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Synchronized team ties US figure skating record

By Alyssa Zediker
On March 5, 2013

The Miami University collegiate synchronized skating team took home its ninth straight national title, which ties the U.S. figure skating record. It is the program's 15th national title in the 17 years Miami has had a collegiate team.

"The collegiate team here at Miami has something really special, and we have this legacy or dynasty within U.S. figure skating, and for next year I am just ready to claim the title as our own," collegiate and junior skater, sophomore Jennifer Stewart said. "Each year we are stepping up and showing the world how incredible this program really is."

The collegiate team's Rock 'N' Roll themed show amassed a 92.26 score for a RedHawk victory, which beat out second place by 8.51 points. The team also extended its winning streak to 11 first-place finishes, which began at the start of the 2010-11 season.

"Afterwards, when we heard our results, it was that final exclamation point on the season," Stewart said. "It made this season so incredible and this team such a strong force."

The senior and junior teams also performed well, with the senior team earning a berth to the World Competition held in Boston Mass., after it earned a second place finish from its Nationals performances. The Professional Figure Skaters Association also awarded the team's short program.

"The senior team took the ice and they took it to win and both their programs were really fast and energetic, and they were really in the zone," Head Coach Carla DeGirolamo said.

The Redhawks' senior team was the last to perform Saturday evening and finished with a total combined score of 191.28. They greatly improved upon their previous season-best 148.33 score, giving them a 42.95 point improvement over the past month.

"Being in top form at the National Championship is crucial to qualify for the World Championship, but there is definitely more that we can do to grow, so I am excited to see where the next four weeks will take us and where we will wind up in the end," DeGirolamo said.

They will be joined at the World Competition by fellow U.S. team the Haydenettes, who placed first at the Nationals Competition with a combined score of 206.33.

The junior team finished Friday following its long program and placed sixth overall in a field of 12. The level at which the RedHawks competed earned them the opportunity to return to the international stage next season by earning a team USA bid.

"Getting our team USA bid back is very cool and it is something that we can do for the skaters that are coming to Miami," Stewart said.

The team's combined score for the competition was 132.40 and it also placed sixth for its short program with 46.12 points. Both scores were season-bests for the junior team, which earned 8.37 more points on top of its combined score from the Junior World Qualifier.

"We went in with the intention to just dominate the entire competition, and coming away from it now I feel like we did just that," Stewart said. "We really closed out our season in the perfect way."

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