Surrey teen swimmer in sync for Canada Winter Games

FLEETWOOD — Synchronized swimmer Seray Sefayi is getting ready to pack her bags for Prince George.

The 14-year-old Sullivan Heights student is one of nine girls who will represent B.C. at the Canada Winter Games in February. Sefayi said she was proud because "not a lot of people made the team."

Tara Gant, coach of Team B.C., said even though Sefayi is one of the younger swimmers on the team, she is one of the most talented.

"She’s one of the athletes that’s on the top of our list," said Gant. "Those type of athletes are somewhat irreplaceable."I’ve seen improvement in her performance in the last month," the coach added.

Gant said the routine the girls will perform is quite difficult, incorporating spins and having both legs out of the water at the same time, in their push for gold at the games.

"We’ve been pushing hard to create a routine that’s technically hard and to improve the technique of all the athletes," she said.

Sefayi, who performs with the B.C. Aquasonics synchronized swim club, will prepare for the national championships once the Canada Winter Games are complete.

Her goal is to make the junior national team, which would require her to perform well at nationals.

"I was really close last year," Sefayi said. "The top 25 get in, I think. I came 27th or so."

The team has had training camps twice a month throughout the fall, said Gant. "The girls have come together as a team well. Great friendships have formed, and I am sure they will have lasting memories."

Other team members named by Synchro BC are Alanna Stobbe (Abbotsford), Emma Choo (Victoria), Katie Stirrat(Vancouver), Katrina Hohensee (Kamloops), Lisa Koyama-Wong (Vancouver), Luiza Vasylyeva, Sarah Jones (Victoria) and Stefanie Dickinson (North Vancouver). They are coached by Gant and also Olena Foshchevska, both from Victoria.

The team will compete at Surrey Sport and Leisure Centre on the weekend of Dec. 13 and 14, for the solo and duet selections that will lead to the provincial championshipsand Canada Winter Games send-off at Saanich Commonwealth Place (Victoria) from Feb. 13 to 15. See event schedule at Synchro.bc.ca.

The Canada Winter Games synchronized swimming competition will take place in the second week of the event, from Feb. 22 to 28. The Games start Feb. 13 and continue until March 1.

kyle.benning@gmail.com

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