Teams Elite Leads on Opening Day of U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships

Teams Elite secured first place after the short program on the opening day of the 2024 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada. Team Image secured second place while the Lexettes rank third.

Photo Credit: KrPhotogs Photography

With their eyes on winning their first U.S. title, Teams Elite secured first place after the short program on the opening day of the 2024 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The team from Northbrook, Illinois, won the short program with a score of 73.89, their best-ever short program score at the U.S. Championships by more than three points. Team Image also clinched their top short program score in the team’s history at the event to take second place while the Lexettes finished the day in third.

Teams Elite, the 2022 World Junior bronze medalists who have claimed the silver medal two of the last three years the U.S. Championships have been held, won the short program despite a fall thanks to earning Level 4 marks on all five elements. They performed to "Moonlight Sonata" by Ludwig van Beethoven.

"Our goal going into this competition was to leave it all out on the ice and come off feeling like we have no regrets and that we put everything out there that we possibly could,” said Abbi Nelson, who is in her sixth year competing with Teams Elite. “We definitely felt that tonight."

Scoring 70.43, Team Image broke the 70-point mark for the first time at the U.S. Championships. They recorded Level 4 designations on four elements in their mystical warrior-themed performance, including their final element, a Level 4 intersection with a Level 4 point of intersection that scored 9.64 points and was the highest-scoring element of the competition.

Team Image has finished on the podium at the U.S. Championships each of the past two seasons, winning the gold in 2022.

"One of our goals has been to break 70,” said Sophie Ryan, who is in her fourth year with Team Image. “Even though it isn't about the score, we're all very proud. Reaching that milestone means a lot to us."

Last year’s bronze medalists, the Lexettes are one again in third going into the free skate. Skating to "On Golden Pond: Main Theme" by Dave Grusin, they opened with a Level 4 no hold element and move element, going onto score 66.46.

"I feel like we really worked on our performance in between competitions, and we were able to perform, not only for the crowd but with each other and work together really well so that we can be a cohesive unit,” said Sara Campos, who has skated with Lexettes for three years. “We talk about being a family, which we are, so I'm glad we were able to put that out there."

Skyliners junior, the four-time World Junior medalists and reigning U.S. champions, finished fourth with a score of 66.04.

Competition continues tomorrow with the adult free skate, masters free skate, senior elite 12 short program and junior free skate. Following the junior free skate, two teams will be named to the 2024 World Junior Championship team.

The junior, senior elite 12, collegiate and senior competitions can be streamed live on Peacock Premium. The juvenile, novice, intermediate, adult and masters competition are available to watch on the U.S. Figure Skating YouTube page. Fans can also follow along on the 2024 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships event page.