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Jan. 17, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio— The Ohio State synchronized swimming team will begin the 2001 season this Saturday, Jan. 3, at the OSU Tri-Meet. Competition at the Tri-Meet will come from No. 4 Alabama-Birmingham and Keuka College.

The Buckeyes will play host to the event which will take place in the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center located on the second floor of Larkins Hall. The figure competition will begin at 7a.m. with the routine competition immediately following around 12 p.m.

Next weekend the Buckeyes will take on Alabama-Birmingham again, this time at the Blazers’ home pool, the Bell Aquatic Center. The meet will be Feb. 3.

No. 1 In The Nation
The 2000 national champion Buckeyes are no stranger to success having regained the National title last season. Over the last 24 years the Buckeyes have claimed 20 national titles, including 13 consecutive from 1985-1997. The Buckeyes were second place in the nation only to Stanford in 1998 and `99 until they beat their rival at last year’s Collegiate National Championship which was hosted by Ohio State. Now the Buckeyes hope to continue their streak of consecutive national titles.

Olympians Return To Columbus
Brazilian twins Carolina and Isabela Moraes are back from Down Under and back on the roste after a nine month hiatus. The twins competed in the 2000 Olympic summer games in Sydney, Australia where they took 12th place in the duet competition. They are looking forward to competing in the next Olympic games.

“They are very young,” Lichter-Witter said. “They’ll be in the next Olympics too and with a better chance because the medal winners are usually around 25 or 26 years old.”

The twins are busy working on learning the routines they missed while they were away. The twins took first place in the duet, trio (with teammate Mary Hofer) and in team competition at the 2000 Collegiate National Championships.

The `A’ Squad
Head Coach Linda Lichter-Witter has chosen the 2001 `A’ Squad which is comprised of 10 synchronized swimmers that will include eight competitors and 2 alternates. The chosen 10 are still in shifting positions at this early point in the season. The talented ten will include Mary Hofer, Kristin Price, Isabela and Carolina Moraes, Suzanna Hyatt, Alia Arbas, Katie Edwards, Beth Kreimer, Victoria Bowen and Heather Moore. Eight will eventually be chosen to comprise the `A’ team, which are team members expected to score highest at competitions.

Head Coach Linda Lichter-Witter
Head Coach Lichter-Witter has nearly three decades of coaching experience. This will be her sixth year of coaching the OSU synchronized swimming team. Lichter-Witter maintains an outstanding overall record of 185-3. She is 1-0 this season so far. She has also earned five regional titles for the Scarlet &Gray.

Under Lichter-Witter, the Buckeyes have won three national championships (1996-97, 2000) and finished as national runners-up for two years (1998-99).

Lichter-Witter has coached 26 All-Americans, one USSSI Collegiate Swimmer of the Year, Ana Cukic and five Olympians including current team members, Carolina and Isabela Moraes.

Seven Buckeyes On National Team II
Head Coach Linda Lichter-Witter is coaching the National Team II this year in addition to the Buckeyes. Lichter-Witter was a coach of the National Team II from 1972-1996 and is returning for the first time in four years. Lichter-Witter should find it easy to adjust to her new team since seven Buckeyes have made the team. Mary Hofer, Victoria Bowen, Suzanna Hyatt, Katie Edwards, Anna Eng, Ellen Faulhaber, Heather Moore, and Kim Lester all made the team that will represent the U.S. in Switzerland in July.

Off To A Winning Start
The Buckeyes competed in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on Dec. 10 in a figures competition. Ohio State took first place. In a figure competition synchronized swimmers are judged on each individual position at a time.

New Choeography
Last season the `A’ team swept the Collegiate National Championships, scoring 99.067 with their Egyptian- inspired routine.

This year the Buckeyes will portray a firebird from Fantasia.

“It begins with a representation of birth, then death, and finally rebirth,” Lichter-Witter said. “It goes from darkness and an angry firebird to a peaceful and playful falcon.”

The Schedule
This year hosting the North Regional Championships will highlight the Buckeyes’ schedule. The meet will take place on March 3, 2001 at the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center at Larkins Hall.

Collegiate National Championships will be hosted by the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Great Expectations
Head Coach Lichter-Witter is looking for good things to come from freshman Kim Lester from the Cincinnati Synchrogators. A member of the `B’ squad this season, Lester was a member of the U.S. Junior Team and also qualified for the U.S. National Team II that will represent the U.S. in Switzerland in July.