. We drew 17, which is ironic because we skated 17th for the short program and Saturday would be March 17th, and also St. Patrick’s Day! (and clovers are Team Braemar’s good luck symbol). After returning from the rink, we got dinner at the hotel and headed to bed. With the big day ahead of us tomorrow, we all went to bed excited and ready to skate our gypsy long program!
Go U.S.A!!
Breanna and TB

Saturday
Saturday morning rolled around and everyone awoke ready to compete! We had a similar schedule as yesterday, so the morning went by very smoothly. Eventually we were off to our last official practice of the season! In the same gym as yesterday, we did our usual warm-up dance and walked the program. Visualizing the program, we talked about the story we wanted to create for the judges and audience. Soon after, we walked downstairs and into the locker room to put on our sparkly red official dresses and skates. Official practice went very well, but we knew there was a little bit of room to improve for that evening. Right after we changed back into our USA warm-ups, Taylor and I went to the JWCC studio to get interviewed. They asked us our thoughts on our scores for short, how we liked the arena, our favorite thing about synchronized skating, and a couple of other questions. When we came outside much of the team was talking to their parents and later we went back to the hotel and ate lunch at the hotel restaurant. We started getting ready right after lunch because we decided to braid our hair! With a couple girls braiding, helping put hair in buns, and applying makeup, we were all very excited for our new look. With gold glitter on our eyes and on our braid, the team looked absolutely stunning. Putting on our Team U.S.A. warm-up for the final time this season, we went down to the lobby to load the bus. Like before, we ran through our warm-up dance and walked our program twice. We sang ‘We Are Young’ for the final time. In the locker room, everyone was very relaxed and excited. We made our circle and said our final reminders for the program, then headed out to take the ice! The red and blue Team U.S.A. thundersticks were waving proudly among the parents. Hearing U.S.A. chants from the crowd, we skated the warm-up block very calmly. Our program started off extremely strong, starting off from our amazing moves in the field element. We hit every note and phrasing in the music right on beat. There was a collision in the intersection with 2 falls, but we picked ourselves back up quickly to complete the no hold step sequence. Unfortunately, we had 2 more falls during our program. Although this was not the skate we were hoping for, we held our heads high waiting for the scores. Finally, the scores flashed on the screen and we saw we were currently in 3rd place, with Team Fintastic left to skate. Even with a 5 point deduction, we ended up 4th overall! It was a hard knowing that we skated an unusual program with falls, but remembering that much of the program was skated very well made us happy. We stayed for the awards ceremony where our parents came over and congratulated us. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel to change into our cowboy clothes for the competitor’s party! Skyliners and us were decked out in plaid shirts, jean shorts, and cowboy hats. We walked about 10 minutes to another building where there was a huge dance floor. After eating tacos, all the teams danced the night away! This party is always super fun because everyone lets loose and it’s an opportunity to meet skaters from other countries. There were a few fun games including musical chairs and limbo also. Eventually the night had to end, so we walked back to the hotel to finish packing. Sunday morning came around quickly because we left the hotel at 3:45 in the morning. We had a quick flight to Amsterdam then our final flight back to Minneapolis.

Looking back at this year, the season has been a whirlwind of ups and downs, victories and defeats, but the memories made will last forever. Remembering our first summer practices, we have really grown together as a team on and off the ice. From our first competition to becoming National Champions and placing 4th at Worlds, all the hours of hard work and sweat paid off. Knowing that your teammates will be lifelong friends is truly a gift. There are no ways to thank our coaches, Pam and Toni. Without them, our team would not have accomplished our goals and wildest dreams. Team Braemar is not just a team, we are a family.
Thanks for reading!
Breanna and TB

 

Click here for the complete article

2012 Junior World Challenge Cup

March 15, 2012. By Nicole Davies, Get It Called.

Two U.S. teams will compete at the Junior World Challenge Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden March 15-17. The Skyliners (Team USA 1) and Team Braemar (Team USA 2) will compete against the top teams from around the world in the 12th annual world championship.

Both teams qualified for the world competition in January at the junior world team selection competition in Lowell, Mass. More than a dozen teams traveled to the competition to compete for first and second place, and the chance to compete on the world team. The Skyliners placed third in the short program, just behind The Lexettes and Team Braemar. But they battled back in the long program, earning 162.44 points overall and a first place finish. Team Braemar placed second claiming Team USA 2 status and earning their fourth berth to worlds with a total of 161.24 points.

The Skyliners and Team Braemar have developed a rivalry over the past few seasons as both teams have advanced to the world competition for the past three years. Last year Team Braemar placed third and the Skyliners placed fifth—the best U.S. junior world team finish since 2007 when Chicago Jazz placed third and The Colonials placed fifth in Nottingham, England.

After the junior world selection competition, The Skyliners and Team Braemar faced each other in one more domestic competition before worlds—the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Worcester, Mass. Team Braemar won the competition with 159.65 points and the Skyliners placed second with a total of 158.42 points.

The 2012 world competition will look all too familiar to Team Braemar and the Skyliners. Team Fintastic and the Musketeers, Finland’s world team, will be returning to the competition this year. Team Fintastic won worlds last year with a total of 176. 61 points, less than one point ahead of the Musketeers who earned second placed with a total of 175.77 points. The Musketeers’ programs are highly anticipated at this year’s competition. The short program “Join the Family Business” and the long program “Road to Eldorado” were both choreographed by world-renowned coach Anu Oksanen.

Nexxice from Canada will also be returning to the competition after earning 4th place at the 2011 competition. Other top contenders include Les Supremes of Canada, Team Convivium of Sweden, and Team Berlin of Germany.

The competition will begin with the opening ceremonies Friday at 5 p.m. The short program will take place Friday after the ceremonies and the long program Saturday at 3:30 p.m.  Click here for the complete article

Woodbury Skaters Get The Gold

 

Woodbury Patch, March 14, 2012 – Synchronized skating team with girls from Woodbury competes in national event in Massachusetts, now headed to Sweden.

Several Woodbury girls recently brought home gold and silver medals from the 2012 United States Figure Skating Synchronized Skating National Championships.

The girls are part of Team Braemar, the Braemar City of Lakes Figure Skating Club’s synchronized skating team, and competed March 1-3 in Worcester, MA.

Team Braemar Junior took home the gold, while Team Braemar Novice achieved silver, according to a release. For the first time in more than a decade, the Team Braemar Juvenile team also participated in the national championships, placing 10th in the country.

Skating for Team Braemar Junior are East Ridge High School student Jordan Weiss and Woodbury High School students Madison Rothweiler and Tasha Vo.

Skating for Team Braemar Novice are Woodbury High School student Savannah Bliese, Woodbury resident Katy Lundquist (St. Croix Prep), Vo, and Weiss.

Coached by Pam May and Toni Swiggum, all three Braemar synchronized teams competed against other teams from across the U.S., earning the trip to nationals by qualifying at their respective regional sectional championships in January.

Dressed in black and skating to a compilation of gypsy-infused musical shorts in their free-skate program—and in pink for their short program skating to a number titled “Blah, blah, blah, cha, cha, cha”—Team Braemar Junior earned a combined total of 159.65 points between the short and free skate programs. This gave them a 1.23-point victory over the Skyliners of New York—and the gold medal.

“They were ready and they did a great job. I thought they gave it their all,” May said in the release.

The team entered the competition as the defending 2011 national silver medalists.

Team Braemar Novice took silver at the championships skating to a routine centered on a medley of circus songs.

“They presented the program really well,” May said.

Each Braemar synchronized skating team is comprised of 16-20 female skaters from various schools in the Twin Cities area. Junior team skaters are under age 19, skaters on the Novice team are generally under age 16, and Juvenile team skaters are under age 13.

For the fourth year in a row, Team Braemar Junior now will compete at the 2012 Junior World Challenge Cup (JWCC) March 15-17 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The JWCC is sanctioned by theInternational Skating Union and is comprised of teams from around the world. The Junior team finished third in the 2011 JWCC.

All three teams practice at the Braemar Ice Arena. The public has the opportunity to watch all three teams skate at the annual Spring Ice Show, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28, at the arena. The Spring Ice Show features approximately 120 skaters who will perform as individuals, pairs, trios, and groups.

Tickets will be available at the Braemar Ice Arena box office. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students.

Tryouts for 2012-2013 synchronized skating teams will be held May 7 at Braemar Arena.

Additional information can be found at www.braemarfsc.orgwww.icenetwork.com andwww.usfigureskating.org.  Click here for the complete article

Braemar withstands Skyliners surge, wins Juniors: Despite finishing second in the free skate, Team Braemar takes gold

March 2, 2012. By Josh Ellis, special to ice network.com.  After finishing second in 2011, Team Braemar needed their three-point advantage after the short program to hang on and earn gold in the junior event at the 2012 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships on Friday night.

Leading after the short program, Team Braemar (Braemar City of Lakes FSC) earned just the second best free skate score–105.10–but it was enough for a narrow victory of 1.23 points over the Skyliners (SC of NY).

“It feels like all of our hard work has finally paid off,” team representative Breanna Hegseth said.

“It was unreal. We are extremely pleased with how the results turned out,” team representative Taylor May added. Skating to music described by head coach Pam May as  “Gypsy piece,” Team Braemar sparkled to victory in black costumes. They earned a total of 159.65 points for the competition, including 7.20 points for their Level 4 moves in the field during the free skate, the highest scoring element of the competition.

“They were ready, and they did a great job,” May said. “I thought they gave it their all out there.”

However, the hard work this season is not over for Team Braemar. The team from Edina, Minnesota will travel to Gothenburg, Sweden in less than two weeks to take part in the Junior World Challenge Cup. “We will have a week of constant practice every day to try and keep developing even more.” May said.