Team USA waves to the crowd after competing in free combo Friday (Photo by Liz Corman).
LA MIRADA, Calif. – The U.S. Senior National Team won bronze medals in team and combo Friday at the Synchro America Open, a leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series.
The U.S. scored 83.5667 points in free combo to finish third behind Ukraine (92.000 points) and Japan (89.3000). Team USA later added another bronze in the team free event.
U.S. assistant coach Sara Lowe said this squad, which also makes up the bulk of the U.S. Junior National Team, has gained valuable experience by competing in World Series events in China and Canada this year. The U.S. will compete at the FINA Artistic Swimming Junior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, July 18-22.
“I think they definitely made an improvement from Canada – at every competition we’ve been at we’re looking for improvement, because obviously we’re looking for their best performance at Junior Worlds this summer,” Lowe said. “I think the best thing about going to all these competitions is the exposure for these athletes, for them to see the level that some of the other countries are swimming at.”
Competing for the U.S. in the free combo were Grace Alwan (Andover, Mass.), Paige Areizaga (Palm Coast, Fla.), Yara Elian (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Nicole Goot (San Jose, Calif.), Hannah Heffernan (Las Vegas, Nev.), Cassandra Neeley (Williamsville, N.Y.), Daniella Ramirez (Miami, Fla.), Ruby Remati (Andover, Mass.), Abby Remmers (Sugar Land, Texas) and Emma Tchakmakjian (New Canaan, Conn.).
Team USA scored 84.3333 points in the team free final to win bronze. Ukraine won another gold, scoring 91.6667 points, and Canada claimed silver with 86.9667.
The U.S. team competing in free included Alwan, Elian, Goot, Heffernan, Neeley, Ramirez, Remmers and Tchakmakjian.
“We told the athletes it was one of the most consistent swims we’ve seen. There was no major flaw,” Lowe said. “Now we need to work on the execution and the detail work. It needs to get higher, it needs to get sharper. But overall the consistency of the routine is getting a little bit stronger.”
In the mixed duet tech final, Jaejun Byun and Gabin Lee, representing the Meraquas of Irvine, earned bronze with 72.0526 points. Italy’s Manila Flamini and Giorgio Minisini won gold with 87.2572 points, and Colombia’s Jhair Galeano and Ingrid Usuga took silver at 76.4896.
Lindi Schroeder of Optima Synchro won the junior solo free final Friday with 76.9333 points to earn gold in the solo event with 155.1757 combined points. Jihye Kim of the Meraquas of Irvine was second at 149.1675, just edging Noelle Song of the La Mirada Aquabelles, who had 149.0868 total points.
Jihye Kim and Gabin Lee of the Meraquas of Irvine won junior duet, scoring a combined 149.4065 points. La Mirada’s Abigail Kartzinel and Christina Wu took silver at 147.1237, and ANA Synchro’s Reverie Nedde and Ella Sharon earned bronze with 73.0333 points.
Saturday marks the final day of the Synchro America Open, with finals in senior solo free, senior highlight, senior mixed duet free, senior duet free and junior team free.
The Synchro America Open is being live-streamed by Takeitlive.tv at https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Synchronized-Swimming/Events/Video/2018-Championships/2018-Synchro-America-Open.
For full results from the Synchro America Open, go to https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Synchronized-Swimming/Events/2018/June/06/2018-Synchro-America-Open.