WATERLOO, Ont. – NEXXICE’s nine-year winning streak at the Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships is over.
Quebec’s Les Suprêmes, who led the reigning world champions by almost five points following Saturday’s short program, scored 143.19 in their free program Sunday for a two-day total of 217.42. NEXXICE finished second with 212.59, and Central Ontario’s Meraki (171.23) earned bronze.
It is the third Canadian title for Les Suprêmes, and first since 2004.
Both Les Suprêmes and NEXXICE qualify for the 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships being held April 8-9 in Budapest, Hungary. Last year at the world championships in Hamilton, Ont., NEXXICE claimed their second world crown while Les Suprêmes placed sixth.
“We’ve worked very hard for this,” said Les Suprêmes coach Pascal Denis. “NEXXICE is a team that was (at the top) for many years.
“We had two great skates. They skated well both days, so we’re very happy about that.”
“It feels amazing,” said Les Suprêmes co-captain Claudia Sforzin. “Our goal was to lay out two strong performances and focus on the things we can control. The result is just a bonus. It’s surreal.”
“We were both really happy with our performances,” added Laurie Desilets, the team’s other captain. “It’s just an incredible feeling.”
NEXXICE’s run of nine straight titles began in 2007 and two years later they became the first Canadian team to win the World Synchronized Skating Championships. On Saturday, that 2009 team was the first synchronized skating team inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame.
A day later, their record run was halted.
“The short program was not good, and it put us at a considerable disadvantage,” admitted NEXXICE coach Shelley Simonton Barnett.
“It was disappointing. The free was much stronger. It’s a very difficult program that’s developing, and there’s still more we can do with it.”
In the junior category, NEXXICE scored 168.00 to turn the tables and end Les Suprêmes’ own two-year national championship streak. Les Suprêmes’ (161.11) was second followed by Les Pirouettes (154.95).
Les Suprêmes went home with Novice gold with a total of 114.05 points, edging NEXXICE (111.89) and Les Pirouettes (102.52).
Quebec-based teams ended up taking home gold in four of the five events in Waterloo.
On Saturday, NOVA claimed their sixth straight national Open title while Cassiopée were crowned Intermediate champions.