OXFORD, Ohio. – Adrian College's intercollegiate figure skating team earned 79 points for a remarkable bronze-medal finish at the 2017 U.S. Intercollegiate Team Championships hosted by Miami University on Saturday and Sunday.
For the first time in Adrian's five-year history, a Midwestern Conference team made it to the national podium and four-time defending national champion, University of Delaware, was dethroned.
Boston University earned top honors with 112 points, followed by Delaware (93), Adrian, Dartmouth (46), UCLA (42), Miami (30), Michigan (29), Cal-Berkeley (19) and Denver (13).
Five Bulldogs earned individual national titles in six events: senior Barbara Hipp (pre-juvenile freeskate), junior Ciara Athy (juvenile freeskate), sophomore Macauley Lukenda (novice freeskate), junior Megan Sauer (junior freeskate), freshman Alex DiCola (men's senior short program), and DiCola with a second championship (men's senior freeskate).
"I'll never forget when our final placement was announced as we all stood on the ice together at the closing ceremonies. In that moment, I don't think I have ever been more proud to be a Bulldog," tri-captain Sauer reminisced. "The best part was watching my teammates skate amazing programs, which resulted in many of us walking away with national titles."
Individual medals were earned in the following events: Senior Dance - bronze (sophomore Nikki Czuhajewski), Intermediate Short Program – silver (freshman Hanna Arntsen), Novice Short Program – silver (Lukenda), Junior Short Program – silver (freshman Casey Labrenz), Intermediate Freeskate – silver (Arntsen), and Novice Freeskate – bronze (sophomore Olivia Margulis).
"As a freshman new to intercollegiate skating, it was so inspiring and motivating to have the chance to watch and compete among the best teams and skaters in the nation," said Arntsen. "Placing third as a team is such an amazing accomplishment for us."
Adrian's maneuver teams put up solid performances as well, earning medals in each event: Low Team (bronze), Intermediate Team (silver) and High Team (silver).
Top point earners for the team were Arntsen (8), Czuhajewski (8) and Lukenda (9).
"This weekend was unbelievable," described Lukenda. "The sense of pride in myself and my team put tears in my eyes. All the hard work we put into this season was worth it. I couldn't keep the smile from my face."
Tryouts for the 2017-18 Adrian team were held on Friday, March 24, and the official roster has been set by the coaching staff. Looking forward, Director of Skating Ashley Carlson explains, "We aspire to continue moving up the ranks, with the goal of bringing home a team national title. With Head Coach Tricia DeFelice, a large group of returning team members, and hungry incoming freshmen, we are ready to take the next step. We won't rest here."