Swimmers bid farewell


Sports editor

No more noseclips, swim caps and slicked back, gelatin-laden hair in Federal Way. The United Airlines Open, which featured some of the better synchronized swimmers in the world, wrapped up Saturday at the King County Aquatics Center.

The five-day event was dominated by international swimmers. Of the eight gold medals awarded, five went to non-American athletes.

But it was a team from the Seattle Synchro Club that won one of the United States’ three golds. Julian Penner, Natalie Chase and Rochelle Rock broke through in the junior trio finals Friday night to take first place over a team from California. Chase hails from Federal Way and attended Thomas Jefferson High School. The other United States victories came in the new team combo event and the senior trio. Both were held Saturday. The combo featured solo, duet, trio and team disciplines combined into one seven-minute routine.

It was the People’s Republic of China that proved the team to beat while in Federal Way. China took home first-place awards in the three marquee events during the competition — senior solo, senior duet and senior team. Japan swimmers won the junior solo and Canada won the junior team final.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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