Haynes and Killebrew Win in Routine Debut
Synchronized swimmers are often nomadic athletes, crisscrossing the country--sometimes even the globe--in search of the perfect coach or partner.
The Santa Clara Aquamaids’ Natasha Haynes and Katie Killebrew, who teamed to win the duet title Sunday in the Junior National Outdoor Synchronized Swimming Championships at Allied Gardens, are a case in point.
It was the first time the duet had performed their routine in competition. Both are 19 and have been with Santa Clara since last August, Haynes having moved from England and Killebrew from Richmond, Va., where she competed for the Briarwood club team.
“I felt we were really working together,” said Killebrew, “I felt the energy. We didn’t win for the medal, we did it for each other.”
Haynes was also happy to win for her new team.
“I moved here to swim,” said Haynes. “I always admired Santa Clara. They’re like one big happy family.”
One winning family.
Janet Wiecking, 15, representing Briarwood, won her first junior solo title, edging second-place finisher Kari Kreitzer of Santa Clara, to prevent the Santa Clara club from sweeping gold medals in all five events.
On Saturday, double-winner Jenny Munoz was a member of Santa Clara’s winning trio and team routines. Munoz used to swim with the San Diego Sweetwater Dolphins.
While Wiecking has been with her coach, Fred Day, for eight years, her partner in the duet, is Jenny Mayer, a former Dolphin. Wiecking and Mayer finished second in the duet competition Sunday.
“This was pretty special,” said Wiecking. “I came hoping just to get to finals. I was pretty nervous, but once I was in the water, I relaxed and had fun.”
San Diego’s top finisher was Laurie McClelland, who took fourth in the solo event.
“The competition was tight and Laurie had a beautiful swim,” said Dolphin Coach Julie Howell.