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Ice Mates snag gold in record-breaking fashion

Hayden team wins novice for third straight year; Team Braemar grabs silver

The Ice Mates wore black, white and gold en route to completing the novice three-peat.
The Ice Mates wore black, white and gold en route to completing the novice three-peat. (Ed Collier Photography)

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By Josh Ellis, special to icenetwork.com
(03/02/2012) - When the score was posted, the Ice Mates broke into jubilation. With a score of 81.48 points, the team from Hayden Recreation Centre not only earned a third straight gold medal in the novice event at the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, but they also set a new record score by more than five points.

"I never thought it would have been that great," head coach Saga Krantz said. "The skate was beautiful, and I think that this score means that all the work we put in and all the focus we had really paid off."

Skating to a selection of songs from The Blues Brothers, the Ice Mates received positive grades of execution (GOE) for each of their eight elements, including 6.63 points for a Level 4 circle, the highest scoring element of the competition. In total, they received 38.39 points for their elements and a component score of 43.09. The score tops the previous mark of 75.79 set by the Crystallettes in 2009.

"This was so amazing," team representative Jessica Zhu said. "We have worked so hard, and 81 is a really big number."

The Ice Mates wore black and white costumes with a gold necktie, fitting for the color they'll be wearing around their necks.

"The Hayden colors are red, gold and black, so we always like to make sure we wear at least a little gold just for good luck," team representative Rebecca Wales added.

Team Braemar (Braemar-City of Lakes FSC) earned the silver medal with 66.38 points, as positions two through six were separated by less than five points.

Skating to what head coach Pam May called a "medley of circus songs" -- dressed in blue as what May called "sophisticated clowns" -- Team Braemar earned the second-best element score, 28.72, aided by a Level 4 circle which earned them 5.20 points.

"I thought they really presented the program well," May said. "They have a lot of fun skating this program, even though it's something different. We have had a great time skating to this all year."

Earning the bronze medal were the Hockettes (Ann Arbor FSC), who earned 65.03 points for their Beauty and the Beast skate.

"We are really proud of the way they skated," head coach Erin Donovan said. "They had great energy which grew throughout the program. This was really exciting for the girls."

Dressed in yellow with silver crowns on their heads, the crowd really responded to the familiar music which filled the arena.

"Not only is skating a sport, but it's a performance," Donovan said. "I think the music allowed them to take the performance side on and involve the audience like they did."

The Crystallettes (Dearborn FSC) earned the pewter medal with 63.69 points.