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Put a ring on it: Miami takes collegiates yet again

Skating to Beyonce, Miami University wins eighth straight title

Miami University has now claimed eight straight and 14 out of 16 collegiate titles.
Miami University has now claimed eight straight and 14 out of 16 collegiate titles. (Ed Collier Photography)

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By Josh Ellis, special to icenetwork.com
(03/03/2012) - Seven was heaven, but eight is great for the Miami University Collegiate synchronized skating team as they brought home their eighth consecutive collegiate title on Saturday at the 2012 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. Historically, Miami University has won 14 of the 16 U.S. championships at this level.

Skating to a compilation of songs from Beyoncé with the common theme of love, Miami University shimmered in their classic red outfits to an overall score of 87.80 points.

"They were amazing," head coach Carla DeGirolamo said. "It was such a heartfelt skate, and they were so connected with each other and the music. It was really fun for me to watch."

Miami University received positive grades of execution (GOE) on each of their 10 elements, including 4.90 points for their Level 4 moves in the field segment. The gold medalists were aided by a component score of 51.44, the highest in the competition by nearly four points.

As four-time champions at this event, Miami University seniors Emily Stephenson and Lauren McHenry each will hold dear the title they earned in their final year.

"It was so much fun; I think the connectedness we felt through this performance is what will make this year memorable for me," Stephenson said.

"The other teams have gotten a lot stronger, so we have really had to push ourselves and we couldn't have asked for a more dedicated team. To finish with that skate was really special," McHenry said.

Skating second of the 13 teams in the competition, the University of Delaware set an early tone and obtained a score of 84.29 points, which held up as the silver medal-winning performance.

With signs in that stands that read "Let's Go Hens," the University of Delaware breezed through the ice in their jazzy costumes and Chicago-themed skate. Receiving the top element score of the competition -- 36.45 -- Delaware posted an overall score of 84.29 points.

"We were really happy and felt they went out there and really sold the performance," head coach Megan O'Donnell said. "In terms of letting some nerves go and enjoying the moment, we really felt that they did that."

Each year, the members of the University of Delaware collegiate team decide on the theme the team will skate to throughout the year, which differs from how the theme is selected for all of the other University of Delaware teams. This year, their Chicago performance stood as tall as the city's skyscrapers.

"We had a bunch of ideas, some silly and some not so silly," team representative Lauren Petroff said. "But we chose Chicago because we felt we could put a brand new twist on it and show a different story with it."

Singing the fight song before they stepped on the ice, the University of Michigan were victors of the bronze medal with a score of 80.83 points.

Skating to Pretty Little Liars-themed music, the team from Ann Arbor, Mich., was certainly one of the best kept secrets of the competition.

"It felt fantastic," senior Mackenzie Collins said. "It was probably one of the best run-throughs of my life. Our team really worked on our attitude for the performance, and I think we got that down."

Also from the Wolverine state, Western Michigan performed their Beetlejuice-themed skate to the pewter medal with 79.99 points.