Synchro places second in Sections

Entire team qualifies, headed to State


Abigail Prestholdt

Seniors Bella Steward and Maya Lee pop out of the water during a dress rehearsal May 18. The synchronized swimming team competed in sections May 22.

Kate Schneider

After a challenging season due to COVID-19, sophomore Rachel Katzovitz said the synchronized swim team worked its hardest and came together to support each other at Sections May 22. 

“I think, overall, it was really successful. Everyone had good swims and we were just all there for each other as a team and encouraging each other,” Katzovitz said. “All together, I think the team really pulled through. It was a really difficult year, but we worked really hard and I’m really proud of how everyone did.”

According to assistant coach Jessica Gust, having every swimmer on the team make it to State surpassed her highest expectations. 

“I think it went great, we had the best swims of the season for almost every routine. 16 of our 19 routines qualified through to state which is amazing. It’s the best outcome we could’ve imagined,” Gust said.

Katzovitz said it was exciting seeing the newer swimmers perform so well after learning everything about synchro during a pandemic. 

“Some of the highlights would definitely be our newer swimmers on the short team, because they had a lot going on this year with being in middle school and back in-person,” Katzovitz said. “Then with joining synchro and learning the sport, they were given a bunch of small routines and a difficult team routine and they pulled it off and placed really well.”

With this season being the first for so many on the team, Gust said the progress they made was astonishing.

“So many people have improved so much this year that it’s actually sort of mindblowing to think back to the beginning of the season and where people were at, especially our brand new kids,” Gust said. “We had one girl, who was brand new at the beginning of the season, take second place in her short solo and qualified to go to State. So it’s really exciting to see the amount of improvement that everyone’s had.”

Freshman Lucy Hammerstrand said she was looking forward to State after how well the team did at sections. 

“It feels great, getting all of our swimmers to qualify so they can have that experience,” Hammerstrand said. “I’m excited to watch all the routines and see how much they improved from when they first started.”

According to Katzovitz, the team worked on bonding while staying safe by following COVID guidelines. This paid off by helping the team perform the best it could at Sections, despite missing out on it last year. 

“Over the season, we’ve worked together on how we can become closer and build the community in our team. And we’ve also worked on getting used to the COVID(-19) guidelines and having to swim and then wear our masks and still stay distant, but learn how to be closer,” Katzovitz said. “Getting back into the pool after such a long break was difficult, but everyone was able to work through that.”

Gust said before heading into State, she wants to make the routines as close to perfect as possible, so the swimmers can reach their full potential at the last meet of the season. 

“I think one of the things we’ll take a look at is where do we have a little room left to improve before we head into State and for each routine that’s going to be slightly different. So do we need to work a little bit more on synchronized or presentation execution,” Gust said. “That’s a conversation we’ll have at practice this week to see how much more we can leverage each routine to get the best performance we can at State.”