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Synchronized at Trent
By Sean Maraj
In this sport, one must be fit, strong and above all else, synchronized.
The Western synchronized swimming team put all their elements in sync and came out with strong performances in their first competition at the Trent-figure ranking meet on Saturday.
Fighting off the tiring effects of a six hour bus ride, the swimmers were able to take to the water easily and produce an impressive performance. Four of the team's athletes finished in the top 10 at the intermediate level, while improved efforts were made by the team in the novice and senior levels.
Western head coach Hilary Brandon said she was happy with their accomplishments and cited the strong finish in the intermediate level as pivotal to their final standings at the competition.
"We did really well overall," Brandon said. "The strengths were in the intermediate division, it's good to have four of our swimmers in the top nine."
Sarah Gravel, Western's assistant coach, said with the first meet of the year behind them, they had the path clear for greater accomplishments. "The team did really well for the first competition and will improve," she said.
Queen's University assistant coach Tracey Britt was also happy with how her team competed and said her team had the potential to finish on top of the Ontario University Athletics division.
"We performed pretty well overall. We did well in the novice and intermediate categories but we need to work on the senior category," Britt said of her team's strengths and weaknesses.
This tournament was the first opportunity the teams had to see their opponents in action. For Britt, the meet was a good chance to see how they stacked up to the top echelons of the OUA. "I think there's going to be a lot of competition this year. We're right up there," Britt said.
Brandon was also quick to offer her assessment of the competition to face her team this coming year. Brandon said for the Mustangs, Queen's will be their number one challenge.
"It looks like Queen's is going to be the only team we have to worry about," she said. Brandon added after the weekend tournament, there were areas where they would need to improve in order to overcome Queen's and the rest of the OUA swimming teams.
"These routines we did, we have to continue to do them, but there are things we can change," Brandon said.
The Mustangs will now break for Christmas but will return to action on Jan. 15 at Queen's.