Lindenwood synchronized skaters make their own marks after disbandment

Lindenwood%27s+synchronized+skating+team+performing+in+unison+in+its+final+season+as+a+collegiate+program.%0A%3Cbr%3E%0APhoto+by+Delia+Smith

Lindenwood's synchronized skating team performing in unison in its final season as a collegiate program.
Photo by Delia Smith

WALKER VAN WEY | Reporter

This summer Lindenwood University cut the synchronized skating team, leaving 11 athletes wondering what their next moves would be.

For the most part, the skaters who have decided to stay at Lindenwood have been using their open schedule to improve their skating repertoires.

“Well, I still get up at 5 in the morning to skate, so nothing has changed as far as that goes,” junior Colleen Corba said. “It’s just that now I’m working toward earning my gold partnered free dance.”

Junior Delia Smith said that although there was thought to transferring schools over the summer, Lindenwood had certain perks she couldn’t walk away from.

“I considered leaving and going anywhere else to skate, but the athletic training program here was too good to pass up,” Smith said.

Another common factor for retaining some skaters was Lindenwood’s ability to follow through with financial promises.

“They said they would honor our scholarships for the remainder of our career at Lindenwood,” Smith said. “So that was nice, at least.”

Lindenwood’s promise to continue granting the scholarship money and the freedom to continue working toward self-improvement in the St. Charles area was not enough to keep all the former skaters, however.

“The reason I transferred is because I am working at Starbucks,” said former Lindenwood Lion Taryn Chitwood. “With Starbucks I can get free tuition to Arizona State University online or as a resident.”

Not only did Chitwood find it to make sense to work full time and work as a student full time as well, but she also found more enjoyment in the surroundings of her home state.

“I love Washington because it’s scenic and the people here are very nice and open-minded,” Chitwood said.

Although the program ended abruptly, pockets of the team remain tightly bonded.

“A few of us still skate together and we still text, but just not together anymore,” Smith said.

The synchronized skating program may not have worked out for Lindenwood, but the only regret is the lost feeling of closure many “final seasons” come with.

“I’m disappointed it had to end like this,” Corba said. “There was no senior night or final skate or anything. They just told us it was over.”

Despite the loss of the skating team, the members have not lost their passions for the sport.