Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

April 24, 2014

ANA Synchro set to 'Defy Gravity'

Annual synchronized show is this weekend


The Andover Townsman

---- — ANA Synchro, the competitive synchronized swim team based at Andover/North Andover YMCA, presents its 2014 annual show, “Defying Gravity,” this weekend at the facility’s pool at 165 Haverhill St. (Route 133) in Andover.

The show set for Saturday and Sunday will feature the nationally competitive synchronized swimmers performing routines paired with music, spotlights and dazzling costumes.

The swimmers take to the pool after several members of the team finished in the top 10 of the Junior Team event at the 2014 U.S. National Championships held April 8 to 12 in Oro Valley, Ariz.

More than 350 athletes participated in the national championship meet, which included swimmers from age 13 up to the collegiate level. To qualify for the meet, athletes first had to qualify at one of the four regional zone championships held earlier this year.

The ANA Synchro team of Sachiko Hagiya, Nicole Carzo and Gloria McNamara of Andover; Maxie Zimmerman, Evan Costanzo and Kate Quinn of North Andover and Lily Koenig of Boxford placed 10th overall in the Junior Team event.

Also competing for ANA Synchro were Grace Alwan and Sophia Ju, both of Andover. Alwan and Ju finished in 18th place in the Duet event for the 13 to 15 age group at the U.S. nationals.

“I am so proud of all our athletes” head coach Leah Pinette said in a release. “The best of our nation’s synchronized swimmers were at the Oro Valley meet. Just qualifying for this elite meet is a strong accomplishment, and finishing in the top 10 is fantastic!”

This is Pinette’s first year coaching ANA Synchro, which is open to girls ages 6 to 19. She took over the team after having spent nine years on the U.S. National Team, serving as captain of the 2011-2012 U.S. Olympic Selection Team.

Synchronized swimming combines music, dance and swimming into what participants and coaches call “the ultimate team sport.” Through the artistry and athletics of synchronized swimming and team competition, they say girls build lifelong friendships and skills while developing the confidence to dream big and pursue their goals.

This weekend’s production will feature the ANA synchronized swimmers from novices to the group’s senior athletes. The show will be performed Saturday, April 26, at 3 and 6 p.m. and again Sunday, April 27, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $11 for seniors and $9 for students and are available in advance at the front desk at the Andover/North Andover YMCA.

For more information, visit www.anasynchro.org or call the YMCA at 978-685-3541.