2007 CANADIAN ESPOIR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
SYNCHRONIZE SWIMMING – May 23-27, 2007 – Saint John, New Brunswick
Ontario Brings Home Gold for the 1st Time in 20 Years!
GOLD !!! - Ontario brings home the Gold! For the first time in 20 years an Ontario 15-yrs-old-and-under synchronized swimming team took FIRST place at the Canadian Espoir National Championships. Coach Kelly Hogan of the Olympium Synchronized Swim Club (OSSC) in Etobicoke celebrated a GOLDEN performance with her Tier 6 (15 & Under) team at the 2007 Canadian Espoir NATIONAL Championships in Saint John, New Brunswick on May 23-27, 2007.
The Gold Team swam an outstanding routine giving them a solid first place finish, with a routine score of 81.333 and Championship score of 75.3998. Their closest competitor was Quebec, who was moved from their customary top spot on the podium to a silver finish with a championship score of 73.846. The crowd was awed with the OSSC’s Gold team’s strength, flexibility, speed and synchronization; Kelly Hogan’s choreography was second to none.
The National GOLD for Hogan’s Tier 6 team has followed GOLD finishes earlier this season in team at both Provincials and the Eastern Atlantic Divisional Championships. The OSSC winning team members are: Rachel Kowalski of Kitchener, Rebecca Maule and Stephanie Uhrig of Guelph, Lara Tutton of Burlington, Sarah Graham and Elizabeth Todd of Etobicoke, Kate Uhlman and Natalie Mintz of Toronto, and Lindsay Lukezic and Chloe Brown of Mississauga.
The OSSC’s Gold Team continued to shine through figures and solo competitions as Rachel Kowalski received silver in Figures and silver in Solo; and Rebecca Maule received bronze in Figures and a sixth place podium finish for Solo. The Duet competition proved just as successful for the Golden OSSC team as Kowalski and Maule won SILVER, Natalie Mintz and Elizabeth Todd placed 7th, and Sarah Graham and Lara Tutton placed 8th.
The excitement was sustained as the OSSC Gold team had 5 athletes named to the National 13-15 Team. The 2007 (13-15) National Team is comprised of the top 16 of CANADA’s Tier 6 (13-15 year old) athletes based on figure results after two sets of competition. Congratulations to the OSSC’s Chloe Brown, Sarah Graham, Rachel Kowalski, Rebecca Maule, and Elizabeth Todd who will represent Canada on the National Team. These athletes have been invited to a National Team training camp this summer in Quebec City.
The OSSC’s high performance program also celebrated stellar performances from their Tier 6 (15 & Under) Black and Red Teams. Under the coaching of Elena Podobsky, the Black Team swam a lively “Swing Jazz” routine that gave them standing in the top 10 with a 9th place finish. Black Team members are: Jordan Field of Burlington, Samantha Nealon of Morriston, Xenia Reinfels of Puslinch, Mali Foster, Samantha Hainer, Amanda Messere of Etobicoke, Angela Kokolakis of Toronto, Tess Kruspe of Oakville, and Carlin Jessop of Newmarket. The Red Team, coached by Taya Amundson, is the OSSC’s youngest Tier 6 competitive team and has some members who are in their first year of synchronized swimming. This made the Red Team’s 14th place finish a wonderful accomplishment for the members: Sydney and Bronte Murcar-Evans of Milton, Avery Patrick of Burlington, Kathaleen Carpenter and Sophia Kokolakis of Toronto, Haley Miller and Antoinette Monardo of Etobicoke, and Sachel Robarts of Mississauga.
Although all of the members of the OSSC’s Gold Team have been synchronized swimming for many years this is the first season that they have competed together as a team. Their winning results demonstrate the outcome of months of hard work and dedication as the swimmers began training for the National Competition in August of the previous year. The Tier 6 OSSC athletes train 5 days a week for 2 to 4 hours per day, supported and guided by a national level coaching staff. Chloe Brown explained, “We do it because we love synchronized swimming. We have so much fun in the pool that it never really feels like work. When we win it is a tremendous feeling because it means as swimmers we have come together as one. In synchronized swimming it is all about the team, and there is nothing better than being a part of a great team!” Sarah Graham added, "Synchronized swimming has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Our team has been focused on the gold medal at Nationals all year. Every swim we gave 100% and knew as a team we could achieve our goal. Winning was amazing and so is our team!!!"
Quotes from other Gold Team Members:
Lara Tutton, "When we finally got our gold medals it really showed that our hard work and dedication had paid off."
Stephanie Uhrig, "It’s a great feeling to be a part of a group of ten different personalities, all coming together as one for the same common goal (#1 in Canada). It takes compromise on everyone's part to achieve this and I was glad to be a part of it. Everyone had a role on this team and it took all ten to make it happen. This victory I will carry with me for the rest of my life."
Elizabeth Todd, “It’s such a great feeling to be part of a team that has gone through so much and worked so hard for this. I’m so proud to be a part of our circle and to have come so far with these girls. Our team made Ontario proud and has set the standards for every other girl in this sport. The most wonderful feeling is to have your dreams come true, and it is even better when you get to experience it with 9 other girls. Synchronized swimming, to me, is really the best sport a girl can do.”
Lindsay Lukezic, "The team has worked extremely hard this year and it feels great to have achieved our goals. Each of us brought something unique to the team that combined to make us strong and successful. I'm so proud of our shared accomplishments and even more proud to say I was a part of this great team!"
Natalie Mintz, “I remember the incredible feeling when we were walking out on deck to begin our swim for the gold medal. The feeling never felt so encouraging and it made me want to swim the best I could for my team and it put a smile on my face. After realizing our dream had come true, it proved that it took a whole team to win the gold. I never felt as happy and thrilled at the same time as when they called out our team to step onto the podium to receive our Gold medals. I am so proud to have been part of the ‘GOLD’ team this year. I love synchro.”
Rebecca Maule, "Being the national champions is very rewarding because this was our team’s dream. The fact that we made this dream come true shows that if you truly want something and work together, nothing is impossible."
Rachel Kowalski, "Knowing that we are the national champions means achieving something so valuable to us. We knew from the very beginning that if we set our minds on winning the gold, we'd be 100% successful."
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com