Tauranga Synchro athletes have stood out among more than 170 athletes from around New Zealand, Australia and New Caledonia to come home with 11 gold medals from the national artistic swimming champs.
A group of 25 athletes represented Tauranga at the NZ National Artistic Swimming Championships in Dunedin, held between September 30 and October 1, also securing one silver and three bronze medals on top of their gold medal-haul in a range of variety of solo, duet, trio and team routine categories over the two days. The results were the club's best results yet.
The event attracted more than 170 athletes from around New Zealand, Sydney, Brisbane and New Caledonia. In the highly competitive team events Tauranga dominated. Their beginner Dolphin team won bronze and the rest of the teams, including the AquaCombo, 13/14/15 and Open Free Combination Teams won gold.
Tauranga's solo and duet/trio routines also shone, with assistant coach Suzanne Ribeiro's Aquanauts team of Greta Nemedi, Isabelle Hume and Charlotte McColl winning gold for their trio, and Sophie Winters securing bronze for her solo. Aquarina Ella Claydon won silver for her solo, and a gold for her duet with partner Martha Bunce.
Senior and Junior swimmers Eva Morris, Isobel Pettit, Eden Worsley and Zyleika Pratt-Smith reigned supreme in the solo and duets in their categories. Two more firsts were won in the Schools Competition with Charlotte McColl and Greta Nemedi taking out the Intermediate School Duet for Bethlehem College, and Chloe Boyt and Sophie Black the Secondary School Duet for Ōtūmoetai College.
Head Coach and three-time Olympian Lara Teixeira Cianciarulo says the club's results show the depth of talent in the successful Tauranga club.
"It was so exciting to see our younger athletes up on the podium as well as our older ones. I am so proud of them all. They have worked so hard all year for this competition," Cianciarulo says.
"They worked so well as a team and helped each other through when the pressure was on. To win a medal, especially a gold, shows them that anything is possible."
The competition was the last for Cianciarulo as head coach of Tauranga Synchro, set to take her new coaching role with USA Synchro after three years with the Bay club. She says it was a great way to finish her time in New Zealand.
"It's been an amazing experience. I know the girls will continue their strong performances in the next few years. We've got some great talent coming through and the club is growing. It's an exciting time for Tauranga Synchro."
Canada's Marie-Lou Morin will step into the head coach role at Tauranga Synchro.
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