ADRIAN, Mich.--The Adrian College senior synchronized skating team has been selected for international competition as Team USA from Friday through Sunday, Feb. 19-21, at the Spring Cup in Milan, Italy.
For the student-athletes, this recognition is the culmination of a lifetime of dedication and training. “When (we) found out about Team USA at practice, we stood in a circle on the ice just hugging and crying,” said junior captain Maddie Sena. “Skating for Team USA is what has driven us to work so hard on and off the ice our whole lives. We are so thankful and excited for this opportunity.”
For the coaches, this honor serves as a moment to celebrate and reflect on the incredible progress the team has made in such a short period of time.
“From Day 1, I had a distinct vision of what this team would be if we recruited hard-working, passionate student-athletes with faith in our system,” Bulldogs head coach Ashley Carlson said about the program's unprecedented success and giving credit to the team. “I am so thankful they believe in me as their leader and give everything they have to the team."
Team USA is defined as those synchronized skating teams who are selected by U.S. Figure Skating’s Synchronized Management Subcommittee to represent the United States at specified events sanctioned by the International Skating Union.
While attending international assignments, team members are recognized as ambassadors of U.S. Figure Skating and the United States of America. Not only is it an honor to be selected, but it is also an opportunity for team members to gain valuable experiences on an international stage.
After a strong showing at the 2015 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, monitoring by U.S. Figure Skating officials, and early-season competition this fall, the SMS determined Adrian College’s senior team is ready for its international debut.
The Bulldogs have been working diligently toward representing Team USA since Carlson took over the helm in 2011. “I vividly remember my recruiting visit with Coach at the end of my senior year in high school,” recalls senior captain Tricia DeFelice. “She was so confident that we would earn an international assignment by my senior year. I kind of thought she was crazy!”
The team will ramp up its training schedule after the winter holidays in preparation for the 22nd annual Spring Cup in Milan, Italy. On-ice training with coaches and choreographers, off-ice strength and conditioning, ballet, and video review are integral to the team’s success. This is all in addition to their hobbies, personal lives, and course load as full-time students. “All of the time and energy we put into this is so worth it. We are all living our dreams,” said senior captain Raynise Mancha.
The team is creating new goals and setting its sights higher on national and international podiums. “We are not resting here,” said Carlson. “This is a jumping off point for us to set new, bigger goals. We have dreams of someday earning a national title and attending the World Championships. Why not?”
For more information on the Spring Cup, check in regularly with the official competition website: http://www.springcup.it
For more information on U.S. Figure Skating and Team USA: http://www.usfsa.org/Athletes.asp?id=339
Bulldog Bytes: 2015-16 marks the third season for the Bulldogs in the Senior Division...2015 Midwestern Synchronized Skating champions...placed sixth at 2015 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships...of 20 team members, 14 will be skating on behalf of Team USA for the first time in February...after the holidays, Adrian makes its spring semester debut on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 16-17, at the Mid-America Championships in Fraser, Mich.