Volume 92, Issue 73

Friday, February 5, 1999


Badgers lack shooting touch to win

Young Badgers give Western a scare

Aqua dancers ready for finals

Aqua dancers ready for finals

©Randy Quan/Gazette

SIMON SAYS CLAP YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR. Western's synchronized swimming team is setting their watches in time for a competition this weekend at the University of Toronto.

By Sean Maraj

Gazette Staff

There's a good chance not many people know what synchronized swimming is, other than some distant event at the Olympics. The Western Mustangs synchro team, however, will attempt to bring some recognition of the sport to campus when they compete in the Ontario University Athletics finals in Toronto this weekend.

The team, consisting of 15 members, many of whom are in the novice category, will be competing in four categories over the weekend. These four divisions include a technical routine, several duets, solo routines and finally, what is perhaps must important of all, the team program.

The team category, where the Mustangs hope to have their best showing, consists of nine athletes working in unison. Timing is everything and trusting your teammates is essential for success in the water. Team captain Sonya Clark is the only member of the team beyond her third year of competition, leaving experience a question mark in the team's performances.

Unlike other varsity teams, there are not many games or tournaments for the synchronized swim team to come together. In total, there were only three scheduled events this year for the aqua ballerinas to compete in – one of which was cancelled due to bad weather in early January.

"This year numbers are the big thing. We have girls in the novice and senior categories. Team unity has become a strength. We've really worked on it over the past few months," Clark said.

In preparation for this weekend's final showdown, the team feels their most impressive display of talent will come in the team category. All nine members have worked hard in practice for months.

Mustang head coach Hilary Brandon was quick to point out how well the team has pulled together this season. "We try to focus on team unity as much as we can – we go out together. The team has come together really well."

With a successful week of practice behind them the synchronized swim team is now prepared for the big event over the weekend. In Toronto they will face their toughest competition from the McGill Marletts and the Queen's Golden Gaels.

Queen's head coach Sharyl-Lynn Fyffe felt the competition will be tough for the provincial championship and echoed a positive view for the Western team.

"McGill and McMaster are the strongest teams but Western should do fairly well, they are a strong team," Flyffe said.

Competition will begin on Friday at the University of Toronto and continue through until Sunday.

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