Hannah Ruste

Hannah Ruste

Swimmers in sync for Summer Games

Synchronized swimming might look like an easy sport, but local synchronized swimmers know otherwise.

Synchronized swimming might look like an easy sport, but local synchronized swimmers know otherwise.

Julia Palfreyman, Meighan Kerr, Kassandra Ferguson, Meagan Sloot, Kayla Muller and Cassidy Schwaerzle, all members of the Vernon Silhouettes Synchronized Swimmers, join Lumby’s Taylor Sexsmith and Josie Sexsmith from the North Okanagan Synchro Star and Kelowna’s Hannah Ruste to represent Thompson Okanagan Zone 2 at the B.C. Summer Games in Nanaimo starting Thursday.

Synchronized swimming uses a combination of swimming, gymnastics and dance, all held together with both technical and artistic difficulty.

“Routines are judged on a three-panel scoring system in technical merit, artistic impression and difficulty,” said Silhouettes’ coach Katie Dick, who also heads the Zone 2 team. “All synchronized swimmers must be creative while still technically strong.”

Synchronized swimmers perform their routines completely under their own power.  Swimmers are not permitted to touch the bottom of the pool, this making all their upside down work possible only under their own arm power.

Palfreyman and Ruste reunite for the 2014 BC Games to perform a duet in the Level 4/5 category.

“For only training together for the past six weeks, both Julia and Hannah perform as a duet that has swam together year round,” said Dick.

Kerr, Ferguson, Sloot, Muller, Schwaerzle and Josie Sexsmith have recreated a team of six over the past six weeks.

“The girls have taken a routine that they have performed all year and created a stronger, more difficult routine full of intricate arm movements, complex highlights and fast moving hybrid figures,” said Dick.

The girls have been working extremely hard since provincials in late May to perfect their routines. They’ve been training six-to-seven days a week in five different pools across the Thompson Okanagan.

In addition to the duet and team competition, Palfreyman, Ruste, and Josie Sexsmith will perform a solo, Taylor Sexsmith will perform a duo with Kamloops Sunrays’ Charlotte Ribalkin and Kerr and Ferguson will also compete as a duo.