Collegiate team wins Midwestern Championships
Published: Thursday, February 10, 2011
Updated: Thursday, February 10, 2011 18:02
The Miami University collegiate synchronized skating team skated to a first place finish Feb. 4 and 5 at the Midwestern Championships in Rochester, Minn. Miami posted a 96.91, its highest score of the season.
"They've really increased their energy a lot," Head Coach Carla DeGirolamo said. "They had a much more bold performance this last competition, and I think having that extra energy and awareness and activity in their bodies really helped not only the performance aspect, but the technical aspect of their skating as well."
Unlike the junior and senior teams that skate a short program and a long program in competitions, the collegiate team only gets one chance to give a flawless performance. Skating to their Brazilian carnival-themed program, the RedHawks skated a smooth, clean event Saturday, earning a 50.51 total element score and a 46.40 program component score.
Although Miami competed against Western Michigan University (WMU), the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Wisconsin, Adrian College, the University of Illinois, Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota, the Red and White easily surpassed their competitors.
With their 96.91 total, the 'Hawks beat second place WMU by 10 points. Michigan placed third with 81.94 points, Michigan State placed fourth with 76.76 points, Wisconsin earned a 75.53, Minnesota received a 70.87, Adrian received 68.43 points, Illinois scored a 58.24 and Northwestern scored 43.01 points.
"I think we were pretty confident," team captain Sarah Brown said. "We had good practices going into it and we had skated well in the last competition before this."
The last competition the collegiate team performed in was the Mid-America Synchronized Skating Championships in Fraser, Mich. Jan. 15 and 16. The RedHawks placed first there as well, but scored an 84.39, 12.52 points less than their Midwestern Championships score.
The Red and White have almost a month before the United States National Championships, and they will be working on increasing their power and working on transitions between their elements and steps so they won't be deducted points by the judges.
"We definitely have room for improvement," Emily Sullivan said. "Hopefully with nationals approaching we can improve with step sequence, cleaning things up and getting our energy higher."
The collegiate team will be performing in front of a home crowd Friday at the Miami University hockey game against Western Michigan. The junior skating team will perform at Saturday night's game. All three teams will then come together at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28 at the Goggin Ice Center for their nationals send-off exhibition.
The senior team is next to return to the ice when it travels to Milan, Italy Feb. 11 to 13 to compete in the Spring Cup.