Hometown advantage reaps medals

There was continued success for Tauranga Synchro at the North Island Synchronised Swimming Championships with the club taking away a large haul of medals across a range of categories.

Tauranga Synchro hosted the annual championships which proved to be a popular spectator event at Baywave, with more than 500 spectators throughout the weekend.

The New Zealand Synchronised Swimming Team ‘The Aquaferns' during the North Island Synchronised Swimming Championships. Photo: Tracy Hardy.

The Open Team represented by Kira Van Os, Isobel Pettit, Eden Worsley, Maya Lowans, Karlina Steiner and Zyleika Smith took gold and scored highly with their toe tapping routine which starts with the music from “Jail House Rock”.

Eden Worsley took the top spot in the 13/14/15 Figures Competition and along with her duet partner Isobel Pettit also took gold in the 13/14/15 Duets.

Pettit also swam in the Junior Duets with her partner Kira Van Os taking silver.

In the 12 & Under category – Tauranga club took out all available golds.

Zyleika Smith placed 1st in the Figures Competition with Maya Lowans placing 2nd, both going on to take gold in the Duet.

Karlina Steiner took gold in the 12 & Under Solo and Talitha McEwan took bronze with her Eye of the Tiger routine showing huge confidence executing her first ever Solo in front of a huge audience. All four athletes combined in the Team where they won gold – the first time they had ever swum together in a competition.

In the Aquanauts section of the competition, Catriona Robertson placed 1st and Emma Coffey 2nd in the figures. The two then combined with Rhiannon Mabey, and took silver in the Trio.

There were two highlights at the championships at the weekend – both at very different ends of the synchro spectrum.

First were the displays by the beginners in the club “The Dolphins” – they performed their very first routine to delight the audience. There were two displays – one to the music of The Lion King and the other to The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book.

Secondly were the displays by the New Zealand Synchronised Swimming Team, The Aquaferns, wowing the audience with their Tech Team and Free Team displays on both days.

The team of 10 includes four local girls – Sarsha Younger, Eva Morris, Jazzlee Thomas and Amy Lowans and their coaches Julieta Diaz and Suzanne Ribeiro who both now live in Tauranga.

Diaz came to Tauranga Synchro four years ago from Argentina and Ribeiro last year from Brazil.

The Team is heading overseas next weekend – to Barcelona for the Spanish Open, then to Zurich for the Swiss Open and ultimately to Kazan, Russia to The World Championships in July where they will be contesting for a spot at The Olympics in Rio in 2016.

“Our Club's strength comes from having committed girls who want to grow all the time in their sport,” says Diaz.

“We also have a fantastic large group of beginners this year which will ensure the Club has a good base for growth. With the huge publicity and interest the NZ Aquaferns are receiving, we are expecting this growth to continue.”

Beginners can come to Baywave at 9am on a Saturday morning or ring Ange on 5525416 for more information.



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A great ’reflection’ of the wet day at Harbourside finals on Saturday. Photo: Tierre Thompson.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz