The Adrian College Synchronized Skating Team recently returned from Neuchâtel, Switzerland, where they represented Team USA at the Tissot Neuchâtel Trophy. In a large and highly competitive division, the team earned fifth place out of ten participating teams.
On Monday, Feb. 7, the team arrived in Neuchâtel and underwent almost a week of intensive training at the competition rink before the event began Friday evening. Senior Jenny Bajc said, “The four practices before the competition were some of the best practices we have had this year. We worked really hard on smaller technical details for each element of our programs.”
After many solid practices, the team prepared for the first day of competition, where they skated their short program, titled “Waloyo Yamoni.” The music, composed by Christopher Tin, is sung in Lango, an East African dialect. The song compares how humans place in society is parallel to a drop of water in the sea, each contributing to a larger system. With the program theme in mind, the team worked together to put out a skate earning a season’s best score of 53.09.
Junior Lilly Baumhardt said, “It has been an absolute privilege to be able to compete internationally again. After a season of not competing or traveling due to COVID-19, I felt a greater excitement and appreciation to be competing internationally on behalf of the United States.”
This year, the team welcomed a handful of members who had never competed on behalf of Team USA, and the team’s short program was many skaters’ first time competing on international ice. Freshman, Emily Miller, said, “It was a competition like no other. Stepping on the ice while hearing the crowd chant “USA,” seeing the flags, and feeling the support in the arena was a truly special experience.”
The excitement in the arena only amplified going into the free skate. As the last event of the competition, skaters of all levels, family and friends filled the stands in excitement for the senior free skate. This year, the theme of the team’s free skate is “The Butterfly Effect.” An idea that comes from Chaos Theory essentially recognizes how one small action can have a far more grand impact on a complex and non-linear system. The music selection for the program was a collaborative process between team members and coaches, who brought together pieces of music to help portray such an elaborate message.
The Bulldogs, once again in the free skate, earned a season’s best score of 117.54. Within their program, the Bulldogs earned their highest number of points from the twizzle element, which received the highest level possible. On top of that, the element obtained a positive grade of execution.
Between the free skate and the short program, the team finished the competition with a score of 170.63, which has been their top score of the season. Coming off their high score, the team has returned home and shifted their focus to the 2022 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, which are to be held Mar. 2-6 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.