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Local figure skaters help Team Braemar to national championship

Three local skaters and their synchronized skating team, Team Braemar, won the national synchronized skating championship last week.

Three local skaters and their synchronized skating team, Team Braemar, won the national synchronized skating championship last week.

Tasha Vo, Savannah Bliese and Jordan Weiss helped Team Braemar skate to the top of the podium for the second-straight season and the fourth time in five years, at the U.S. Synchronized Skating National Championships.

Vo is from Cottage Grove and attends Woodbury High School, Bliese and Weiss both live in Woodbury and attend Woodbury and East Ridge high schools, respectively.

Team Braemar Junior is comprised of 20 female skaters who attend various high schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan and surrounding area. Skating to "This World Will Remember Us" from Bonnie & Clyde, the team posted the top Short Program score of the competition Thursday night with a season-high 58.57. The team also had the highest total element score of the night, as well as the highest score for a single element.

The competition continued Friday night with the Free Skate. Team Braemar again wowed the crowd and the judges with their program skated to "Cleopatra" - not only earning the highest Free Skate score of 114.69, but also earning the highest component score, elements score, and single element score of the competition.

Team Braemar's combined Short Program and Free Skate score of 173.26 earned them the gold medal. Also on the podium were the Skyliners from New York, scoring a 170.05 and the silver medal, the Lexettes of Massachusetts a distant 152.12 and the bronze medal, and Chicago Jazz with a 141.94 and the pewter medal.

This isn't the first time Team Braemar has been at the top of the national podium. The team also won the national championship in 2012, 2010, and 2009, and the silver medal in 2011.

For seven consecutive years, Team Braemar has been selected to represent the United States Figure Skating Association as Team USA and compete in international competitions. Earlier this year the team competed at the French Cup in Rouen, France - placing sixth against the top teams from around the world. With this year's top finish at the National Championships, Team Braemar will again be named Team USA for the 2013-2014 season.

Synchronized Team Skating is the fasting growing discipline both within U.S. Figure Skating and around the world. There are approximately 525 synchronized teams registered with U.S. Figure Skating, and nearly 5,000 athletes participate annually in the synchronized skating sectional championships. Team Braemar was the only synchronized skating team from Minnesota to qualify for the National Championships in 2013.

Weiss was also selected for the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Scholastic Honors Team Honorable Mention Roll. U.S. Figure Skating and the Program Development Committee select the Scholastic Honors Team to recognize high school-age U.S. Figure Skating members who excel in figure skating, academics, and community activities. Ten skaters are selected to the Team each year and up to 10 additional skaters are named to the Honorable Mention Roll.

The public will have an opportunity to see the team perform their award-winning programs at the 47th-annual Braemar Ice Show to be held April 19-20 at Braemar Ice Arena in Edina.