Sports

Synchronized swim meet concludes tonight

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

The 2006 Esynchro U.S. Age Group National Championships will conclude tonight with the marquee events at the eight-day meet.

The Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center will host finals competition in the 16- to 17-year-old trio, duet and solo competition, as well as finals in the 18- to 19-year-old division.

The event is the nation’s largest synchronized swimming championship and includes close to 1,000 competitors. The grass-roots competition features up-and-coming junior athletes, along with several reigning age group national champions.

The Seattle Synchro Club has had a solid meet at the 2006 Esynchro U.S. Age Group Championships in their home pool. In the 14-15 division on Tuesday, Liane Lovitt finished up in sixth place in the solo competition and Leigh Haldeman and Lovitt ended up seventh in the duet final.

In the trio competition, Seattle Synchro’s Haldeman, Jenna Lee and Federal Way resident Katie LaBounty finished fifth and the eight-member team ended up in second place behind Riverside Aquettes, out of California. The team included LaBounty and Keely Craig, also a Federal Way native.

The championships, which are hosted by the Pacific Northwest Association, carry an estimated economic impact of more than $1.3 million in Federal Way, according to United States Synchronized Swimming.

The King County Aquatic Center has developed into the premiere pool in the United States for hosting national synchronized swimming events. This week’s meet marks the fourth national championship event held in Federal Way in the past five years, including the 1999 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, the 2001 Esynchro Junior World Championships, the 2003 U.S. Open and the Aflac National Championships last fall.

Admission will be charged for finals competition today. Adult ticket prices will be $10 and $5 for children ages 6 through 12. Admission is free for children 5 and under.

Results will be posted daily on www.usasynchro.org.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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