Team USA to compete at Spanish Senior Winter Open
INDIANAPOLIS – The U.S. national synchronized swimming team will take part in the Spanish Senior Winter Open in Barcelona, Spain, this weekend, its final competition before the Olympics Qualification Tournament.
Spain, Italy, Germany, Britain, Kazakhstan, Switzerland and Ukraine will also compete at the Spanish event, to be held Feb. 25-26.
U.S. coach Mayu Fujiki, who helped lead Spain to two silver medals at the 2008 Olympic Games, said the event is an important tune-up for the Olympics Qualification Tournament in April.
“We all thought it would be very important for us to compete somewhere else before we go to the big meet in London in April," said Fujiki. "I think it’s great that we get to go to Spain. This is our first time competing as a new team -- we went to China in December, but it was a completely different setting. We did everything we could to change the routines since last year, so we’re very excited to show that and get feedback in Spain. I think it will be a great experience for the team.”
The U.S. Olympic Selection Team was finalized in November after the U.S. Olympic Trials in Greensboro, N.C. In December the team finished sixth at the World Trophy in Beijing, where scores were given for artistic impression only.
Ginny Jasontek, the Honorary Secretary of FINA’s Technical Synchronized Swimming Committee, was recently asked by Fujiki to critique the team.
“I find that the team as a whole is quite strong," said Jasontek. "It seems that they have gelled as a team. The last two laps of the team’s free program have been rewritten with some new choreography, and it’s very exciting.
“This is a whole new team in every way, in every sense of the word. There is a new energy, and Mayu is doing a great job. She’s really working on their height and their extension, which is what they’re going to need to be able to compete in that arena.”
The U.S. team will compete in an Olympic Qualification Tournament in London on April 18-22 for a chance to qualify for a berth in the team and duet competitions at the 2012 Olympic Games.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Selection Synchronized Swimming Team includes:
Megan Hansley (New Canaan, Conn.), Mary Killman (McKinney, Texas), Maria Koroleva (Concord, Calif.), Michelle Moore (Tonawanda, N.Y.), Olivia Morgan (Lafayette, Calif.), team captain Leah Pinette (Bristol, Conn.), Caitlin Stewart (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Michelle Theriault (North Hills, Calif.) and Alison Williams (Northridge, Calif.). Morgan Fuller (Sunnyvale, Calif.) is the alternate.