By Kelsi Peace, Features Editor
Synchronized swimming practices began Tuesday at the pool in Moody Coliseum, and club organizers said it’s not too late to get involved.
Carissa Martus, senior music major from Aloha, Ore., started the synchronized swimming club four years ago and said this year she expects a higher level of swimming because she has strong swimmers returning.
“I tell the girls that if they can swim 200 yards, then they’re automatically in it,” Martus said.
Martus said if a swimmer cannot swim 200 yards, she pays special attention to that person to decide if she will struggle.
“Last year I had some girls that could swim 100 yards, and they did wonderfully,” Martus. said
The first two practices are trial periods, and by the third, participants are expected to commit and pay $12 dues, Martus said.
Dues cover t-shirts and mandatory nose clips, which enable the swimmer to flip over in the water without having to breathe out, Martus said.
Participants are expected to provide their own swim caps, goggles and suits; however, swim caps are optional.
Martus said 17 women signed up to participate at the involvement fair, and she expects about half to commit.
Participants are not expected to have synchronized swimming experience.
“I begin at the very beginning every year with how to float properly,” Martus said. “You are either using your hands or your feet to support you.”
Returning swimmer Shannon Sumner, sophomore music education major from Bothell, Wash., said it was difficult to decide what aspect of synchronized swimming was her favorite.
“I really enjoyed synchro last year. It was a way to exercise and have fun with other girls at the same time,” Sumner said.
Sumner also said once Martus gives a swimmer a part in the routine, it is vital that she commits.
The second semester will focus on preparing for the water show in May, a thirty-minute production the club works toward each year.
Martus will graduate in May, and she said she is looking for a way to prolong the life of the club. This year Martus is working with a Hardin-Simmons student who swam on a national team to create an intercollegiate synchronized swimming club.
Depending on how ACU and HSU feel about the change, Martus hopes the two will co-coach this year, and she will have a successor next year, she said.