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COLUMBUS, Ohio – If all goes according to plan Saturday afternoon, it will be another year of celebration for the Ohio State synchronized swimming team. The Buckeyes, in pursuit of their 26th U.S. Collegiate championship, appear to be on their way to capturing the title following a first-place finish by Team Scarlet in the team routine semifinal Friday.

Competing at the Avery Aquatic Center in Palo Alto, Calif., the Scarlet squad outdistanced second-place Stanford by an astounding 1.125 points (94.625-93.500). The Buckeye crew of Lauren Robinson, Jackie Mundy, Barbara Nesbitt, Paige Ramsey, Deborah Shim, Hannah Shively, Emilie Siemer and Caitlin Stewart will try to lead Ohio State to its third-consecutive team routine title and 28th overall Saturday.

The Buckeyes received tremendous support from the Gray team as well with its score of 89.125 for fourth place. Troopers in their own right, Raquel Aguado, Kayley Colville, Colleen Courtmanche, Liz Derr, Rita Gillan, Liana Litsky, Asia Luke and Samantha Schmidt added important points to the overall team standing and their role will prove pivotal in the final.

Earlier in the day, the A-D technical competitions took place with majority of the Buckeyes participating in the A figures event. However, it was a gold medal performance by Courtmanche that stole the show in the B elements contest. A Hamden, Conn., native, Courtmanche amassed 68.5 points.

Of 19 Buckeyes who competed in the A technical event, 2010 U.S. National Team Training squad member Meghan Kinney paced Ohio State with a third-place 81.308. Also placing in the Top 5 was Stewart with an 81.170 for fourth.

Ohio State already qualified its small routines to the finals with two first-place (duet and trio) and one second-place performance (solo) Thursday in semifinal action. The Top 12 finishers in each event advance for a chance to earn gold. Competition will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday with the trio, followed by the duet, solo and team finals.
 
The 34th-annual U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming Championships is an open-class meet, combining competition from NCAA Divisions I, II, and III and NAIA colleges and universities. More than 200 of the top athletes from the collegiate scene are competing for titles in the solo, duet, trio and team events.
    
2010 U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming Championships
Avery Aquatic Center
Palo Alto, Calif.
March 11-13

Team Semifinal (Top 5)
1. Lauren Robinson, Jackie Mundy, Barbara Nesbitt, Paige Ramsey, Deborah Shim, Hannah Shively,
Emilie Siemer, Caitlin Stewart (Ohio State) – 94.625
2. Alexandra Bollaidlaw, Debbie Chen, Madison Crocker, Taylor Durand, Morgan Fuller, Jessica Guenther, Michelle Moore, Corinne Smith (Stanford) – 93.500
3. Brianna Andreychuk, Hannah Creaser, Saki Fujise, Molly Knight, Seyeon Min, Anna Nelson,
Alexandra Stensby, Rosilyn Tegart (Incarnate Word) – 91.875
4. Raquel Aguado, Kayley Colville, Colleen Courtmanche, Liz Derr, Rita Gillan, Liana Litsky, Asia Luke, Samantha Schmidt (Ohio State) – 89.125
5. Nicole Cardinale, Courtney Christman, Brittanie Grant, Jessica Grogan, Victoria Mintz, Nilda Rosado,
Yulia Shepeleva, Natalia Tarasova (Canisius College) – 89.000

B Technical Elements (Top 5)
1. Colleen Courtmanche (Ohio State) – 68.500
2. Kelsey Smith (Incarnate Word) – 67.602
3. Ingrid Lundblad (Incarnate Word) – 66.135
4. Brittanie Grant (Canisius College) – 66.098 
5. Rebecca Gordon (Wheaton College) – 65.764

A Technical Elements (Top 5)
1. Yulia Shepeleva (Canisius College) – 84.933
2. Natalia Tarasova Canisius College – 84.085
3. Meghan Kinney (Ohio State) – 81.308
4. Caitlin Stewart (Ohio State) – 81.170
5. Saki Fujise (Incarnate Word) –  81.051