The New Canaan YMCA Aquianas traveled to Albany in March to compete in the East Zone Championships, and 12 teams were represented at the meet.

New Canaan's Marina Hoffman, Alison Commender and Dana McLachlin struck gold with their trio routine with a score of 72.606.

"Winning gold in this competition is a real accomplishment, as so many talented athletes attend and the scores are incredibly close," head coach and director Jen Muzyk said. "These girls achieved first place with their strong figure scores combined with the routine scores."

Amelia Clark, Julianne Beck and Mina Shah also combined to swim a trio which came in sixth place in finals.

Hoffman and McLachlin went on to swim a duet, which earned them a silver medal, while fellow Aquianas Beck and Shah took another sixth-place finish after they completed their duet routine.

In the team event, New Canaan brought along two groups of eight swimmers.

The first team, consisting of Laura Cardi, Clark, Commender, Hoffman, McLachlin, Beck, Shah and Rebecca Trinklein won a bronze medal for their routine, scoring a 72.760 and narrowly missing the silver by two tenths of a point to the Tonawanda Aquettes of Tonawanda, N.Y.

The second team of Diya Banerjee, Sarah Dittmeier, Elissa Feist, Selena Liu, Amanda McKenzie, Isabella Montgomery, Jennifer O'Neill and Erin Wheeler placed sixth in finals with a score of 68.682.

Special recognition for coach, team

Muzyk, a former Aquianan, was named East Zone Coach of the Year. Muzyk coaches the 13-15 age group and 14-and-older junior swimmers. Under her direction, the team has reached national championships several years running.

In addition to Muzyk's award, six Aquianas were named to the junior and senior All-Star teams following their performance at East Zone Championships, which were held in Westfield, N.J., and Albany.

Trinklein, a New Canaan resident, placed among the top eight synchronized swimmers at the East Zone Junior Championships, earning a spot on the East Zone 13-15 All-Star team. She placed sixth among a total of 114 swimmers with a score of 59.559 and teammate Erin Wheeler placed seventh with a figure score of 59.546.

Trinklein went on to partner with Selena Liu and Jennifer O'Neill to take fourth place in trios with a score of 64.524.

"This trio of girls did very well considering they were among the younger competitors at this meet," Muzyk said.

Fellow junior Aquianas also competed in the team event. The team of Diya Banerjee, Mina Shah, Alexandra Lin, Liu, Emily Roney, Wheeler and New Canaan residents Isabella Montgomery and Kate Dalia placed fourth in a field of 27 teams.

Remarked Muzyk, "I am very proud of the team. Two of the members have only been in the spor one and a half years and they are competing against girls who have been swimming five or six years. They are truly an impressive team."

Among the senior team, four Aquianas placed in the top eight to earn East Zone senior All-Star status following their Senior Zone championships. Those swimmers included New Canaan residents Hoffman, who placed fifth with a score of 65.303, and Beck, who came in 15th with a 63.189.

Other all stars included McLachlin in sixth place with a 65.303 and Shah in 12th place with a 63.933.

For more information about synchronized swimming or the Aquianas' programs and teams, contact Jen Muzyk at 203-966-4528, ext. 183.