Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The 2011 Season is Upon Us - Kalamazoo Kick-Off

The Crystallettes had a long, but fulfilling day to mark the beginning of our season.                                                                                                                                                         We are fortunate enough to live within reasonable proximity to the competition site, so we began with practice at our home rink around 8 a.m.  On the bus, we were able to relax and watch Toy Story 3. We arrived in Kalamazoo at 11:30, and although we missed preliminary and juvenile, we had the opportunity to watch many more teams.

One reason the senior team values this competition so much is that it is the only competition in which we are able to cheer for many of our other teams.  Our coaches know how important it is for younger Crystallettes to receive support from the senior team, but quite often the times conflict, and the seniors aren’t able to attend.

As we slowly prepared for our own event at 7:30, we were able to watch several divisions and cheer on three of our own teams.  The day picked up around 2 p.m., when the beginner one division began. This  For spectators, this division was the highlight of the day. Watching those fearless little girls and boys skate for the pure love of the sport was not only entertaining but also quite inspiring. Another highlight of the day was the novice division.    This division is highly competitive and always exciting to watch.  Every team looked strong for this early in the season. The Crystallettes conquered the division with their "Sorcerer’s Apprentice" theme, earning 61.28 points.             We are extremely proud of our novice squad for their gold medal and amazing start to the season.

When our turn finally arrived to take the ice, we were more than ready.  Although much of the arena had left by the time we skated, it felt as though there was a full crowd. We were calm and confident as we took the ice.       The program was a little tentative at first, but as it progressed we began to relax and enjoy the experience. We skated a clean, solid first performance. My teammates and coaches were overjoyed.

Our scores are extremely beneficial in that they tell us exactly what needs to improve. Leaving the arena with a gold medal was satisfying, but the more important accomplishments lie in the months to come.

The organization left the competition with three silver medals and two gold medals.          Needless to say, it was quite a successful day.  Now each team is back to work with critiques to conquer before the Dr. Richard Porter Classic in less than two weeks. With a team traveling from Finland to compete at the senior level, it is our first “international” competition of the season!

(Photographs by Kit Hammond Scheessele)

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