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Haydenettes cruise to gold in senior event

Second straight national title for Haydenettes

(Paul Harvath)

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By Renee Felton, special to icenetwork.com
(03/06/2011) - The Haydenettes are on top of the sport for the second consecutive season, and 19th time in their history. They will now focus on earning their second world medal after last year winning bronze in Colorado Springs, Colo. Silver medalists Miami University will join the Haydenettes at worlds.

The World Synchronized Championships are set for April 8-9 in Helsinki, Finland.

Dearborn Figure Skating Club's Crystallettes won bronze, followed by California Gold with the pewter.

Leading by 10 points after Friday night's short program, the Haydenettes pushed their winning margin to almost 22 points following their Burlesque free skate. They earned a total of 217.41 points, including 143.13 on the free skate.

"We came into today with a bit of lead," team member Hannah Lapuck said. "That allowed us to go out and have a great time. We could really get into it and enjoy the moment."

Seven of the 11 elements performed were credited with grades of execution of 2.00 or more including a Level 4 circle and the moves in the field section. The program components score of 73.88 was six points higher than the next closest competitor.

"This was a very, very good skate," coach Saga Krantz said. "The energy lasted throughout and I saw no mistakes. This is a great step toward the World Championships."

Krantz is especially looking forward to the World Championships, because the competition is in her home country.

"To take this team to worlds in my home is special to me," she said. "I know they will make me proud and we can show everyone what we are capable of."

Over the next month, the Haydenettes will make minor tweaks to already solid programs.

"We will look at the judges sheets to see where we can make adjustments," Krantz said. "I'm sure our program components can be higher and we can always improve skating skills."

While the focus almost immediately turns to worlds, Lapuck and her teammates relish the experience here.

"Every U.S. Championships is special," she said. "The gold medal is an acknowledgment of all of the hard work we put in, and we don't take that for granted."

Miami came into the season ready to put itself back on the world team. In 2010, a streak of five straight appearances at the sport's most prominent competition was snapped as the spot was relinquished to the Crystallettes.

"Our goal from the start was to be back on the world team," coach Carla DeGirolamo said. "We came here and did our job by putting out the two best programs we could have."

The free skate, called "Hypnotized by a Dream," energized the Citizens Business Bank Arena with its speed and drama. They were credited with 130.75 points, and finished with 195.50 overall.

"The skaters took command of that ice," DeGirolamo said. "It was as simple as that."

Marisa Hutchinson and her teammates used the energy from this morning's official practice to propel them into and "electric" free skate.

"We came out and fought our fight," she said. "We did our job and to be on the world team is an honor unlike any other for an athlete."

The Crystallettes also had a good morning practice, and that's where coaches Shannon Peterson and Holly Teets feel their team left its best skate.

"We were well prepared for this competition," Peterson said. "Unfortunately, we didn't show what we were capable of. I think their best performance happened this morning at official practice."

The coaching staff considers this belly dance-themed program the hardest they have ever choreographed and look forward to continuing to push their skaters going into next season.

"Our team has the desire to be challenged," Teets said. "Their work ethic and willingness to learn has been inspiring."