When she walks through the hallways at Matanzas High School with her friends, Victoria Woroniecki likes to play the goofy teenager. She once created a new dance in front of her friends, and they couldn’t hold back their laughter. But when she hides her blonde locks underneath her swim cap and jumps into the pool, consider it game on.
The Flagler County Synchro Belle was recently selected, along with 11 other swimmers, to the 2015 U.S. 13-15 National Synchro Team.
“I was like, ‘Oh … my … gosh,’ and I just started crying,” Woroniecki recalled. “I was so excited. It has always been my dream; I want to be on the Olympics team one day.” Only a select few from around the country got invited to try out at the beginning of the year.
In case anyone had second thoughts on her selection, Woroniecki spent this past weekend winning her age’s overall championship, as well as first place in figures, solo, duet and team divisions, and second in combo at the Florida Synchro Regional Championships in Coral Springs.
“I was very surprised because I didn’t expect it to be me,” she said of her overall win. Woroniecki was also honored before the awards presentation for being selected to the 13-15 National Team.
“We are very happy and proud of her,” said Joanna Woroniecki, Victoria’s mother. “The first day she started Synchro, she loved it. Over time we wanted her to quit, because it takes too much work, and it’s too expensive, but she loves it.”
Since taking up the sport five years ago, there hasn’t been a day when Woroniecki didn’t want to practice. The swimming pool is where she competes, but it’s also where she finds solace when she has trouble in life.
“Synchro helps me to see within myself,” Woroniecki said. “It helps me to know who I really am.”
Her head coach, Isabella Vasconcellos, sees the talent and drive in her to reach the Olympics some day. On reaching the 13-15 National Team, Vasconcellos said, “It is an honor, especially coming from Victoria, who has been very dedicated from the beginning. I still remember the first day she came out, and she could only swim under water, not knowing any strokes. Since then, it has been nothing but excellence from her. We usually have two or three that make tryouts for the national team, but this was the first year someone broke through. It’s extremely difficult.”
"Woroniecki has a combination of dedication and passion, Vasconcellos said. “She constantly works hard every day, and she never complains. When she isn’t at practice, Victoria texts me and asks if she can get in the water. That’s how you get past so many talented swimmers. You get that one who has a spark, and Victoria definitely has the spark.”
Woroniecki and members of the 13-15 National Team will compete Aug. 6-9, in Italy, and Aug. 17-22, in Calgary, Canada.She will also compete in the Junior Olympics from June 26 to July 4 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
To help fund Woroniecki to represent Palm Coast around the world, call 646-415-1305 or email [email protected].
DID YOU KNOW?
The USA Synchro National Team coach, Myriam Glez, has invited Victoria Woroniecki to train with the team at the National Training Center in California. The team has never invited anyone in the past to train with them, according to Glez.