After competing at the regional North Zone Synchronized Swim meet in Indianapolis, Indiana, two age group teams from the New Berlin Synquettes Synchronized Swim Club have qualified to go to national competition. The nationals meet, 2011 eSynchro Age Group Championships, is held late June in Federal Way, Washington, near Seattle. According to the Synchronized Swimming website, it is the largest swim meet in the world with approximately 1000 of the top age group Synchronized Swimming athletes. The New Berlin Synquettes have qualified for team, and trio routines this year, by their 12 and under age group and a team routine for the 16-17 age group swimmers.
The girls have a few weeks to fine tune and prepare for the event. This includes almost swimming daily. They also practice at home, “land drilling”, in which they perform their routine without water using hand motions to simulate leg motion. In addition to all the practice, they do fund raising to help offset pool and travel costs such as holding a brat fry and selling candy bars. The girls are motivated to do whatever it takes.
The New Berlin Synquettes have a long history with New Berlin, where the program has been offered for over 25 years. They have been successful, accomplishing national recognition, coached by Jill Gretenhart. Gretenhart says that the sport is often appealing to girls and their parents because it rolls dance, gymnastics and swimming into a single performing event. "The nice part of that is the girls don’t develop intense injuries because they are doing all of the activities in the water," she says.
"Not only are the girls learning to be team players, but the sport teaches them to think on the spot," she says. "If someone makes a mistake — and we all make them — they have to fix it immediately and keep going, as if nothing has happened. That’s an important skill to take into adulthood.” For summer synchro classes contact the Village of Elm Grove and for more information on the New Berlin Synquettes, call Jill Gretenhart at (262) 783-4299 or visit their website https://sites.google.com/site/synquettesswim/home
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