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Southborough’s Camilla Manz from Worcester Academy shines at US Synchronized Skating Championships

By on April 11, 2022 0

WORCESTER — As the tallest member of her Hayden synchronized skating team, the Ice Mates, Worcester Academy senior Camilla Manz led her teammates onto the ice at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the month last, for the opening performance of the 2022 United States Synchronized Skating Championships.

COVID-19 canceled last year’s competition, which made the moment even more special for Manz.

“It was unreal to walk on the clean ice surface,” Manz said in a recent interview at Daniels Gymnasium, “and it was an incredible feeling to know that this was the first time (the championships) were held. produced in two years.”

VIDEO: Watch the Ice Mates routine from the 2002 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships

The 5ft 10in Manz, a Southborough resident, played the music, and she and her 15 Ice Mates slid in unison, their matching pale pink skirts flowing as they performed footwork, formations , complex elements and artistry.

The Ice Mates nailed their routine and earned a pewter medal for their fourth place finish in the Novice Division.

“We were all crying at the end,” Manz said. “Personally, I felt so good. I felt like I had left everything on ice.

Instead of curtains in her bedroom, Manz hangs on the rod all the medals she has won in figure skating, including the gold medal the Ice Mates won at the Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships in january.

She picked up the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships tin and stowed it safely in her school bag last week so she could show a visitor the Worcester Academy campus.

Member of the WA athletics team

Manz, who is a member of Worcester Academy’s outdoor athletics team, learned to skate at the age of 5, began competing in freestyle soon after and, at the suggestion of the one of her trainers, started synchro when she was in fifth grade.

“It felt like another fun thing to try,” Manz said, “and I love it. I love being with the team. It’s such a unique feeling to skate with all your best friends and to have that connection knowing that when we go to national championships or a local competition, we act as one man.

Worcester Academy's Camilla Manz shows off her pewter medal from the 2022 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships

Over the years, Manz has worked his way up from juvenile to intermediate and now to novice.

There are also junior, senior, collegiate, adult, and master divisions.

The Ice Mates have 24 on the team and 16 on the ice at the same time.

“We do different elements and turns,” Manz said. “There are certain sections where we need to be connected, hold (to each other) or hold hands, and certain elements where we don’t touch at all, but need to be perfectly in sync.”

It’s a bit like watching the Radio City Rockettes on figure skates.

Training and competing with the Ice Mates is a major time commitment for Manz, who is an excellent student and a dedicated member of the Worcester Academy community. In addition to pitching for the track team, Manz serves as Chief Student Ambassador in the WA Admissions Office and a member of the Academy’s Advanced Chorus and Singers.

“He’s a star,” said Neil Isakson, WA’s director of external relations and development operations.

Demanding training schedule

During competitive season (August–February), Manz trains four days a week for 3–4 hours, including a two-hour on-ice session at Boston’s Skating Club in Norwood.

She also skates at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center. Off-ice work includes ballet and physical conditioning.

“It’s definitely a lot with school trying to balance everything out,” Manz said, “but school comes first and if you don’t go to school, you can’t come to practice.”

Manz throws the discus, shot put and javelin for the Hilltoppers and occasionally hosts relays. One of WA’s coaches suggested she try discus throwing because she had experience with rotation in skating.

“It just helps with another form of training in the (skating) offseason,” Manz said. “I use my muscles differently on the ice because I never run, it’s more like sliding or pushing. (Athletics) gives my body a good break, but it’s a good workout for spring training (skating).

Spring training begins next month.

Manz’s brother, Nicholas, graduated from Worcester Academy in 2020, and his positive experience led Manz to attend WA. Nicholas is a sophomore at WPI.

Manz, who is currently enjoying her anatomy and physiology classes, as well as Spanish language and culture classes at AP, hasn’t finalized her college plans yet, but she wants to study health sciences and psychology and go to medical school.

Manz wants to continue with synchronized skating and has trials coming up for the junior and senior level Team USA teams. She fully supports the #WhyNotSynchro movement, which is raising awareness of the sport and pushing to make it an Olympic sport, possibly in 2026.

“That,” Manz said, “would be my ultimate goal.”

Contact Jennifer Toland at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @JenTolandTG