Friday, March 18, 2011

California Dreaming

Hi Followers!

So sorry it has taken so long to get out our U.S. Synchronized Skating Championship blog, but it has been a busy few weeks!! Plus, now that all of the synchro chat has died down it will give everyone something to read and reminisce on!

The Haydenettes left for California EARLY on Wednesday morning; we had to meet at the Hayden Ice Rink at 4 am. The local skaters from the Ice Mates, Lexettes, and Haydenettes boarded the bus and headed towards Logan Airport. We met the rest of our teams at the airport, and checked in. We had an extremely long flight to LAX. We landed and were all anxious to get out in the California weather! We boarded buses and headed out on the hour drive to Ontario, our final destination for the weekend! The Lexettes and Haydenettes had Panera for lunch before heading to the competition rink to cheer on our juvenile team (Mini Mates) at official practice. We were able to rest up before heading to our own practices. We had practice late at a rink about a half hour away. Both the Lexettes and Haydenettes had strong practices and we were more than ready to get in bed!
Thursday the Haydenettes had a long day! We woke up and ate a nice breakfast and headed to the rink. We watched Ice Mates and Lexettes official practices. Both were very strong and we were excited to see the 2011 U.S. Syncrhonized Skating Championships had really begun. We then enjoyed a bit of fresh air and lunch before heading back to watching the Mini Mates compete. We were so proud of them! This was their first U.S. Synchronized Skating Championship since 2008 and following their second place finish at the Eastern Sectional Championships, they had a beautiful skate. We returned to the hotel to prepare for our practice. We did hair and make-up and packed our suits for the nights junior competition. We heard the Mini Mates placed 3rd which was incredible and well-deserved. We had a solid 45 minute practice and felt anxious to compete the next day! Noelle and I headed to the rink to participate in the award ceremony for the intermediate division. It was such an honor to distribute medals to the other competitors and be a part of such a great experience. Personally we both felt distributing medals to competitors was an honor because it made us appreciate and realize how far we have developed. We both can remember our first U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships! After the ceremony we changed into our suits and headed to dinner to meet the rest of the Haydenettes. We finished the night with watching the junior Short flight. The Lexettes sat in third place, with a fabulous skate!

Friday morning begun early! We headed straight to the rink for official practice! We got to warm up in the sunshine and slowly began to wake-up and focus ourselves on the task at hand. We skated an extremely strong official practice that felt dynamic. It was great to stretch out our skating on the official surface. We were on fire and ready to compete! We returned to the hotel to eat some breakfast and relax. We were able to watch Lexettes free skate official and eat lunch before having to start our competition preparations. We added some more beads to our normal make-up and had to leave extra time to ensure we were able to apply everyone's beads correctly. Short program day at U.S. Championship is always very exciting for the Haydenettes. We get to wear the "CB" jackets. These jackets were donated to the Haydenettes in the 80's and we have been wearing them since then! It is incredible to see all the names on the insides of the jackets, it makes you feel a part of long tradition. While wearing the jackets you feel proud to represent all the past and future Haydenettes! On top of all that its so fun to sport such a retro jacket! Upon following our normal traditions, we headed to to competition rink, where we got to congratulate the Ice Mates, the new U.S. novice champions, before opening to senior competition, skating first out of nine. We were very pleased with our skate and were thrilled to hear our scores! We took some great pictures in our CB jackets, ate dinner, and headed back to the rink to cheer for the Lexettes free skate and watch the junior event. The Lexettes skated what we thought was a flawless skate, having the entire Hayden crowd mesmerized, we are very proud of them and their fourth consecutive 3rd place finish at the U.S. Championships.

Saturday we had a later wake-up call, which was nice. It allowed us to catch up on some much need sleep since the week was wrapping up! We had some breakfast and headed to the competition rink for our official practice. We were scheduled to skate last in the senior event. We had a great official practice and left the rink in high spirits! Saga always likes to make sure that we get fresh air before we compete, instead of staying confined in our hotel rooms, and since we were in California it was perfect! As a team we headed to the Victoria Garden's, an outdoor shopping mall about 15 minutes from our hotel. This allowed the team to get the fresh air we needed, keep active, and clear our minds for the competition later that night. Some of our team members even took a horse and buggy ride around! We really enjoyed ourselves in the California atmosphere. We were sporting our new Burlesque t-shirts with our new names! We were really in the spirit and more than excited to compete.

Heading back to the hotel, we had a quick dinner and some rest time to really settle in the competition mode. We prepared as we normally do with our traditions and our hair and make-up. We were dazzled up in our competition make-up with our new Burlesque hats to get into the mood. It was our time to compete and everything felt just right, we were ready as a team. Skating last, the ice was a bit rough, but we were fired up and had been anticipating this night the entire week. With just a few small and minor mistakes, we were extremely pleased with our skate. It was one of those skates that is just so much fun to skate and enjoy. We heard the scores, and were ecstatic. We found out we were the 2011 U.S. champions, and which added up to make the Haydenettes 19 time U.S. champions. Our team had such an amazing experience from that point on. The award ceremony was special, following with a new World Team photo, a cover shot, and lastly the World Team reception!

More is to come from Noelle on our preparations for the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland!!


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