TROY, N.Y. – A local synchronized swimming team will compete at the national level this week.
Fourteen members of the Sculpins Synchronized swim team will compete at the Synchronized Swimming Championships at the end of the week.
The team has a history of success, but it’s not as easy as they make it look. A top athlete in synchronized swimming requires peak endurance, strength and flexibility.
They call it dancing in the water.
“It puts together gymnastics, swimmer, some elements of cheerleading all together,” swimmer Carolyne Guo said.
The Sculpins Synchro are a team that has become very good at putting it all together.
“We have 14 athletes who are headed to Seattle, Washington for the national age group championships,” coach Sara Neitzel said.
To get to this point, they had to perfect their routines. The first part includes having heads above the water.
“That’s where you see all the pretty arms,” Guo said.
The second is called Originals.
“That’s when you have your legs above the water, and that’s when we do things called cranes, ballet legs,” Guo continued.
“The swimmer that can go out there and draw the audience in and really look like they are connecting with their music is the swimmer that’s going to get that added bump up in their score,” Neitzel said.
The team practices for hours four days a week, and it has earned them a trip back to the national championship.
“Spending this much time together for a whole year brings us close as a family,” swimmer Mathilde Warren said. “We’re practically sisters.”
And that may be the key to the group bringing home their first title.