WMU News

Skaters get first invitation to international competition

Jan. 8, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- In only its fourth year as a varsity program, Western Michigan University's synchronized skating team has received its first invitation to compete in international competition.

The Broncos senior team will participate in the North American International competition Jan. 8-9, while the collegiate team will skate in the Mid-America Championships Jan. 10-11. Both events will be held in Frasier, Mich.

Normally, only the teams finishing in the top six places in the senior division at the United States Figure Skating Association's national championships are invited to represent the U.S. in international competition. Western Michigan, which placed eighth last year in the senior division national championships, received a rare invitation from the USFSA for a team placing out of the top six.

The synchronized skating team's only home competition of the 2002-03 season is Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24-25, when WMU serves as host for the Bronco Challenge Cup at Lawson Ice Arena.

WMU's synchronized skating team is actually two teams composed of 20 to 24 skaters each. One team competes in the senior division of the USFSA against teams from other schools and from private skating clubs. WMU's other team competes in the USFSA collegiate division against varsity and clubs teams from universities across the country.

In the three years under coach Jill Janik the synchronized skating team has grown from 27 to 47 skaters, making synchronized skating the largest women's sport at the university. Occassionally, the entire team performs together in exhibitions during Bronco hockey matches and other events.

Media contact: Travis McCurdy, 269 387-4138, travis.mccurdy@wmich.edu

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