Melissa Maykut, Staff Writer

After a memorable second place finish at Nationals, Miami University’s senior synchronized skating team placed 10th out of 21 teams at the World Synchronized Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland April 8 and 9.

On the opening day, the RedHawks skated out onto the ice of the Helsinki Ice Arena ready to dazzle the sold out crowd – nearly 7,000 people – of synchronized skating fans cheering “USA, USA”.

“It was the first time any of us have skated in front of a sold out crowd before so it was a really great experience,” senior Kelly Critchfield said.

The skating team had two unofficial practices Wednesday and Thursday right before the competition started. After traveling for a whole day, the Red and White used the practices to get their feet under them and get used to Finland’s ice rink, which was larger than the rink in the Goggin Ice Center.

On Friday, the ‘Hawks performed its short program choreographed to “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The team had a flawless skate, earning a component score of 28.21 and a technical score of 28.43.

For the first day of competition, the RedHawks were awarded an overall score of 56.64, placing them in ninth.

Both teams from Finland held first and second place, while the Haydenettes, the second team from the United States, sat in third.

On Saturday, the senior team skated its free skate program, themed “Hypnotized by a Dream.” The team had one deduction due to a slight bobble from one of the skaters, but the team pulled through with a solid performance.

With a component score of 55.59 and a technical element score of 51.51, the RedHawks earned a combined score of 106.10.

For the two days of competition, the RedHawks notched an overall score of 162.74, which placed them in tenth.

Both teams from Finland won the top two spots, while the Haydenettes finished in third.

“I think overall we were happy with both programs,” senior Stefani Andrews said. “They were just as good if not better than Nationals.”

Last season, the Red and White failed to qualify for the World Championships. The RedHawks qualified the previous five seasons.

“We just wanted to go out there and show people we should’ve been there last year and just skate our best,” Andrews said.

The senior team will reunite with the junior and collegiate teams April 15 and 16 to perform in the Miami University Ice Show at Goggin Ice Center. The show will begin 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday.