All hail Haydenettes after sensational senior short

Twenty-time winners rule segment; Miami, Crystallettes take second, third, respectively

The Haydenettes amassed 73.48 points in the short, putting them comfortably ahead of second-place Miami University.
The Haydenettes amassed 73.48 points in the short, putting them comfortably ahead of second-place Miami University. (Jay Adeff)


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By Renee Felton, special to
(03/01/2013) - Simply put, they "Run this Town."

The mood in the building underwent a palpable change as the Haydenettes, who are skating for their 21st U.S. title, took the ice for their short program to the popular Jay-Z anthem.

We are at a synchronized skating competition. By nature, it's loud, but as the team struck its final pose at the 2013 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, it's safe to say it was one of the loudest ovations I've heard, and the skaters felt it too.

"To be able to inspire people is one thing," team member Jenna Longo said. "To be able to feel that inspiration is something else. You know you are getting your job done when little girls come screaming after you and different clubs cheer for you; that's what we try to do."

The judges were inspired to give one of the elite short program scores in U.S. qualifying competition history. The Haydenettes' score added up to 73.48 points, as the program included four Level 4 elements and two moves that received more than eight points each. The technical mark of 37.61 points was the highest in the event by over five points.

"This program is all about being an athlete," Longo explained. "Every time we go out there, it feels phenomenal to skate it. It's exactly who we are and the program carries us through. The skate was great, the crowd was great and we were so ready to go out there and do it."

With the level of competition increasing annually, the Haydenettes know they will have to be strong in Saturday's free skate in order to maintain their lead over Miami University and the Crystallettes, who are in second and third, respectively.

"As a team, we are good at looking at each day as a new one and having clean state of mind," Longo said. "But, we also know it's anyone's game, no matter the points."

Miami University, the 2012 bronze medalists, are skating this season with the goal of winning a berth to the 2013 World Synchronized Skating Championships. The event is set for April 3-6 and will be held in the United States for just the third time.

"Making the world is always motivation, always that little extra fire," Miami coach Carla DeGirolamo said. "Miami has never competed at a worlds in the U.S., so it's definitely something we would like to achieve this year. It's something that has been on our radar from the very beginning."

They are well on their way after a strong "Dance Macabre" short program that earned a season-high 65.74 points. The program featured a pair of Level 4 elements, including their circle and moves in the field sequence.

"The skate felt awesome," team co-captain Taylor Walker said. "You could tell we were in the moment and in that character of being fierce and ready to attack."

As Miami looks forward to their 1920s-themed free skate, the team wants to maintain the momentum it gained Friday.

"We will keep riding the wave of the short program through the free skate," Walker said. "We know we have done the work all season, and we're ready to go."

The Crystallettes are in a close third place after a fun and flirty short program to "That Man." The skate netted 62.98 points and finished strong with a Level 4 moves in the field element.

"This was our highest score of the season. We went out there very confident. We were in our element and we gave it our all. It felt awesome," team member Katilyn Peterson said. "We were all very confident. It was a great experience."

Always confident and ready to defend their spot on the world team, Peterson continued, "We are going to come back in the long stronger than ever. We want to make the world team, preferably as 'world team 1,' but we'll take it either way. I'm very confident in our team."

Seems the crowd will be in for a treat as the Crystallettes will show off the other side of their dual personalities.

"The free skate is a vampire theme. It's exactly the opposite of short," Peterson explained. "We are sassy in our short and very mean and intense in our long. It's theatrical and really keeps you interested the entire time."

Sounds like a great choice for all those members of Team Edward sure to be in the house.