Synchro Sea Queens strut into games
Alberta Winter Games: Foothills team sends six to Banff/Canmore
Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 06:00 am
Newcomers on the competitive scene have gracefully booked their ticket to the province’s top showcase of youth athletics.
Six members of the recreational Okotoks Synchro Sea Queens made the quixotic leap to competitive synchronized swimming this season and twirled their way to the 2014 Alberta Winter Games after navigating through trials in Edmonton last month.
“It was a bit overwhelming because there was a lot of people there and it was our first competition,” said Sea Queen Keelin Fenske, a Grade 8 student at Okotoks Junior High School. “We just started in September as a competitive team so it was pretty nerve-wracking, but we were really excited at the same time.”
The Dec. 14 trials incorporated every zone in the province with results then broken down by zone, making for an, at times, overwhelming experience for the new kids on the competitive block.
“It was pretty scary. I kind of started freaking out because the competition, the other teams were really good, and we’re kind of a rec club,” said Sea Queen Jordan Kobelka, a Grade 7 student at Okotoks Junior High. “Pretty much once I got in the water the nerves disappeared.”
The Sea Queens performed a two-to-three minute routine to instrumental music with figures, lines, arm work, a triangle pattern and a circle pattern to finish it off.
“It feels really good, we’re very, very excited,” Kobelka said of moving on to the Alberta Winter Games. “And we’re getting ready because there’s not much time left.”
Filling out the six-person Zone 2 roster are Sea Queens Jocelyn Taylor, Jenna McCormick, Jennifer Whale and Mikayla Wood — all from Calgary.
Sea Queens instructors Mary-Beth Flaherty and Shawna Koski will be leading their charges in Banff-Canmore as the Zone 2 coaches.
“It will help a lot because me and Keelin we’ve both had Shawna before and we’ve all worked with Mary-Beth very well,” said Kobelka, 11.
McCormick and Wood are new to the team, joining the other four synchronized swimmers who’ve trained and performed together for two years.
With limited slots available at the Riley Minue Pool, the Sea Queens have made the most of their two weekly training sessions to refine their routine at every level.
“We do figures, because we have some figures in our routine that we have to nail and be on time with, and then we do the routine,” said Fenske, 12. “We do a drill on-deck, then we go in the water and do it with music. It’s a whole process.”
The synchronized swimming competition is held at Elevation Place in Canmore from Feb. 7-9. The team competition runs at 3:15 p.m. on Feb. 8.
“I’m most looking forward to the routine, just the excitement of actually staying in the water. You know what you’re doing and you want everyone to see what you’re doing,” Fenske said. “It’s just really fun.
“We don’t really expect to win, we just want to go in for the experience. That’s what my coach is stressing.”
The Sea Queens know the odds are stacked against them in Canmore as they swim against competitive teams with more experience at big events, but it’s only strengthening their resolve to turn some heads in the Rockies.
“We’re not looking at first because the other teams have probably been in competitions more than we have,” Kobelka said. “But we’re definitely working on just doing our best and having fun.”
For more information on the 2014 Alberta Winter Games go to 2014awg.ca