Hannah R. Miller

Next up for the Red and White is the Midwestern Championship in Iowa Jan. 28 and 29. (Michael Griggs / The Miami Student)

The RedHawk synchronized skating team was back on the ice last weekend, facing off in the Mid-America Championships in Fraser, Mich. The weekend’s competition consisted of two separate events for the senior team, the short and long program, and one event for the collegiate team, the long program. The junior team was off last weekend after their fifth place finish in the Junior World Qualifiers.

Head Coach Carla DeGirolamo said the skaters seemed content as the weekend wrapped up.

“I think the team was really pleased with their performance this weekend,” DeGirolamo said. “I think they were excited that they had improved for themselves, and then seeing the scores reflect that made it that much better.”

On Saturday, both the collegiate team and the senior team earned first place finishes in their respective competitions. The collegiate team compiled a score of 84.91 in their Sex and the City program, more than 10 points ahead of the next best team (Michigan State). The senior team used their Romeo and Juliet skate for their short program, earning them a score of 63.09.

Senior skater Molly Clingan expressed the team’s excitement following Saturday’s first place finish.

“Everyone was very excited and we really were focusing on our presentation this time and just going for everything,” Clingan said. “We really did this well this weekend so everyone was very positive after competing.”

Sunday, the senior team performed its free skate program with a 1940s theme to achieve a second place finish, just behind the Crystalettes, a club team from Dearborn, Mich. Miami’s skaters improved their performance this weekend, showing how far they’ve come since the last competition.

DeGirolamo said she was happy with her skaters’ performance this weekend.

“It was great just seeing the improvement in the team; seeing them up their performance, seeing them push themselves in the skating,” DeGirolamo said. “I know they can only go up from here. Seeing their improvements is my favorite part of the job.”

Even with the first and second place finishes this weekend, DeGirolamo knows her team can continue to get better.

“(The weekend’s score) just means we have to keep pushing,” DeGirolamo said. “We had a fall in the long program, but it was a lot cleaner than last time. We’ll continue to clean it up, continue to improve, and push the envelope.”

As the teams gear up for their performances at the end of the month, they have a few areas in need of improvement.

“We’re really going to be doing a lot of work on improving their performance, taking it up another level,” DeGirolamo said. “We’ll be tightening their shapes and increasing their speed as they go through the elements.”

When looking ahead to the rest of the season, Clingan said the team is in a good place.

“I think both our teams getting our gold medals on Saturday just really improved our mood,” Clingan said. “We’re really excited for the rest of the year because we know that we can do it. And for both teams, we know we can defend our national titles. We know it’s not going to be given easy to us; we’re going to have to work hard for it. We’ve become a very cohesive team and we can lean on each other and depend on each other and we’re working toward a good outcome.”

The team looks to continue building upon its success throughout the remainder of the season. They will be back on the ice Jan. 28 and 29 at the Midwestern Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.