Friday, June 7, 2013

Meet Ashley Tomich

Hi! My name is Ashley Tomich and I’m from West Caldwell, New Jersey.  I’m finishing up my senior year at James Caldwell High School and will be graduating in 2 weeks.  This will be my first season as a member of the Haydenettes as I will be attending Merrimack College in North Andover, MA in the fall where I will be pursuing a degree in elementary education.

For me, skating runs in the family.  My mom is the head coach for the Synchroettes organization, my older sister Kaleigh skated for the team when she was younger and now coaches along side our mom, and my dad played college hockey and worked at the rink where he and my mom met, which is in fact the rink that I spend most of my time at now!  I started skating when I was just 18 months old.  In 2001, the Synchroettes (the team my mom founded) had their very first season, which I was a part of.  We had an intermediate and preliminary team that year, and that was my first year of synchro at the preliminary level as a 6 year old.  This past season was my 12th year on the Synchroettes as a member of the Junior team, which was also the organization’s very first Team USA appointed team.  During my 12 years as a Synchroette I skated at the preliminary, juvenile, novice and junior levels with 3 years of cross skating as well.

2013 Synchroettes Junior short program: "Trashin the Camp"
Starting my senior year this past fall, I was faced with the question of “where do you want to go to college?”  I knew I wanted to continue my career as a synchronized skater, but I had to figure out where.  Since the highest level the Synchroettes field is Junior, I knew I’d have to spread my wings and start looking at my options.  I applied to Miami University of Ohio, University of Delaware, and several schools in the Boston area, all of which had the chance for me to skate and continue my education.  After trying out for the Haydenettes in March, I was thrilled and honored to hear the news that I had made the team, which also helped me narrow down my college decision.  After visiting my remaining schools, I chose Merrimack College as my new home for the next four years and I can not be more excited to be a Merrimack Warrior, plus a Haydenette.

When I’m not at my team’s practice or practicing on my own, I like to help out with the younger developing teams at my home rink.  The past few years I would help out at the Synchroettes beginner and preliminary team practices throughout the week as I love to give back to the sport that has done so much for me and help it to grow.  Assisting with the younger teams has always been a great and rewarding experience and I strive to inspire them and be somebody that they can look up to.  Through skating I have also found the opportunity to work with children with special needs through the Special Olympics program at my home rink, Codey Arena.  This has been something that I have always enjoyed and has given me the chance to combine my passions for skating and volunteer work.

It’s not often, but when I’m off the ice you can find me spending time with my friends and family.  I have created so many great friendships through synchronized skating and we spend just as much time together off the ice as we do on.  You can also find me catching up on schoolwork since skating takes up most of my time, although with school coming to an end, it has been nice to have some free time.  With the Jersey Shore so close to where I live, I frequently take trips down the shore with friends or family during the summer.  I’m a big New York Rangers fan, and my dad and I practically watch every game together.  With New York City only a half hour train, bus, or car ride away from my hometown, we like to go to games from time to time.  I also love taking trips into the city to shop around, go to dinner, or to see a Broadway show.

My sister, mom and I at the Leon Lurje Trophy award ceremony in Sweden
Being a member of Team USA is such an honor. My first experience competing internationally this past season with the Synchroettes, and many of the girls I have grown up with who are my best friends, was incredible.  Traveling to Sweden in January and hearing the words, “representing the United States of America” while seeing the US flags in the crowd and hearing our parents and loved ones chant “USA! USA!” was amazing.  Coming home with the bronze medal from the Leon Lurje Trophy after our international debut was the icing on the cake.  I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the Synchroettes, and though it has been hard to leave the team that has been such a major part of my life, I am very excited to continue my synchro career with the Haydenettes and embark on the next chapter of my life.

Ashley Tomich

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