CONTACT:               Kim Skeltis, APR; (616) 419-8385; kim@blueblazepr.com                                    


West Michigan Sports Commission and USA Synchro Host First Masters Synchro Event in Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 16, 2015 – From rowing and table tennis tournaments to collegiate basketball, volleyball and track & field events, Grand Rapids plays host to almost every type of sporting event. This month, it adds another sport to the list by hosting the 2015 U.S. Masters Synchronized Swimming Championships Oct. 22-25 at Jenison High School Aquatics Center – the first U.S. Masters Synchro event in Michigan.

“This will be a fascinating event to watch, especially if you’ve only seen synchronized swimming in the Olympics,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) who is co-hosting the event with USA Synchro. “Not only is it an extremely difficult sport requiring a combination of body strength and agility, precision timing, stamina and artistry, but it unifies a cross-section of talented athletes from 20 to 90 years old.”

Hosted annually by USA Synchro (nonprofit national governing body for synchronized swimming), the Masters Championships draws participants 20 years and older from across the United States and Canada. The 2015 Masters is expected to attract 267 participants from 29 teams and hundreds of spectators, generating an economic impact of more than $300,000.

“We expect to have a very exciting competition with talented swimmers from all ages," USA Synchro CEO Kevin Warner said. "We anticipate our host in Grand Rapids to organize a fantastic U.S. Masters Championships for USA Synchro and our athletes."

The 2015 Synchro Masters features male and female swimmers in seven age divisions (20-29s to 80-89s) from ages 21 to 86 in free and technical routines, figures, and free combination routines competing for national titles in solo, duet, trio, team (eight swimmers), free combination and figure categories in Jenison’s 50-meter pool. Each swimmer can compete in up to four routine events plus figures, with each routine averaging 3-4 minutes choreographed to music except the figures category.

The competitions, rules and manner of judging are similar to sports such as figure skating and gymnastics. Free routines receive a Technical Merit score based on execution, synchronization and difficulty; and an Artistic Impression score evaluating choreography, music interpretation and manner of presentation, with judges awarding three scores from 0-10 points. Technical routines are awarded scores for Execution and Overall Impression, from 0 to 10 points. Execution judges award a score for execution of the required elements and of the rest of the routine. Overall Impression judges award a score for choreography and use of music, synchronization, difficulty and manner of presentation.

Visitor Information

The USA Synchro event is located at the Jenison High School Aquatics Center at 2140 Bauer Rd. in

Jenison. Free parking is available on site in the school parking lot. Spectator tickets can be purchased at the pool entrance or online in advance at events.clearthunder.com/SYNCHRO. Competitions begin at 8:30 a.m. daily Oct. 22-25, with the last competition of the day at 3 p.m. except Sunday, which ends earlier.

Tickets for Thursday, Friday or Sunday are $4 per day, Saturday is $7, and the entire championship is $15. Children 10 and younger are free, as are USA Synchro Life Members.

Volunteering for Event

Volunteers are needed daily from Thursday, Oct. 22 through Sunday, Oct. 25 to help with all aspects of the event, including scoring, security, hospitality, music, announcing and timing.  For volunteer information and to register for a shift, visit volunteerspot.com/login/entry/588121702032. 


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About the West Michigan Sports Commission

The West Michigan Sports Commission, a non-profit 501 (c) (3), works to identify, secure and host a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events to make a positive impact on the economy and quality of life in the region. Since its inception in 2007, the WMSC has booked 400 sporting events and tournaments that attracted 560,000 athletes and visitors, generating $145 million in direct visitor spending. For more information, visit westmisports.com and Facebook.com/WestMichiganSportsCommission and follow @WestMiSports.


About USA Synchro

USA Synchro was established as a nonprofit organization in 1977 and is the U.S. national governing body for the sport, recognized by the International Olympic Committee, United States Olympic Committee and FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur) - the international governing federation. USA Synchro organizes, participates in and promotes a variety of competitive events each year, beginning at the local level and continuing in the following categories: Senior (15 & over), Junior (15-18), Junior Olympic (12-19), Collegiate, and Masters (20+). For more information, visit teamusa.org/USA-Synchronized-Swimming.aspx, facebook.com/usasynchro and @usasynchro.




Media Contacts

West Michigan Sports Commission:

Katy Tigchelaar

Kim Skeltis, Blue Blaze PR

Meijer State Games of Michigan:

Eric Engelbarts, II

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