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Miami synchronized skating teams shine on national, international stages

The Miami University synchronized skating teams have capped off another successful season by placing at both national and international competitions.

On March 4, both the senior and collegiate Miami synchronized skating teams competed at the US Synchronized Skating Championships in Peoria, Illinois. 

The collegiate team finished off its season by reigning a first place finish, crowning them national champs of the 11-team collegiate division. With an element score of 56.44 and a program component score of 48.17 (104.61 overall) the team skated its way to the program’s 21st national title and second in a row.

The RedHawks were the only team to surpass 100 points in their division.

Izzy Beaver, a first-year student on the Collegiate Team, always dreamed of skating for Miami. Competing at nationals was a dream come true. 

“Nationals was so cool because we took the ice for our warmup and the entire arena was standing on their feet,” Beaver said with excitement. “It was crazy.” 

Beaver said the routine her team performed proved to be challenging yet fun due to the various skating moves like twizzles, spirals, spins and partner cartwheels, awing the Miami alumni, fans, parents and senior team teammates in the crowd.

“I’ve never heard that many people cheer for me as I skated, and to be a part of that was an experience I will never forget,” Beaver said with a smile.

For Beaver, there was more than just a national title at stake in Peoria. She spoke with ferocity about a rivalry that developed throughout the season with the University of Michigan. In the Collegiate Team’s five competitions against various colleges and university teams this season, they won four of them.

The only competition where they didn’t place first was when the Michigan Wolverines won the Dr. Porter Classic in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on December 4, 2022. Miami finished second.

“One of our biggest competitors this year was UMich…” Beaver said, “Michigan was coming for our throats [at nationals].”

The RedHawks parried the knife Michigan held to their throats, beating them by 12 points.

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The senior team placed second out of five teams in the senior division, helping them to advance to the International Skating Union (ISU) World Synchronized Championships where they were one of two teams to represent the United States. 

On March 31 and April 1, the senior team skated onto the world stage at the historic Herb Brooks Ice Arena in Lake Placid, New York. 

Team Miami captivated the audience with a short program performance to the tune of  “Dream On.” Their score of 70.07 temporarily propelled them to first place before they were overtaken in the standings by competing clubs from around the world.  

On the second day of competition, the Redhawks performed a routine to a custom rendition of “Ode to Joy” earning a score of 139.87 for their free skate. With a combined score of 209.94, the team placed sixth overall in its 14th appearance at worlds.

For senior Isabella Quintero, skating at worlds went beyond just the competition. Quintero’s father serves in the U.S. Army, and she took pride in representing the United States.

Photo by Teddy Johnson | The Miami Student

Miami Synchronized Skating Locker room with Team USA gear and United States themed decorations.

“My dad serves the country in a very important and very special way,” Quintero said. “And it’s awesome to know that I’m using my talent and all the work that I’ve put in to also represent my country in the best way that I can.”

Quintero grew up watching Miami’s synchro team with hopes to compete for Miami and against some of the team’s she faced at worlds. She wants to inspire the next generation of skaters like previous Miami skaters inspired her. 

“We’re taking the ice now, and we have little girls, essentially us at one point, wanting to be us,”  Quintero said. “That’s an incredible feeling knowing that I’m leaving that same impact.”

The senior skater also praised the team's competitive spirit which reflects the culture of Miami synchronized skating and attracts skaters from all over to join the RedHawks. 

“The minute they step on the ice, it’s strictly business. We’re there to work,” Quintero said. “They’re super talented, incredibly strong physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Head Coach Carla DeGirolamo felt honored to once again be on the world stage, representing the United States. 

“It’s not something everybody gets to experience, whether it’s in our sport or any other sport,” DeGirolamo said.

DeGirolamo hopes to improve speed, flow, creativity and confidence for next season. She also emphasized how competing at the world championships greatly improved the team’s confidence which will benefit their next appearance at worlds.