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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head coach Linda Lichter-Witter has been named head coach of the synchronized swimming national team, which is the top team in the United States. It will compete in world competition in July in Rome, Italy. 
 
The national team is comprised mostly of collegiate swimmers. Ohio State has 10 swimmers on a squad of 24 that will go through two more trials. The majority of the swimmers are from Ohio State, Stanford and Incarnate Word.

“I felt it was time for a collegiate coach to step up and really try to make this work for the college athlete,” Lichter-Witter said.

The first part of training will take place at the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on the campus of the Ohio State University starting May 10.  The squad will move training to the San Francisco area or Florida in June.

Associate Head Coach Holly Vargo-Brown will assist Lichter-Witter for the first part of training while in Columbus, Ohio. It is undetermined if Vargo-Brown will continue to assist Lichter-Witter when the preparation for the competition moves out of Columbus.

“She is excellent,” Lichter-Witter said. “Holly (Vargo-Brown) is exceptional, she and I can finish each other’s sentences. I want her by side.”

With the 2009 Olympic squad finishing in fifth place, Lichter-Witter has set certain expectations for her team.

“Our dream goal would certainly to be in the Top 3,” Lichter-Witter said. “It would be wonderful to medal. I think fourth place would be a realistic thing to hope for.”

Denise Shively, mother of Hannah Shively of the Gray squad, will be the manager of the national team. Shively also was the manager for the 2008 Olympic team.

With all the excitement surrounding the national team, Lichter-Witter has not forgotten about her Ohio State family and the business that needs to be taken care of at home.

“We are Buckeyes,” Lichter-Witter said. “We are Buckeyes first and then some of the Buckeyes will be representing the United States.”

Ohio State travels to Palo Alto, Calif., to compete in the 2009 U.S. Senior National Championships April 30 – May2.