Chicago Jazz Juniors won the national title 8 years later


Neuchâtel, Milan and now the Nationals in Kalamazoo! Nothing could stop Chicago Jazz Junior who finished perfectly their season. The team won the gold medal this weekend at the 2016 U.S. Championships. Skyliners Juniors are 2nd and Lexettes won the bronze.

Who are Chicago Jazz Juniors?

A team of 18 skaters this year who range between 14-19 years old. They have two coaches, Lisa Darken, and Paula Bischoffer. They are members of the Chicago Figure Skating Club and they practice at 3 different rinks in the Chicagoland area. The team doesn't have captains but there were 5 seniors who definitely took a leadership role this season: Bailey Styzinski, Ashley Schons, Taylor Kay, Heidi Weber Howe, and Hailey Contine.

Chicago Jazz, the new U.S. junior champions. /Credits: Chicago Jazz

A few hours after their victory, Hailey Contine, a skater, accepted to answer to our questions. Interview.

Jura Synchro: You and your team won the U.S. Junior National Championships 2016 this weekend. What’s your reaction about that?

Hailey Contine : We went into the competition just hoping for 2 great last skates of the season. We told ourselves placement didn't matter as long as we left everything out on the ice but when we saw "currently in 1st place" pop up on the screen we went absolutely crazy!

JS: You've already won this title, right?

HC : The last time Chicago Jazz Junior won nationals was in 2008. This was the highest short score Jazz has ever earned and it was incredible to be back on top of the podium.

Shouts of joy after the short program. Chicago Jazz placed at the moment 2nd. /Credits: Chicago Jazz

JS: You already won the gold medal in Neuchâtel Trophy last month, then you won in Milan... What’s your secret this season?

HC: This season all 18 of us were so extremely close and hardworking which makes skating together that much easier. The programs our coaches put together for us were incredible and we all had an amazing time skating them.

JS: Did you change something this season to realize so great results?

HC: This season all 18 of us had one goal which was to break a 60 in the short and a 100 in the long. Once we had these goals in mind it made it that much easier to work really hard at every practice. Also, we have some amazing competition here in the US which always keeps us motivated to keep working harder.

JS: What are the next steps for your team in these next weeks?

HC: All that we have left for the season is our annual Ice Show and our end of the season banquet. Sadly, nationals were our last competition of the season.

Chicago Jazz prostrated themselves before their national title in Kalamazoo. /Credits: Chicago Jazz

JS: As 2016 U.S. champions, will you represent your country at the next Junior World Challenge Cup in Budapest next week?

HC: No, unfortunately, we placed 3rd at the Junior World Qualifier and won't be attending the Junior World Challenge Cup next week.

JS: You always did a lot of points with your free program. Do you know why? Could you speak about it?

HC: Like I said earlier, our goal was to break 100 in the free. It was easy to skate this program because we all enjoyed it so much! Our coaches created such an incredible program for us which really showcased our strengths and it was an absolute blast to skate.

U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships took place during 4 days in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Discover here all juniors and other field's results!