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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

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Ice skating team

Synchronized Skating Team

Photo courtesy of: Synchronized Skating Team

ice skating team

Team skates in formation during a recent competition

Photo courtesy of: Synchronized Skating Team

Ice skating team

Synchronized Skating Team creates a circle during competiton

Photo courtesy of: Synchronized Skating Team

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Synchronized Skating Team enjoys success after three-year hiatus


The Ohio University Synchronized Skating Team has re-emerged as a club sport after a three-year hiatus, and has glided to success at many exhibitions in the last semester.
 
"We are all really close, we hang out all the time outside of skating and it's always a blast," said Tori Topp, one of five freshman on the team.
 
After a group of figure skating friends restarted the organization, the team has expanded to include 13 women who have traveled to skate in competitions as far as Michigan and West Virginia.
 
They compete in the Open Collegiate division, but also have the added challenge of being the only team in the division that is student coached. The head coach is junior Talli Topp, Tori's older sister.
 
"It is a challenge but it feels so much better when you win," said Talli Topp. "You know you worked that much harder."
 
The team received high rankings in competitions in Charleston, W.Va., and Ann Arbor, Fraser and Kalamazoo, Mich. It placed second out of 14 teams at the Mid-America Synchronized Skating Championships, its most successful award all season in competition with quality teams such as Miami University, Notre Dame University, and Ohio State University.
 
"It feels really great when we can achieve something big and I get to share those moments not only with my friends but my sister who is the coach," said Tori Topp.
 
For the Synchronized Skating Team success does not come without hours of hard work on and off the ice. The team started practice the first week of classes and will continue to practice until the end of the academic year, even without any major upcoming competitions.

Despite busy schedules, the team members put in two hours of ice practice and one hour of office practice that include warm ups, run through, break downs and drills of their performance pieces.
 
"They are a great club that has had a lot of success this year, almost winning club sport of the month several times," said Andrew Geyer, the club sports supervisor. "These women work really hard
and even do incredible community service with the hockey team."
 
Being a club sport also runs up the cost for each of the individual athletes, as they receive less funding than varsity sports but still opt to travel. In addition to paying for their own gas and travel expenses, each skater buys a new $200 custom skating dress each year. Warm ups and practice attire are also on the list of items that the skaters must purchase on their own.
 
"Everyone always manages to find the money because everyone wants to participate," said Tori Topp. "And we also have an amazing sponsorship chair."
 
There are more than 1,000 Ohio University students who participate in 30 different club sports, ranging from basketball to water skiing. Each athlete demonstrates an impressive level of sacrifice and dedication to continue in the sport that they love.
 
"Club sports is a step below varsity, but in many ways participating in club sports is a lot tougher because it is all student-run," said Geyer. "Students get way more involved in their organization than they would at a varsity level because they are responsible for securing their own funding, buying their own attire, and many other things."
 
Only two seniors on the Synchronized Skating Team are exiting the ice for graduation and Tori Topp said she plans to coach next year for the remainder of her time at the university.
 
The Synchronized Skating team's final performance of the year will be at Bird Arena's annual ice show on April 13th.
 
For more information on the Synchronized Skating team and their upcoming events click here.