Melissa Maykut, Staff Writer

The Miami University synchronized collegiate and senior skating teams returned to the ice Jan. 15 and 16 to compete in the Mid-America Synchronized Skating Championships. After finishing second and fourth in the Dr. Porter Classic Dec. 4 and 5, the collegiate team skated to a first place victory Saturday and Sunday, while the senior team finished second.

“Both teams have really upped their performances,” Head Coach Carla DeGirolamo said. “Their speed has increased, they are more synchronized and their timing has improved.”

The collegiate team entered the Great Lakes Sports City skating arena in Fraser, Mich. ready to skate its program to a Brazilian Carnival theme.

“Our team is really good about coming together and focusing,” senior collegiate skater Emily Sullivan said. “We warm up together, then go to the locker rooms and get dressed. We come together one last time, take a deep breath and go out on the ice as a team, as one.”

The RedHawks skated against teams from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Adrian College, Western Michigan University (WMU), Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois (U of I). After a flawless program, the Red and White clinched first with 84.39 points. Michigan finished 7.77 points behind Miami to place second and Michigan State placed third.

“We skated a really strong, clean program,” Sullivan said. “Our program was much stronger than our first competition, which is exciting because we still have two more competitions to go.”

Like the collegiate team, the senior team had a strong, flawless weekend on the ice.

Saturday night, the RedHawks competed against WMU, U of I, the Crystallettes, the Fusion and the Starlights in the short program. The ‘Hawks finished in second with 63.38 points, trailing the Crystallettes, who had been awarded 64.06 points.

Sunday, the Red and White skated their free skate program titled Hypnotized in a Dream. As sound as Miami’s performance was, the senior team finished second with 125.15 points, while the Crystallettes took first with 127.36 points. The Fusion skating team finished nearly 35 points behind the RedHawks with a score of 91.20.

“They went out there and had great performance quality,” DeGirolamo said. “They were very strong and very crisp.”

The collegiate team will return to the ice Feb. 4 to 6 when they travel to Rochester, Minn. for the Midwestern Championships, while the senior team will compete in the Spring Cup in Milan, Italy Feb. 11 to 13.

The junior synchronized skating team has had a recent change in its schedule.

Originally, the RedHawks were to travel to Prague, Czech Republic Jan. 22 to 23 to compete in the Prague Cup. However, with the cancellation of this competition, the Red and White will now travel to Salzburg, Austria to compete against teams from the United States, Sweden, Italy, Hungary, Finland and Canada in the first annual International Skating Union Mozart Cup.