KALAMAZOO -- Adrian College varsity synchronized skating team earned a season's best 57.64 points this Saturday to earn its first berth to the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in school history. A trip to Nationals has long been the program's goal since its inception in 2007, and has eluded the team until this year.
"We are so excited to be going to nationals," explained Maddi Prange, a two-time captain who helped lead her team to a national qualification in her fifth season as a Bulldog. "We finally put aside all of the pressure to qualify and just enjoyed the skate. We trained harder than ever this year and knew we were ready to put it all out there."
The U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships is a nationwide competition of the top synchronized skating teams from each section: Eastern, Midwestern and Pacific Coast. Teams qualify for the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships by placing among the top teams at their level at their respective sectional championship. Adrian qualifies by earning a spot within the collegiate Midwestern section – a talented powerhouse division that has fielded 39 of 48 podium medals (gold, silver, or bronze) since the first collegiate championship in 1997.
This year's competition will be held in nearby Plymouth, Michigan. The close proximity to campus allows for a "home-field advantage" for the Bulldogs, and students are encouraged to attend in early March.
"This team is ready to make its debut on the national scene," second-year head coach Ashley Carlson said. "We missed a sectional medal by a margin of less than two points. We look forward to showing the country that Adrian College is a competitive force."
The 2013 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships will be held on February 27 – March 2, 2013 at Compuware Sports Arena (14900 Beck Rd.) in Plymouth, Michigan. The collegiate event is tentatively scheduled for the evening of Saturday, March 2.