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Haydenettes three-peat as senior champions

Crystallettes grab silver, earn trip to worlds; Miami University wins bronze

The Haydenettes skated to Lady Gaga to claim their third straight senior title.
The Haydenettes skated to Lady Gaga to claim their third straight senior title. (Ed Collier Photography)

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By Renee Felton, special to icenetwork.com
(03/03/2012) - The place went Gaga for the Haydenettes (Hayden Recreation Centre FSC) as they sailed to their third consecutive U.S. title -- and 20th in program history -- Saturday night to close the 2012 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Worcester, Mass.

After building a nearly four-point lead in the short program, the gap between first and second grew to 17 points following the free skate, where the Haydenettes skated to a medley of songs by Lady Gaga. The performance was highly anticipated, as the Haydenettes were as excited after the short program to discuss their free skate as they were to talk about the program they had just completed. The performance did not disappoint.

"They skated that with great determination," coach Saga Krantz said. "I am so proud of this team. Over the last few weeks, we reworked the last three minutes of this program including elements and their order. To accomplish what they just did is amazing."

Featuring seven Level 4 elements, the segment earned 138.66 points, and they totaled 202.92 for the event. At 73.04 points, the program components score was the only of the competition to break the 70-point mark.

"We definitely bring the fun into the sport with this program," team representative Jenna Longo said. "It is easy to stay focused on the technique when we have such a great time skating day in and day out."

As winners of the gold, the Haydenettes earned the opportunity to lead Team USA into the World Synchronized Skating Championships, April 13-14 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Haydenettes are two-time defending world bronze medalists.

"We have a lot of work to do before worlds, especially on the short program," Krantz explained. "There are calls we can get and points we can add. I'm sure the team will remain focused and be as ready as they can be."

The silver medal, and second world team spot, belongs to the Crystallettes (Dearborn FSC). Though the team made no qualms about their desire to win this competition, they were happy with the outcome of the event and more thrilled to return to the world championships after most recently placing ninth in 2010.

"We are going to continue to work hard and will look to improve our scores at worlds," team co-captain Katilyn Peterson said.

Skating to the music of another pop superstar -- this time the crowd was treated to the musical styling of Jennifer Lopez -- the Crystallettes earned 125.16 points for the free skate and totaled 185.54 points for the week.

The free skate opened with a Level 4 circle element worth 7.20 points and closed with a Level 3 no hold step sequence that earned 7.63 points.

"It was a strong skate," co-captain Meghan Quigley said. "We went out there with nothing to lose. The goal was to regain that spot on the world Team. We never want to finish third again."

Miami University, who competed at the world championships last season, won bronze. Skating to "Hungarian Rhapsody," the free skate worked to a crescendo with each of the final four elements earning well over six points apiece.

"That was an excellent performance," coach Carla DeGirolamo said simply. "I asked that they leave it all on the ice, and that's exactly what they did."

The ICE'Kateers (Glacier Falls FSC) won the pewter medal with a score of 145.15 points while the Skyliners (SC of NY) finished in fifth in their senior-level debut.