DOWNERS GROVE – The Downers Grove Dazzlers synchronized ice skating team won first place Thursday in the intermediate division of the U.S. Synchronized Skating National Championship in Colorado Springs.
"Everybody in our rink is so proud of our girls," Barb Foltz, Downers Grove Icearena coordinator for the Dazzlers.
The 18-member team includes Downers Grove South students Caroline Conley, Julia Dolce, Olivia Dolce and Jillian Kozlowski. They skated to an "alien invasion" theme, performing intricate footwork and team formations.
The team is coached by Colleen Goldenberg, Deb Buirge and Meg Plummer.
"All three of them, they're floating," Foltz said. "They put in so much time, hard work and effort into it."
There was some concern about performing in the 6,000-foot-plus elevation of Colorado Springs.
"I think what helped us the most was our interval training," team captain Alyssa Pressley told Icenetwork.com. "A lot of the girls on the team have never skated at altitude, so it helped us be physically fit to perform here."
The team finished four points above the second place finisher, a wide margin in the sport.
"Sometimes they're only a tenth of a point," Foltz said.
The team qualified for the nationals by placing fourth in January at the Midwestern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships in Hoffman Estates.
There were 12 teams total competing in the intermediate division of the national championship, all qualified at sectional championships – four from the midwest, four from the east coast and four from the west coast.