POULSBO — Kitsap Water Blossoms synchronized swim team head coach Lynn Hovde wishes she could have caught the flight to Ohio with her squad on Sunday afternoon.
Unfortunately for Hovde, she wasn’t able to make the trip to nationals with her team.
“I really wanted to go,” she said. “I just couldn’t get the time off.”
Hovde is a teacher at Olympic College.
Fortunately for the Water Blossoms, assistant coach Lindsey Erickson made the trip with the team for its biggest competition of the year.
The Water Blossoms synchronized swim team made the trek across the country for the ESYNCHRO Age Group National Championships in Oxford, Ohio. The swimmers advanced in team routine, trio and duet portions after a strong performance at the West Zone Regional Synchronized Swimming Championships on May 19 and May 20 in Portland, Ore.
The team began competing at nationals Wednesday and will finish the competition this afternoon.
The team includes Stephanie Balk, Julianne Gurnee, Amy Martin, Ramona Morshead, Kathryn Surber and Kat Weiner. The team is coached by Hovde, Erickson and Marina Morshead.
Despite not being able to make the trip, Hovde said her squad is ready to show what it’s made of on the biggest stage.
“They have been practicing hard for this,” she said. “Before they left, they doubled up the workouts. They’re ready for the competition they’re facing over there. The team worked hard. Before they left, they were pretty excited.”
Hovde said all six athletes competing in nationals have been practicing six days a week for two hours a day for the last month at the North Kitsap Community Pool in preparation for the trip.
“I don’t think they’re nervous at all. It’s gotten to a point now where they probably are past being nervous,” she said. “They have given it their all in practice and have prepared as well as they could. They have nothing to be nervous about.”
Hovde hopes her team will enjoy the spectacle that is nationals.
“This is the first year these athletes have made it this far,” she said. “They made it this far by sticking together. Our goal is to do the best we can and just see where we end up.”
This year’s experience could benefit the team next year, Hovde said.
“Hopefully we can go back in 2008. Our goal is to do the best we can this year and shoot for even higher goals next year,” she said. “We just want them to continue getting better.”
Be sure to check out a future issue of the Herald to see a recap of the national championships.