Challenger Series Synchronized Skating Debuts at California Cup

(11/6/19) - The 2019-20 synchronized skating season opens this weekend at the California Cup 2019 in Irvine, California. The event is set for Nov. 7-9 at Great Park Ice and FivePoint Arena. This season marks the first year of the Challenger Series Synchronized Skating. The event marks the first international synchronized skating competition since 2004 outside of the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships, to be hosted in the United States. Team USA will send two senior and two junior teams to the historic event.

In the senior competition, the Haydenettes will headline the event for the U.S. The reigning U.S. champions finished sixth at the 2019 World Championships and picked up one international medal last season, a bronze at Leon Lurje Trophy.

The Skyliners will also skate in the senior competition. The Skating Club of New York’s team finished eighth at Worlds and grabbed the silver medal at the 2019 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. Additionally, they won the silver medal at Zagreb Snowflakes Trophy.

In the junior competition, the Skyliners will return to competition off their historic performance at the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships 2019. The team became the first U.S. junior team to win back-to-back World Junior medals, earning silver in 2018 and bronze in 2019. They are the reigning U.S. junior champions and earned silver medals at both French Cup and Mozart Cup last season.

The Starlights will join the Skyliners in Irvine. The Chicago-based team attended their first World Junior Championships last season and finished seventh overall. They were the runner-up in the junior competition at the 2019 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships and earned two international medals at Leon Lurje Trophy (bronze) and Zagreb Snowflakes Trophy (silver) last season.

Competition will be streamed on-demand on the U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone.

This season, the Challenger Series Synchronized Skating consists of four international competitions linked together, giving adequate opportunities for many teams to compete at the international level and earn world standing points. Additionally, it will allow teams and officials to prepare for competing at the ISU Championships. Three Challenger Series events in Europe will be selected annually between existing International Competitions on the ISU calendar, as well as one Challenger Series event in North America to alternate between Canada and the United States.