At the end of an intensive double-header weekend, featuring both an away meet at Boston University and the first home meet of the season, Wheaton’s Synchronized Swimming team has emerged on top, leaving five other collegiate programs in their wake.
The competition began on Saturday, Feb. 2, with the Lyons traveling to Boston University, where they competed against the University of Incarnate Word, BU, Penn State, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania. The meets did not have an effect on the Lyons’ season overall, but according to Tessa Lopresti ’22, they remain very significant. “While the meets this weekend weren’t technically important to our competition season as a whole,” Lopresti explained, “they are important in the sense that they help us as athletes understand what we can do to improve for the upcoming competitions.”
These meets provide a chance for the Lyons to analyze their routines to identify particularly weak segments or skills. The BU Invitational meet included both free and technical routines, which differ in several ways. Free routines generally involve more than one person, and have no required elements, granting more artistic freedom within the choreography. Technical routines, on the other hand, are all individual acts; and they are judged on the participants’ ability to perform multiple required skills.
Within the technical routines category, the Lyons produced a strong performance, with a second place finish in A Figures by Lauriina Heinonen ’22; and first, second, and third placements in B Figures coming from Maxie Zimmerman ’20, Margy Mackin ’19, and Lopresti respectively.
The Lyons also placed first in duets and trios but finished below the University of Incarnate Word in the team and solo competitions. Despite the few second place finishes, the Lyons ended the day with a score of 93, edging out UIW to win the meet.
Early the next day, Wheaton’s first home meet of the season began. It involved several differences from the previous meet. In addition to the lack of technical routines, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale were not present, making it a significantly shorter event than the previous day.
Once again, Mackin placed second in solos for Lyons, finishing just 2.5 points behind Natalie Lagrone of UIW. After that, the Lyons ran rampant over the competition, placing first in duet, trios, and team competitions. Having only half of their full team routine prepared, the Lyons suffered a penalty in the grading but were still able to overcome UIW, in a narrow 68 to 67.9667 battle.
All told, the results saw Wheaton take the day with a score of 81 points. “We killed it on Saturday in the Boston University pool,” said Head Coach Rebecca Ercoli. “We followed that up with amazing performances Sunday in our home pool. Overall, I am very proud of the way these young women performed.”