Miami University, Teams Elite Stand Out at Kalamazoo Kick-Off Classic


Allegro! Masters and Open Masters teams made a successful debut at the Kalamazoo Kick Off Classic. (Credits: Allegro! - 2022)

From Nov. 19-20, teams across the United States and Canada traveled to Kalamazoo, Mich. for the Kalamazoo Kick-Off Classic at the Wings Event Center.

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As the 22nd Kalamazoo Kick-Off Classic comes to a close, most teams found themselves in a good position for the beginning of the season. 

Although the competition featured no Senior teams and only one Junior team (Synchronicity from Ontario, CAN), there was still tons of great skating through a variety of divisions. 

Every team in Collegiate was debuting their program for the first time this season at Kalamazoo, leaving lots of questions as to how the teams were going to stand. 

Nonetheless, the Collegiate division was a fun one to watch, with amazing programs that were competitive with one another. 

Miami University Collegiate snagged their first gold of the season, earning just under 90 points (89.52). The 2022 National Champions made their first ever appearance at the Kick-Off Classic, but went home with some hardware that will make it memorable. 

Trine University Varsity wasn’t far behind Miami with a score of 84.09 points. After earning eighth at Nationals last season with 80.32 points, the team was excited about their score and even ended up with the highest base value in the division. 

The bronze medal went to University of Michigan, who debuted their “Criminal” program. The 2020 National Champions earned a total of 82.57 points. 

Coming home with the pewter was Western Michigan University, the Kalamazoo natives. Although the “Jungle”-themed program was less than half a point away from the bronze (82.13 points), they were still able to come home with a medal. 

Fifth place was Adrian College Varsity (77.16 points), followed by Michigan State University (72.96 points) and University of Illinois (58.35 points). 

One word to describe the Novice division is "mature". Every Novice team that took the ice at the Kick-Off showed perseverance that demonstrated the strength that the Novice division will show this season. 

Teams Elite set the bar high early in the season by earning a whopping 88.89 points. For reference, this score would have put them on the podium at Nationals last season, so it's safe to say that Teams Elite Novice is continuing to improve after being the National Champions last season. 

Starlights were also very impressive at the Kick-Off, notching 74.84 points and winning the silver medal. After earning fifth last season at Nationals and third at the Kick-Off, Starlights are also continuing to build up upon from last season.

Not too far behind from Starlights were Dazzlers, who earned 69.64 points and the bronze medal. Although they had a fall in the first element, Dazzlers were able to recover quick and skate clean for the rest of the program. 

Fond du Lac Blades cruised into fourth place with 65.50 points. Following Fond du Lac Blades was Cleveland Ice Storm (59.54 points) and Crystallettes (57.58 points).

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Other highlights
- Teams Elite took the gold in six divisions (Open Juvenile, Preliminary, Pre-Juvenile, Intermediate, Aspire Preliminary, Novice) and a silver in another (Juvenile). 

- Allegro! had a clean sweep between both of their teams in Masters and Open Masters. With Masters notching a grand total of 47.51 points (nearly five points above second) and straight-ones in Open Masters, it is safe to say that Allegro! had a successful weekend. 

- Starlights won the Juvenile division after missing the podium at Nationals last season. Starlights had a total of 55.01 points, which would've won them the gold at Nationals in March. 

- Adrian College Varsity took home some hardware in Open Collegiate after winning the gold. The 2022 Midwestern Champions continued their success into this season, making them a competitor in the division yet again. 

Many and more teams will now be traveling to the other side of the state of Michigan in Ann Arbor this weekend to compete at the Porter Classic, happening Dec. 2-4. 

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