Senior plans to make a splash at University of Toledo


Photo provided by the Schwartz family.

By Emma Puglia, Web-Editor-in-Chief

Synchronized swimming doesn’t just involve the ability to hold your breath underwater for almost a minute at a time – it involves dedication, strength and balance. Although the state of Ohio is a large supporter of synchronized swimming, senior Karyn Schwartz’s future school, the University of Toledo, doesn’t offer an organized team. Since the sport has been in Schwartz’s life for 10 years, she plans to extend her journey by creating her own.

Photo provided by the Schwartz family.
Photo provided by the Schwartz family.

“I was talking to one of the judges at the last meet, and she told me she had just the person I needed to talk to. I think it’s the synchronized swimming coach at Michigan, and she also coaches down in Toledo. So I’m going to talk to her and hopefully be able to start a team,” Schwartz said.

After swimming for the Woods Warriors, Schwartz dabbled in the sport by becoming a part of the synchronized swimming team at the Woods park, then at North.

“It’s gotten harder,” Schwartz said. “When I was a kid, I didn’t have to swim competitively against anyone. It was just kind of for fun, but now at the high school level, it’s competing against other people.”

With her co-captain, senior Emily Martinbianco, Schwartz created routines for their competitions. Competitions consisted of teams, trios, duets and soloists being judged on technique and the routines. Each routine varied from performance to performance.

“Music-wise, there might be a difference in whether there’s lyrics or not. That helps a lot. It’s harder to count and memorize when there’s no lyrics in the song,” Schwartz said. “I think some of them might be harder than others for sure.”

karyn 2
Photo provided by the Schwartz family.


Coaches Ashley Knoll and Chloe Peck selected Schwartz and Martinbianco as captains after noticing how the younger girls on the team looked up to them.

“As being captain, you have to be there for your team. You have to be the first one to be in the pool and the last one to get out,” Knoll said.

Fellow team members have nothing but fond memories of Schwartz from the past season.

“She’s kind of like a role model for me ‘cause she just always works hard, and she’s so nice to everyone,” freshman Kiley Weitzmann said. “We had this thing where we called her ‘Mom’ and the other team captain ‘Dad,’ and I think that’s one of the best memories with them because we would always joke around and be like, ‘Are you proud of us, Mom and Dad?’”

Schwartz’s coach has high hopes for her future at the University of Toledo and beyond college.

“I hope that she does get a team together, and I hope that she will be the coach there, and I hope that she goes even further into the world with it,” Knoll said.