Steel City Blades open juvenile team was named this year’s open juvenile eastern sectional champions at the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships, held Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2014 at the Giant Center and Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pa. This year’s competition, which featured 2,352 individual skaters representing 156 synchronized skating teams from various states along the eastern United States, was the largest event in Eastern Sectional Championship history. It was hosted by the Central Pennsylvania Figure Skating Club and Hershey Figure Skating Club and sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating, the national governing body for figure skating in the United States.
After finishing second against the ten teams competing in its group during the preliminary round held Friday, Jan. 31, Steel City Blades open juvenile team secured its place in the top 12 among 28 teams hoping to advance to the championship round on Saturday, Feb. 1. Its sister team, which competes at the pre-juvenile level, also contended a total of 28 teams, narrowly missing the qualifications for the pre-juvenile championship round by one place, finishing fifth out of the nine teams in its group.
The 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships marked the third competition of the year for the Steel City Blades open juvenile team, which kicked off its season by placing second in its division at the 30th annual Colonial Classic synchronized skating competition in mid-January in Lowell, Mass. A first-place finish at the 2014 South Atlantic Synchro Open in Richmond followed on January 19.
The team along with the organization's beginner-level team, will return to the Giant Center and Hersheypark Arena on Feb. 16 to compete at the Central Pennsylvania Figure Skating Club’s 2014 Reflections Synchro Invitational, a participant of U.S. Figure Skating Eastern Synchronized Skating Challenge Series. The pre-juvenile team will not be competing at this event but rather skating an exhibition during this Friday's Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game at CONSOL Energy Center.
Steel City Blades formed in 2004 as a Robert Morris University affiliated team and the Pittsburgh area’s first U.S. Figure Skating synchronized skating team. The 17-member open juvenile team is led by Jennie Vicinie, Robert Morris University Island Sports Center assistant skating director and head coach of the Steel City Blades beginner team.
In addition to its open juvenile and beginner team, Steel City Blades also fields a pre-juvenile team trained by head coach Karen Volk. Specialty coach Rachel Lane McCarthy and assistant coaches Cari Breed, Bethany Brinkman and Jessica Wasik also assist with Steel City Blades teams.