Youth and Junior International Open to Begin Tomorrow
by Alyssa Jacobs, USA Artistic Swimming
JUNIOR TEAM ROSTER | 13-15 TEAM ROSTER | EVENT PAGE
CLEARWATER, Fla. - After a long wait for our youth and junior athletes, a competition opportunity will finally commence beginning tomorrow in the Sunshine State. Athletes representing federations and clubs from countries across the world will gather at the Long Center pool to compete in the 2021 Youth and Junior International Open in partnership with UANA and presented by Fluidra. These two age groups have suffered a lack of opportunity during the global pandemic, with many of their competitions postponed or cancelled entirely. USA Artistic Swimming is ecstatic to be able to provide the stage to showcase their hard work and talents.
While COVID travel restrictions prevented some teams from joining the fun in person, the event will feature five days of exciting competition across two age groups and multiple categories. Countries that were unable to travel due to extreme restrictions were afforded the opportunity to compete virtually, and these virtual routines will be evaluated by the same panel of judges and air during the respective in-person categories.
Fans can watch the livestream that will premiere on our website HERE. All duets and team routines will air with live commentary from 2015 Mixed Duet World Champion, Bill May, and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Lauren McFall-Gardener. The two are sure to add an additional layer of excitement to the streaming of the event, offering their expert commentary and assisting viewers in better understanding what the judges will be evaluating.
Several clubs and national teams representing the United States of America will debut performances this weekend including the junior national team and the 13-15 national team. The junior national team has been hard at work training in Moraga, Calif. under the direction of head coach Anna Voloshyna and assistant coaches Megan Abarca and Lara Teixeira. Voloshyna and Teixeira are both Olympians and serve as assistant coaches for the senior national team. Abarca completed a championship season coaching her collegiate team at Stanford this past spring. The 13-15 national team just wrapped up their training camp in Las Vegas, working with esteemed leaders in head coach Ludi Perrin and assistant coach Hiea-Yoon Kang. Perrin is the head coach of the Nevada Desert Mermaids and Kang is the head coach of the La Mirada Aquabelles and the newly-formed UCLA collegiate club team. USA clubs that will be competing include the Santa Clara Aquamaids and the Florida Elite Synchro Warriors.