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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State synchronized swimming team will host the fifth-annual Jessica Beck Memorial Meet at 2 p.m. Saturday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

Joining the Buckeyes in competition are Ball State, Boston University, Lindenwood, Miami (Ohio), Michigan and Wheaton College.

Remembering Jessica
The Jessica Beck Memorial Meet, formerly known as the OSU Collegiate Meet, is in honor of Buckeye synchronized swimmer Jessica Catherine Beck who died Sept. 15, 2005. Beck, who was 21 and a native of Richmond, Va., would have competed in her senior season in 2006. The Buckeyes renamed the OSU Collegiate Meet to the Jessica Beck Memorial Meet in her honor in 2007.

In her second year at Ohio State, Beck was a member of the Buckeye ‘B’ team that placed second at the North Regional championships and fourth at the Collegiate National championships. As a junior, she played an integral role in helping the OSU ‘B’ team regain the bronze medal at the U.S. Collegiate National championships with her flawless execution of the vertical team lift.

Beck also excelled in the classroom, garnering Academic All-America accolades for three-consecutive years. Majoring in communication, Beck was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete award winner and was named to the Dean’s List.

Recapping 2010 Jessica Beck Memorial Meet
Ohio State finished first with 93 points at the 2010 Jessica Beck Memorial Meet. Miami (Ohio) came in second with 73 points and William & Mary was third with 29 points. The Buckeyes swept every routine, including the team performance. The Scarlet Team posted a 93.330 in the win. For the complete recap, click HERE.

Buckeyes Open 2011 Season on a Strong Note
The Buckeyes scored 96 points to win their season-opener vs. Michigan at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion Jan. 22-23. The Wolverines finished with 39.5 points.

Freshman Yuliya Maryanko won the solo routine in her debut in the Scarlet and Gray, earning a score of 93.160. Ohio State’s Lauren Nicholson (89.50) placed second with honorary competitors Raquel Aguado (88.330) and Colleen Courtmanche (82.60) in third and fourth-place, respectively.

Senior-freshman duo Michelle Theriault and Maryanko placed first in the duet competition, earning a mark of 91.0. Ohio State’s duo of Chelsea Aton and Courtmanche took second-place with 87.660 points. Honorary competitors Kayley Colville and Jenny Mann were third with a score of 85.660.

Lauren Robinson, Nicholson and Paige Ramsey competed in the trio routine and earned a 92.5. Teammates Theriault, Java Nikbakht and Alex Beckett (91.50) took second.

Buckeyes in the Community
The Buckeyes completed 148 hours of community service during the 2010 autumn quarter. More than eight organizations and projects benefited from the presence of the synchronized swimming team.

The motto “Give a Day of Your Life” is employed by Ohio State and it encourages each Buckeye to participate in at least eight hours of community service a quarter. Columbus native Liana Litsky led the team with 17 hours of service last quarter.

Although the Buckeyes have entered their competition season this winter quarter, they are still aiming for eight hours of community service to be completed by each member.

“We are gone a lot more this quarter so weekends are a little challenging,” Litsky said.

However, the 26-time collegiate national champions will find a way to get it done.

To read the complete story, click HERE.

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 Ramsey all 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).

Where Are They Now?
Carly Grimshaw, a Buckeye letterwinner from 2003-06, is in her first year as an assistant director of compliance in the Ohio State Athletics Department. Grimshaw, who earned her undergraduate degree in the college of social and behavioral sciences in 2006 and her Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2010, works primarily with the men’s golf, men’s and women’s swimming/diving, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s field hockey, women’s golf and synchronized swimming teams.

Did You Know?
For just the third time in history, the U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming championships will be held in the state of New York this March. The Buckeyes won the High Point Team Title the previous two times – 1996 in Tonawanda, N.Y. and 1979 in Albany, N.Y. The 2011 edition of the championships will take place in Buffalo, N.Y.

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.

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 travel to Richmond and Williamsburg, Va., to compete against Richmond and William & Mary Feb. 12 and 13, respectively.