Ice Network

Unity unanimity! Finnish squad flags world title

USA representatives Haydenettes land seventh, Crystallettes 11th
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Finland 1, Marigold IceUnity, downed the field in both segments to deliver its nation the world title for the fourth time in five years. -Jay Adeff

Finland continues to dominate on the world stage, as Marigold IceUnity, Finland 1, took home the gold medal at the 2014 World Synchronized Skating Championships. This is the eighth title that a team from Finland has won, and the fourth time Finland has won in five years.

Canada 1, NEXXICE, finished second for the third straight year. Finland 2 also medaled, earning the bronze.

With a free skate total of 147.31, Marigold IceUnity delivered a powerful performance to music from "Position Music: Orchestral Series Vol. 3." Its free program, entitled "Spirits," earned the highest technical and program components scores of the evening and was highlighted by Level 4's in intersections, block, moves in the field, circle, no hold, line and group lift. The team finished the competition with 223.45 points.

Close behind, with 220.88 total points, was NEXXICE. Skating to West Side Story, it was able to overtake Finland 2 for its third world silver medal in as many years.

The Rockettes, Finland 2, failed to qualify for this competition in 2013 but skated well enough to win the bronze.

The Haydenettes, USA 1, earned 128.24 points in their free skate. They finished the competition with 196.90 points, which dropped them from fifth to seventh place overall.

Debuting a fresh version of their program to the music from The Count of Monte Cristo, the team had been working hard to make both technical and artistic changes since the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.

"I thought we had a really phenomenal skate," said Jenna Longo, an eight-year member of the Haydenettes. "That long program was pretty much totally new. We went out there and skated each element to the best of our abilities. I really think it was enjoyable, passionate and fun to skate."

The team's highest program components mark was 8.79, which it earned for both choreography and interpretation. The team also earned the highest technical calls for the line, group lift, intersection, moves in the field, no hold and circle elements.

"I thought the skate was very bold," head coach Saga Krantz said. "All the changes that we had done after nationals, they really paid off.

"The team looks stronger today than we were last year," she continued. "I think I pushed myself with the choreography. The only goal we didn't meet was to be on the podium."

The Haydenettes are the only American team to have competed at every world championships. This is the first year since 2009 that the Haydenettes have not medaled at worlds.

The Crystallettes, USA 2, finished the competition in 11th place. The team earned 110.45 points for its ninth-place free skate program and a total of 166.96 points overall. Skating an elegant free skate to "Iris" from Cirque du Soleil, the highlight of the program was their moves in the field element, for which they earned 7.36 points.

Their highest program component mark was performance and execution, at 7.68, followed by choreography at 7.64 points.

"Holly [Malewski] (other coach) and I were thrilled with tonight's performance," Shannon Peterson, longtime coach of the Crystallettes, said. "We asked them to attack it; they did. They were beautiful out there, and we couldn't have asked for more.

"We met our personal goals coming in," she continued. "Improving skating skills, improving their ability to be confident and attack programs."

This was the team's third appearance at the world championships in the last five years.