Becca Barlow is one of the top athletes in the country in a sport that does not always get a lot of play in the press.
The Keller teen is a member of the Pirouettes of Texas, a synchronized swimming team that recently completed in and won the South Zone Synchronized Swimming Championships in Huntersville, N.C., earning the team the opportunity to compete for regional titles and qualify for the Junior Olympics Nationals.
Barlow won gold in all of her events at zone championships, and the Fort Worth Christian student said that she started synchronized swimming just about the time she started going to school.
“When I was five, I saw it at a swim school and decided that I really wanted to do it,” Barlow said. “So I walked up to a coach and actually signed myself up, and then told my mom.”
Barlow said synchronized swimming has been a great passion for her for a number of years and said that a couple of things really appeal to her about the sport.
“It’s really just a beautiful sport,” Barlow said. “And it is definitely unique. Not a lot of people do it, so it is easy to excel.”
Barlow said, however, that one of the most popular misconceptions about the sport of synchronized swimming is that it is easy, and that nothing could be further from the truth.
“It’s a lot different from swimming,” Barlow said. “It’s like cheerleading, gymnastics and dancing in the water, and you have to do it upside down, while not breathing, and you can’t touch the bottom.”
Barlow said that there is another common misconception, as well.
“We don’t wear flower caps,” Barlow laughed. “We really, really don’t. We’re also more athletic than people make us out to be. It’s gotten harder over the years.”
According to a news release, synchronized swimming is an Olympic sport that combines swimming, dance and gymnastics and requires strength, agility, endurance, flexibility and speed. Accompanied by music, swimmers perform routines of elaborate stunts in the water without touching the bottom of the pool.
Barlow said she plans to continue to compete in the sport for at least a few more years.
“I definitely want to go into the collegiate programs that it offers,” Barlow said. “I am looking into a couple of colleges in Texas and Missouri that offer it.”
Barlow and the Pirouettes of Texas will complete in Age group nationals in June.
Visit www.ptxsynchro.com for more information.