Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

U of M skating team chases nationals berth

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THE University of Manitoba's Ice Intrepid synchronized skating team will vie for a spot at the National Synchro Skating Championships Thursday through Sunday at the SaskEnergy Western Regional Festival of Synchronized skating in Regina.

In order to qualify for the nationals in Oshawa, Ont., Feb. 26-March 1, they must place in the top six at Regina. Last year the team was ranked first in Manitoba and second in the west.

"It's just like synchronized swimming, but the water is frozen," said team captain Megan Maxwell, "so we don't have to hold our breath."

Ice Intrepid was established nine years ago and is affiliated with the University of Manitoba Recreation Services.

The team consists of 17 skaters from around Manitoba and Ontario who have moved to Winnipeg to pursue their post-secondary studies at the U of M.

"We're hoping to maintain our provincial champion status, and top six in Regina is the goal," said Maxwell, who is in her fifth year with the team, "but I don't want to venture a guess."

Maxwell says she expects up to 14 teams to compete in Regina in the Junior Festival category, and at the nationals, "maybe upwards of 18. That is what they had last year."

Synchro is a specialized discipline of skating in which groups of eight to 16 skaters link together and execute formations such as circles, wheels, lines, blocks and intersections. The objective is for the team to perform as one unit in unison to the music, while demonstrating quality edges, power and flow.

Prior to the nationals, the Ice Intrepid will get a tune-up when it defends its provincial title Feb. 8 in Beauséjour at the Skate Canada Manitoba Synchro Championships.

 

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 29, 2009 C4

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