Mary McKenney was first introduced to synchronized swimming when she watched a duet performance at her Junior High and was immediately hooked on the sport. A year later, at 14, her family moved to Tucson and she joined Tucson Synchro. In 1995, after a hiatus, during which Mary focused on being with her family, she returned to Tucson Synchro, this time as a coach.
Mary’s greatest reward from coaching the swimmers is seeing the confidence and pride on the girls’ faces when they work hard and GET IT. But even more than that, Mary loves the friendships that develop along the way as the swimmers learn to work together as a team. Some of her best synchronized swimming memories are of traveling together all over the country with her synchro family.
Mary shares her love of the sport with her daughter, Samantha Joy, who was only 5 years old when she attended her first synchronized swimming camp. She continued competing for Tucson Synchro for 15 years before leaving to join the University of Arizona’s synchronized swimming team. During her athletic career with Tucson Synchro, she competed in many national championship meets, one of which she and her team won the national championship team competition.
Mary has a strong artistic streak running through her. Whether it’s drawing and painting, sewing, or cooking, she is drawn to creative endeavors. In addition to her skillful coaching, the synchronized swimming teams have been fortunate enough to benefit from her artistic talents through the swim suits and head pieces she designs for the girls’.
Outside of swimming she has a passion for helping her mother teach piano in her music studio. And then…for a good laugh, Mary and her daughter like to put in the Zumba or Hip Hop Connect games and laugh it up together!