The Miami University collegiate synchronized skating team won its 10th consecutive national title, breaking a record for the most consecutive titles in any U.S. Figure Skating event.
“To be able to share this moment of the 10th consecutive collegiate championship with this team and the alumni in the stands was really something special,” head coach Carla DeGirolamo said.
The collegiate team continued its record winning streak by skating for a score of 96.80, which outscored its nearest competitor by 18.03 points. Senior collegiate skater Katherine Rice said the team’s level of preparedness contributed to the success of the skate.
“We were very focused mentally and physically, and we knew we had a job to do,” Rice said. “We had the confidence to go in to the competition and attack the skate.”
DeGirolamo said the team’s effort leading up to nationals paid off.
“You could feel the emotion when collegiate was skating and it really enhanced their performance,” DeGirolamo said. “They were dedicated to being better every day and not settling for good enough, and because of that attitude the team was able to progress really far this season.”
The collegiate team was first to hit the ice Saturday in its field of 12 teams.
“The collegiate team had that moment when they came off the ice that they were all hoping for, where they felt in the zone and really enjoyed their skating,” DeGirolamo said.
The win broke the previous record of nine consecutive wins. The record was set by pairs skaters Theresa Weld Blanchard and Nathan Niles and stood for 87 years.
“It was a dream, I couldn’t believe it, to be on a team that has broken a record is incredible and amazing all at the same time,” Rice said.
DeGirolamo said the win is a big accomplishment for the team.
“The collegiate win is a testament to the dedication this organization has to excellence and the quality of skaters we attract,” DeGirolamo said. “It is just a testament to what has been built here over the years and the work that has been put in.”
In addition to the collegiate team, the senior and junior teams participated at nationals.
The senior team finished in fourth place in a field of nine teams and the junior team finished eighth in a field of 14 teams.
“The junior team went out and had a lot of energy for their short program; they skated strongly,” DeGirolamo said. “Their long program did not have the same spark that the short program had, but it was still a very clean skate, so it was solid.”
The senior team faced some difficulties with last-minute substitutions in the morning before its long program skate.
“All in all I felt the senior team fought through their programs and they fought to make it work in a difficult situation,” DeGirolamo said.
This is the last competitive skating event for the RedHawks, but they will continue to train for next season as well as the Goggin Ice Show May 2 and 3.
“We were all very emotional this weekend and sad to see the seniors go, but very excited that we were able to work together and end on such a strong note,” Rice said. “I know that all 52 skaters pour their heart and soul into every program and to come home after breaking a record we hope that next year’s teams can continue that legacy.”