Diving into the World of Synchronized Swimming


Allie Preston

Marisa Witte, Staff Writer

The Minnesota State High School League offers numerous sports and activities for 7th through 12th graders across Minnesota. One of the least known is synchronized swimming. Synchronized swimming is offered at multiple schools in the metro area, including Minnetonka, who participates in a co-op team with The Blake School. Recently founded in 2016, the team has already amassed around twenty swimmers.

Synchronized swimming is a unique sport. “It’s like so many different sports merged together,” Coach Ashley Magnuson explains. Swimmers get to learn choreography and practice a wide range of skills, such as flexibility and breath control.

The Synchronized Swimming team is known for having an amazing team culture and a strong community. “It’s a great place to meet new people and new friends and to learn different and unique skills,” Team Coordinator Alisa Kachkovsky, ‘24, asserted. The team aims to create a positive and friendly environment that is stress free and shows support to everyone, which makes the sport even more enjoyable. 

Throughout the spring season, Varsity and JV swimmers practice six times per week and participate in two different types of competitions: figure meets and routine meets. “Figures are one controlled set of body positions and transitions between them…allowing individual competitors to be ranked without bias, while routines are like what you would see in the Olympics,” Coach Magnuson details. Figures are performed individually, without music, whereas routines are performed with music, are longer in duration, and can be performed in groups of up to eight swimmers. In addition to regular season meets, the synchronized swimmers also compete in both figures and routines at sections and state in late May. 

The Minnetonka and Blake swimmers have many goals, one of them beating Saint Louis Park: the only team in their conference that they haven’t beaten yet, and Coach Magnuson’s former team. “Last year, we were really close, but this year, I think we can do it,” Coach Magnuson commented. In addition to competitive goals, the team also focuses on improvement and growth over the course of the season. “We’re a competitive team, but I think it allows swimmers to grow so much more when they’re focused on seeing how much they can grow,” Coach Magnuson explained. 

The Minnetonka/Blake synchronized swimming co-op team offers a valuable experience for all, whether you’re just starting out or have been competing for a long time. Swimmers are able to meet new people and learn many skills that are important in both the sport and in life. “Gaining new unique skills and building friendships and strength is a good experience to have,” Kachkovsky stated.