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Merrimack students are going above and beyond in their accomplishments in and out of the classroom

April 14, 2014
Ashley Tomich and River Kynoch, students at Merrimack College, are pursuing their dreams through an elite synchronized skating team. The Haydenettes are the number one synchronized skating team in the United States, based in Marlboro, Massachusetts. Tomich and Kynoch work hard to balance their commitment to earning a bachelors degree with their passion for competitive synchronized skating.

Tomich, a freshman from West Caldwell, New Jersey, began skating in first grade, under the tutelage of her mother, who is a skating coach, and her father, a hockey player. Now she is a member of the prestigious Haydenettes team, while simultaneously working towards her Elementary Education degree and participating in the honors program here at Merrimack. She decided to attend Merrimack College for its reputable Education Department. As for the future, Tomich said she wants, “to give back to the sport that gave so much to me” through coaching. 

Kynoch, a sophomore from Easton, Connecticut is a Human Development major. She also began skating at a young age, taking after her mother. Upon making this “dream team,” Kynoch showed her dedication to the Haydenettes during her senior year of high school by traveling to practice over three hours away from home, several days a week. Kynoch commented on the excitement she feels at the Worlds competition, “It is exciting to see teams from all over at the Worlds competition, interact with other skaters, watch the competition, and to show everyone everything you have been working towards.”

The Haydenettes are one of 12 teams that get to represent the United States. The team has achieved many accomplishments, including winning the national championship 22 times and winning the bronze medal at Worlds the past four years in a row. Kynoch and Tomich have traveled to France for the French Cup, and this year just returned from the Worlds completion in Courmayeur, Italy, where they placed 7th overall out of twenty-three teams and eighteen countries represented.

Both girls discussed the ability to balance school and skating through time management and Merrimack’s faculty support. Merrimack’s small classes and individualized attention from faculty, allows these girls to focus on both their studies and their skating simultaneously. They are excited about the rapid growth of the sport in recent years and the hopes that it will one day become part of the Olympics. Whether they would be skating on the team or be part of the push to enter the sport into the Olympics, Kynoch and Tomich would love to be a part of that exciting movement.

Merrimack values developing students in and out of the classroom. Kynoch and Tomich are furthering their teamwork and collaboration skills, aligned with the Augustinian values of community.

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