Despite moving up into a higher age bracket, the Juneau Aurora Knights' synchronized swimming duet of Koko Urata and Sarah Felix repeated as regional champions at the Pacific Northwest Regional Synchronized Swim Meet in Kirkland, Wash., on May 27-29.
Urata and Felix garnered 76.589 points in the competition, more than three points better than second-place MAC Synchro of Portland, Ore.
The competition featured athletes from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
Urata also captured the individual synchronized swimming title with a score of 76.266. She edged Portland's Derya Arac for the title.
With the wins, Felix and Urata qualified for the national championships on June 26 in Buffalo, N.Y.
"We've changed a bit of their program," Juneau coach Jami Eistetter said of making preparations for the national competition. "We made some positive changes. They're working harder. They've intensified they're performances. We need to do finishing touches and we're good to go."
Lisa Inamura, 16, joined Felix and Urata as a regional champ.
Inamura captured her age group in the individual competition and also finished second among all intermediate soloists in Kirkland.
"That was her very first competition," Eistetter said. "She's just really strong and she came in first. She was quite pleased with how she performed. She was phenomenal."
She took first place in three of the four mandatory disciplines at the competition.
"That's a pretty hard thing to do," Eisetter said of Inamura's first competition. "It's scary. It's one thing to do it in Juneau, another thing with the other swimmers and the competition. She was never at anything of that magnitude. To some degree it was overwhelming, but I think it also helped her perform."
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