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New Canaan Synchro Swimmers Rule Pool in Zone Meet

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – The New Canaan YMCA Aquianas Synchronized Swimming team won the high-point trophy at the Senior East Zone Meet in Tonawanda, N.Y. New Canaan led a field of 18 teams, and 19 swimmers qualified to compete at the U.S. Junior Nationals next month in Mesa, Ariz.

“These athletes have set their goals high,” said head coach Jen Muzyk. “You rarely see this kind of teamwork and determination in a group of teenagers.”

At this meet, Mina Shah of South Salem, N.Y., received two awards. She earned the Kim Miller Scholarship, given each year to a high school senior who plans to participate in collegiate synchronized swimming in the fall and who shows excellence in academics, leadership and service in the image of Kim Miller, a synchronized swimmer who died of cancer before entering college.

Shah also won the East Zone Swimmer of the Year Award, given each year for exemplary athletic accomplishments, leadership, academics and service to the sport of synchronized swimming and to the community at large, as well as being a role model for others.

“We are so proud of Mina,” said assistant director Krista Bessinger. “She is an inspiration to the whole team.”

The Aquianas brought three squads to the team event. First place went to the team of Emma Baranski, Emily Drew, Renee Collett, Erin Wheeler, Shah, Selena Liu, Rebecca Trinklein, Eliza Sturgeon, Emily Roney and Julianne Beck.

Fourth place went to the team of Amelia Clark, Jennifer O’Neil, Kate Dalia, Diya Banerjee, Isabella Montgomery, Alice Chidley, Emma Flynn, Alexandra Lin and Molly Flynn.

The team of Hannah Vogel, Jessie Kravet, Ophelie Tousignant, Teresa Salamone, Ashley Evans and Natalia Londono took 13th.

In the Trio event, out of 22 routines, Collett, Wheeler and Shah earned gold; Trinklein, Sturgeon and Dalia earned bronze; Liu, O’Neil and Banerjee placed sixth; and Montgomery, Chidley and Vogel placed seventh.

In the Duet event, out of 26 routines, Baranski and Drew took the gold; Collett and Wheeler took the bronze; Trinklein and Flynn placed sixth; Beck and Clark placed seventh; Liu and Sturgeon placed eighth; and Montgomery and Lin placed 10th.

In Solo, out of 24 routines, Baranski won; Shah placed third and Roney was seventh.

Based on figure scores and a split test, Baranski, Drew, Shah, Collett, Montgomery, Sturgeon, Rooney and Wheeler were all named to the Senior East Zone All-Star team.

“Eight of the 16 places on the East Zone Senior All Star Team went to the New Canaan YMCA Aquianas,” Muzyk said. “With this achievement behind us, we can now focus on Junior Nationals.”

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