Locals are key as U.S. national teams win team titles


Palo Alto resident Chesnie Cheung won a pair of gold medals at the UANA Pan American Synchronized Swimming Championships over the weekend in Riverside.

The seventh-grader at Jordan Middle School, who competes for the Santa Clara Aquamaids, recorded victories in duet, with Kaitlyn Hoang, and team events in the 12-Under age group.

Palo Alto resident Chesnie Cheung/Santa Clara Aquamaids
Hoang and Cheung scored 134.6600 points (71.4667 free, 63.1933 figures) to edge Mexico's Marla Arellano and Freya Lopez, who finished with 134.5067 points. Salome Garcia and Salome Espitia from Colombia were third at 128.0445.

Cheung, along with Palo Alto's Nicole Goot, also helped the United States 12-Under national team win the team title with 135.0383 points (71.2000 free, 63.8383 figures), followed by Mexico (130.7289) and Ontario Provincial (128.1505).

Palo Alto High's Elle Billman and Gunn's Nicola Schmidt, representing the Santa Clara Aquamaids, earned a gold medal in the junior team event. The Aquamaids scored 153.4938 points.

The pair also earned a silver medal as part of the combination routine.

Elsewhere, the U.S. 13-15 national team won team title in its division with 148.2936 points, topping Mexico (140.4870) and Quebec Provincial (138.9407).

Team USA scored 76.4000 points in the free routine and 71.8936 in figures.

National team members Jacklyn Luu and Rachel Lau also won gold in the 13-15 duet final, finishing with 149.6742 points to beat Mexico's Maria Jose Acevedo and Raquel Paston (140.1222) and Alberta Provincial's Adora Kruger and Natalie Neufeld (136.4482).

The championships included more than 200 athletes and 12 countries in four age divisions who competed in solo, duet, team and figures at the Riverside Aquatics Complex.

Cheung took first place in Team and Trio, and second in Duet a few weeks ago at the eSynchro U.S. Age Group Synchronized Swimming Championships in Riverside.

In related news, the Aquamaids announced a development program that begins in September in Menlo Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. For more information, please contact

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA Synchronized Swimming

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