Synchronized swimmers make a splash at nationals competition

OXFORD, OHIO — After a nine-month season stretching from September to June, the Kitsap Water Blossoms Synchronized swim team finished its this season in style, competing at the ESYNCHRO Age Group National Championships in Oxford, Ohio from June 22-30. The team advanced in team routine, trio and duet portions after a strong performance at the West Zone Regional Synchronized Swimming Championships on May 19 and 20 in Portland, Ore.

OXFORD, OHIO — After a nine-month season stretching from September to June, the Kitsap Water Blossoms Synchronized swim team finished its this season in style, competing at the ESYNCHRO Age Group National Championships in Oxford, Ohio from June 22-30. The team advanced in team routine, trio and duet portions after a strong performance at the West Zone Regional Synchronized Swimming Championships on May 19 and 20 in Portland, Ore.

Water Blossoms participants at nationals included Stephanie Balk, Julianne Gurnee, Amy Martin, Ramona Morshead, Kathryn Surber and Kat Weiner.

Despite not placing in the three divisions they competed in, the Water Blossoms team put forth its best marks of the season in two of the three events in front of a panel of seven judges. In team routine, the Blossoms earned a personal record of 7.0. The Water Blossoms nabbed its second personal record from the judges in the team trio event, unveiling a mark of 6.8. Scores are based on a 1-10 scale.

“They were happy with their results,” said Water Blossoms coach Lynn Hovde. “Our coaches said they were jumping up and down after they found out how well they had done. They did way better than their usual scores.”

Hovde thinks her team will do even better in 2008.

“I am happy with how they did this year,” she said. “We’re ready to go back and do it again next year.”

The Water Blossoms are a young team and that should bode well for them in the future.

“Five of the six girls that went to nationals competed in nationals for the first time in their careers,” Hovde said. “They will continue to keep improving as athletes in the next few years. They got their first taste of it this season. We have the experience behind us now.”

The squad possesses a team chemistry that pays dividends in the pool.

“We have a dynamic group of swimmers. They’re a great group and genuinely like each other,” Hovde said. “It’s really great to be around them. They have been teammates together for a while.”

Hovde said the season was a valuable learning experience for the Water Blossoms.

“They set a goal early in the season and they achieved that goal,” she said. “They put a lot of work in and learned a lot this year. They pushed themselves. The scores they put up at nationals showed just how much they improved.”