Lack of new synchro members creates struggle

Team works to recruit middle school students


Junior Brooklyn Donelson practices a side plank with other team members during a barre class Feb. 27. The synchro season starts March 6.

As junior synchronized swimmer Savannah Kjaer prepares for the season, she said she feels the team lacks middle school swimmers who feed the program.

Kjaer said she believes the low numbers are because of the abundance of spring sports available.

“We aren’t getting as many middle school girls as we usually do and part of it would be that there’s a lot of other spring sports girls can do,” Kjaer said.

Senior captain Emma Breyak said since the freshmen synchro members have moved up to the extended division, the team needs swimmers to fill the lower division team.

“Only two or three people joined from the (middle school), and usually we have six or eight, but it comes in waves,” Breyak said.

Synchro coach Jessica Gust said the coaches adapt synchro to the number of students who sign up.

“We just figure it out based on who shows up,” Gust said. “It’s the only thing we can do.”

Gust said the team remains a balance of swimmers from the feeder program and new swimmers.

“There’s a program for elementary aged kids to do synchro, and that’s called Aquafins, so a lot of our kids come from there, but also a lot of kids in the middle school just decide to try it,” Gust said.

Kjaer said she feels recruiting swimmers was successful.

“We have posters up about joining synchro, (and) we’ve (been) trying to get girls from club to join in,” Kjaer said.

Gust said the coaches are always surprised where new synchro members come from.

“(New members) just randomly decide to start and we’re like ‘how come you’re here’ and they’re like ‘I don’t know, it just sounded fun,’” Gust said. “It’s very unpredictable.”

Breyak said she advises students to not be fearful of the synchro practice schedule.

“Don’t be scared by the practice amount because it is actually really manageable, and it’s really fun,” Breyak said.

Kjaer said synchro provides an opportunity to bond with fellow students.

“You get to know the team really well,” Kjaer said. “For the younger girls, they get a chance to meet high schoolers, and for everybody else, you just get to hang out with a great group of girls.”

The synchronized swimming season begins March 6 with practice twice a day.