Miami University Wins Second Senior National ChampionshipBy Mickey Brown
Photo by Paul Harvath
(2/25/06) - Tears flowed backstage Saturday night at the 2006 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.
Tears of disappointment ran down the cheeks of members and coaches of the Haydenettes – winners of 15 national championships, including the last six – when they came to grips with the fact that their streak of titles was over.
Tears of ecstasy poured from the eyes of Miami University s aters, who, upon hearing their total score announced, realized they had won the school's second U.S. crown and its first since 1999.
But it was the tears of Vicki Korn, the RedHawks' head coach who is in her 22nd season with the team, that were the most indelible. She has been in Oxford longer than anyone, and this team meant as to her as any she'd ever coached.
“These tears are from joy. From working really hard. From figuring out the system. From maximizing our points,” Korn said following Miami's giddy team photo that was taken after Saturday night's free skate.
The RedHawks unseated the Lexington, Mass.,-based powerhouse, beating the Haydenettes by more than 18 points, 179.72-161.28. The Crystallettes were third with a score of 155.12 and Team Elán came in fourth with 126.96 points.
But 2006 will be remembered as the Year of the RedHawk.
“People talk about making a dream team. This is a dream team,” team co-captain Meredith Moran said. “We've been here four years and this is what we've talked about doing.”
Miami's program, skated to a medley of songs related to the theme of “The Way We Move,” featured flying camels with lifts in the beginning and took off from there. They followed that up with moves in isolation that included spread eagle pairs. They showed good edges during their circle sequence, as well as a creative wheel sequence.
The team knew it was a special night as it performed its program.
“When we're skating together, it's just this surge of energy,” team co-captain Julie Walters said. “You get a little squeeze from the girl next to you…it's an amazing feeling.”
The Haydenettes' routine was not as clean, as two ladies hit the ice during an intersection. Head coach Saga Krantz said that besides those two falls, it was a good, calm skate, with nice edges throughout.
Team co-captain Kendra Flanagan was encouraged by the team's performance.
“Our score went up from (the French Cup). It's gone up every time we've skated this program,” Flanagan said. “We're on the right track.”
The Haydenettes skated powerfully to their program that included selections from “The Interpreter” soundtrack as well as Xotica's “Journey to the Heart.” They performed Ina Bauers in one line and four lines of spread eagles. Their lifts, ending with a flip-out, were solid.
According to head coach Shannon Peterson, the trouble in the Crystallettes' free skate, which was set to some of composer John Williams' finest works, was a “timing issue,” while team captain Leticia Romero chalked it up to too much adrenalin. Peterson was overjoyed with the last two minutes of the program, which was packed with six major elements, including a whip intersection with twizzles, an intersection with spread eagles, overhead lifts and flying camels.
The Crystallettes took the bronze for the second year in a row and fourth time in the last six years.
Asked what positives came out of this year's showing, Peterson said, “Watch out! We're going to work harder next year.”
Elán's “Grease” program was filled with energy, but it was marred by a fall on the no-hold step sequence and some other minor errors. Her team was visibly upset after its skate, but as they began their walk back to their locker room, head coach Jeannine Weinschrod reminded them to stay in good spirits.
“Life is beautiful,” she told them.
Vicki Korn would agree wholeheartedly.