STAMFORD, Conn. – When the Skyliners Synchronized Skating team had its season-opening pep rally at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford late last month, skaters, coaches and fans were excited to kick off the season.
“I’ve been waiting for this day since the summer,’’ said Darien’s Maggie Brooks, 11, a member of the Juvenile line. “We get to be with friends, and it’s really fun to get back to skating.”
The skating teams performed their short and long programs at the rally, which was the only local appearance by the skaters. All of their competitions are outside of Fairfield County. The team includes nine lines, with 178 skaters ages 6 to 23. The team includes skaters from California, Minnesota, North Carolina, Delaware and Maryland.
“I still look forward to this day every year,’’ said Greenwich’s Alyssa Fox, a synchronized skater for 11 years and a member of the Senior line. Now a student at Rutgers University, she travels home every weekend to practice with the team.
“I think one of the reasons I like this day so much is because all of our friends and family get to see us,’’ Fox said. “It’s the only time all year they get to see what we do.”
The Skyliners are among the top teams in the nation, earning medals in national competitions. The Junior line took second place at nationals earlier this year and won gold in 2011. Several skaters compete for U.S. teams in international competition.
“I think it’s great to get the teams out there and show their programs," said Josh Babb, head coach for the team’s Senior, Junior and Intermediate lines. “This is an opportunity to get the kinks out of our program and perform in front of friends and family. For me, it’s a big day, too. I like to see how they can do under pressure.”
The Skyliners represent the Skating Club of New York and the Springdale Figure Skating Club of Stamford. Many of the skaters are from towns throughout Fairfield County. Some teams had their first competitions of the year last weekend in Massachusetts.