The Stanford synchronized swimming team opened its 2011 season Saturday with a win over visiting University of the Incarnate Word at Avery Aquatic Center. The Cardinal placed first in three out of the four events.
On a drizzly Saturday afternoon, a rainbow provided a nice backdrop for the synchronized swimmers’ performances. Junior Alex Bollaidlaw said that it was exciting to get back in the pool for the first meet of the season.
“While swimming you are just thinking about your team and performing to the best of your ability,” Bollaidlaw said. “From there, all the components of the performance come together. We have practiced so much. You just go and do it.”
The meet began with the trio competition as Stanford’s team of sophomore Wendy Lu, senior Corinne Smith and junior Koko Urata secured the top spot with a score of 86.00.
With its animated and musically whimsical piece, the Cardinal’s team of sophomore Alex Bollaidlaw and juniors Madison Crocker and Morgan Fuller took second with 85.00 points. Incarnate Word’s two teams finished third and fourth.
The afternoon continued with the duet teams. Stanford juniors Maria Koroleva and Olivia Morgan won the event with a score of 90.167. Finishing second were Crocker and Fuller with 85.500 points. Incarnate Word placed third with an 84.00, while the Cardinal’s Bollaidlaw paired with sophomore Jessica Guenther to come in fourth with 83.333 points.
Morgan was positive about the meet and her duet performance.
“This meet I felt calm and collected, and I knew exactly what I needed to do, especially in duet,” she said. “I felt like I was in performance mode, and I could go out and perform. While I was out there I didn’t think of anything else. I went out, performed and put myself out there.”
Morgan, who performed the same routine last year, was glad for the chance to improve her technique.
“It was nice to swim the same duet as last year,” she said. “Our aerobic endurance has increased from last year, which allowed us to make the duet harder and more complicated.”
Incarnate Word entered three of the four solo routines on the day, with Sake Fujise capturing first place with a score of 87.333. Stanford fifth-year senior Gayle Lee took second with 87.000 points.
In the final competition of the day, Stanford defeated Incarnate Word in the team competition, 90.333-88.500.
The team competition is weighted more heavily in the overall score, and the girls made it count. When Bollaidlaw, Crocker, Fuller, Guenther, Lu, Morgan, Smith and Urata took the deck beforehand, the stadium came alive.
Morgan gave credit to the crowd for Stanford’s performance.
“We had a really good turnout, and in a lot of ways it made the meet,” she said. “Synchro is a performance sport, and when you have a big crowd to perform for, that’s when you will see the best of synchro.”
The Cardinal will resume action on Feb. 12 against the University of Arizona. The meet is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Avery Aquatic Center.