Sports

World's largest synchronized swim meet coming to Federal Way

Thomas Jefferson High School graduate Katie LaBounty is currently attending Ohio State University where she is on the Buckeyes’ synchronized swim team. Ohio State won the 2011 Collegiate and U.S. Senior national championships. - Casey Olson/The Mirror
Thomas Jefferson High School graduate Katie LaBounty is currently attending Ohio State University where she is on the Buckeyes’ synchronized swim team. Ohio State won the 2011 Collegiate and U.S. Senior national championships.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

The world’s largest synchronized swimming meet kicked off today (June 24) inside the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.

The 2011 eSynchro United States Age Group Championships will run through July 2 in Federal Way and feature close to 1,000 athletes from ages 11 to 19 years old.

The age group championships is a grassroots competition that will feature up-and-coming junior athletes along with several reigning age group national champions. Swimmers will compete for titles in the solo, duet, trio and team events in four groups: 11-12, 13-15, 16-17 and 18-19 years old.

The championships, which are hosted by the Pacific Northwest Association, include eight days of competition and carries an estimated economic impact of more than $1.3 million into Federal Way, according to United States Synchronized Swimming.

The 2011 eSynchro Age Group Championships mark the fourth time the event has been held in Federal Way since 1996. It was last held at the King County Aquatic Center in 2006.

The Pacific Northwest Association includes several synchronized swimming teams from the area, including the Kitsap Water Blossoms, Olympia YMCA Synchro Club, Pacific Waves Synchronized Swimming, Olympic Tsunami Synchro, Seattle Cascades Synchro Club, Seattle Kaleidoscopes and Seattle Synchronized Swim Team.

The King County Aquatic Center has developed into the premier pool in the United States for hosting national and international synchronized swimming events. This week’s meet marks the 16th big-time event held in Federal Way since the pool opened in 1990.

The meet will start at 7 a.m. every day with finals in age-group categories starting at 4 p.m. Monday, at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, and at 8:40 a.m. and 2:50 p.m. July 2.

Admission will be charged for finals competition only. Adult ticket prices for finals will be $7, and tickets are $5 for children ages 6 through 12. Children 5 and under will be admitted free. Results will be posted daily on www.usasynchro.org.

 

In other KC Aquatic Center news:

With the 2012 London Olympics fast approaching, the Pac-10, which officially becomes the Pac-12 on July 1, will host its swimming and diving championships at an Olympic Trial venue, it was announced last week.

The Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center will play host to the Pac-12 Women’s Swimming and Men’s and Women’s Diving Championships February 22-25.  The venue was approved by the Pac-10 Council.

“As we enter into an Olympic year and celebrate the commitment and excellence we have in Olympic sports we thought it was important to align Pac-12 Championship events with Olympic trial locations in 2011-12,” Pac-10 Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Weiberg said. “It was an excellent opportunity for us to provide our student-athletes with the unique experience of competing in venues that will be hosting these very important events with the USOC.”

In June 2012, the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center will play host to its second U.S. Olympic Diving Trials.

In other news, the first-ever Pac-12 Football Championship game will be played on the home field of the team with the best overall conference record.

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