Freedom Valley Swim Team Finishes Strong Season
The Freedom Valley YMCA Synchronized Swim Team (FVS) completed its 2010 season this summer with a strong showing at the Keystone State Games in York, but it was just one of several prestigious end-of-season competitions for the four-year-old team.
Some of the team’s newest swimmers Gabrielle Bianco of Phoenixville, Jennifer Dinnocenti of Spring City, Amanda McKay of Downingtown, and Britta Wilson of Phoenixville, were joined the veteran members Natalia McKay of Downingtown and Marissa Olalde of Phoenixville, to compete in a team routine in which they placed second. Natalia and Amanda McKay also competed with a duet, taking sixth place.
Veteran swimmers Emily Boring, Andrea Stock and Erin Weber, all of Phoenixville, took second for their trio. Boring and Weber took first for their duet, and Boring and Stock took first and third respectively for their solos at the Keystone Games.
Assistant coach Heather Johnson of Spring City took first place for her solo in the master’s (19 years and up) division.
Earlier in the summer, select members of the team also traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they won the third place high point trophy for their showing at the Loyola Aquatic Club Synchronized Swimming Invitational, an international competition featuring teams from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Tonawanda, N.Y., and the Canadian 13-15 Age Group National team.
The third place finish resulted from strong individual, duet, and team performances at the meet.
In the solo competitions, Alexandra Poteet of Chester Springs took fourth in the 11-12 Age Group, and Emily Boring of Phoenixville, and Adriana Colona of Glenmoore, took third and fifth places, respectively, in the 16-17 Age Group.
Among the duets, Tess Cremers of Pottstown and Paige McDonald of Unionville took fifth, and Andrea Stock of Phoenixville, and Natalia Mujica of Chester Springs, took sixth, in the 13-15 Age Group. In the 16-17 Age Group, Boring and her partner, Erin Weber of Phoenixville, took sixth, and Adriana Colona and her partner, Haley Richter of Berwyn took seventh.
The 13-15 team of Mia Colona of Glenmoore, McDonald, Mujica, Poteet, Stock, and Weber took third place for their routine set to a medley of popular Italian songs. Prior to the meet in Puerto Rico, team members competed at both the 2010 National Age Group Synchronized Swimming Championships and at the East Zone Age Group and
At Nationals, in the 11-12 Age Group division, Elise Alexander of Collegeville, Hannah and Heidi Atlas of Malvern, Lily Cremers of Pottstown, Ceili Hamill of Collegeville and Marissa Olalde of Phoenixville, and Alexandra Poteet of Chester Springs, competed with a team routine set to a soda pop jingle medley.
Also at Nationals were the duet of Alexander and Olalde, the trio of Cremers, Atlas and Poteet, the trio of Alexander, Olalde and Heidi Atlas of Malvern and the solo of Poteet.
The team’s Intermediate Division swimmers, who are newer to the sport, participated in the East Zone Championships, the highest level of competition for those girls, after placing well at the Regional level of competition.
At Regionals, the girls had strong swim performances.
In the 11-12 Intermediate division, the team of Kyra Bernotas of Phoenixville, Ceili Hamill of Collegeville, Kyra Skoog of Pottstown, and Heidi Atlas, placed third. Bernotas, Skoog and Hamill took fourth for their trio routine, and Bernotas and Heidi Atlas took fourth for their duet.
In the 13-15 Intermediate division, the team of Erin Boring and Kavita Hivale of Phoenixville, and Natalia McKay, and Alexis and Rachel Warner, all of Downingtown, placed second to qualify for the East Zone Championships. In addition, the duet of Boring and McKay, the trio of Alexis and Rachel Warner, and Hivale; and Boring’s solo all qualified for the zone champs.
The more experienced Age Group swimmers also performed well at Regionals.
In the 13-15 Age Group division, the team of Tess Cremers of Pottstown, Paige McDonald of Unionville, Natalia Mujica of Chester Springs, and Renee Johnson, Andrea Stock and Erin Weber, all of Phoenixville, took third place for their routine set to a medley of popular Italian songs to qualify for Nationals, where they were joined by teammate Mia Colona of Glenmoore. In addition, the trio of Mujica, Stock and Weber finished fourth with their Pirates of the Caribbean routine, and a solo by Sarah Ferris of Berwyn finished second, to qualify for Nationals and the East Zone Championships.
In the 16-17 Age Group division, the team of Emily Boring of Phoenixville, Sarah Ferris and Haley Richter, both of Berwyn, and Maureen McGrath of West Chester took second place for a dramatic routine set to music from the movie Van Helsing. They were joined at Nationals by their teammate Adriana Colona of Glenmoore. Additionally, the trio of Ferris, McGrath and Richter, with Colona as an alternate, took third; the duet of Emily Boring and Weber took fourth, and Emily Boring in solo took third to qualify for Nationals.
While at the competition, the girls also were required to perform “figures,” a set of compulsory positions before a panel of judges, and also scored well, taking numerous ribbons for their strong showing.
• In the 16-17 Age Group figures, Emily Boring took third, and Weber placed seventh.
• In the 13-15 Age Group figures, Mujica took eighth place.
• In the 13-15 Intermediate figures, McKay took fourth and Erin Boring took sixth.
• In the 11-12 Age Group, Poteet took third and Lily Cremers took fifth place.
• In the 11-12 Intermediate figures, Bernotas took fourth, and Heidi Atlas took sixth
The performances at Nationals and in Puerto Rico marked the culmination of many months of preparation and qualifying meets since November, including the Association championships hosted in April at the Phoenixville Area YMCA.
Throughout the season, the girls also scored well enough at a qualifying meet in Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg to compete against teams from throughout the East Coast from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts at the Junior Zone Synchronized Swimming competition in Westfield, N.J.
Younger and less experienced swimmers competed at the Have-a-Heart meet in Maryland, at which many earned high scores, medals and ribbons.
Synchronized swimming involves the in-water performance of dance, gymnastics and swimming movements, choreographed to music. It can include lifts, spins, throws and various underwater positions, some of which are done upside down, many in the deep water and all without the swimmer touching the bottom of the pool. Athletes perform their routines to various types of music, including swing, disco, nostalgic, techno and contemporary. Team routines consist of a group of four to eight swimmers performing together. Swimmers also participate in solo, duet and trio divisions of competition.
This marks the fourth year for the team, which was established at the YMCA in October
2006 by Head Coach Jennifer Hatt, with about a dozen members and has now grown to a field of
about 25 girls ages 8 through high school.
Hatt said she is pleased with what the girls have accomplished in their four years since
the team’s inaugural season at the YMCA. Each year, the team has grown as new swimmers take
lessons and then decide to join the sport.
The Y is now taking sign-ups for the next round of lessons, which will begin Sept. 21 at
both the Phoenixville and Spring Valley branches. The Phoenixville branch will include both a
youth and an adult class.
Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m. Students will learn the basic
techniques and a short routine, which they will have the chance to perform, if they desire, at the first meet of the season in November.
For more information contact the coach Jennifer Hatt at email@example.com or call the