Thursday, March 8, 2012

2012 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships

This year’s U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships are definitely something we will remember forever. After not doing as well as we had hoped in Switzerland, the Haydenettes came home ready to prepare for Nationals. We worked very hard changing every element in our short program and rearranging and changing elements in the long. We were determined to improve our programs to ensure we would get things called. Spending countless hours on the ice, we worked with Saga to figure out the series of four turns with which we were most comfortable and best showcased our edges.

This past weekend, all our hard work paid off. We went into this National competition feeling confident that our “New Package” was better than ever. Wednesday afternoon we had our regular practice at the Hayden Recreation Centre in Lexington, and then we went to our teammates’, the Lapucks’, house for dinner. Mrs. Lapuck prepared a wonderful dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and many other goodies. We had enjoyed Thanksgiving at their house so much (earlier in the season) that she decided to repeat it! After the team dinner we got on the bus with Lexettes and headed to our hotel in Worcester.

Thursday morning we had a great unofficial practice. We did sections of our programs, really focusing on being neat with the changes. After practice we ate lunch then went to the DCU Center to watch the day’s events. We were able to watch the Intermediate division and were so excited when the Star Mates won. They have overcome many struggles this season, with injuries and sickness, and it was amazing that at their National Debut they were able to secure the gold.

After the Intermediate Free Skate, we met up with our fellow Dreammates to do Juvenile Awards. Presenting medals to these teams is a very special opportunity and we were so happy that we got to give the Bronze Medals to our juvenile team, the Mini Mates. We had missed their skate earlier in the afternoon because we were at practice, but we heard it was amazing and everyone was very proud of them.

On Friday we woke up bright and early for short official practice. We did one run through and a of couple sections. The practice went very well and we were all excited to get to compete that night. Back at the hotel we did video review, ate, and rested until it was time for hair and makeup.

Finally it was our turn to compete. We were focused during our warm up off the ice and ready to show the Nation our great new program. On the ice we worked together and stayed calm. Our short program earned 64.26 points, a huge improvement from our score in Switzerland.

We were ecstatic.

Saturday morning we woke up ready to put on our Poker Faces and go Gaga. We drew to compete first after the ice make, and were happy to have the clean ice. Saga reminded us to stay relaxed. The ice was so smooth that all of our glides flew without any extra push. Official practice felt really great. After we skated, we rested and ate until it was time to prepare for the competition.

When we took the ice for our free skate we were focused and ready to perform. Our program is so crazy and fun. Saga has given us amazing choreography and we all love emanating Lady Gaga with our expression. Taking one element at a time, we skated strongly. We could feel the energy from the crowd while on the ice. The excitement built throughout the program as every element seemed better than the last. When we completed our pivoting block, the audience cheered so loudly. We got an extra boost to take us through the last minute and a half of our program. At the end of our moving circle and before our no hold step sequence is our favorite part of the program. We all get really into our Gaga character and do an awesome dance. At the end of the program we were so happy with our skate. Everything was left on the ice. Our hearts and souls were poured into that skate and it could not have been better. When we got our score we knew all our heard work over the past few weeks had paid off.

We are thrilled to have helped the Haydenettes to their 20th national title this year. We are even more thrilled to be heading to Sweden in a few short weeks with the Crystallettes. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and cannot wait to update you all from Göteborg! GO USA!

Audrey & Tessa

Photo Credit: James Smith and Ted Castro

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