Synchronizing the heart


Convent of the Sacred Heart junior Katie Farrell began her career as a synchronized swimmer on the New Canaan Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Aquianas synchronized swim team at age seven and has been an active participant on the team for the past nine years. Practicing 16 to 20 hours a week, Katie says the sport has offered her a positive environment that encourages self-confidence, while also offering countless opportunities to travel and meet swimmers from across the country.

Courtesy of Katie Farrell ’17

Katie’s coach, Miss Jennifer Muzyk, named Developmental Coach of the Year by USA Synchro in 2013, has led the junior team, composed of eight swimmers with one substitute, to a total of nine Nationals, according to
To make it to Nationals, the Aquianas team had to win three meets. First, they had to win Associations, a meet with other Connecticut teams, then, Regionals, a meet for teams within Connecticut and New York, and finally, the 2015 East Zone Championship, a meet for all teams in the East region.  Then the teams from all five zones (East, West, North, South, and Middle) compete to win the National title.
“The best part of being a synchronized swimmer is the routines. There is such a feeling of pride and joy when we finish a routine at a national competition and know that we gave it our all. It’s a great feeling to know that all the training and hard work paid off,” Katie said.
This year, Katie and nine other swimmers from each zone traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado October 22 through October 25 to train in the United States Olympic Training Center. 
While at the center, Katie met and trained with Olympic gymnast Mr. Fred Pasqualin and National Synchronized senior team member Miss Claire Barton. She practiced new dance moves in and out of water, enhancing her performance skills with more advanced coaches and officials.
Katie Farrell '17
Courtesy of Katie Farrell ’17

Katie also traveled to Moraga, California October 26 through November 1 to try out for the 2015 National Team, which is considered to be the first step toward trying out for United States Olympic team. Katie passed two of the three phases, which tested her land skills, water skills, solo routine, and figures.
The third phase will take place in January 2016 at a location yet to be determined, and it will judge the 30 top swimmers on their figures and solo routines. The judges will then determine who will become members of the National Squad.
“I would say my favorite moment was this past month when I made it to phase three of the Junior National Team Trials.  This means that I am currently one of the top 30 swimmers in the country and have a chance to possibly represent USA at the World Championships this summer,” Katie said.
Katie plans to swim throughout college, and possibly try out for the 2020 Synchronized Swimming Olympic Team.  She credits her passion and drive to her grandfather, who doctors diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease seven years ago, and has served as an inspiration to continue on her path to success.

-Grace Mather, Staff Writer