Jan. 26, 2006
By Rachel Byers
With sparkling swimsuits, pointed toes, splashing water and smiles, synchronized swimmers literally dance in water. The Ohio University Competitive Synchronized Swim Team will make a splash hosting their first-ever meet on Sunday, Jan. 29. For this very special event, the Aquatic Center will host the synchronized swim teams of Ohio State University and Miami University. The Ohio State team has earned their fame as the number-two competitive synchronized swim team in the nation.
Synchronized swimming requires hard work and dedication. Ohio University Synchro practices three to four times a week, swimming laps and working on routines. Team members choreograph each routine consisting of three to five songs. Plus, a portion of practice is spent out of the water land drilling. Land drilling is a complex set of arm movements that correspond to movements in water. It helps the girls to learn the song's counts and memorize the routine.
The club has grown to 13 members this year. Club President Carin Martin, a junior from Galena, and Captain Beth Volpe, a sophomore from Columbus, lead the team. Some girls had previous experience on high school competitive or show synchronized swim teams. However, for four rookies, this year was the first time they danced in water. "This is my last year at Ohio University and I wanted to do something fun," says Pamela Hancock, a senior from Chicago. "The best part is making close friendships with all the girls on the team."
The Ohio University Competitive Synchronized Swim team was formed only three years ago by alumnae Patti Johnson and Carin Martin. This year the club sport received a grant from the university to encourage its growth. Martin thought the best way to use the money was to host Ohio University's very first competitive synchronized swim meet.
"Many people don't know what goes into competitive synchronized swimming," says Martin. "So far we've only done shows here. This home meet will let everyone know that there are judges, rules, points and scores involved with competitive synchro. It's a great opportunity to make OU Synchro known on campus."
A competitive synchronized swim meet usually has several events that a panel of judges scores. There are team swims and solo, duet and trio swims. Ohio University Synchro has two teams on their club: one beginner and one advanced. Additionally, there is a figure event during a competitive meet. Figures are a single move performed without music judges score based on form and precision. At the Jan. 29 meet, figures will not be performed due to time restrictions.
The Ohio University Competitive Synchronized Swim meet will be held in the Aquatic Center Sunday, Jan. 29. Solo, duet and trio events will begin at 11 a.m., and team competition will begin at 12:45 p.m. Admission is $2 for students, $4 for adults.
Rachel Byers is a student writer with University Communications and Marketing.