Houston Matters

Synchronized Swimming: The Sport You Play Holding Your Breath

As Houston prepares to host a statewide qualifying meet for the Junior Olympics, we learn about competitive synchronized swimming in the city.

Synchronized Swimmers Ella Wei and Mae Chen
Houston-area swimmers Ella Wei and Mae Chen compete in a synchronized swimming meet.

The 2019 South Zone Region C JO and Intermediate Championship Novice Invitational will be held May 11-12 in Rosenberg. The meet is a qualifying event for the Junior Olympics, held later this summer.

If you didn’t know there was competitive synchronized swimming in Greater Houston, there’s plenty.

One competitive team, which is hosting this weekend’s regional competition, is the Houston SynchroStars. The team features swimmers – mostly young girls, but also a couple of boys – ranging in age from 8 to 19 years old.

Synchronized Swimmer Performs
A synchronized swimmer competes at a recent meet in Webster.

The team launched the career of Abby Remmers, who is now on the U.S. national synchronized swimming team.

And Irene Montrucchio coaches the team. She who won a bronze medal in the team competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics swimming for Spain.

To learn more about the sport and the SynchroStars, Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty went to an indoor pool in Webster on a Saturday morning in April to watch them compete.

In the audio above, he talks with Paige Hassall, the team’s vice president and the mother of 15-year-old synchronized swimmer Lydia Hassall, who tells Michael about the demands of the sport and what she gets out of it.

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Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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