Santa Clara Closer To 12th Sweep
May leads solo, duet heading into finals
The Santa Clara Aquamaids are on their way to the club's 12th sweep of the U.S. Nationals by claiming the top qualifying spots in all three events at the U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Championships in East Meadow, NY.
Santa Clara earned a 96.500 in the free routine preliminary on Friday to top cross-bay rival Walnut Creek's score of 94.833. Swimming for Santa Clara were Lidia Birukova, Janet Culp, Jennie Culp, Christina Jones, Kim McKinley, Alicia Rice, Bianca VanderVelden, and Sonja VanderVelden.
Santa Clara's Bill May is one step closer to sweeping the solo competition and duet competition with partner Kristina Lum. May topped teammate Bianca VanderVelden, 97.167 to 93.000 to take a commanding lead heading into the final competition. May and Lum controlled the duet free preliminaries scoring a 97.167, defeating VanderVelden and sister Sonja who earned a 92.167.
Thursday's technical routines are weighted to 50 percent and combined with 50 percent of today's preliminary free routine to determine the eight finalists in each event. In the final competition tomorrow, the 50 percent free prelim score is replaced with 50 percent of the final free routine score.
Santa Clara is gunning for the club's 12th consecutive overall title and 11th consecutive team event title. More than 150 athletes from 24 clubs are on hand vying for national titles in the solo, duet and team events.
Competition concludes Saturday with finals in all events starting at 9:45 a.m. Following the conclusion of the finals competition, members of the 2002 World Cup team will perform the new 2003 World Championship technical routine. The competition is hosted by Long Island Synchro in conjunction with the Long Island Sports Commission.
Solo Free Preliminary
1, Bill May, Santa Clara, 97.167. 2, Bianca VanderVelden, Santa Clara, 93.000. 3, Victoria Bowen, Ohio State, 92.000. 3H. Belinda Schmid, Switzerland, 91.667 4T, Sonja VanderVelden, Santa Clara, and Kim Probst, Walnut Creek, 90.000. 6, Christina Jones, Santa Clara, 89.333. 7, Lidia Birukova, Santa Clara, 89.000. 8, Becky Kim, Walnut Creek, 88.833.
Duet Free Preliminary
1, Kristina Lum, Bill May, Santa Clara, 97.167. 2TH. Belinda Schmid, Magdalena Brunner, Switzerland. 2TH. Carolina DeMoraes, Isabela DeMoraes, Brazil, 94.333. 2T, Bianca VanderVelden, Sonja VanderVelden, Santa Clara, 92.167. 3, Kate Hooven, Becky Kim, Walnut Creek, 91.500. 4, Suzanna Hyatt, Chelsea Luker, Ohio State, 91.000. 5, Janet Culp, Jennie Culp, Santa Clara, 90.667. 6, Kim Probst, Annabelle Orme, Walnut Creek, 90.500. 7, Victoria Brown, Lindsey Newbill, Ohio State, 90.167. 8H. Arna Toktagan, Aliya Karimova, Kazakhstan, 88.167 8, Rachel Rife, Rebekah Rife, Walnut Creek, 87.667.
Team Free Preliminary
1, Santa Clara A, 96.500. 2, Ohio State A, 94.833. 3, Walnut Creek, 94.000. 4, Univ. of Alabama-Birmingham, 91.667. 5T, Santa Clara B and Ohio State B, 91.000. 7T, Riverside and Canisius College, 90.167.