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USA Wins Gold with Aquamaids in Team at Synchro America Open 

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Team USA’s mixed duet places first in tech; 3 Olympians place on Olympic Day 

The U.S. senior national team won gold and its mixed duet placed first in tech Friday at the Synchro America Open presented by Le Rêve – The Dream.

Swimming to an African theme that included songs from the soundtracks of “Cry Freedom,” “Blood Diamonds” and “Hotel Rwanda,” the U.S. scored 84.9000 points in the team free final to win the team event with 166.2664 overall points. Canada was second at 163.2074 and Argentina third at 153.3469. 

[Top Image: The U.S. won the team event Friday at the Synchro America Open in East Meadow, N.Y. Photo by Liz Corman]

The U.S. squad has only been training together for a couple of months, but U.S. team coach Jenny Ekhilevsky said they were headed in the right direction leading into next month’s FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

“These are brand-new routines for both of our programs, for eight people who are swimming together for the first time. It all needs to be adapted and standardized,” she said. “So we’ve certainly had our challenges. But they did a great job from where we came from. We have to go forward, cleaning up, making things better along the way, and in three weeks, give it the best that we can give it.”

Members of the U.S. Senior National Training Squad competing at the event are: Anita Alvarez (Kenmore, N.Y.); Elizabeth Davidson (Northridge, Calif.); Nicole Dzurko (Monte Sereno/Los Gatos, Calif.); Rachel Jager (Williamsville, N.Y); Jacklyn Luu (Milpitas, Calif.); Louisa Strutynski (Carmel, Calif./Calgary, Alberta); Alexandra Suarez (San Diego, Calif.); Karensa Tjoa (San Jose, Calif.); Natalia Vega (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico); Monica Velazquez-Stiak (Phoenix, Ariz.); and Victoria Woroniecki (Palm Coast, Fla.).

Team USA’s Bill May (Cicero, N.Y./Las Vegas) and Kanako Spendlove (Las Vegas) scored 86.3349 points to place first in mixed duet tech during the early session at Nassau County Aquatic Center.

Bill May and Kanako Spendlove placed first in mixed duet tech. Both are coached by Aquamaids head coach Chris Carver (Photo by Liz Corman)

Synchro Canada’s Isabelle Blanchet-Rampling and Robert Prevost were second with 79.2398 points, and Germany’s Amelie Ebert and Niklas Stoepel were third at 70.7847. 

“I think it went pretty well. It’s a great opportunity to be here at the America Open, to get a test run, get the nerves out and get feedback that we can only improve upon for Budapest,” May said.  

The senior solo tech competition was led by three Olympians – Spain’s Ona Carbonell, Canada’s Jacqueline Simoneau and USA’s Anita Alvarez – on Olympic Day. Carbonell, who won silver and bronze medals at the 2012 Olympic Games, placed first with 90.3424 points. 2016 Olympians Simoneau (87.9708) and Alvarez (80.584) were second and third, respectively. The solo free final is Saturday.

Synchro Canada’s Emily Armstrong earned the first gold medal of the competition by winning the junior solo event. She finished with 155.8151 total points. Synchro Australia’s Adriani Vasilakis won silver with 148.9636 points, and Sabrina Walsh of the Santa Clara Aquamaids earned bronze at 144.5940.

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