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Synchro-swimmers hold show

Posted: Friday, June 09, 2000

Performing their own version of an Esther Williams movie highlight, the Juneau Arctic Knights synchronized swimming team will present its fourth annual water show this weekend at the Augustus G. Brown Memorial Swimming Pool.

The show, ``Rainbows on Water,'' will feature 10 routines including some solo, duets and trios leading up to the grand finale routines with the entire squad. Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, with an admission fee of $5 for adults and $3 for children under age 18. There are 10 girls involved with the program, and at least five of their brothers and friends will be featured in one of the routines.

``Most of the routines are our competitive routines from the season,'' said Julia Klein, a competitor and assistant coach with the team. ``Our finale has been put together from the last couple of weeks.''

The team members involved in the grand finale include Klein, Johanna Evans, Rose Evans, Alicia Maryott, Kaitlyn Bausler, Sarah Felix, Koko Urata, Shalom Schrader, Tess Cannon and Maggie Schoenfeld. The lineup for the brothers and friends wasn't confirmed Friday morning, and may change by Saturday night's show.

The team's competitive season runs from September through May, and several members of the Juneau Arctic Knights are looking forward to showing off their award-winning routines.

Klein, a student at the University of Alaska Southeast, recently took second place in the figures category at the collegiate national championships and won the western regional title.

In May, Johanna Evans, Meghan Millard, Rose Evans and Maryott went to the Age Group Regional Synchronized Swim Championships in Kirkland, Wash., taking second place as a four-person team. Rose Evans, Millard and Maryott took fourth in the trio category, and Johanna Evans was fifth in the solo. Johanna Evans and Millard combined to place seventh in the duet competition, while Rose Evans and Maryott were eighth in their division.

Also in May, Felix, Bausler and Urata went to Bozeman, Mont., for the Regional Intermediate Synchro Championships, where Felix won the solo competition. Bausler placed fourth in solo, and the duet of Felix and Urata placed second.

``The week before we went to Seattle, we went to Haines for the weekend and did a show,'' Klein said. ``That was good for the girls who went to Seattle, that helped.''

The team's head coach, Christine Tait, had been out of the country for several months working with a team in Switzerland, and only returned to Juneau earlier this week. Klein, Johanna Evans and Sharon Heidersdorf ran the team in Tait's absence, although Tait started the girls on their choreography before leaving the country.

Tait started the Arctic Knights program four years ago. She'll host a free class on synchronized swimming at 9 a.m. June 17. The class is open to all boys and girls interested in learning about the sport.

Tait said people don't realize how difficult the sport can be. For example, some routines can require the swimmers keep their faces under water for half of their three or four minutes.

``There's a lot of stuff going on,'' Tait said. ``There's flexibility, strength and conditioning. It helps to have a swimmer's background, but we have had some people who were not that strong as swimmers. But it really helps, because then you aren't having to learn how to swim. You have to count to music and be able to think and perform.''



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