Aquianas Artistic Swimming Team Wins East Zone Championship

The Y’s Aquianas Artistic Swimming team recently competed in the East Zone 13-15 & Junior/Senior Championships March 4-6 in Tonawanda, N.Y., successfully taking home the Junior and 13-15 high point trophies. The Aquianas have won the Junior East Zone high point trophy 19 out of the last 21 years.

Additionally, this year, Assistant Artistic Swimming Coach, Laura Mase, was named East Zone Coach of the Year. Jen Muzyk, Director of Artistic Swimming and Head Coach of the Aquianas, shared, “What strikes me the most about Laura is how effectively she coaches the whole athlete. She helps the 13-15 group set healthy goals and expectations, talks them through problem-solving, consistently provides constructive feedback and holds them accountable for their choices and actions. Laura also pushes herself to keep learning about Artistic Swimming, so she can be the best coach for the team. She is always putting the athletes first and advocating for their needs.”

The Aquianas Junior and 13-15 teams competed against 16 other East Zone teams to win the High Point Trophy, amassing the greatest number of points for routines swam in the finals.

The Junior team successfully competed both as a team and individually earning the High Point Trophy for their division. The winning Junior team which placed first in the free combination and technical team competitions featured Isabel Shen, Sophia Shen, Liza Galchenko, Carina Capri, Alessandra Gavriloiu, Viola Li, and Isabel Sarracino. Isabel Shen and Liza Galenchenko also earned gold in the free duet and silver in the technical duet competitions. Isabel Shen also earned silver in the technical and free solo competitions. A member of the Aquianas Junior Team also earned gold in the technical and free solo events. “I’m very proud of our Junior team. Based on how we finished at the East Zone Championship, our Junior squad should do very well at U.S. Nationals next month,” added Muzyk.

The Aquianas competed with two teams in the 13-15 division earning first and third place overall. The 13-15 A team brought home gold after competing in the free combination, team, duet, solo, and figures routines. Viola Li and Isabella Sarracino placed first in the 13-15 duet, with Grace Kim and Sophia Shen placing second. Sophia Shen also earned gold in figures and solo routines. Shen is currently ranked third in the country in the 13-15 age group.

The Aquianas 13-15 B team made history in earning a spot on the podium by placing third in the team event, which featured six swimmers, Sophie Cai, Dusya Kotereva, Xindi Liu, Maya Narendula, Tea Radday, and Lux Roscoe. “Our 13-15 group is extremely strong this season. For the first time at this competition, both teams received medals. We’re really excited to bring this overall team camaraderie to future meets,” shared Muzyk.

The younger members of the Aquianas artistic swimming program also had the opportunity to compete in March, with the Intermediate and Age Group 12 & under teams hosting and competing in their first meet of the 2022 season, the East Zone Intermediate and 12 & under Invitational held March 25-27 at the New Canaan YMCA.

The team earned notable placements including gold in the 12 & under figure event by Gwen Thomas. Thomas also joined her teammates in a gold medal finish in the 12 & under team event with her sister Dylan Thomas, Yuqing Jiang, Alexandra Lanning, Emily Meng, Madelyn Trudel, and Emma Wang. The 10 & under Intermediate team also placed first in the team event, comprised of Elisa Angeles, Scarlett Baney, Fiona Huang, Iris Li, Ella Konigsberg, Reagan Mauro, Josephine Pologruto, and Amelia Yegeroff.

“Overall, it was a strong showing by our younger Aquianas, earning three gold medals. This early season competition is a great opportunity for our swimmers to build confidence, and for our coaches to prepare for the qualifying part of the season when the Aquianas look to attend the Intermediate & Age Group East Zone Championship and Junior Olympics this June,” said Muzyk.

Artistic Swimming, formerly known as Synchronized Swimming, is a rewarding athletic experience for girls and boys ages six and older. The sport combines swimming and dance, fostering teamwork, confidence, healthy lifestyles, and time management for those who participate. The New Canaan YMCA Aquianas Artistic Swimming program is a nationally ranked program with athletes who range from recreational participation to those who compete nationally and collegiately.

The Aquianas Artistic Swimming team will be hosting two camps this spring for boys and girls ages seven to 12 during April Break (April 11-14), and this summer for boys and girls ages six to 12. The summer camp program is offered in two-week sessions from June 20-August 12. Registration is available for members and non-members at the Y’s Front Desk or online at www.newcanaanymca.org/registration.

For additional information about the Aquianas Artistic Swimming program and upcoming camps, contact Jen Muzyk, Director of Artistic Swimming and Head Coach, at jmuzyk@newcanaanymca.org or visit www.newcanaanymca.org/aquianas.