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Skating Her Way to Nationals
Washington College junior Molly Gallagher is on her way to the U.S. Synchronized Figure Skating National Championships after beating out competition from some of the nation’s best collegiate programs. Gallagher skates with the Chesapeake Captains, a Harford County team comprising 13 full-time students from schools that also include University of Maryland, Loyola and Towson universities and several community colleges.
Gallagher and her teammates will make the impressive journey to the pinnacle of collegiate-level skating in their very first year of existence as a team. In early February, they competed in the Eastern Sectional Championships in Hershey, Pa., facing tough competition from experienced varsity teams including Cornell, Michigan, Delaware, and Massachusetts. Their performance earned them one of just 12 coveted berths at the National Championships in Colorado Springs, Col., which begin on February 27.
A Human Development major with a certification in Elementary Education and a minor in history, Gallagher is also a Peer Mentor and the secretary of Caring for Kids on campus. After winning a Centennial Conference championship with Washington College’s varsity softball team in 2013, she now devotes all of her attention to synchronized skating, travelling across the region (and now the country) to skate with her team.
“I chose WAC to get away from skating, but quickly realized just how much I missed it,” says Gallagher, who has been figure skating for 11 years. She loves it here at Washington College and has met her best friends on the softball team, she is quick to add. But she knows she belongs on the ice, even if she now has to drive 90 minutes every Sunday afternoon to get to it—her team has been practicing at public rinks in her hometown of Abingdon and in Reisterstown, Md.
The Chesapeake Captains are one of only two collegiate-level teams in the country not affiliated with a single college or university. Without the campus ice rink, allocated practice time and athletic-department funding other competitors enjoy, Gallagher and her teammates are responsible for organizing and funding travel, competition fees, ice time and coaching in order to compete. Just ten days from the start of the national competition, the team was still fundraising through its website, chesapeakesynchro.com.
Everybody at Washington College wishes Molly and her team the best of luck in Colorado!
— George Gabriel ’14