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Mermaids in sync at Sierra Pool

Free water show will see dozens of athletes make a splash before season-ending competition
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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The Auburn Mermaids are putting on a funky, free and synchronized show Sunday. The annual water show at the Auburn Recreation District’s Sierra Pool in Auburn, beginning at 7:30 p.m., features 34 local swimmers. They combine elements of dance and swim to form figures in unison. Auburn Mermaids coach Sheri Patton said the show is a great opportunity for people to catch a glimpse of the sport of synchronized swimming. “It’s to show what synchronized swim is all about,” Patton said. “It’s to get the swimmers interested in it and get them involved. If they aren’t going to be ‘swimmer-swimmers,’ this is a great sport for them.” The team has been practicing three hours a night, most days of the week since May. In that time, Patton said the Mermaids have accomplished quite a bit. “I’m proud of the fact they can hold their breath under water for as long as they can,” Patton said. “They are a very dedicated team. They work hard and they are just a great bunch of girls.” Musical styles range all the way from Lady Gaga to the Beatles, as long as they are appropriate, according to Patton. Megan Arndt, 13, of Auburn, said she enjoys the camaraderie she has found on the 13-14 year olds team. “All the girls are really nice, hard working and dedicated. It’s a really unique sport that nobody else really does,” Arndt said. Sheryl Petersen, recreation services manager at the Auburn Recreation District, said the event is an opportunity for locals to see great family entertainment. “To see it in person, there is something magical about it. It really is a show. It’s precision, it’s timing,” Petersen said. “I like the showmanship aspect of it because it’s entertaining.” The water show is a tune-up event to their championship meet against other teams from the region at the Sunrise Pool beginning July 16. Lauren Guevel, 17, of Auburn, said the Mermaids would probably make a splash in this year’s competition. “I think we’ll do pretty well. We’re not as large as we used to be and we don’t have as many as some of the other teams, but the girls we have are really strong swimmers,” Guevel said. Guevel also said this year’s routine should be fun for spectators to check out. “Come because it’ll be fun to watch. It’s fun to participate. It’s just a nice attraction and it’s free,” Guevel said. “I’m performing to a medley of The Beatles love songs from the Cirque du Soleil.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com