Haydenettes blow out competition for senior gold

Haydenettes post 231.14 competition score for win

Haydenettes earlier this year at the 2010 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.
Haydenettes earlier this year at the 2010 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. (Paul Harvath)


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By Becca Staed Bishop, special to
(03/06/2010) - The Haydenettes hung onto its short program lead to regain the U.S. senior title -- its 18th career win since 1988 -- after finishing second to Miami University last year. The team's 231.14 competition mark was the highest ever posted to date at the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships by nearly 18 points.

The Haydenettes will venture to Colorado Springs, Colo., next month to represent the United States at the World Synchronized Skating Championships. Joining them will be eight-time U.S. bronze medalist Crystallettes, which won silver Saturday night with 210.35 points -- only its second U.S. silver medal in the organization's history since finishing runner-up in 2004.

Miami University was third with a total score of 202.68, while the Starlights were the night's surprise, finishing fourth with 167.80 points.

The Haydenettes skated to a compilation of songs from West Side Story, displaying a range of emotions from classical and serious to sassy and playful. That performance was rewarded in the 72.64-points program component mark - more than six-and-a-half points higher than the rest of the field.

"We had a lot of fun putting this program together," said head coach and choreographer Saga Krantz. "It has a lot of emotion for the girls to perform, but, at the same time, it has a little bit of the flirty girlie thing."

Despite one fall on the Level 4 wheel, this was the team's highest free skate score and a strong performance that featured fantastic pair lifts and a Level 4 block with a Level 4 step sequence within it that garnered more than three points combined in its Grade of Execution. The team displayed a beautiful moves in the field sequence that earned a Level 4 and a 2.43 GOE, followed by a 2.14 GOE, Level 4 line. In all, it gained 17.68 points in GOEs.

"Those pair lifts are very difficult to do," Krantz said. "I thought they did it very effortless and smooth. Their timing was very good."

With only two teams left to go after the Crystallettes' free skate, the team sat in the dressing room singing Christmas carols as loud as it could so as not to hear anything else.

But the team managed to keep its second-place position after the short and was ecstatic to learn that it would be going to worlds for the second time in six years.

"Incredible. Thrilled to death. Very proud."

That is how the team's co-coaches and sisters Holly Teets and Shannon Peterson described their emotions after finding out they had won silver.

"They did everything we asked them to do all year long," said Teets. "We felt that if they skated clean, they would realize their dream."

"I am just humbled I guess by their dedication," said Peterson.

The Crystallettes performed its free skate to "Malaguena" by the Brian Setzer Orchestra, opening with a Level 4 line, followed by a moves in the field sequence and wheel, which both earned Level 4s and GOEs greater than 1.70. Both the team's circle and final block were Level 4s as well and earned 1.71 GOEs. The team picked up 14.47 GOE points in all.

Dressed in gorgeous purple Forties-style dresses, defending champion Miami University delivered a classy free skate to "Heat Wave," by Margaret Whiting, "Summertime" by Kenny G and "Too Darn Hot" from Kiss Me Kate.

Its routine was playful and full of sass, rewarded in its 64.08 program component mark. The team received Level 4s for its moves in the field sequence, circle and wheel, and it accrued more than 10 points in GOEs.

"It's a tough thing," said head coach Carla DeGirolamo on not going to worlds. "We talked about their performance. They went out and did they best they could. That is what we can control. We can't control the outcome. Yes, we are disappointed, but that is just going to give us more fire to come back and win it next year."

The Starlights finished fourth with a Yann Tiersen medley free skate -- its best finish in the team's history, having come sixth last year.