It was a superhuman effort from Tauranga Synchro's team of 18 swimmers at the North Island Synchronised Swimming Championships held in Wellington last weekend.
The athletes battled it out in the event that attracted over 80 athletes from six different North ISland clubs.
Tauranga Synchro produced an impressive medal haul and all their athletes enjoyed a podium finish. Zyleika Pratt-Smith and Karlina Steiner prevailed in the 13-15 age category, winning gold in the duet, and gold and silver respectively in the solo event.
Zyleika and Karlina also joined forces with Martha Bunce, Avalee Donovan and Emily Carter to take out silver in the team event.
Karlina Steiner featured again in the Junior category, swimming for the first time in two age groups. She won gold in the junior tech and junior free solo events. Eden Worsley and Isobel Pettit also triumphed, winning gold for their junior tech duet and junior free duet routines.
Senior swimmer Eva Morris won gold for her senior tech and senior free solo routines achieving the highest solo scores in the competition. Eva, together with Eden Worsley, Isobel Pettit, Erica Machado, Zyleika Pratt-Smith and Karlina Steiner also entertained the audience with a gold medal winning fast-paced, race-car themed routine in the senior free team event.
There were more medal winning team events to come when the aqua combo team of Ella Claydon, Chloe Boyt, Amelia Stoutenburg, Sarah Lee and Sophie Winters won silver.
But it was in the open free combo that the team of nine athletes showed their superpowers, hoisting their team-mates up in a variety of fearless lifts and moves that wowed the crowd, and won them yet another gold.
The club's younger swimmers also shone at the competition. Eden Leach and Sophie Black won silver for their duet in their 12-and-under routine, and Ella Claydon and Chloe Boyt nabbed silver in the Aquarinas duet. Emerging athlete Yeva Parshikova, competing for the first time in the 12-and-under age group, took out third overall in the 12-and-under figures competition.
"They really are all wonder women," said head coach Lara Teixeira Cianciarulo.
"They have to be to compete in this sport. And they need to be able to fly — in the lifts, that is."
Lara said the secret to the club's success is teamwork.
"The training timetable is demanding, but to make it work you need the encouragement and support of your teammates. And this team works together brilliantly."
Next month Lara and four of her high-flying athletes - Eva Morris, Isobel Pettit, Eden Worsley and Karlina Steiner - are off to Los Angeles to compete at the 2018 Synchro America Open. All other athletes will resume their training regimes to prepare for the national championships in Auckland in October.
Tauranga Synchro is always on the lookout for new swimmers to join their growing club. Beginners train at 9am at Baywave every Saturday morning during term time. Inquiries always welcome, contact Jo on 027 543 1697, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook @taurangasynchroNZ.
North Island Synchronised Swimming Championships 2018
Tauranga Synchro placings
Aquarinas Duet: 2nd Ella Claydon and Chloe Boyt
12-and-under Duet: 2nd Eden Leach and Sophie Black
12-and-under Team: 2nd Eden Leach, Sophie Black, Yeva Parshikova, Mairead Pidgeon
13/14/15 Solo: 1st Zyleika Pratt-Smith, 2nd Karlina Steiner
13/14/15 Duet: 1st Zyleika Pratt-Smith and Karlina Steiner
13/14/15 Team: 2nd Zyleika Pratt-Smith, Karlina Steiner, Martha Bunce, Avalee Donovan, Emily Carter
Junior Tech Solo: 1st Karlina Steiner
Junior Tech Duet: 1st Eden Worsley & Isobel Pettit
Junior Free Solo: 1st Karlina Steiner
Junior Free Duet: 1st Eden Worsley & Isobel Pettit
Senior Free Solo: 1st Eva Morris
Senior Free Team: 1st Eva Morris, Eden Worsley, Isobel Pettit, Erica Machado, Zyleika Pratt-Smith, Karlina Steiner
Aqua Combo: 2nd Amelia Stoutenburg, Sophie Winters, Sarah Lee, Ella Claydon, Chloe Boyt
Open Free Combo: 1st Eva Morris, Eden Worsley, Isobel Pettit, Erika Machado, Zyleika Pratt-Smith, Karlina Steiner, Martha Bunce, Avalee Donovan, Emily Carter
Aquarinas: 2nd Ella Claydon
12-and-under: 3rd Yeva Parshikova
13/14/15: 1st Zyleika Pratt-Smith, 2nd Karlina Steiner