Ice Network

University of Michigan enjoys repeat in Portland

Adrian College earns collegiate silver medal; Team Excel wins adult gold
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The University of Michigan SST ended Miami University's 12-year run atop the collegiate ranks last season, and after scooping up 91.48 points this time around, the synchronized team earned itself another stay atop the standings. -Jay Adeff

On Saturday at the 2018 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Portland, Oregon, Team Excel won gold by a narrow margin on the adult level, while the University of Michigan picked up its second consecutive title in the collegiate ranks.

Adult free skate

After witnessing multiple outstanding performances and surviving a close scoring system, Team Excel took gold in the adult division Saturday. A strong, intense and spot on Wonder Woman interpretation earned the Boston squad a segment score of 52.54.

"They did their job," coach Merita Mullen said. "They were pleasing for me to watch and they seemed to enjoy their skate.

"They have jobs and children, and give up their time to practice," added Mullen, who places a focus on her skaters enjoying themselves. "They threw it all out on the ice when it counted most."

Finishing a close second to Team Excel were reigning silver medalists, the Crystallettes. The Dearborn FSC affiliate delivered a unique Bollywood theme inspired by the reality television show "So You Think You Can Dance," and the 51.00 points they earned helped them win the silver medal.

"We wanted a theme that was fun and upbeat," said coach Denise Dobert, whose Bollywood theme received solid Grades of Execution across the board. "Something they could portray and be saucy with."

Bronze medalists Espirit de Corps were just a mere 0.07 points behind the Crystallettes, and they placed third with a score of 50.93, while fourth place went to DC Edge, who finished with 50.16.

Collegiate free skate

The University of Michigan Synchronized Skating Team became just the second team to win consecutive U.S. titles on the collegiate level Saturday, as they commanded their Dangerous Woman theme to score 91.48 points. A diverse and exciting program, their Level 3 intersection and creative element earned huge Grade of Execution scores.

"I thought they put out a really great performance," coach Ashley Korn said. "We came into nationals just hoping they could put their best skate out there, and today I think they did that. Getting through the moves in the field element, it's been a huge psychological element for us."

Adrian College Varsity improved on last season's fifth-place finish, and the 84.44 points they earned for their Fosse program helped bring home the silver medal.

"This is one of the most exciting moments of my life," coach Ashley Carlson said. "To come from my very first year when we couldn't even qualify for nationals, to be here amongst such incredible competitors is truly an honor."

Rounding out the top three was Miami University Collegiate, who scored 83.53 points for their Tina Turner program, with Michigan State University capturing the pewter medal with 70.52 points.