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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State synchronized swimming team will travel for the first time this season to Virginia for back-to-back meets. The Buckeyes will first compete against Richmond Saturday and then they will travel to Williamsburg, Va., to compete against William & Mary Sunday.

Last Season in Virginia
The Scarlet and Gray found great success in Virginia last season competing in these same two meets. Two first-place victories were brought back to Columbus after Ohio State placed first in each routine at both Richmond and William & Mary.

Raquel Aguado represented Ohio State in the solo competitions scoring a 86.05 at Richmond and a 91.333 against William & Mary. Meghan Kinney and Michelle Theriault competed in the duet competitions earning a 93.50 against Richmond and a 92.50 versus William & Mary. In the trio competitions, Ohio State had two teams. The first team consisted of Kinney, Caitlin Stewart and Paige Ramsey who received a score of 91.50 at Richmond and a 94.167 at William & Mary. Hannah Shively, Deborah Shim and Theriault made up the second trio with a 89.833 against Richmond and a 89.0 against William & Mary.

Remembering Jessica Beck
Ohio State hosted Wheaton, Miami (Ohio), Boston, Michigan and Ball State in the fifth annual Jessica Beck Memorial Meet at the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion Feb. 5. Taking the top spot in every routine, the Buckeyes finished first with 93 points.

In the team routine, the Ohio State Scarlet squad (95.50) took first with the Gray squad (91.0) finishing second. The Scarlet squad consisted of Shim, Alex Beckett, Lauren Nicholson, Lauren Robinson, Chelsea Aton, Colleen Courtmanche, Java Nikbakht and Ramsey. Aguado, Lara Tutton, Katie LaBounty, Liana Litsky, Jenny Mann, Julia Gaylard, Caitlin Hoffman and Kayley Colville made up the Gray squad for the Buckeyes.

In the solo competition, lone Buckeye Yuliya Maryanko placed first with a 95.0.

Maryanko and Theriault partnered for the duet competition where they also took first place with a score of 94.167.

Ramsey, Nicholson and Robinson (91.667) received first in the trio completion with teammates Theriault, Beckett and Nikbakht coming in second with a score of 89.833.

National Pride
Three members of the current Buckeye roster competed for the U.S. National Team at the FINA World Cup in September. Senior Michelle Theriault, junior Lauren Robinson and sophomore Paige Ramseyall executed solid performances at the international competition in China. In fact, Theriault paired with Meghan Kinney in the duet and the two finished fifth overall (90.500).

Team Meghan
Meghan Kinney, who has lettered for the Buckeyes in 2009 and 2010, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma this past fall.

Kinney, an alternate at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was training in Colorado Springs with fellow Buckeye Michelle Theriault and the two were well on their way to representing the U.S. National Team at the 2012 Olympics. Just an idea of the duo’s talent, they finished fifth at the FINA World Cup in September 2010. Kinney also is a natural leader, serving as captain of the U.S. National Team.

Since returning to Columbus, many of Kinney’s Buckeye teammates have constantly been at her side. A web site, www.teammeghan.com, has been created to help Meghan and her family cope with this challenge.

“Having been a cancer survivor myself, Meghan and I have a whole new relationship now,” head coach Linda Lichter-Witter said. “I want to help her find her dreams and channel all this amazing talent she has into new dreams and pursuits. Having everyone’s support has been amazing.”

Additionally, the Miami RedHawk hockey team held a jersey auction in January to help off-set some of the medical expenses. Megan’s father, Paul, was a member of the Miami hockey team from 1978-80.

Team Meghan Fundraiser
In efforts to off-set some medical costs Kinney and her family are now facing in their fight against Osteosarcoma. Fellow student-athletes are volunteering their time to collect money at various Ohio State sporting events. Most recently, members of the Buckeye rowing team raised more than $800 for Team Meghan through donations from fans attending the Jessica Beck Memorial Meet. Student-athletes from the rowing, fencing, synchronized swimming and men’s golf teams are all scheduled to collect money for Team Meghan throughout the month of February.

Head Coach Linda Lichter-Witter
Linda Lichter-Witter is in her 16th season as head coach of the Buckeyes. Her impressive 589-21-1 record in 15 complete seasons speaks to her hard work and dedication. Lichter-Witter-led teams have either become national runners-up or, more often than not, national champions. In all, the Buckeyes have won nine national championships and have been runners-up six other times. As only the second coach of the varsity squad at Ohio State, Lichter-Witter started with and maintains excellence with her teams and has secured Ohio State’s mark as one of the best collegiate synchronized swimming teams year in and year out.

U.S. Senior National Championships
Ohio State will host the 2011 U.S. Senior National Championships April 15th-17th. The Buckeyes and McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion are no strangers to hosting premier synchronized swimming championships as they hosted the U.S. Collegiate National championships in 2008, 2000, 1990, 1987 and 1982.

Up Next
The Buckeyes will host the North Regional Championships March 5-6 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.