April 12, 2012
MESA, Ariz. - The Stanford synchronized swimming wrapped up the first day of the 2012 U.S. Nationals in Mesa, Ariz., with the preliminary rounds of the solo and duet competitions.
In the duet, Stanford juniors Madison Crocker and Jessica Guenther finished first in the preliminary round with an 84.780. The University of Incarnate Word's Sake Fujise and Inga Gillyer (84.500) and Emily Burkhart and Braley Traub (82.890) placed second and third, respectively. The Cardinal's Anna Boyle and Leigh Haledeman were fourth with an 82.150, while seniors Alex Bollaidlaw and Koko Urata took sixh with a 79.500.
In the solo, Crocker was fourth for Stanford with an 83.580. UIW's Fujise was first with an 86.690 followed by Gillyer (86.100) and Rosilyn Tegart (84.160). UIW's Anna Nelson rounded out the top-5 with an 83.080.
The action will continue on Friday morning with the solo, duet and team technical competitions.
Senior Koko Urata blogs from Mesa
Wednesday afternoon the six of us Stanford synchro ladies arrived in the Valley of the Sun. We practiced in the hotel pool, enjoying the faux rock grotto scenery while the sunset. After a quick dinner and team meeting, we engaged in some intellectual banter and promptly went to bed with medals in our heads.
Thursday morning there was an unfortunate turn of events. After breakfast I headed to the local Emergency Room to get my neck examined due to tear jerking spasms. Several hours and x-rays later, I was released at which time I quickly headed to the pool. Upon arrival, my neck continued to spasm. I considered scratching the duet event due to the pain, but after resting up decided to swim half the routine in hopes of still qualifying for finals.
With no knox or make-up, Alie and I swam omitting several head turns. Since our routine is full of head whipping, our revised version made for some dead space but at least it was painless. Leigh and Anna swam right after us and had a solid swim to the Mozart melody. Madison and Jessica finished the event with a winning score. Apparently Madison was not tired from her impressive swim earlier in the free solo event!
It was great to have many of our family members cheering us on. I'm now sitting in the hotel lobby writing this in a neck brace while my teammates are taking turns under the scorching showers to remove the beast that is knox gelatin. We are very excited for our season debut in our tech routines tomorrow. It will be an early morning, but we will finish quickly so we can prepare for finals on Saturday!