Alison Weber, a senior at Jordan High School, competed on international ice for the Northernettes Synchronized Skating team Feb. 9-11.
The figure staking club out of Bloomington was representing Team USA in the Hevelius Cup in Gdansk, Poland. The team finished fourth behind three teams from Canada and ahead of squads from Poland, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Latvia.
Weber’s team had the club’s best-ever score in the short program, which is followed by the long program.
It was the second straight year that Weber got to skate with her team in Europe. In February of 2022, the Northernettes took home the silver medal in the Neuchatel Trophy in Switzerland.
Weber tried out for the Northernettes in the spring of 2021. The team is made up of 20 skaters from Minnesota and Wisconsin and practices at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota campus and at Breck Arena in Golden Valley.
“We typically train six to eight hours on ice every week, along with off-ice workouts, dance classes, stretching and program detailing,” Weber said. “Leading up to our events, we spend a lot of time cleaning our programs to make sure all 16 of us are as close to matching as much as possible.
“We also skate our programs to the best of our abilities at every practice to gain consistency and confidence with every element,” Weber added. “Skating many full runs, sometimes several at each practice, not only builds endurance, but it gives us a chance to get as comfortable with our programs as possible before we skate at a big event.”
Back in November, Weber’s team traveled to both coasts, competing in the Fall Classic in Irvine, California, and in the Boston Classic in Massachusetts. Last December, the team earned the silver medal in the Dr. Porter Classic in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and also took second in the Synchro Illinois in Evanston in January.
Following the international competition, the Northernettes took sixth in the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Peoria, Illinois, which concluded March 5.
When Weber’s team competed in Boston, its combined total score was good enough to be named to Team USA to compete in Poland. Weber said that was the goal from the start of the season — to once again qualify to compete internationally like last winter.
“Getting the opportunity to compete at an international competition is unlike anything else I have experienced, and it is something that I will cherish forever,” Weber said. “Taking the ice and hearing USA chants in the crowd is something that I will never forget, and it was more fun to skate with a louder and more involved crowd because it gave us more energy on the ice.
“After the short program, we had our best skate of the season, hit our high score, and we actually had the highest short program score of the event, which was really exciting for us,” Weber added. “Although we didn’t skate our long program the way we would have liked to, it was still such an amazing experience and so rewarding to know that we stuck with top teams at the event.”
Weber is a member of the Chaska Figure Skating Club and has been figure skating since the age of three.
The Northernettes were founded in 2017 and are considered to be the Twin Cities’ premiere program for competitive synchronized skating.
Sixteen of the team’s 20 members compete in a routine, which uses the same judging system as singles, pairs and dance figure skating. The focus is on teamwork, speed, specific shapes, intricate formations and choreographed challenging turn sequences.
The elements in synchronized skating also include blocks, circles, wheels, lines, intersections, spins, creative elements and connected and non-connected skating.
Next winter, Weber will be attending the University of Minnesota, where she plans to major in biology. While her career for the Northernettes is over, she will still continue to skate.
“I’m really excited to continue skating next year on the Gopher hockey cheer team,” she said.