Monday, December 7, 2009

Porter 2009

After a rough performance at the Dr. Richard Porter Synchronized Classic in Ann Arbor, the team has returned home for the holidays.

Leaving Athens at 8am, we arrived in Ann Arbor Saturday afternoon with enough time to grab lunch and take a nap at the hotel  before heading to the Ann Arbor Ice Cube for practice ice.  We practiced and competed on the Olympic surface at the cube, considerably larger than our come rink, Bird Arena.  Despite the unfamiliar rink size, our practice ice went extremely well with two clean skates of the program.  Mark White was kind enough to record our practice, which we were then able to watch in the hotel.  We went to bed feeling confident from our successful practice. 

We woke up bright and early at 6am to eat breakfast and get dressed for competition.  When we arrived at the Cube we were able to watch some of the Senior teams practice ice before starting off-ice warm ups of our own.  As we headed to our locker room we were surprised to find it directly connected to the competition rink which made us unable to complete many of our loud pre-skate traditions.

Our program wasn't without flaws but also had a lot of great moments.  Our block pass through, pyramid formation, disconnected circle, and traveling circle all went well.  As anticipated, the field of competitors was incredibly tough and our flaws put us at a disadvantage.

In the final results, we finished 11th out of the 13 teams present.  The Open Collegiate division is still a 6.0 event (not an IJS event such as the Olympics or Senior Synchronized Skating Division), meaning that the judges rank each team from first to last.  Our ordinals were 9 6 11 12 11, a six place difference from highest to lowest.  These ordinals show a great difference in opinion between the five judges regarding our performance.

We are now on hiatus for the holidays and will return to the ice in January to prepare for our last two competitions of the season.

Thank you to all our friends and family who came to support us this weekend!  Having you in the stands cheering us on means so much to us.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Preschool and Porter

This morning we were thrilled to welcome the Ohio University Child Development Center Preschool Room 213 to Bird Arena!  The class of 14 three year-old children came to the rink for a fun morning of skating with the team.  The teachers asked us to perform and show the children what is possible on the ice, so we kicked off the field trip by performing our program.  We got off the ice and helped the children put on their skates.  Many of the children had never skated before but all were eager to learn with our help.  After about 40 minutes of skating the kids began to get exhausted, so Caitlin got off the ice and pulled out the Olympia for the children to see and take a class picture.  A lot of the children have seen the Olympia at hockey games and were excited to touch the machine,  spin the wheel and especially to honk the horn.

Sharing our passion with such young children was a great experience.  Their enthusiasm and joy was contagious and was an uplifting event to launch us into our competition weekend. We will share pictures when they become avaliable.

After nine hours of practice, a birthday celebration, team gift exchange and multiple team dinners this week, we leave for Porter tomorrow morning!  The time we've spent together this past week has brought us closer than ever before and those bonds are reflected as our program continues to improve.  We are anticipating a lot of strong performances in our division but know that if we skate to the best of our abilities we can take a lot of people by surprise. 

Wish us luck!