Seastars duet takes 9th place at U.S Nationals

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East County has produced many superstar athletes for several years now. Most of the athletes have come via land, however a Seastar has been born right here in our own backyard. Seastars, though they come from all over the county, the Seastars call Spring Valley its home, the team practices three to six hours a day at Mt. Miguel High School. Elite-level synchronized swimmers practice eight hours a day, six days a week.

East County has produced many superstar athletes for several years now. Most of the athletes have come via land, however a Seastar has been born right here in our own backyard. Seastars, though they come from all over the county, the Seastars call Spring Valley its home, the team practices three to six hours a day at Mt. Miguel High School. Elite-level synchronized swimmers practice eight hours a day, six days a week.

The San Diego Seastars organization has a history of success and recently earned 9th place in the duet event at the 2014 U.S. National Championships in Oro Valley, AZ.

One of its newest Seastars, Alexandra Suarez along with Ainsleigh Douglas placed 9th among duets around the country in the 13-15 Age Group competitions.

Suarez, 14, is a current resident of Carmel Valley. She has been swimming since she was 10 years old. She is currently in the 8th grade and loves the sport of synchronized swimming. Suarez was one of the countrywide few selected, and has earned a spot on the 13-15 Age Group National Squad. Only 20 girls were chosen around the nation to join the squad.

The national team will then represent the United States at the Comen Cup on Sept. 7-14, in Europe and at the UANA Championships, Aug. 12-17 in Riverside, California.

Synchronized swimming is a combination of swimming, dance, and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers as solos, duets, trios, combos or teams. Synchronized swimming requires advanced water skills, strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry as well as breathing control while upside down underwater.

Synchronized swimming used to be called water ballet. The first recorded competition was in 1891, in Berlin, Germany. The sport simultaneously developed in Canada.

In 1924, the first competition in North America was in Montreal with Peg Seller as the first champion. Tracie Ruiz and Candy Costie won the first gold in the 1984 Olympics for the United States first synchronized swimming team.

One of the two teams training in San Diego is currently training to qualify for regionals. The next nearest event for this talented group of girls is April 26-27 at Mt. Miguel High School.

The next big event is the 2014 San Diego Invitational, May 30-June at Valhalla High School in El Cajon. Entries are open to master’s age group, intermediate, and novice.

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