To cap off the month of February, Miami’s Synchronized Skating team competed on the national stage at the U.S. National Championships in Rockford, IL. The group of 52 athletes split among three teams represented Miami in the Collegiate and Senior divisions of the competition. Teams compete in either long or short programs within the divisions, and these programs differ by duration and number of required elements.

This competition is the pinnacle of the season where the team can showcase their talent against the nation’s best. Throughout the season, which runs essentially all year, the teams train both on ice and in the gym to perfect their routines.

Within the Collegiate division, our 12-time national champion RedHawks finished as a close second.

“The teams skated very well and were well prepared. They couldn’t be mad with anything they had done. Sometimes the numbers don’t shake out in your favor,” Coach DeGirolamo said.

The team finished with a score of 86.40, just shy of the top mark of 88.22 set by the team from the University of Michigan. They were well ahead of the third place Michigan State team that finished with a score of 75.66.

Senior Paige DiToppa of the Collegiate team reflected on her time in the program.

“Skating for Miami is a real honor — there’s no other team like it. Even though the outcome wasn’t what we hoped for, every skater came off the ice knowing we did all we could and that we put everything into the competition. We did what we came to do, and the team should be proud,” she said.

Within the Senior Division, Miami fielded two separate team to compete. Of the two teams, the Senior team ended the competition with a score of 113.19, leaving them just shy of a spot on the podium. Miami’s Junior team took ninth place in the Senior Division with a score of 82.07 — a solid performance.

“We went in without any placement expectations, and just tried to focus on what we could control,” said senior Selena Morris. “With that mindset, we finished with our highest scores of the season and really felt our hard work was rewarded.”

During the two-day contest, skaters are able to reconnect with old coaches, teammates and friends. As the season winds down, the team will compete in the ISU World Synchronized Championships on April 7 and 8, as well as hosting their Annual Spring Ice Show on April 28 and 29.

“Though it was disappointing not to win, we are motivated to win next season and look forward to training harder to do so,” DeGirolamo said.