DUMFRIES, Scotland --The Adrian College senior synchronized skating team earned its first international medal as Team USA at the Trophy D'Ecosse in February. The Bulldogs brought down the house at Dumfries Ice Bowl with a silver-medal finish and 173.60 combined points.
On Friday, Adrian finished in second place in the short program behind last season's World Bronze Medalists, Nexxice (Canada). The highlight of the day for Team USA was earning the competition's "Most Entertaining Performance", a recognition voted on and awarded by the officials.
"We had a feeling when we created Paint It Black with choreographer Erin Donovan that it was something special," explained Adrian head coach Ashley Carlson. "After adding even more layers of detail with consultant Lyne Forget and putting our heart and soul into it, we became confident it could make an impact on audiences worldwide. Receiving this award is especially meaningful to us."
On Saturday, a stunning performance of their "Soarin" free skate racked up 115.26 points, smashing the teams' previous high scores in this segment. Team USA nearly brought down the rink-side "kiss and cry" stage upon hearing their marks.
"This competition was a breakthrough moment for us," Bulldogs co-captain Kara Klomparens said. "We proved we can put up big numbers internationally and get the job done to bring home hardware for the United States."
Nexxice (Canada) snagged the gold, followed by Adrian (USA), Team Viola (Great Britain), Zariba (Great Britain) and Wight Jewels (Great Britain).
This was the third consecutive season that Adrian's senior team represented Team USA at an international competition, as determined by the Synchronized Management Subcommittee (SMS). Team USA is defined as those synchronized skating teams who are selected by SMS of U.S. Figure Skating to represent the United States at specified events sanctioned by the International Skating Union (ISU).
While attending international assignments, team members are recognized as ambassadors of U.S. Figure Skating and the United States of America. It is also an opportunity for team members to gain valuable experiences athletically and culturally on an international stage.
"We are so thankful for the opportunities to represent our country in both Austria and Scotland this season," described AC co-captain Ciara Athy. "Competing at two international competitions in one season helped us grow immensely. We have experience under our belts now and confidence when we take the ice as Team USA."
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--Special to AdrianBulldogs.com (photos by Ashley Carlson)