GOTHENBURG, Sweden--The Adrian College senior synchronized skating team represented Team USA well at the 10th annual Leon Lurje Trophy over the weekend. The Bulldogs thrilled their fans at Frolundaborg Ice Rink with a fourth-place finish out of seven teams, and 137.26 combined points.
On Saturday, Adrian skated fourth in the short program and finished fifth. On Sunday, the Bulldogs sported a 94.23 point-total in the freeskate and performed to an Evita theme. At one juncture, AC held the top spot during the long program session.
Overall, this was an immensely successful international competition. The squad had been given some specific expectations that were exceeded. This will give the Bulldogs some momentum going into Nationals having competed with some of the best teams in the world, including USA teammates The Haydenettes.
One of the many highlights was finishing ahead of Team Boomerang, who were the 2016 Swedish Silver Medalists and 10th-place finishers at the 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships.
Adrian director of skating Ashley Carlson said: "It was an honor and a privilege to represent the United States in competition at such a prestigious event. Our goal was to make another strong impression on the world stage, and we did that with a phenomenal freeskate. I was especially pleased with the team's poise, strength and emotional maturity. Our next step is to make a run at the podium at the US Championships (on Thursday, Feb. 23, in Rockford, Ill)."
This was the second year in a row that Adrian's senior team represented Team USA at an international competition, as determined by the Synchronized Management Subcommittee (SMS). This comes after a strong showing at the 2016 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, the 2016 Spring Cup in Italy (the Bulldogs' first foray into world competition), and monitoring by U.S. Figure Skating officials.
Robin Greenleaf, the chair of US Figure Skating's SMS, added: "It was an honor to serve at the Leon Lurje competition with assistant team leader, Karin Sherr. Our three competing teams, Adrian College, Haydenettes and Hockettes, did an outstanding job of representing the United States, and should all be proud of their results."
Team USA is defined as those synchronized skating teams who are selected by SMS of U.S. Figure Skating to represent the United States at specified events sanctioned by the International Skating Union (ISU).
While attending international assignments, team members are recognized as ambassadors of U.S. Figure Skating and the United States of America. It is also an opportunity for team members to gain valuable experiences athletically and culturally on an international stage.
Adrian's preparations for the European trip certainly paid off.
"We intensified our training schedule after the winter holidays to train for the Trophy event," Carlson said. "On-ice training with coaches and choreographers, off-ice strength and conditioning, mental training, and video review have all been integral to the team's success this season."
The Bulldogs' senior team is captained by senior Maddie Sena (Beaver Dam, Wis.), head captain; and juniors Alexis Schmitt (Waupun, Wis.), Alana Courier (Newport Beach, Calif.), Christine Grajek (Howell, Mich.), tri-captains.
Team USA had some stiff competition at Leon Lurje, including the following nations:
CANADA – Les Supremes, 2016 Canadian Champions, fifth-place finishers at the 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships
FINLAND – Rockettes, Silver Medalists at the 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships
SWEDEN – Team Boomerang, 2016 Swedish Silver Medalists, 10th-place finishers at the 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships
SWEDEN – Team Surprise, 2016 Swedish Champions, sixth-place finishers at the 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships
TURKEY – Team Vizyon, 25th-place finishers at the 2016 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships
UNITED KINGDOM – Wight Jewels, 2016 British Silver Medalists
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