ADRIAN, Mich. – Adrian College's intercollegiate skating team earned 125.5 points for a first-place finish at the inaugural Bulldog Classic on Saturday and Sunday, January 10-11 at Arrington Ice Arena. Fifteen Midwestern teams entered the competition. The 2015 Bulldog Classic was the first in a series of three Midwestern qualifying competitions. The top three teams from each section (Midwestern, Eastern, and Pacific Coast) will earn a bid to compete at the 2015 U.S. Intercollegiate Team Skating Championships hosted by the University of California-Berkeley in April.
Adrian entered the 2015 season as defending Midwestern Champions ('13, '14) and fourth place finishers at the 2014 U.S. Intercollegiate Team Skating Championships. The Bulldogs have a roster of 23 team members, including 11 freshmen.
"There was a lot of pressure on the new team members to see how we would perform this weekend," first-year team member Megan Ewald explained, "but with the support of our team, family, and community, we were able to step it up and prove that we are here to win."
With Sunday's victory, Adrian College has won six consecutive Midwestern competitions.
The highlight of the competition was a first-place finish in the following events: Novice Short (Demi Russo), Junior Short (India Johnson), Pre-Juvenile Freestyle (Jessica Key), Intermediate Freeskate (Megan Ewald), Junior Freeskate (India Johnson), Senior Championship Freeskate (Tricia DeFelice), Preliminary Dance (Taylor Holz), Juvenile Dance (Raynise Mancha), Gold Solo Dance – Group A (Tricia DeFelice), Low Team Maneuver, and Intermediate Team Maneuver.
The Bulldogs also had top three finishes in Intermediate Short (Raynise Mancha, Sarah Hollister), Novice Short (Miranda Micallef), Junior Short (Megan Sauer), Senior Short (Tricia DeFelice), Preliminary Freeskate (Alex Cavinee), Junior Freeskate (Megan Sauer), Senior Freeskate (Lila Werner), Novice Dance (Kristina Saeli), Junior Dance (Frankie Petrie), Gold Dance – Group A (Lexi Schmitt), Gold Dance – Group B (Jenna Blackburn), and International Dance (Jenna Blackburn, Tricia DeFelice).
The highest point earners for the team were Tricia DeFelice (18), India Johnson (15), Jenna Blackburn (11), and Demi Russo (11).
"I have to admit, I was nervous for this weekend. Winning the Midwestern Conference title for two years in a row makes us the team to beat. But because of home ice advantage, experienced veterans, and eager rookies, I am proud to say that we achieved everything we set out to do. I have no doubt that this team will continue to get stronger and stronger as the season progresses. We have our eyes set on nationals in Berkeley," said third-year team member Demi Russo.
The Bulldogs outranked Michigan (79), Miami-Ohio (53), Wisconsin-Madison (37), Northern Michigan (37), Michigan State (32), Oakland (17), Bowling Green (11), Northern Kentucky (9), Ferris State (9), Minnesota-Duluth (8), Youngstown State (8), Kent State (5.5), John Carroll (4) and Case Western Reserve (3).
The second leg of Midwestern regionals is the 2015 Maize and Blue Matchup on February 21, hosted by the University of Michigan at Yost Arena (Ann Arbor, Mich.).