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PV junior is a member of a synchronized swimming team

Sophie+Altman+and+members+of+her+synchronized+swimming+team+dance+in+the+pool.+Altman+joined+the+team+at+the+Ridgewood+YMCA+as+a+freshman+and+is+currently+the+captain.+
Sophie Altman and members of her synchronized swimming team dance in the pool. Altman joined the team at the Ridgewood YMCA as a freshman and is currently the captain.

Sophie Altman and members of her synchronized swimming team dance in the pool. Altman joined the team at the Ridgewood YMCA as a freshman and is currently the captain.

Contributed by Sophie Altman

Contributed by Sophie Altman

Sophie Altman and members of her synchronized swimming team dance in the pool. Altman joined the team at the Ridgewood YMCA as a freshman and is currently the captain.

Tara Healy, Staff Writer

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Editor’s Note: The story was corrected from Ridgewood YMCA to the YMCA Synchro Stars in Ridgewood. The team also practices in the pools at YMCA Bergen County.

In the beginning of her freshman year, current Pascack Valley junior, Sophie Altman, heard a rumor that there would be a synchronized swimming team at PV. Since synchronized swimming is a sport that is a hybrid of dance, gymnastics, and swimming, all sports that she has done in the past, she thought that the sport would be perfect for her.

Although, when she found out the team did not exist at PV, Altman realized that synchronized swimming was something that she wanted to do.

Shortly after, she discovered a team at the YMCA Synchro Stars in Ridegwood.

“I took a summer camp class for two months and they put me on the team right away for the beginning of freshman year,” Altman said.

Now, she is the captain of her intermediate synchronized swimming team. Also, one of her three coaches is an ex-Olympian and an ex-Olympic coach.

For the team, Altman practices at the pools at YMCA Bergen County for four to five days a week and two to three hours each day during the season. The season is from September to June, and, during the summer, there are camp-like practices.

“Some of the practices are just in the water for 2 to 3 hours and some of them are half on land and half in water,” Altman says. “The benefit of having practices on land and in water is you can do different things.”

In the water, the team swims laps and practices the routine for their competitions. During the practices on land, known as dry land, they do workouts and learn the routine that takes place in the water.

Contributed by Sophie Altman

During the springtime, there are around four different competitions. The competitions start around March or April. At the meets, the people competing are separated into age groups and intermediate. The higher the age level, the more difficult the routines become.

Altman, being 17 years old, is the oldest person on her team. The second oldest is 15 years old and the youngest is 8 years old.

“I’m kind of like a big sister to all of them,” Altman said. “They look up to me which is awesome. Even though I’m new, having that respect of being the oldest is just really cool.”

The judges score the swimmers in two parts. The first half of your final score is the moves in front of judges, and the second half is the routine.

Altman joined the gymnastics team at PV, but she decided to quit to focus on synchronized swimming.

Her favorite thing about her sport is that she still has aspects of dance, gymnastics, and swimming from the past.

“I miss [those sports] so much, but it is great having them all in synchronized swimming.”

Altman says she hopes that her college will have a club team.

“If they don’t have it, I might make a team myself.” Altman said. “Maybe [after college] I’ll help coach a team.”

 

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