Swimmers from Tauranga Synchro took all the top titles in the key 13-15 age groups at the 2012 National Synchronised Swimming Championships in Invercargill last week.
Emma Weston, Janaya Worthington, Sophie Ning, Jazzlee Thomas, Sophie Godden and Eva Morris took out the 15 and under team category in a routine built around a Beatles medley, with Eva and Jazzlee teaming up to win the duet. In the solo division, where the focus is on synchronisation to the music, Jazzlee finished first and Eva was third.
"It's not often you get one club having the strength to take the clean sweep," said Sue Edwards, Synchro Swim NZ chairperson. "It's a reflection on the hard work the girls have put in, and the influence of the investment the club has made in their Argentinean coach, Julieta Diaz.
"She has done some great work on their skills and choreography. You can also see her influence with the younger girls who are starting to come through, and we look forward to seeing them in future years."
In the beginners dolphin category, new swimmer Amy Lowans finished first in dolphin figures, with Kira van Os narrowly missing a third placing.
The dolphin team, coached by Nola Younger, swimming to African-themed music, placed second with Amy, Kira, Zyleica Smith, Maya Lowans, Beth Taylor and Isobel Pettit. Isobel and Beth teamed up with Zoe Beck to place second in the Aquanauts trio.
Sophie Ning and Larissa Wilson from Aquinas College placed second in the college duet, and third in the Aquarinas duet categories, with both swimmers also playing a key role in the open team combination that was third.
"This was a brand new routine for us this nationals," said coach Julieta Diaz. "We will be building on that in the coming year, and hope to qualify for selection to the Oceania competition next year. It has a tango theme which is lots of fun and drama for the girls to swim."
Sarsha Younger, a foundation member of the Tauranga club who continues to swim under their banner despite being based in Auckland for her studies, finished second in her open tech and free duet competitions, and third in solos.
She is waiting to hear whether her swims have qualified her for New Zealand selection again this year. Her former school, Tauranga Girls' College, continued to perform with new British arrivals, Emma and Sophie Godden, combining with Eva Morris, Janaya Worthington, Emma Weston and Beth Taylor for second in the college team's division.
"We were thrilled with our results at this year's nationals," said Tauranga Synchro chairperson Shirley Hooper.
"We took our biggest team ever away to Invercargill and as well as the athlete medals won, Tauranga club was also awarded the Spirit Cup, for the best team spirit.
"We are lucky to have fantastic support from our swimmers and parents, and we're always looking to grow the club further.
"If anyone out there would like to try synchro, come along to Baywave on the first Saturday of every month at 9am and we'll get you in the pool to try it out."
2012 NATIONAL INTERSCHOOL RESULTS
- College Duet: 2nd Aquinas College Sophie Ning & Larissa Wilson
- College Team: 2nd Tauranga Girls' College Emma Weston, Janaya Worthington, Beth Taylor, Emma and Sophie Godden, Eva Morris
2012 SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
- 13/14/15 Solo: 1st Jazzlee Thomas, 3rd Eva Morris
- 13/14/15 Duet: 1st Eva Morrisand Jazzlee Thomas
- 13/14/15 Figures: 1st Jazzlee Thomas
- 15 & Under Team: 1st Sophie Ning, Emma Weston, Janaya Worthington, Jazzlee Thomas, Eva Morris Reserve: Sophie Godden
- Dolphin Figures: 1st Amy Lowans
- Dolphin Team: 2nd Zyleica Smith, Amy Lowans, Maya Lowans, Kira van Os, Beth Taylor, Isobel Pettit
- Aquanauts Duet/Trio: 2nd Isobel Pettit, Zoe Beck and Beth Taylor
- Aquarinas Duet/Trio: 3rd Sophie Ning & Larissa Wilson
- Open Free and Tech Solo: 3rd Sarsha Younger
- Open Free and Tech Duet: 2nd Sarsha Younger & Abby Hustler
- Open Free Team: 3rd Sophie Ning, Emma Weston, Janaya Worthington, Jazzlee Thomas, Eva Morris, Emma & Sophie Godden, Larissa Wilson