Sophomore competes with The Blake School’s synchronized swim team
Kara Gerads participates in synchronized swimming outside of BSM representing The Blake School.
March 30, 2017
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With the absence of a synchronized swimming team at BSM, many people don’t realize that a BSM student is a competitive synchro swimmer herself. Sophomore Kara Gerads is the only student at BSM currently participating in synchronized swimming as a school sport, and she pushes for a new team at BSM and an opportunity to show off her skills.
Synchronized swimming is a combination of acrobatics, swimming, and dance. Gerads originally started in dance, but soon switched to synchro and doesn’t regret it at all. “I did dance and I hated it. My mom forced me to do synchro, and I cried on the way to practice. But then I loved it, and everyone was super nice,” Gerads said.
Gerads has been swimming with the Minnesota Synchronettes, her current club team for five years. The club season lasts all year, so Gerads is constantly training. “I love club and all of us are best friends because it’s a small team— there’s only eight of us. We travel together so that’s really fun and we bond a lot. We have gone to Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, New York, and North Carolina for various meets. I just got back from a meet in Ohio. This year Junior Olympics are in California, so I will most likely be traveling there as well,” Gerads said.
Along with swimming for her club, this is the second year Gerads will be swimming competitively in high school. There is no current synchronized swimming team at BSM, so she trains with the Blake school’s synchro team. The sport is in the Olympics, but it has proven to be pretty obscure in high schools. “This year we might have eleven people in total, for 7th to 12th grade,” Gerads said.
Every day after school, Gerads drives over to the Blake Middle School for a vigorous two-hour practice. First, they swim two hundred meters and then they swim the length of the pool while holding their breath in order to warm up their lungs. They warm up in order to be able to swim the routine proficiently.
They also practice their routines outside of the water in order to build muscle memory. “Then we work on the individual part, which is called figures, [and] there are different moves that you do in the water to get a score. Half of your score is your figure score and half of your score is your team score,” Gerads said.
The girl swimmers from Blake are very welcoming and kind, but nevertheless, it is still slightly uncomfortable for Gerads to be the only swimmer from BSM. “It’s weird being on a co-op team and not having people [from] your school [on the team]. Last year, I went to state and I was the only one from the Blake team who went. I don’t go to Blake, so that was kind of weird,” Gerads said.
Hoping for a successful high school season this spring, Gerads wants to compete at state again. She also hopes to recruit more BSM students, and just have fun competing with her peers. “I want to get more people involved because BSM and Blake co-opted last year. I want more people to do it with me so I’m not the only one; that’s my goal. If we get a lot of interest, we can start a team here too,” Gerads said.