Meghan Glasgow was only 2 years old when she started ice skating.
She was inspired by her mother, who was also a figure skater, and was a dedicated skater through high school. She was drawn to Ohio University in part because of its club synchronized skating team, and now Glasgow, a sophomore studying accounting, is one of 15 girls who practice long hours each week to compete together on the ice three times a year.
“It’s a lot of practicing for very little competitive parts of it,” she said. “You spend a lot of time on it for just a few seconds.”
But the hard work is worth it, she said. This year, the team participated in two contests in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Mentor, where they competed against other Midwest schools and placed third and second, respectively. The skaters will compete in their third and final competition of the season Monday in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Anne McBride, a junior studying communication sciences and disorders, coaches the skating team. She was a member of the team for one year before she took the lead as coach last year.
A student coaching a collegiate team is not typical, McBride said, but the team has always been self-coached. Her many duties include choreographing routines, running practices, purchasing competition dresses and deciding the competitions and hockey games at which the team will perform.
“Sometimes it can be difficult,” she said. “But it can be nice because when I see the program … I can understand where the girls are, because I’ve skated, too.”
The team has struggled with being somewhat unknown, even among OU students. It became an obstacle in recruiting new team members, McBride said. However, this year, the team welcomed several new members, bringing its numbers near the competition maximum of 16.
McBride said her biggest accomplishment as coach, in addition to growing the program, was learning to fill her role well despite being only 19 when she took the coaching position.
“I’d never coached a collegiate team before, so I was nervous about how to take on that position and role,” she said. “My biggest accomplishment was learning how to communicate with the girls and have more successful seasons and welcome in new girls.”
Jordan Mezey, a junior studying early childhood education and the vice president of the skating team, welcomes the challenge of synchronized skating because it takes a typically individual sport and makes it into a team event.
The team does not always agree with all of the leaders’ decisions, Mezey said. It is one of the challenges of being run entirely by students. Those in leadership positions sometimes find it difficult to please everyone. But in the end, Mezey said, her teammates are some of her best friends.
“It’s fun to just spend time together,” she said. “My favorite part about skating is it’s kind of stress relief. It’s just thinking about what you’re doing and being on the ice releases that stress that’s built up.”