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Sarasota Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010 7 years ago

BACK TO SCHOOL 2010: The Sassy Swimmer: Ann Marie Brasacchio

by: Stephanie Hannum Managing Editor

She may be small, but she is mighty. An incoming junior at Pineview School, 16-year-old Ann Marie Brasacchio is incredibly sassy … or, rather an incredible SASSY swimmer. Going into her seventh season on the SASSY (Sarasota Aquatics Synchronized Swimming at the YMCA) team, Brasacchio just returned from camp, in Gainesville, where she trained with famed synchronized swimmer Becky Lancer.

“Synchronized swimming is like dancing in the water,” says Brasacchio, who performs routines synchronized to other people or to the music, which is pumped through underwater speakers. “I’m always so inspired when I go to meets and meet great people.”

After practicing as a speed swimmer, Brasacchio was ready to try something different and was excited to learn of the team only a block from her house when she moved to Sarasota at age 10.

“The sport as a whole is incredible — to watch and to participate,” says Brasacchio. “It’s a team-building sport.”

Coming in second to her love of the sport, is playing the violin, as well as writing poetry and short stories. However, there isn’t much extra time because she and her teammates practice 11 to 12 hours a week during competition season, followed by strength training in the gym. Meets take place once or twice a month all around the state (the farthest Brasacchio has traveled was to compete was Washington, D.C.). Not only does that equate to a lot of traveling, but two of her three younger sisters are also synchronized swimmers entering into their fourth season.

The spunky swimmer hopes to continue showcasing her talents on a club-level team in college.

While the future is in sight, the quickly approaching junior year is what Brasacchio is most excited about.

The Florida Association elects a freshman to serve during junior year. Brasacchio will be one of two representatives of synchronized swimming for the state of Florida. The position entails attending the National Aquatics Convention (held in Dallas this year) and athlete meetings, followed by reporting back to the teams in Florida.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for two years,” says Brasacchio.

“I’m in the history club and we did a Berlin Wall simulation and turned the whole school into East and West. I was one of the head officers in charge of border guard. It was a great memory because it was something so different no other school has done — and something the students won’t ever forget in their studies so history never repeats itself.”

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