TUCSON, Oct. 25. THE Southern California Unsyncables jumped to an early lead yet a pair ofPortland, Ore. area teams are giving close chase in the trio event at the 2001 U.S. Masters Synchronized Swimming Championships in Tucson, Ariz. on Thursday.
The Unsyncables, two-time overall Masters national champions, earned top scores in three divisions. LeAnna Eaton, Michele Gaza and Melanie Stanton scored the top mark of 80.867 in 20-29 trio prelims.
Perennial champs Lea Bean, Shelley Beay and Candy Hipp earned the day's top mark in 30-39 Grandmaster with a mark of 81.667, followed by Kathy Gaither, Rebecca
Rudolph and Teri Thrasher earned a 74.000 to hold on to first in 40-49.
Two Portland clubs are giving chase – the Multnomah Athletic Club Masters (MAC) and Oregon Synchro Masters from the Tualatin Hills area. MAC's Mary Hulme, Marianne Perrin and Jeanne Steed stand first 70-79 trio with an all but unsurmountable score of 64.133. MAC also stands second in 30-39 and third in 20-29.
Oregon Synchro Masters pulled in a close third in two
divisions: 30-39 and 50-59. Adding to the rivalry, Oregon and MAC tied for second in the 40-49 division.
Other top trios eyeing the medal stand after Thursday's action: Seattle Cascades and Seattle Kaleidoscopes, Dayton Synchronettes, Michigan Synchro
Masters, and the Ramapo (N.J.) Aqua Masters.
Thursday's scores will be weighted to 65 percent and added to 35 percent of the swimmers' averaged technical program scores to determine the medalists.
Nearly 250 of the nation's top Masters synchronized swimmers are competing for solo, duet, trio and team national titles at the U of A Recreation Center Pool, Oct. 25-27.
The Masters championships began in 1975, making the 2001 event the 27th annual competition. Top athletes will advance to the 2002 World Masters Championships, March 29 – April 11 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Complete results can be found at www.usasynchro.org.