The University of Maine at Presque Isle has many Division III sports. Everyone knows the basketball teams and baseball team. But Julie Baker wanted another sport to compete in. Julie has been swimming for years, but she recently saw the summer Olympics, so she wanted to try synchronized swimming. Sam Rulen is the new team captain for synchronized swimming. They started the program together.
Julie grew up in Aroostook County and there were not a lot of resources to start a synchronized swimming team. But Julie was prepared to start the team because she grew up doing gymnastics. Gymnastics equips her with the skills to do in her synchronized swimming routine. Sam also grew up taking these classes, not knowing how she would use them in the future.
Julie and Sam are continually getting asked questions about synchronized swimming. Julie said, “Well, I have been swimming since I was younger. But recently I wanted to start trying to make a team.” Sam said, “We usually practice at Gentle Hall. But in the summer we go down to East Grand Lake as a team group.” Julie and her team have not been to a competition yet, but they are just getting started.
Many people ask Julie why she is so passionate about swimming and making a team. Julie said, “Well, swimming is something that I have done for years. I learned to swim before I learned to ride a bike.” Julie added on, “I brought this sport to our school because I wanted to bring swimming and a team sport together. With synchronized swimming, you have to trust that your team members are doing the right thing.” Sam added, “I agree. You work hard all season and you have to trust your teammates enough. Because if you don’t, then there is no point.”